Monday, January 14, 2013

Egg Roll Extravaganza

This morning I woke up to a message from my Mom inviting me over for homemade egg rolls: best news ever! It has probably been about five years since we've made these so I was extremely excited. Growing up, we would do this once or twice a year; this was always one of my favorite meals that we made when I was a kid. Call me biased but I definitely think that homemade egg rolls are way better than the ones we normally get in Chinese takeout. These are so incredibly fresh and if you fry them they are perfectly crunchy without being overly greasy. Heaven! Since we ended up with extra wrappers, we also made our version of Crab Rangoon and then I finished up the egg roll extravaganza evening by throwing together a Baked Apple Pie Roll (I will post these two recipes separately!).

"Your Way" Egg Rolls

I call these "your way" because this recipe is extremely versatile. You can make these with meat or they can be completely vegetarian, you can add really any veggie for filling and you can either bake or fry them. Talk about options! We did a batch of veggie, some of which we baked and the rest we froze to eat later. These do fantastic in the freezer! We also did another batch using beef in addition to our veggie filling we fried most of these and baked just a few. 

2 packages of egg roll wrappers (20 per pack)
1 pound of ground beef or pork
3 large carrots
1 medium white onion
1 bunch of spring onions
1 head of green cabbage
2 cups of chopped mushrooms (we used dried and then reconstituted them)
1 can of bean sprouts
1 can of water chesnuts
1 small piece of ginger root
2 cloves of garlic
1/8 cup of soy sauce
Salt & Pepper
Small bowl of water (for sealing wrappers)

1.   If you plan to bake your egg rolls, preheat your oven to 375 degrees; if you are going to fry them, either prepare your oil in a frying pan or pull out your good ole deep fryer (that's what we did!).

2.   Start by finely chopping all of your veggies. You can certainly use a food processor to do this but we did it the old fashioned way.

  • Grate the cabbage, carrots, onions, garlic and fresh ginger.
  • Finely chop the spring onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms. 

3.    Using a large mixing combine all your chopped veggies. Open the can of bean sprouts and drain them well; if you are watching your sodium intake you can certainly rinse them before adding them to your veggie mix.

4.   Generously season your veggie mix with soy sauce, pepper and salt if needed. You could also add Chinese five spice powder at this time if you have it on hand (we did not).

Veggie Filling
Veggie & Beef Filling
5.    If you are making veggie egg rolls- it is time to begin the wrapping process!

If you are making meat egg rolls- take your meat of choice and season it with salt and pepper; cook it completely through either via the microwave or by sauteing over the stove-top. 

The Art of the Wrap

If you plan on frying your egg rolls, it is crucial that they are wrapped up tightly to avoid oil splatter. Keep in mind, you must find a delicate balance between too tight and too loose of your wrap. This is always a simple process of trial and error. 

  1. Place approximately 2 heaping tablespoons of filling on the center of your wrapper.

  1. Fold the bottom corner diagonally toward the top and then fold in each side, being sure to tuck in the corners to prevent spillage of your filling. 

  1. Dip your finger in water and trace the top edge of the wrapper; just as if you were sealing an envelope. 

  1. Slowly roll toward the top seal and place egg roll seal side down. 

Here are our first batch of the veggie rolls! Once your rolling is complete, fry or bake away! 

1 comment:

  1. They were awesome and it was a fun afternoon in the kitchen. I never have fun in the kitchen!