Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Egg Rolls

Some of my favorite times in the kitchen are when I have no idea what to make and I have to be crafty. A perfect example of this situation are these egg rolls. The clock was ticking down to dinner time and I didn't have any ideas and even less ingredients to work with. One of the items I did have on hand was ground pork. Seriously, ground pork? What on earth do you make with ground pork? Sure if I had some ground beef to go along with it I could have busted out a meatloaf or some meatballs but just ground pork? Yeesh. But wait-ground pork, cabbage and carrots...I believe Egg Rolls were my only hope. Except I didn't have egg roll wrappers.

Had I not participated in the Daring Cooks Potstickers challenge perhaps I would have been somewhat terrified of making my own egg roll wrappers but during that challenge I must have made about a hundred wonton wrappers so I felt fairly confident that I could make egg roll wrappers. Besides it's not like I had a choice. And I am really happy about that because not only are they very easy to make, much like homemade wonton wrappers, these egg roll wrappers are so much better than store bought. So in conclusion, sometimes an inability to run to the store last minute, a hungry husband on the way home and being forced to be a little creative can result in something pretty cool and very satisfying all around.


Egg Roll Wrappers recipe from Life 123:
2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
½ cup cold water
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water to make a paste
1 quart oil for frying, such as peanut, grapeseed or vegetable

1. Mix the flour and salt together.
2. Make a well in the middle and pour in the eggs and water. Using your fingers, gently combine the ingredients to make a dough. If the dough seems a bit too dry, add cold water (a tablespoon at a time).
3. When the dough comes together, knead it for 2 minutes. The dough should be smooth and soft.
4. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
5. Divide the dough in half. Keep half covered while you are working with the first half.
6. Roll the dough out on a floured surface. You will need to form a very thin sheet that is 36 x 12 inches.
7. Cut six inch squares. Stack the squares on a plate dusted with flour. Dust the top of each square with flour to keep them from sticking to each other. You can also use parchment paper between the squares.
8. Follow the same instructions for the second half of the dough. You can either freeze them for later use or use them as they are.

1/2 lb ground pork
1 cup cabbage, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, julliened
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small red chili, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar, if using unseasoned add 1/2 teaspoon sugar to the pork mixture

1. In a large skillet, cook pork until it's no longer pink.
2. Add the ginger, garlic, chili and rice vinegar and continue to cook another 5 minutes over low-medium heat.
3. Remove the pork mixture from the pan and set aside to cool slightly.
4. Add a little oil to the same pan and add the cabbage and carrots to the pan. Cook over medium heat for about 6-7 minutes.
5. Set the cabbage and carrots aside to cool slightly.

Dipping Sauce:
2 tablespoons chili sauce, such as sambal
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together.

1. Preheat oil to 375 degrees In a large heavy bottomed skillet.
2. Place 2 tablespoons of the cabbage and carrot mixture in the center of the wrapper followed by 2 tablespoons of the pork mixture on top of the cabbage.
3. Sprinkle a few of the chopped scallion and cilantro over the pork.
4. lightly brush the edges of the wrapper with the cornstarch mixture, wetting all of the edges.
5. Fold one corner over the filling. Fold the left and right corners towards the center and roll up towards the last corner. Continue rolling the remaining egg rolls.
6. Carefully place the egg rolls into the hot oil. Fry about 5 minutes or until golden brown turning occasionally.
7. Drain the egg rolls on paper towel and serve with dipping sauce.


Melleah said...

These look great! Do you think you could bake these egg rolls instead of frying them? I love egg rolls, but since they're so fattening fried, I only eat them once in a while.

~Madeline~ said...

Thanks Melleah, I haven't tried baking them so I can't say for sure but if I you want to I would suggest brushing the rolls with a light coat of oil (after they have been rolled) before baking them. Otherwise I doubt they would crisp up. Bake them at a fairly high temperature around 400-425 degrees, turning them a few times, until golden brown.

Go ahead and give it a try, I'm sure they would be really good. Let me know if you do.

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