Egg Rolls, by Popular Demand
I have served these egg rolls to both friends and family, and everyone who has had them has asked for the recipe. These are my own creation and are unique in both texture and flavor. I am also including my pineapple sweet & sour sauce recipe. This recipe takes time, but is so worth the effort.
This recipe 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
1 cup bok choy chopped (optional)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Ground ginger
4 tbs. Soy sauce
1/8 tsp. of Chinese 5 spice powder
3 cups fresh bean sprouts
2 package egg roll skins
1 cup peanut oil + 2 tbs.
Skin and bone the chicken. Place the skin and bones in a heavy sauce pan and cook over medium high heat until the skin is brown and crisp. Add two cups of 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/cubes.
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 plus ½ cup of water 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 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.
Pineapple sweet & and sour sauce
This 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 1/2 cup lemon juice if used for seafood)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (substitute 1/2 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.
Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…
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