How to Make Homemade Chinese Egg Rolls From Scratch
With a few tips as noted below, you can make delicious Chinese egg rolls from scratch.
There are just a few tips to remember and I have listed those for convenience before the recipe itself.
You can substitute different meats or shrimp for the pork. You can also make just vegetarian egg rolls by adding extra vegetables in the form of celery or more carrots, mushrooms, etc.
The most important thing to remember is to not let the filling become too soggy as that can make the rolls themselves soggy.
There are Asian steamers available as well and if you know how to steam egg rolls or spring rolls, that is another option to eliminate frying.
I have always fried mine quickly in the wok and by quick frying at a high temperature, that keeps the rolls from becoming oily.
Egg rolls are great for dinner or lunch but can also be wonderful appetizers.
Public Domain image
Tips for Success
Egg rolls are only tricky if they have too much liquid content. The trick is to keep them from becoming too soggy or too dried out. These tips make it easier.
Veggie Prep – Prepare vegetables in advance and drain veggies thoroughly
Meat – With the exception of barbecued pork if used, rolls taste better when prepared with fresh meat. Don’t use cooked or leftover meat for filling
Filling – Once completed, filling should have little to no liquid. It is a good idea to thoroughly drain after cooling and keep draining it. Put in a colander placed over a bowl while assembling rolls to drain off any extra fluid. Soggy filling makes soggy egg rolls. Temperature of filling also matters. Filling should be totally cooled before assembling rolls. (Keep draining throughout assembly of other rolls)
Wrappers – Keep moist by covering with moist towel or moistened paper towels while assembling
Rolling – After assembly, do not stack the rolls. Keep in row on cookie sheet lined with paper towels or waxed paper but avoid stacking the egg rolls even before cooking
Cooking – Cook in wok, large skillet or deep fryer. Temperature is crucial! The temp should be 375
degrees. Put in 1 roll at a time; add others 1 at a time but do not
overcrowd. This lowers temperature and the rolls will absorb too much
oil. Make sure the rolls are lightly browned on both sides before
removing. Cook only enough at a time so there is space between rolls and
the temperature stays at 375.
Draining – Remove rolls with slotted spoon/spatula. Place on a deep fry rack, colander, or cookie sheet lined with paper towels. Do not stack after frying
Seasoning – Taste test before assembly and adjust to taste
Making egg rolls to warm later
– Keep rolls on cookie sheet lined with paper towels. If you need to
reheat them, reheat in a low heat oven for 10 minutes on each side
(remove paper towels)
Freezing – Freeze rolls before or
after cooking. Wrap in foil packets, then seal in a plastic freezer bag
in the freezer. If they are already cooked, wait until cooled before
freezing. Store the wrapped in foil rolls in freezer for up to 4 months.
If you freeze uncooked, thaw in the refrigerator before cooking
Reheating – Reheat at low temperature in oven or briefly return them to hot oil for a quick deep fry just to warm
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Egg Roll Recipe
This is my standard fall back on recipe from my International Betty Crocker cookbook from the 1970s and it is made with ground pork. However, you can substitute chicken, turkey, or beef, do vegetarian or use shrimp for the recipe. You can also substitute steaming for the frying if you know how to steam egg rolls.
1 pound ground pork or other meat
3 cups finely shredded green cabbage
1 can 8-1/2 ounces bamboo shoots drained and chopped (or substitute water chestnuts drained and chopped)
1/2 cup matchstick cut carrots or chopped mushrooms
4 medium green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon five spice powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 pound egg roll skins (16-18)
Canola or vegetable oil
Sweet and sour sauce (recipe below)
Hot mustard sauce (recipe below)
Stir fry pork in wok or 10-inch skillet until brown.
Remove pork from wok. Drain but reserve 2 tablespoons fat if desired (or use cooking spray).
Stir fry cabbage, and other vegetables with onions in reserved fat or use cooking spray instead.
Mix soy sauce, cornstarch, five spice powder, salt and sugar.
Pour over the vegetable mixture.
Stir fry 1 minute. Cool completely.
Mix pork and vegetables.
Cover egg roll skins with a damp towel to prevent drying out.
Place 1/4 cup pork mixture on center of each egg roll skin.
Fold one corner of egg roll skin over filling.
Overlap the 2 opposite corners.
Moisten fourth corner with water and fold over to make into roll.
Heat oil 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 inches to 375 degrees
Fry 3-5 egg rolls at a time until golden brown, turning once, about 3 minutes.
Place on paper towels to drain. Do not stack.
Serve hot with sweet and sour sauce and hot mustard sauce
After frying egg rolls can be covered and refrigerated for no longer than 24 hours.
Heat in low temperature oven uncovered for about 15 minutes
HOT MUSTARD SAUCE
3 tablespoons dry powdered mustard
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
Mix until smooth.
SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE
1/4 cup plum or grape jelly
1/4 cup chili sauce
Heat ingredients in small saucepan, stirring constantly until jelly is melted.
Vegetarian Egg Rolls
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