I love food, so when I saw that this week’s topic was “cooking” and noticed that everyone else was sharing recipes, for once I had no doubt about my post.
Because though I love to cook, and do it often, there’s one dish in particular that brings people to my house from miles away.
Oh yes. It’s true.
MY EGG ROLLS BRING ALL THE BOYS TO THE YARD.
But then I realized I post on Thursday, and Thursday (today) is VALENTINE’S DAY. A day for chocolates, wine and roses. A day for romantic dinners, candlelight, and fancy cooking.
And I thought….
And I thought….
And then I said, AW HECK WITH IT. DO THE EGG ROLLS.
So, with no further ado, here is my personal secret recipe for the BEST
ROMANTIC AWESOME EGG ROLLS IN THE UNIVERSE*:
• 6-8 white mushrooms
• 1/2 to 1 pound pork tenderloin or chicken breast, ground if your grocery store butcher will do it (most will) or diced finely if not (the amount varies depending on how much meat you like in your egg rolls. we go meat-heavy in my house.)
• 1 cup enoki mushrooms (if you can’t find enoki, substitute white mushrooms or baby portabellos)
• 1 red bell pepper
• 1 carrot
• 1 cup baby bok choy (I use the whole leaf and the stem, just trim off the bottoms first)
• 1/2 to 1 clove of garlic, minced (or, if you cheat, powdered garlic – I won’t tell)
• 1/4 tsp powdered ginger OR 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger.
• 1 tbsp soy sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
• 1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry (white wine will do in a pinch, and you CAN substitute chicken stock if you don’t have or don’t use alcohol)
• 1 teaspoon cornstarch
• black and white pepper to taste (I use a sprinkling, slightly less than what I’d use if I were cooking this amount of meat.)
You do not need to add salt. The soy sauce takes care of the sodium content.
• 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
• 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry (sub chicken broth if necessary)
• 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce or low-sodium chicken broth
• 1-2 teaspoons sesame oil
Oil for deep-frying
24 spring roll wrappers
*Note: this recipe makes 2 dozen. If you want fewer, you can cut all the ingredient amounts in half. If you want more, increase it. (I’ve taken this as high as 50 egg rolls for a party, and if you keep the ingredients proportionate, it will work out fine.)
Wash vegetables. Dice to approximately equal sizes. (I prefer 1/2″- 1/4″ cubes.) Keep the vegetables separate. (They fight when raw. Seriously.)
If the meat isn’t ground, dice it into the same size pieces as the vegetables.
Mix the meat marinade, add to the meat, and set it aside for at least 15 minutes.
In a separate bowl, mix the filling marinade/sauce ingredients. Set this aside too. (Did I mention we need a lot of bowls?)
Heat a wok or very deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil (I prefer peanut oil, because it tolerates higher temperatures, but you can use any cooking oil). Add the garlic and ginger. Stir-fry until aromatic. Add the meat. Stir-fry 3-5 minutes, or until well-browned. (The meat should be cooked but still juicy. If you use larger pieces, cook it a little longer.)
Remove meat from pan and drain on paper towels.
Add another 1-2 tablespoons of oil to the pan. Then add the vegetables, one type at a time about a minute apart. White mushrooms first, then carrot, red bell pepper, bok choy, and then enoki mushrooms. (You see what we did there? The ones that need the most cooking go in first.) Continue stirring while adding & cooking the vegetables.
When all the vegetables are in the pan, add the filling/marinade sauce. Stir to mix well, and add the meat back into the pan. (It’s a party in a bowl!)
Heat through, and then remove the meat and vegetable mixture (one more bowl…) and allow it to cool. (Working with hot filling and egg roll skins is NOT fun. OW. Learn from my fail.)
Once the mixture has cooled enough to handle safely, prepare the egg rolls. Here’s a link to teach filling and folding egg rolls for those who need it.
Be VERY careful not to get sauce on the outside of the rolls, or they will spatter when you fry them, and splattering oil is dangerous. (HEY KID, YOU’LL PUT YOUR EYE OUT. Seriously, Dangerous. OW. You’ve been warned.)
Pre-heat oil for deep-frying to 360 degrees. Fry the egg rolls 2-3 at a time until golden brown.
Be careful adding rolls to the oil, because they may spatter (and spattering oil is no joke). Use tongs or a strainer to add the egg rolls and to remove them when cooked. Drain on paper towels. Enjoy!
And now, because I’m also a lawyer, please enjoy the following Valentine’s Day Egg Roll disclaimer:
WARNING: HOT OIL IS HOT. ALSO: EGG ROLLS ARE DANGEROUS, WICKED CREATURES, PROBABLY DESCENDED FROM DRAGONS. They will try to hurt you if they can.
Making egg rolls may involve one or more of the following: hot oil, fire, knives, paper cuts, vegetables that might under certain circumstances be deemed healthy, burned fingers, cut fingers, personal injury, WATER BALLOONS, harp seals, bladed implements, dangerous situations, and four-letter words you shouldn’t say in front of children. YOU MIGHT HURT YOURSELF, OR SET YOURSELF ON FIRE. Be careful. If you DO hurt yourself,
make sure there isn’t anyone there to point and laugh you were warned and it’s not my fault. (Remember: recipes don’t burn people….BOILING HOT OIL burns people.)
Seriously … be careful making the egg rolls, but enjoy them. They’re delicious.
Also: Have a great Valentine’s Day!
So … have you ever made egg rolls? What’s your favorite Valentine’s Treat?