Wednesday, May 25, 2011


A couple of egg roll pictures floating on the web caught my eye recently, and I knew I just had to make some. Our local chinese take out makes a pretty mean egg roll, but nothing like these pictures I saw. They looked so much... healthier. I know egg rolls aren't healthy, but hey, they're stuffed with veggies. It's all good!

I combined the recipe from annie's eats and the one from a sweet chef, used what I had in the fridge, and came up with this:

egg rolls

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chopped ginger
4 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided

¾ head green cabbage, shredded thin
1 small onion
3 carrots, peeled and shredded
3 stalks celery
3/4 cup frozen peas
4 chopped green onions
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp sweet soy sauce

24-30 egg roll wrappers
1 egg
Canola or peanut oil, for frying

In a resealable plastic bag, combine chicken, soy sauce, garlic, black pepper and ginger. Press out the air, seal, and let marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes, up to 3 hours.

Add 2 tbsp oil to a large skillet or wok and cook chicken over medium-high heat until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside. When cool enough to handle, chop chicken in small pieces.

If needed, add more oil to the pan, and cook cabbage, onion, carrot and peas until tender, about 5-8 minutes. Add green onion, soy sauce and stir to incorporate. Cook 2 minutes. Add the cooked chicken and stir again to incorporate well. Cook an additional 5 minutes. Place the mixture in a colander, pressing down to remove as much liquid as possible. Let cool for 30 minutes before assembling egg rolls.

On a clean, flat surface, place 1 egg roll wrapper with 1 corner facing you. Place approximately 1-2 tablespoons of the filling about 1 inches from the bottom corner of the wrapper. Fold the bottom corner over the filling.

Firmly roll the filled wrapper half-way up the rest of the wrapper. Dab the exposed edges of the wrapper with a beaten egg. Fold the two sides over the filled roll and roll the rest of the way up, pressing the top corner firmly onto the egg roll to seal it.

Repeat for the rest of the wrappers. Once ready to cook, heat about 3/4-inch to 1-inch of vegetable or canola oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or wok. Once oil is hot (you will know it’s ready when you dip the end of a wooden spoon in it and bubbles form around it right away), carefully place enough egg rolls to cover the bottom of the pan. Try not to crowd them. Fry until golden brown on both sides, about 1-2 minutes per side. Once golden brown on both sides, remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towel.

Although making the egg rolls wasn't hard, it is time consuming. I was very impressed with the wrappers. I was trying to handle them gently, but I didn't need to. They are very easy to use. You can really pinch them close without fearing that they'll tear open. Once my egg rolls were out of the oil, I stashed them in a warm oven until everyone was ready to eat, and I think that made them lose their crispiness. They were good, but chewy, (not a bad thing) and a bit oily, I found. Not sure if they are worth making at home. Seems like a call to my local take out place is much easier, neater, probably cheaper, and calls for less dishes.

I pondered what to serve alongside the egg rolls. Not going to attempt sweet and sour chicken balls. Or General Tso. Don't like Chow Mein. My fried rice is a meal in itself, so not going to serve that. I guess I could have made Guy Ding, it would of upped the nutrition factor, but I settled on yummy scallion noodles and spareribs.

scallion noodles
recipe source : budget bytes

8 oz. (1/2 lb.) dry chinese noodles
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 bunch green onions
4 tbsp butter
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp oyster sauce

In a large pot, bring water to a boil to cook the noodles according to the directions on the package (enough water to cover noodles, boil for approximately 5 minutes). Drain.

While the pasta cooks, mince the garlic and chop the green onions. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. (Or use the same pot that was used to cook the noodles. Save on the dishes!) Once the butter is melted and bubbly, add the garlic and onions and saute until they are soft but not browned.

While the garlic and onions are cooking, mix the oyster sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil together in a bowl.

Remove the skillet with the sauteed garlic and green onions from the heat. Add the drained pasta and oyster sauce mixture to the skillet and stir well to coat the pasta. If your pasta is stiff or sticky making it hard to stir, mix in a small amount (1/4 cup or less) of hot water to loosen them up. Top noodles with extra green onions and sesame seeds.

Making these, I realised just how unhealthy my meal was getting. But it was really good. These noodles are really simple to make and they are super addictive.

Rounding this plate up was easy peasy spareribs. Bought them already cut into single portions, put them in the slow cooker with a bottle of honey garlic sauce, cooked on high for 4 hours, until falling off the bone tender. I'm not a big fan of meat straight out of the slow cooker, so I put the meat in a frying pan, degrease the cooking liquid, and let it bubble away until thick and syrupy. Yeah, not much of a recipe, I know. My uncle makes the best spareribs. But he's not sharing the recipe. If you have a great one you're willing to share, I'd love to try it! Until then, I'll stick to bottles of sauce.

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