Thursday, April 5, 2012

Homemade Egg Rolls

Awhile back (yes, an embarrassingly long awhile back), I mentioned I was making egg rolls and that I would be sharing the recipe. So, here you go!

First off, it's really hard to guesstimate how much filling to make. I was hoping to fill all two packs of shells so I'd be able to freeze a batch, but I ended up only using 1.5 packs of shells and we ate them all in a week. Ha! It all depends on how full you fill your shells.

To begin you chop veggies very small. This is where my food processor made me fall in love with it even more. =) I used half a head of a big head of cabbage, 1 big onion, and a couple medium-sized carrots. You can use any combo of veggies you want though.

Get your fryer going. I have a deep-fryer (don't judge--I only use it for these egg rolls and my cake donuts once a year, haha), which has a designated level to fill with oil, but if you use a deep pan, the oil needs to be deep enough for the rolls to float and must be heated to 375 degrees.

Then you fry your meat. (Or if you're vegetarian and don't eat meat, you can just chop an extra pound of veggies. But I'm not, and never will be, a vegetarian. Sorry. ;-) I intended to use a pound of lean ground pork, but when I opened the package I realized it smelled funny. This was no doubt due to my having way more work to do on spring break than I planned and the rolls not getting made til Sunday even though I put the meat in the fridge with the intention of making them on Thursday. After indulging in some well-deserved verbal self-abuse, I threw the pork out and ground up a pound of raw shrimp instead. Anyway, fry your meat in in a smidgeon of oil until nearly done, and then add:

4 Tbs of soy sauce
1 tsp minced fresh ginger (or 1/4 tsp ground ginger)
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp sesame oil

Once that is mixed in, add your carrots and onion. Fry for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, then add the cabbage. Let it cook until the cabbage is wilted. If there is a lot of liquid in the pan, drain it off. Too much liquid will keep the rolls from staying closed in the fryer. 

Yummy filling!

Next is the fun part: frying the rolls! The package of egg roll skins will tell you how to roll them up, so I didn't bother trying to demonstrate that part. But here's an idea of how much filling I put in and a few rolls made up and waiting for the fryer: 

My mom and I always sealed them shut with a mixture of cornstarch and water, but I noticed that a flour and water paste was also suggested on the package of skins so I tried that, and I thought it worked so much better! It's important to keep them sealed well. 

Place the rolls carefully in the oil and let them cook until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes), then take them out and drain them on a baking sheet covered with paper towels. I do not recommend having too many rolls made up before frying, by the way. If they sit too long they get soggy and fall apart. I fry about 3 at a time, and while they're frying I make up the next 3. 
The finished product! Enjoy them dipped in duck sauce (you can find it in the Asian food section of all grocery stores)! =)

Note #1: These reheat wonderfully in a 400 degree oven--just bake them til they crisp up again. Just like pizza, they do not reheat well in the microwave.
Note #2: Please no questions on how to bake egg rolls instead of frying them. ;-) I have no idea, and don't think that would taste at all delicious. I freely acknowledge that these are not health food! But everyone needs a splurge now and then, and egg rolls are one of my favorite splurges. (Along with cake. Lots of cake.)