From the moment Sydney chef Dan Hong began shooting instructional Instagram videos in his home kitchen at the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown period, one recipe has been requested by followers more than any other: the cheeseburger spring roll from Ms G’s, his Potts Point mod-Asian bar and eatery.
“It’s ridiculous how many requests there have been [for it],” he says at the beginning of the latest video in his Isolation Cooking series, posted on Wednesday afternoon for the Mr Wong chef’s nearly 85,000 followers.
“I think the reason the Ms G’s version is so popular,” Hong says, referring to the hundreds of other cheeseburger spring-roll recipes he says are available online, “is that it tastes so much like a cheeseburger.”
It’s true – the mind-bending snack is exactly like eating a cheeseburger, but in spring-roll form. It’s simultaneously discombobulating and unbelievable tasty.
Filmed on a phone and surrounded as usual by his enthusiastic kids, Hong combines the same ingredients recently highlighted in his McDonald’s-inspired cheeseburger recipe, including Heinz ketchup, American mustard, American “burger cheese” (“it’s [got] a real fake cheese smell, but trust me, you need this type of cheese in order to create that classic cheeseburger flavour profile”), Polish dill pickles, and quality meat with a 4:1 meat-to-fat ratio that Hong says you should source from a premium meat supplier and not from the fridge at your local supermarket.
“The inspiration, like the burger recipe, is the cheeseburger at McDonald’s. That is the flavour profile of a cheeseburger that people know about,” he says.
Hong once again enlists his vocal apprentices/children to assist – this time with constructing the spring rolls – but, as always, he equitably shares the rewards of their labour with them.
“I realise there are a lot of versions out there with sauce on the side,” he says as he and his family take their first bites. “But this version doesn’t need it. It’s a self-saucing spring roll. Everything you need is in there already.”
Just bear in mind, says Hong, that once folded, “you need to cook them as soon as possible, because even these – which I literally just made 10 minutes ago – are still bursting out the side. That’s how wet the mixture is … the longer they sit in the fridge, they’ll sweat and you’ll just get a disaster on your hands with the oil.”
While this recipe will make you 20 spring rolls, we suggest doubling the batch because you will absolutely want more of these addictive fellows.
Dan Hong’s cheeseburger spring rolls, as seen at Ms G’s
Makes 20 spring rolls
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Ingredients (quantities are approximate):
400g premium beef mince (80 per cent meat; 20 per cent fat)
1 white onion, finely diced
½ cup Polish-style dill pickles, finely diced
1 packet (12 slices) “hamburger cheese”, such as Dairylea Burger Cheese Slices
¼ cup Heinz Tomato Ketchup
2 tablespoons American mustard (Hong uses French’s)
1 egg (to seal)
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
For the filling
Flatten meat into a patty that will fit into your oven-safe frying pan. Place the pan over a high heat, add a splash of oil and season the beef with salt on both sides. Slide patty into the hot pan and press with a spatula, then leave for 3 to 4 minutes or until edges start to turn grey.
Drain as much oil from the pan as possible into a bowl, then use a spatula to flip the meat patty. After another minute of cooking, transfer the pan into an oven preheated to 220°C. Cook for 3–4 minutes, or until the centre of the patty is cooked medium-well (as an indicator, juices will begin emerging from the top of the patty).
Transfer the patty to a plate and place in the fridge until the meat has cooled completely.
Break the chilled cooked meat into a bowl until it has a mince-like consistency, leaving a few larger chunks for texture.
Stir through onions, pickles, cheese, ketchup and mustard, mixing with your hands until very well combined. Taste and adjust sauces and seasoning as required.
For the spring rolls
Lay a square spring-roll wrapper on a board or plate with the corner pointed towards you, and spoon a few tablespoons of the cheeseburger mix into a line 1/3 of the way up the wrapper.
Fold the bottom corner of the wrapper over the meat mixture, shaping the cheeseburger mix into a tight cylinder as you bring it down. Fold over the left and right edges, then roll the parcel tightly away from you, brushing the far corner with a little beaten egg to help seal it (Hong’s youngest daughter, Indy, finishes the rolling process by blowing lightly on the finished spring roll, but this step is optional).
As soon as all the spring rolls have been folded, heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or solid-based saucepan to 200°C. Carefully lower spring rolls into the oil a few at a time (taking care not to crowd the pan), and cook until crisp and brown.
Serve once cool enough to handle.
Want to try Dan Hong’s McDonald’s-inspired cheeseburger? Check out the recipe here.