Pat Conroy once wrote that his wound is geography. I can relate to that eloquent, succinct statement on so many levels, but in a less sophisticated, less romantic sense of his intended sentiment. Let me explain. I have a mad crush on Chinese food, most especially egg rolls. Well, good Chinese food posed a big problem for me when we moved many years ago.
In fact, during one of our should-we-move/should-we-not discussions, I asked my husband, “What about Chinese take-out? What if there’s not any? What are we going to do?” Not “Where’s the nearest dentist, the nearest vet?” You know, those kinds of important places. Not even “Is there cell phone service on the mountain?” Instead, my relocation-related angst was whether or not I could get egg rolls. I have my priorities, people.
So, when my husband and I took the leap to move here, that same burning question reared its deep-fried-dunked-in-a-ducky-sauce head again. We were riding around downtown, waiting for the bus, when the conversation turned to my comestible nemesis.
Adam said, “You know there’s no Chinese take-out on Bald Head, right?”
I slowly shrugged my shoulders, pursed my lips and sighed heavily. “Yeah, I know.”
“Still want to move?” Adam teased.
“Of course I do! I’m ready to wok and roll!”
I’ll be honest and say that I would be lying if I didn’t get a hankering now and then for some piping hot Chinese take-out.
Besides, egg rolls aren’t hard to make. On the contrary, they’re a ton of fun to make once you get the hang of it. Just try not to overfill them or the wrapper may tear, which is why it’s good to have a few extra on hand – just in case.
Homemade Crispy Egg Rolls Recipe
- 3 cups green cabbage finely shredded
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- ½ cup carrots shredded
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon five-spice powder
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup canola oil for frying
- 24 medium egg roll wrappers
- Line a baking sheet using a parchment paper and set it aside. In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots, hoisin, soy sauce, sesame oil and spices.
- In a large skillet, wok or Dutch oven, heat three inches of oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (use a clip-on candy thermometer to monitor the temperature). While the oil heats, assemble the egg rolls. Have a small bowl of cool water handy. Place an egg roll wrapper on your work surface with a point facing you (like a baseball diamond). Using your fingertips, moisten all outer edges of the wrapper.
- Place about ¼ cup of filling diagonally on the wrapper. Fold the bottom corner of the egrool over the filling and roll snugly halfway to cover the filling. Fold in both sides tightly against the filling. Roll wrap up to seal and lay seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining filling.
- Fry the egg rolls in batches: When the oil is at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, gently lower a few egg rolls into the hot oil and fry, occasionally turning, until golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the fried egg rolls on paper towels and repeat the process with the remaining ones. (You can also bake the egg rolls – Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place egg rolls on a baking sheet coated with non-stick spray. Lightly brush the tops of the fried egg rolls with a bit of vegetable oil and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.)