With a winter blast heading our way this past weekend, I went out and stocked up on some supplies in order to wait out the cold and stay bundled inside. I’ve been craving egg rolls and knowing how much prep work they take, it seemed like perfect timing to spend an afternoon working on a timely project. First things first, I have a lot of veggies to chop. While some may think this a tedious task, I find it relaxing. I’m always amazed at how many veggies it takes to make egg rolls, you may think you have way too much filling for your wrappers but after they cook down and release their juices they reduce by about half. They roll up rather easy, once you get the hang of it and pan fry in just a couple minutes. As soon as they go into the fry pan, it brings out my guys who go for a plate and stand by waiting for the first egg rolls to taste. They do taste awfully good when they are freshly made! I just hope they leave some for me . . .
You can mix and match a variety of veggies for egg rolls. I went with a head of Napa cabbage, some baby portabellas, a carrot, some green onion, cilantro and fresh ginger. The sauce and seasoning consists of soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, sesame oil, salt, sugar and black pepper.
When you’re ready, heat a wok or large fry pan with a drizzle of vegetable oil. Add the pork and cook over high heat tossing and crumbling until it’s fully browned and cooked through. After I got the gas stove, I picked up this great wok at a bargain at Goodwill. Most of my latest cooking additions have come from thrift stores. My sister opened my eyes to thrifting and I’ve found so many great dishes and cooking tools that I never would have dreamed of otherwise.
Remove the veggies with a slotted spoon, leaving as much of the juices behind. I got in a hurry and took some shaky photos so you’ll have to imagine me adding the pork and freshly chopped cilantro back into the bowl with the cooked veggies.
Time to wrap these guys up. I made an egg wash to seal the edges of the egg roll wrappers. Take a large spoonful of the egg roll mix and place on the center of the wrapper. The veggie mix may sweat out additional liquid while resting in the bowl so press the spoon filled with veggies against the side of the bowl to squeeze out as much juice as possible before placing on wrapper.
When you’re ready to go, heat a skillet, doesn’t matter what kind, with about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil. To know when the oil is hot, stick a wooden spoon into the grease and when it begins to sizzle and bubble, it’s hot enough to fry. Set as many egg rolls into the pan as your comfortable with.
The grease was hot and as soon as the third egg roll was laid in the pan it was time to flip the first one over. This went like clockwork, set them in the pan, start flipping over to cook the other side. About 30 seconds give or take on each side was all it took.
I made a dipping sauce with soy sauce and sweet chili sauce to go with these egg rolls. Sweet chili sauce by itself is a great dipping sauce, it reminds me of the duck sauce you get at a Chinese take out.
Pork Egg Rolls (adapted from Steamy Kitchen)
1 pound Ground Pork
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1/4 teaspoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper, freshly ground
1 large head Napa Cabbage, rinsed and finely chopped
1 large Carrot, grated
6 Green Onions, green tops only, finely chopped
8 – 10 Baby Portabella Mushrooms
1 inch Fresh Ginger, grated on a microplane hand grater
1 tablespoon Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped
Stir Fry Sauce
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese Rice Wine
2 teaspoons Sesame Oil
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
Freshly ground Black Pepper
Vegetable Oil, for the wok
Chop and grate vegetables and set in a large bowl except the chopped cilantro . Make stir fry sauce by mixing together the soy sauce, Chinese Rice Wine, sesame oil, salt, sugar and black pepper. Set veggies and sauce aside.
Heat a wok or large fry pan over high heat. Add a drizzle of vegetable oil and cook the ground pork. Crumble meat and brown until fully cooked through. Stir in a tablespoon of soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon sugar and black pepper to the meat. Remove from wok and set aside. Add another drizzle of vegetable oil to the wok and add all of the vegetables and ginger. Stir fry over high heat, set the lid on to steam for a minute. Stir the mix again and steam for a minute more. When the veggies have wilted and reduced by half, add in the stir fry sauce to coat the veggies. Remove veggies with a slotted spoon leaving behind as much of the liquid as possible. Add the ground pork and fresh cilantro to the cooked veggies and stir until completely mixed together.
Beat an egg and 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash. Place an egg roll wrapper on a flat dry surface with one corner toward you like a diamond shape. Brush egg wash around the top 2 edges of the wrapper. Spoon a big helping of the filling in the center of the wrapper and begin rolling the corner upward. Wrap around the filling, fold in the side corners to seal the edges and continue rolling to seal the top edge. Continue wrapping until all the filling has been used.
Pour about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil into a skillet. When oil is sufficiently hot place as many egg rolls into the pan as your comfortable with. Fry for about 30 seconds, then turn egg rolls to fry on the other side. When they have browned on all sides, remove to a plate lined with a paper towel and continue on with the next batch. Add more oil if needed.
Makes 15 – 18 Egg Rolls
Serve with Dipping sauce or Sweet Chili Sauce
Dipping Sauce for step by step photos go here
1/4 Cup Sweet Chili Sauce
3 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
2 1/2 Tablespoons Tamari (reduced sodium Soy Sauce)
1 Tablespoon Ginger
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Combine all dipping sauce ingredients into a glass bowl and whisk gently until all ingredients are combined.