Join Date: Aug 2004
This recipe was developed while I lived in San Diego area, and has been loved by many. The beauty of it is that it works equally well with chicken, scallops, shrimp, pork, or beef. You simply change the sauce that goes with it.
This recipe comes from one of the cookbooks I've written. Feel free to enjoy it, but respect the copyright.
We’ll start with something almost everybody knows and loves; Egg rolls. Such an incredible flavor. And yet, many people don’t like them due to the soggy, often mushy cabbage found in the commercially prepared varieties. The egg rolls you will make from this recipe are crispy and filled with flavors and textures sure to please the most discriminating palate. They feature the goodness of oriental vegetables, stir fried into a delicious filling (hint: Though this is a chicken recipe, you can change the meat to beef, pork, duck, lamb, shrimp, scallops, etc. They all work equally well with the veggies).
We had a neighbor who seemed to have a sixth sense where egg rolls were concerned. We never knew how she knew, but whenever I whipped up a batch of egg rolls, Lou (short for Louise) would show up at our doorstep. Now mind you, she wasn’t a mooch by nature. But she couldn’t resist these little beauties.
This recipe takes time. It works best when multiple people work on it. You can throw an Egg Roll party where you invite your friends and/or family to participate in the production. You’ll be amazed at how many people will take you up on the offer. And you’ll be the head chef of course.
2 lbs. cut up frying chicken
1/4 cup sliced and halved water chestnuts
1/4 cup coarsely chopped bamboo shoots
1/4 cup diced onion
2 stalks celery, sliced
½ green pepper, chopped (optional)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. Ground ginger
2 tbs. Soy sauce
scant dash of Chinese 5 spice powder
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1 package egg roll skins
1 cup peanut oil + 2 tbs.
Skin and bone the chicken. Place the skin and bones in two cups of boiling water and cover. Turn heat down to simmer. While the chicken skins and bones are cooking, finely dice the chicken meat into 1/4 inch pieces.
Heat 2 tbs. of the peanut oil in a steel wok, or large heavy skillet (I prefer seasoned cast iron if I’m not using my wok). Add the chicken and half of the salt. Cover with a lid and cook for about seven minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the cooked chicken to a large bowl (very large) and pour any juices from the pan into the boiling chicken stock.
Return the wok to the stove and reheat. Add the onion, garlic, peppers, bok choy, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots. Stir fry on highest heat setting for five minutes without lid. Remove the cooked vegetables to the bowl with the chicken. Add the spices and soy sauce to the bowl and mix well.
Place the bean sprouts into the wok and cover. Add ½ cup water to the wok. Cook for seven to ten minutes until the bean sprouts turn white and loose there translucent quality. Add to the meat and vegetable mixture and toss thoroughly. Place bowl where you can easily reach into it and let cool for ten minutes.
Remove the skin and bones from the broth and discard. Add water to make two cups of broth. Use the broth as the basic stock for pineapple sweet and sour sauce.
Frying egg rolls is best done with an assistant, or partner. As the egg rolls are made, they should be immediately placed in hot oil. As the uncooked egg rolls sit, the water and vegetable fluids will cause the skins to become gooey and hard to work with. Working with a partner will also reduce the work load and total cooking time.
Put a finger bowl filled with water within easy reach. Place an egg roll skin onto a clean dry surface. Put one tbs. Of the chicken mixture onto the egg roll skin center. Dip your fingers into the water and use them to wet all four edges of the egg roll skin. Fold two opposite sides toward the center until they just begin to cover the filling. Grasp one of the unfolded edges and place over the filling. Continue rolling into a complete cylinder. Set aside. Make as many egg rolls as you desire. Experiment with the amount of filling you add. Deep fry in hot peanut oil immediately until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil. Serve with pineapple sweet and sour sauce and mustard sauce, and with fried or steamed brown rice.
Oh, one more thing about egg roll skins. You can wrap cheese and meat in them, place them in a covered casserole dish, pour your favorite tomato based sauce over top, and cook them in the oven, like manicotti. Yum.
From the kitchen of Bob Flowers
This is the sauce I use with the chicken egg rolls. At a dinner, where I served this, one of the guests loved the sauce so much that he asked to take the leftovers home. He didn't want any of the other meal items, just the sauce. Of course, tweak it to your tastes. And again, it's from the same cookbook as is the egg roll recipe.
Pineapple Sweet & Sour Sauce
This syrup based sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated. It compliments egg rolls, chicken stir fries, won tons, etc. It can also be used with ham and pastas.
2 cups chicken broth (water can be used if no broth is available)
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 tbs. onion powder or 1/4 onion finely chopped
2 cloves crushed garlic
16 oz. can crushed or chunk pineapple (substitute cup lemon juice if used for seafood)
cup firmly packed brown sugar (substitute cup white granulated sugar if lemon juice is used)
1/8 cup balsamic, or apple cider vinegar
1/4 chopped sweet pepper (optional but omit if lemon juice is used)
2 tbs. cornstarch mixed with 4 oz. water
Combine ingredients in order. After adding brown sugar, taste. Sauce should be fairly sweet with the ginger and chicken flavors tickling, not stomping the taste buds. Add vinegar and taste again. Add more brown sugar or vinegar as needed. But be careful. It is much easier to add just a bit more of something than it’s to try to remove it, or compensate for a too strong flavor.
Mix the cornstarch and water together, and pour into the gently boiling sauce. Stir rapidly to distribute until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and cover.
Crushed pineapple is better for egg rolls, won tons, tempura coated items. Chunk pineapple is good with pork chops, ribs, chicken pieces, etc.
From the kitchen of Bob Flowers
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…
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