From a very young age, one of Neven's favourite pastimes was to shadow his mother in the kitchen, watching her cook; his pastime soon became ...
2 skinned chicken breast fillets (each about 175–200g)
1 tblsp mild curry powder
olive oil, for cooking
knob of butter
2 spring onions (trimmed and finely chopped)
0.5 head savoy cabbage (core removed and finely shredded)
150 g shiitake mushrooms (trimmed and sliced)
3 tblsp sweet chilli sauce
3 tblsp chilli jam
1 tblsp chopped coriander
4 (30cm/12") spring roll wrappers (thawed if frozen)
1 tblsp milk
sunflower oil, for deep-frying
salt and freshly ground black pepper
for the mango salsa:
1 ripe mango (peeled, stoned and finely diced)
1 tblsp olive oil
1 small roasted red pepper (from a jar is fine, finely diced)
2 tblsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tblsp chopped coriander
1 tblsp chopped basil
These can be assembled and cooked 2–3 hours before needed, but no earlier or the wrappers will go soggy. If you prefer not to deep-fry them, cook in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Brush with the egg wash and arrange on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 15–20 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
Place the chicken fillets in a small roasting tin and season generously, then sprinkle evenly with curry powder. Drizzle over a little olive oil and add a tablespoon of water to the tin to stop the chicken from drying out. Bake for 12–15 minutes or until cooked through and tender. Allow to cool and then dice into small cubes, about 1cm (½in).
To make the mango salsa, place the diced mango in a bowl and stir in the olive oil, diced roasted red pepper, sweet chilli sauce, coriander and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with cling film and set aside at room temperature until needed.
Heat the butter and a dash of olive oil in a frying pan and toss the spring onions and cabbage until almost tender. Add the mushrooms and toss again for 2–3 minutes until they begin to wilt. Add the sweet chilli sauce, Chilli Jam and coriander and toss until evenly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Lay a spring roll wrapper on a clean work surface. It is important not to let the wrappers dry out, so keep the rest covered with a clean, damp tea towel until you need them. Beat the egg and milk in a bowl until well combined. Imagine a diagonal line across the centre of the wrapper, brush the egg wash above that line and spoon the chicken mixture on to the centre along the line. Be careful not overfill the spring rolls or they can burst during cooking. Fold the bottom corner up over the mixture, then turn the two outside corners in and roll up to meet the eggy corner to stick. Repeat to make the remaining three rolls.
Pour the sunflower oil into a deep-fat fryer or half fill a large deep-sided saucepan and heat to 180°C (350°F). Deep-fry two of the rolls for about 4–5 minutes until golden brown, turning halfway through. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm in a low oven or loosely covered with foil while you fry the remaining rolls.
To serve, slice each spring roll into three and arrange in the centre of a plate. Spoon a little salsa alongside and serve straight away.