A family tradition that is fun for all ages.
The kids and I make Homemade Egg Rolls, Fried Rice, and Crab Rangoons every New Years. It is a change from other foods we’ve been feasting on the last couple of weeks, and it is always a lot of fun. It takes only moments for the kids to learn how to roll and seal up the egg rolls, and in no time, they are ready for the frying.
The longest part of the process is the prepping of the vegetables. Next year, I’m assigning them that task! Get everything organized and ready to go, and the rest is a breeze.
This makes 18 large egg rolls, enough for a feast or a party. The kids like them reheated the next day for breakfast. This recipe uses shrimp, but chicken or all vegetarian are also well received.
Make your own Duck Sauce to accompany–recipe follows–that way you can control the flavor to your liking, and leave out the chemicals and processed ingredients.
First, prep the protein:
1 lb. baby shrimp, or larger shrimp cut into smaller pieces
Pat dry, and set aside. Alternately, you can use sliced or ground chicken or turkey, or omit the protein altogether, just increase the mushrooms accordingly.
Then, prep the vegetables:
In a small food processor combine:
3″ knob of ginger, cut up
3 large cloves garlic
Process them until well minced. If the ginger has thin skin, you don’t need to peel it. Otherwise, remove the peeling.
Slice into thin Julienne strips:
2 medium peppers, one red and one yellow if possible
1 large carrot
Slice thinly on the diagonal:
4 large scallions
Slice very thinly:
4 ounces mushrooms, any preferred variety
2 cups Napa cabbage (in a pinch, green cabbage will work)
You can also substitute mung bean sprouts for the mushrooms
1/2 cup vegetable or fish stock
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice
18 egg roll wrappers
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and sauté the garlic/ginger mixture until fragrant. Add the shrimp and cook, just until pink, keeping it moving. If the shrimp are really small, this will take seconds. Remove everything from the pan and set aside.
Add a little more oil to the pan, and sauté the peppers and carrots for a couple of minutes until they soften. Add the scallions, mushrooms, cabbage, stock, soy sauce, and five-spice. Cook for five or six minutes, until the cabbage is wilted and vegetables tender, then return the shrimp, ginger, and garlic to the pan and cook for a minute or so more, until everything is well blended.
Place in a large bowl and let cool.
Set up your rolling station. Have a large baking sheet waiting on which to place your just-rolled rolls, and a second one waiting fitted with a wire rack to drain your cooked rolls. You will need a bowl of water to dip your fingertips to moisten around the edges of the wrapper to seal them.
Perfect the technique. Place a wrapper in front of you with a point facing you, making a diamond. Dip your finger in the water and paint a line around all edges. Place a couple of tablespoons of filling in the middle, but not all the way out to the sides. Begin rolling away from you once the filling is covered, fold both sides in (like you were folding a burrito) and finish rolling. Place seam side down on the holding tray.
Once all are rolled, heat a half-inch of neutral oil in a large skillet or cast-iron pan. Place seam side down, and cook for about five minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and cook until the second side in brown, then remove to the wire-line sheet.
Serve with a Duck Sauce, Sesame Sauce, or plain soy sauce for dipping.
Quick Duck Sauce
This takes just a few minutes to make, and you control what is in it. Use this as a starting point, and decide for yourself if you want more sweet, or sour, or heat.
In your blender or food processor, combine:
½ cup peach (apricot or plum) preserves
1 clove garlic
1 small scallion
1 tsp. finely grated ginger
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
Hot sauce to taste, optional
Process until smooth. Taste, adjust.
Combine 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil, and 1 finely diced scallion in a small bowl and mix well.
© Copyright 2018 – or current year, Dorothy Grover-Read