Fried Egg Rolls
Fried Egg Rolls are the ultimate favorite for my church family. I can make a thousand of these and I assure you, and these will get eaten. I am so happy that I can finally post this recipe. A dozen of young moms and young ladies from my church gathered to learn how to make egg rolls and had lunch afterward: Thai Noodle Salad (I'll post this recipe later) and egg rolls. It was a great fun, food and most importantly, fellowship! We made close to three hundred and they all went home with a few dozens of egg rolls.
Here are some ingredients which are found only in Asian markets. In Savannah, Han Me (click for map) Oriental Market sells the Mung Bean Threads, Spring Roll wrappers, and fantastic Red Chili Sauce. I find that these wrappers are best for crispy egg rolls. Don't bother with square, pasta looking sheets sold in American grocery stores. They are too thick and chewy.
Shredded cabbage must be blanched in hot water when making in large quantity or pan-sauteed. Shredded carrots are also sauteed. Both vegetables are squeezed in a cheese cloth to get excess liquid out, or the egg roll wrapper will crack during freezing process. All ingredients are chilled before rolled with wrappers.
Here are the steps to rolling egg rolls.
1. The key is to not to put too much filling, 1 tablespoon is good amount.
2. First fold should be snug against the filling, shaping into a cylinder shape, not a flat parcel.
3. Fold over both sides of edges, make sure the folded lines are parallel, which will result in a neater roll.
4. Using your finger, smear egg white/cornstarch mix on the top triangular edges and finish rolling. There should be a complete seal.
You can use canola, vegetable oil, or peanut oil to fry. Make sure oil temperature is about 375 degrees F. for crispy skins. And don't crowd the pan or the oil temperature will plunge and egg rolls will take too long to brown.
For Filling (for about 50 egg rolls)
3/4 pound ground pork
3/4 pound of ground beef
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 head of small cabbage, shredded or sliced 1/4 in thickness (see photo)
3 carrots, coarsely grated, dried sauteed on pan (no oil), for 45 seconds to wilt
1 pkg of Bean thread, or Mung bean noodles (Lungkow brand was used for this recipe), soaked in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes, drained well and cut with scissors into 3-inch length.
3 Tablespoons of sesame oil
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
2- packages of Spring Roll Wrappers (Wei Chuan Brand), 25 sheets in a package, thaw completely and leave sealed package out, bring to room temperature. Always buy a few packages extra, keep frozen until needed.
2 egg whites
2 tablespoon of corn starch
1- Cheese cloth or any clean cotton sheet (18"x18") to squeeze liquid out of cabbages and carrots
Heat a large frying pan over high heat until hot. Add ground pork, beef, and soy sauce and cook until meat is no longer pink. Drain in colander.
Add shredded cabbage and saute for 2-3 minutes until slightly wilted. Set aside. Saute grated carrots in the same pan 1 minute until wilted. When veggies are cooled, put veggies in a cheese cloth or any clean cotton fabric and squeeze excess liquid. A great way to work out your muscles!
**I purchased a brand new mop wringer three years ago, just for this purpose. Squeezing 30 pounds of cabbages and carrots by hand is not recommended when you are making 400 egg rolls at a time!
Soak Mung Bean Threads in hot, not boiling, water, for 5 minutes until soft. Drain for 10 minutes. Cut with scissors into 3-inch segments.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of sesame oil, mix well. Add salt and ground pepper to taste. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.
Combine egg whites and cornstarch in a small bowl. Mix well until corn starch is well incorporated with egg white. This is your glue for egg roll wrappers!
Open the wrapper package and separate the sheets. Separate only 2-3 sheets ahead or they will dry out too quickly and it will be harder to roll.
See photos for how to roll. Can be refrigerated up to 4 hours or freeze.
For freezing, egg rolls can touch each other, but put a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap between layers to ensure they will not stick together in the freezer. Can be frozen up to 2 months. Fry the egg rolls frozen, cooking 4-6 at a time.
Fill a heavy duty pot with 2-inch of oil. Heat oil until temperature reaches 350 - 375 degrees F. Gently lower the egg rolls, 4-6 at a time and fry until golden brown, turning a few times. 1 1/2 minutes or so, longer if frozen.
Serve with Red Chili Sauce.