Monday, January 24, 2011

Chinese Egg Rolls

 I like to think I have made it through this pregnancy so far without many cravings. However, one thing had been on my mind for weeks.......egg rolls! Since we are trying to cut back on frivolous spending (but really, are pregnancy cravings frivolous?!?) I decided to attempt making my own egg rolls. The actual assembly of the egg rolls was no big deal, but believe it or not this was my first attempt (ever) at frying food! I have a number of recipes saved that keep getting pushed back because they require frying and I have always been intimidated by the idea of frying food. What kind of oil do I use? What do I do with the leftover oil? How can I attempt to eat healthier if I'm frying food?

Well, I tried my hand at frying, and the results were amazing. Granted not healthy, but the perfect item to satisfy the craving and I can now say I accomplished something new in the kitchen.

If you decide to make these, I recommend reading the Egg Roll rules from the original blogger, Steamy Kitchen. This was so helpful to me, and includes step by step pictures. As you can see from my picture compared to her's, I could not find the correct wrappers and just went with the refrigerated wrappers found by the produce, resulting in the big bubbles when fried:/ While I still found them tasty, next time I may try harder to find the recommended wrappers. These are a bit time consuming, but one batch makes enough to freeze so you can have egg rolls at your disposal anytime:)

Chinese Egg Rolls
Source: Steamy Kitchen


50 Spring/Egg Roll Wrappers (about 2 packages), defrosted unopened at room temperature for 45 minutes or in the refrigerator overnight
Water, for sealing edges
Oil, for frying

1 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon sugar
freshly ground black pepper

2 to 3 cloves garlic, very finely minced
½ head of cabbage (about 11 ounces)
3 carrots, shredded
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
10 fresh shiitake mushrooms (or dried black mushrooms soaked overnight), stems discarded
1 tablespoon cooking oil (canola, vegetable, peanut)
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper


1. To make the filling, combine the ingredients for the ground pork together. Marinate at least 10 minutes. In the meantime, shred the cabbage and the carrots using your food processor or by hand. Slice the mushrooms into very thin strips (or you could use your food processer and pulse a few times to get a fine dice.)

2. Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. Add the cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the pork and stir-fry until no longer pink, about 2-3 minutes. Turn heat to medium-low, push the meat to one side of the pan. Add the garlic, cabbage, carrots, ginger and the mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 minute, until the vegetables are softened. Add the rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and black pepper. Continue to stir-fry for another minute. Scoop out the filling to a baking sheet and spread out to cool. Prop up one end of the baking sheet so that it tilts, allowing all the moisture to drain to one end. Let cool for 15 minutes.

3. Discard all of the accumulated juices. Use paper towels to blot the filling to rid of extra oil or juice. Now, you're ready to wrap (see photos from Steamy Kitchen for instructions on how to wrap). IMPORTANT: Only use 1 heaping tablespoon of filling for each egg roll, the width of the egg roll should only be 1.25" diameter.

Keep the rolled egg rolls in neat, single layer and covered with a damp paper towel to prevent drying. If you want to stack the egg rolls, make sure you have layer of parchment paper in between the layers to prevent sticking. Keep wrappers also covered with damp paper towel to prevent drying. Refrigerate up to 4 hours until ready to fry or freeze.

4. To fry the egg rolls, fill a wok or pot with 2 inches of high-heat cooking oil. Heat the oil to 350°F (175°C) or until a cube of bread will fry to golden brown within 10 seconds. Gently slide in or lower the egg rolls, frying 4 to 6 at a time, turning occasionally until golden brown about 1½ minutes. Place on wire rack to drain and cool.

NOTE: To fry frozen egg rolls, do not defrost the egg rolls – just add them to the oil frozen, frying 4 to 6 at a time. Add an additional 1½ minutes to the frying time since they are frozen.

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