Because I’m always cooking for one during the week, I usually stick to simple proteins and veggies or soups and crock pot meals that can be enjoyed all week. As you would guess, that sometimes limits my creativity at the grocery and in the kitchen. So whenever I go home for the weekend, and know I’ll be cooking for a crowd, I try one of the more complicated recipes from my “to make” list.
Although always tempted to cook Mexican (my love of tacos truly knows no end), I decided to change things up this weekend and try my hand at Chinese Pork Egg Rolls. I had been eyeing a Martha Stewart recipe for some time but knew it yielded around 16 rolls, far too many for a single girl to eat throughout the week. Knowing the combination of fried goodness + spicy pork would be especially pleasing to my dad and boyfriend, I decided it was the perfect choice to feed the fam.
These egg rolls turned out better than I could have ever expected. Our group agreed they were better than any restaurant we’d tasted and far supreme over any frozen option at the grocery. They were fun and easy to roll and I used my mom’s Fry Daddy which produced perfectly golden and crisp results. The original recipe says the rolls can be frozen before frying, but my family gobbled them down too quickly to save any for later.
Because the filling can be prepared in advance, these make for an impressive appetizer at your next party or family dinner. Who makes homemade egg rolls? “You do,” should be the answer! I served mine simply with store-bought sweet and sour sauce, soy and spicy mustard. However, our group thought they would be delicious dunked in a spicy barbeque sauce, too. On the side I made heaps of white rice and stir-fried snap peas, broccoli, red and yellow peppers, onion and baby bok choy.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 medium Napa cabbage, shredded
- 5 medium carrot, shredded
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 pound ground pork, I prefer a spicy mix!
- 6 scallions, thinly sliced
- Large handful cilantro, thinly sliced
- 16 egg roll wrappers (found in the produce/refrigerated section at the market, usually near the tofu and meat-substitute section)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Salt and pepper
- 6 cups (48 ounces) vegetable oil
For serving (optional):
- Additional cilantro for garnish
- Store-bought sweet and sour sauce
- Spicy mustard
- BBQ sauce—have not tried, but think it would make a tasty partner!
Whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar. Set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat and add cabbage, carrots, garlic and ginger. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until carrots are slightly tender and cabbage has just begun to wilt, around 3 minutes.
Raise heat to high and add pork and soy mixture. Cook until pork is no longer pink and all liquid has evaporated. Ensure all liquid has evaporated, as you don’t want soggy egg rolls! This should take around 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add scallions and cilantro. Refrigerate mixture for at least an hour and up to overnight.
Assemble egg rolls:
Lay one wrapper on a cutting board with one point facing towards you. Keep all other wrappers under a damp cloth until ready to use. Place around 1/3 cup of pork mixture into the center of the wrapper. Using a pastry brush, coat the edges of the wrapper in egg wash. Fold the point closest to you towards the center over the pork. Fold both side corners toward the center. They do not have to meet perfectly. At this point it should resemble an open envelope. Tightly roll to close the wrapper and ensure it is sealed. Be sure to keep the wrappers tight and sealed—as they can explode or oil can seep inside when frying if not rolled tightly. Fry in small batches. In order to keep egg rolls warm and crisp until serving, keep them on a parchment lined cookie sheet in the oven at about 250 degrees.