Homemade Chinese Egg Rolls - Recipe and Assembly Instructions

Homemade Chinese Egg Rolls 


My mother was an incredible cook.  She spent over 9 years winning 4-H food competitions to prove it.  But even after her 4-H days were over, she never stopped learning and perfecting her craft.

While living in Las Cruces, she made a friend, Min Wong.  Min was from Korea and married to a man from China.  Min taught my mother how to make egg rolls and my mother made them for the rest of her life.  It quickly became a mainstay in our home and one of my comfort foods.

This plate also used to be my mother's.  All the feels looking at this picture. 

Let's get started.

When I think of Marvel Comics, I do not think of coleslaw.  Interesting marketing choice. 
Ingredients for filling: 
3 lbs. ground pork
Shredded carrots (I buy a 10 oz. bag of matchstix carrots)
Shredded cabbage (I buy two 14-oz. bags of classic coleslaw)
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 pkg. rice or mung bean noodles (my addition, I like to use them to bulk up the filling)
salt and pepper to taste


Ingredients for egg rolls: 
1 egg
60 egg roll wrappers
peanut oil for frying

TO MAKE THE FILLING

First: 
Use the largest pan you have with a lid.  Cook the pork.  I start chopping up the meat right away and do it every once in a while.  You want the pieces as small as you can get them.

I'm almost done breaking up the meat at this point.  

While the meat is cooking get your tap water as hot as you can.  Using the largest bowl you have, place the noodles in the bowl and cover with the hot tap water.  Let them soak.

Don't worry too much about the temperature, just soaking them will soften them.  


Second: 
Once the meat is cooked, DO NOT DRAIN, season with salt and pepper.  Place the coleslaw and carrots on top.

This is why I use my largest pan, so I can steam the veggies. 

Do not stir.  Put the lid on the pan so the steam won't escape.  Put the heat on low and let the veggies cook on top of the meat until the carrots are soft, about 15 minutes.

While the veggies are steaming, drain the noodles and cut with scissors so they are in tiny pieces.  You don't want to bite into an egg roll and have noodles hanging out.

I wish I had cut them even shorter after making my egg rolls.  

Third: 
After the carrots are soft, add the meat mixture to the noodles and the fresh green onions.  Stir really well. The heat will soften the onions.

This is the same bowl the noodles are in.  

Congrats!  Your filling is done.

For some reason the long carrots don't bother me but the long noodles do.  
Wasn't that easy?  Time to make the egg rolls.

TO ASSEMBLE THE EGG ROLL

First:
To make the egg wash, crack an egg in a small bowl or mug and add water to it.  Stir.  It should be pretty watery.

This is about a cup of egg wash.  

Second: 
Using two fingers, dip your fingertips in the egg wash and run them along all four edges of an egg roll wrapper.  Place 1/3 c. of mixture in the middle of the wrapper.

I think it's easier to do the egg wash first and then place the mixture.  You can see by my fingers about how wide the egg wash strip is on the wrapper.  

Third: 
Fold the egg roll like you would a burrito.  Lift one corner and tuck the filling inside.  Bring up the two side corners and roll until the last corner is sealed to the egg roll.  You'll notice I like to tuck in the sides twice.  Pinch any openings closed if need be.





Lay the egg rolls on wax paper to dry.

Fourth: 
I fry my egg rolls in my Le Creuset French oven.  (It's like a Dutch oven but prettier.)

Peanut oil has a high smoke point, that's why it's good for frying. 

Heat the peanut oil over the stove until it's about 350 to 375 degrees.  My mother never measured the temperature.  She just put a wooden spoon in the oil.  If it bubbled, it was ready.

See all those bubbles?  This means the oil was too hot.  I had to cool it down by adding more oil.  

I can cook five egg rolls at once, but you might want to start by just doing one at a time until you get the hang of it.  Fry until just golden brown.  Be sure to flip them so that all sides are cooked.

You'll discover flipping them is hard.  They form an air bubble that makes them want to stay on one side.  Be sure to roll them tightly, flip them as soon as you can, and push them down into the oil to get all sides.  

Drain on a paper sack.

See the paper sack underneath my cooling rack?  I love having a cooling rack that fits in my sheet pan.  I use this configuration for so many recipes.  
Golden brown egg rolls.  Do you want one?  


STORING AND REHEATING: 

Egg rolls freeze really well.  Growing up, I would put two frozen egg rolls in my sack lunch.  They kept my drink and fruit cold and were thawed by lunch time.  It was a great school lunch.

If you want them warm, you can alway microwave them.  But I would only do this if I just wanted one or two egg rolls.  The best way to warm them is in a pan or foil tin in the oven.  They are best when they are crunchy.


Breakdown of cost: 

Pork = $11.50
Coleslaw = $3.38 (cheaper if you bought a head of cabbage and shredded it yourself)
Carrots = $1.50
Green onions = $.78
Rice noodles = $2.20
Egg roll wrappers = $8.07

Total = $27.43 before tax

So that is 45 cents/egg roll.  If you add the cost of oil and the tax it most likely is somewhere around 50 cents an egg roll.






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