I love egg rolls but haven’t ever made any myself until this past weekend when I brought home a package of wrappers and enough inspiration to try both a sweet and savoury filling.
For the sweet filling, I made up a batch of cinnamon-apple caramel syrup which I’d showed in the July roundup and used to fill wonton cups and as a topping for pancakes. I didn’t post the recipe then so I’m including it below, with the addition of 1/2 cup of raisins for added flavour.
If using this filling in egg rolls, drain off any excess liquid, as you want a dry-ish mixture so your wrappers won’t get soggy.
Cinnamon Apple Caramel Syrup – makes ~4 cups
4 large (6 cups) Granny Smith apples
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4-1/2 cup water
3-4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
squeeze of lemon (~1 tsp)
Peel, then quarter the apples. Cut out the core and cut each quarter into 3 or 4 chunks or slices, depending on what you’re going to use it for.
Mix the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl.
Place the remaining ingredients into a saucepan along with the apple slices and cornstarch mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the apple is tender (but not mushy) and the sauce has thickened to a syrup consistency.
Depending on the amount of juice in your apples, you may need to add a splash of water to get the syrup to your desired consistency. When ready, set aside and keep warm.
The savoury egg rolls were pretty amazing too. I used a jarred sweet Thai chili sauce but next time, the dip below is great too.
Turkey/Cabbage Egg Rolls – makes 6 cups of filling, enough for 36 egg rolls
Egg Roll Filling:
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 pound ground turkey**, chicken, pork or beef
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tbsp fresh ginger, freshly grated or finely diced**
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/3 cup onion, finely diced
1 14 oz bag coleslaw mix
1/3 cup celery, finely diced
1/3 cup carrot, finely diced
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
EDITED: Add 1-2 cups of bean sprouts to filling along with the coleslaw mixture.
Egg wash to seal egg rolls – 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp of cold water
36 egg roll wrappers (2 pkgs of 18)
vegetable oil for frying
Dipping sauce recipe follows
Prepare a baking sheet by covering with a couple of thicknesses of paper towel and setting a cooling rack on top.
In a large saute pan, brown the meat in the vegetable oil. Add the 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving as much of the oil behind as possible.
Add the diced onion, ginger and garlic and fry until the onion starts to get lightly browned.
Add the cabbage mix, carrots and celery, mix and cover and cook until the cabbage is wilted and crisp-tender, 2-3 minutes. Add the seasoned cooked meat. Stir in the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Taste. If additional salt is needed, add another 1/4 tsp or so.
Cool to room temperature before filling egg rolls. Drain off any excess liquid that may accumulate on the bottom.
NOTE: You may refrigerate this mixture until the next day if you need to put off filling and frying the eggrolls. Otherwise, freeze the mixture and thaw in the refrigerator before using.
Prepare a deep fryer with oil, it should be about 2 inches deep and 350 to 375 degrees F. You can also shallow fry the egg rolls in a cast iron frying pan. I found that 1 inch of oil was plenty in that case. Since I couldn’t measure the temperature with my thermometer, I turned the temperature knob on my stove to medium (5) and preheated for at least 15 minutes so it would get to the correct temperature. I dropped a very small cube of bread into the oil and checked how quickly it began to brown … almost immediately, so I turned the heat down to 4. Make certain your oil is hot enough. Slow cooked egg rolls will be greasy.
Lay a wrapper with the points of the wrapper facing you, like a diamond. With a pastry brush, paint a thin strip of the egg wash around all four edges of the wrapper.
Take a heaping tablespoon or two of the mixture and place it on the wrapper.
Fold over the bottom point of the wrapper, and tuck the mixture in, as tightly as you can manage, and continue to roll until you have a few inches of the wrapper exposed. Fold over the two outside edges, and press down to seal in the filling.
Continue rolling until the top point seals the roll.
Repeat until all of the egg rolls are finished.
Carefully add about four or five of the egg rolls into your heated oil and fry for a couple of minutes, or until golden brown. Turn if frying in the pan to make sure the second side browns as well.
Remove the egg rolls with tongs, draining as much of the oil as possible, and allow to cool on the cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining egg rolls.
Serve with the dipping sauce below or any commercial sauces ie. sweet Thai chili sauce, sweet and sour sauce or plum sauce.
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 – 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.