August 17, 2009
Egg Rolls (Char Siu and Cabbage)
I first attempted making Egg Rolls some time ago. A local(was originally from Main Land China) Master Chinese Chef was retired and bored and gave cooking lessons. His egg rolls were great but they took two days to make. He would often make items for the locals having a party but refused to make a dozen, it was just too much work, when He made them he made 10 dozen. The process of making the cabbage was what took most of the time. He would slice and boil the cabbage and then to get the water out he would put the cabbage in onion bags and create a press using whatever he had on hand, a bucket of chains, a cinder block anything that had substacial mass. It was a juggling act the keep his skyscrapper from falling over after adding 4 or 5 levels of heavy things. I too used this process as best I could but I didn't make them often maybe once a year or once in two years. That was then and it was the traditional chinese way, now I have found that a Microwave makes short work of all of that and this delite gets made much more often.
I make small batches, the pictures presented was a recipe that made 6 egg rolls, which is great for the two of us and I have enough Char Siu to make another batch which I will do by the end of the week. I have picked up some tricks on wrapping and fixing tears along the way and how to keep the egg roll wraps supple for wrapping that I will pass on.
Let's start with the inside mixture.
Some time real soon I will post how to make Char Siu but it is still too hot and making them on the grill which I did yesterday is just too messy it took hours to clean up the mess. You can use small shrimp that are excellent, meats such as chicken, beef or pork marinated it soy sauce and sherry or anything with alcohol to tenderize the meat for about 30 minutes, the longer the better. I am using Char Siu because I can but yours will be great with these substituions.
Recipe for 6 egg rolls, adust for more if you so choose
Slice 1/2 to 3/4 of a medium cabbage
Add a handfull or two of Julian carrots
Add 3 TBSP of vegetable oil
3/4 tsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp of Sea Salt
1/2 tsp ground Ginger(the jar stuff is fine)
1tsp to 1tbsp of sugar
Microwave 4 - 5 minutes for my microwave 4 1/2 is perfect
Add Char Siu to Cabbage, not sure how much should look like this
Notice how much the cabbage shrunk after microwave
Add 1/2 TBSP light Soy Sauce
How to wrap egg roll
Most of the time the store bought egg roll wraps are rather dry, I have also made them which are better and more plyable. Hint, brush on a very light coat of water on both sides this will help to keep them workable.
Place wrapper diagnolly so one of the points is facing you. Add mixture so it is more toward yourself and wrap your pointed end over the stuffing, keeping it together push it toward you to compress it and roll over mix. Then wrap each side inward and roll over. You want to make sure there is no place that the oil can infiltrate your egg roll or it will be ruined. If you notice a tear when you have completed rolling use a little piece of a wrapper and patch with the egg wash.
Bring oil up to 375 F or at least 350 or you will have greasy egg rolls. Depending on the diameter of your pot, use about 4 to 5 cups or more if you need to because your pot is bigger, a Wok is perfect for this if you have one, I don't.
Oven Fry technique
It is quite easy and the clean up is a breeze compared to deep frying. Use a cookie sheet. Spread a light coat of oil on the sheet, not super thin but not so you have a layer of oil either. Also apply with a pastry brush a light coat of oil on the egg rolls. Cook at 400F until golden brown. Everything in the egg roll is already cooked so your mission is to crisp the wrapper to replicate deep frying. These are amazingly good.