Adapted from Marie Surakul. Surakal has adapted her family’s traditional Thai filling by adding vegetables she’s come to love since cooking and living in America. The sweet potato, carrots and peas lend a natural sweetness to the savory chicken base.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Add the chives to the boiling water and boil for 5 seconds. Use tongs to immediately transfer to the ice water. When cool, drain the chives on paper towels, patting very dry.
Bring the water in the saucepan back to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and the sweet potato and cook until almost tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well and reserve.
Mix the oyster sauce, sugar, cornstarch and pepper in a small bowl to make a sauce. Combine the chicken, garlic, cilantro and 2 tablespoons of the sauce mixture in a large bowl. Mix until well blended; reserve the remaining sauce.
Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken mixture and cook, stirring and breaking the meat into small bits, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, carrot, peas and reserved sweet potato and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the remaining sauce and cook, stirring until the sauce thickens and evenly coats everything, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt. Transfer to a bowl, then refrigerate to chill, about 1 hour.
Put a spring roll wrapper on a work surface and put 1 heaping tablespoon filling in the center. Draw up all the sides of the wrapper and gather around the filling to form a pouch. Wrap one chive around the cinched part at least two times, then tie to secure. Repeat with the remaining wrappers, filling and chives to make more dumplings.
Fill a saucepan with oil to a depth of 3 inches. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees. Working in batches, add the dumplings to the hot oil (avoid overcrowding) and fry, turning to evenly cook, just until golden brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Serve hot with the Sweet Chili Sauce.
Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
Combine the sugar, vinegar, sambal, garlic and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer rapidly, stirring occasionally, until syrupy in consistency, about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature and serve.
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