Monday, 4 February 2013

Egg Rolls

Egg rolls from a box are bland. I've never had a really good one, always more about the plum sauce than the roll itself. I didn't even want plum sauce with these. They may seem like a lot of work, but they are way easier than any other food wrapped food I've made to date.

**If you don't like tangents skip to the stars below**
It all started with a friend visiting from out of town.

"Hey, Friend," I said over the head of whoever was sitting between us because tall people can do that. "Do you know how to make egg rolls? I have been thinking of trying them out but I can't decide what to put in the filling."

"How funny you should ask," Friend replied with a curiously surprised expression, "egg rolls are my family's specialty."

"Cool beans! Food wrapped in other food is the best!"

Then we high-fived and there was a montage that ended in a food baby photo shoot. Pictures destroyed.
**Story time is over. Back to regular old food talk**

The original recipe was with beef, but I don't buy beef for cooking at home, and generally avoid it for very good reasons I won't mention here. So I used pork, added cabbage, and mixed up the vegetable proportions a bit to what you see scrawled above. The original was essentially a few cooked down vegetables hidden somewhere within the meat. Not exactly what I expected from the boxed variety.

Grate the vegetables, into the browned meat, add sauces & liquids & garlic and cook down until there is very little juice. Or drain the mixture. Whatever. The beans sprouts cook down quite a bit but release lots of juice, so you may have a juicy pan no matter what. Then let it cool down until it is easy to handle. Go listen to side b of whichever ELO album you have. It is excellent egg roll music. Or make something else. Do whatever you have to do to make the time fly.

Packing the egg rolls is the fun part. One letter away from party, so there's that. Use a table spoon and press the filling against the side to squeeze out any liquid. Liquid inside the roll will make it explode (photos later). Put it onto a sheet of egg roll wrapper purchased from your local. Wet three edges with a finger dipped in water and fold one side halfway over, then the other wet side to overlap and seal it lengthwise. Wet the edges, tightly fold and press together. You should get some neat packages such as you see here. Keep doing it until you run out of something.

Bake them on an oiled sheet or shallow fry in neutral oil, I used grape seed. Frying works better in every way except calorie counting. Baked, they turned out crunchy. Not quite as good. Fry them on each side for 2 minutes or until a healthy golden brown colour appears. If you have liquid in your pouch, this is where explosions occur. One of mine ballooned up to the size of a large grapefruit and unloaded in my pot of oil. Not cool, egg roll.
Blurry food and exploded remnants of food.

A couple tricks. You can use egg to seal the pouches but it really isn't necessary. None of mine came open except one and that wasn't because the seals were questionable. Remove egg rolls from oil onto brown paper to soak up oil, then from there onto paper towels or a wire rack. Fry seam side down first to ensure seal doesn't come apart from steam.