I'm making eggrolls! :-)

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htc

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I'm so excited, I'm making egg rolls this weekend! My dad requested them and I recently acquired a secret family recipe from a friend of mine. His Mom is an AWESOME cook, and so she taught me how to make really good Vietnamese style egg rolls. Now I'll just have to cross my fingers that I took notes correctly. :?
 

HotnSpicy

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I love making egg rolls, although mine never tend to come out quite crispy enough. Please let us know how yours turn out. :D
 

choclatechef

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htc said:
I'm so excited, I'm making egg rolls this weekend! My dad requested them and I recently acquired a secret family recipe from a friend of mine. His Mom is an AWESOME cook, and so she taught me how to make really good Vietnamese style egg rolls. Now I'll just have to cross my fingers that I took notes correctly. :?

I have always made chinese style egg rolls. What makes Vietnamese egg rolls different?
 

choclatechef

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Hot n Spicy.

I saute/stir fry my egg roll ingredients first til half way cooked [unless you want a few of them crunchy], then I roll the egg rolls with the filling and the ingredients I want crunchy.

I fry the egg rolls in deep fat at a medium high heat til golden.

This way is easier than putting the ingredients in raw, and ensures the egg roll ingredients you want cooked through are.
 

htc

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The main difference in Vietnamese vs. Chinese egg rolls is the use of meat/shrimp. I LOVE Vietnamese egg rolls, any time I refer to egg rolls, these are the type I mean. They are so good, I'm excited just thinking about making them! My Dad is going to get the ingredients today and I will prep the filling tonight, roll them Friday night and fry them Saturday. :D Just so I don't get too tired making a big batch.

I first started making egg rolls when I moved out on my own. My first batch was TERRIBLE! :? The meat was tough and I didn't use the correct ingredients. I've continuously played around with how to improve them. Here are some things to watch out for: how you roll them. If the egg rolls are not tight enough, the air pockets will make them go soggy FAST. This is what happened to the first batch. I rolled too fast, and didn't take enough care to make sure they were tight w/ no air pockets. Also watch the meat to shrimp ratio. Should be about 2 parts ground pork 1 part ground shrimp (roughly). As for cooking, I never precook my meat before filling. I avoid this only because numerous family friends have told me not to, that the texture of the meat will change, etc. (side note: one woman I recently talked to said she fills, rolls, wraps, then microwaves for a few minutes, then deep fries, just to brown. She's considered a very good cook, so I may try this one day, since I'm watching my weight...)

HotnSpicy, not sure how you are handling the egg rolls after they are cooked, but make sure to follow 2 golden rules of egg roll cooking: 1. never let it rest laying down, always stand it up vertically in a colander 2. never line the colander with paper towels, or anything. This is yet again one of the things I screwed up in the first batch.

As with all home cooking, each family is different, some swear by using taro, others do not. Some love wood ear (like me), others do not. I'll let you all know how it goes later! :D :D :D
 

HotnSpicy

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htc said:
The main difference in Vietnamese vs. Chinese egg rolls is the use of meat/shrimp. I LOVE Vietnamese egg rolls, any time I refer to egg rolls, these are the type I mean. They are so good, I'm excited just thinking about making them! My Dad is going to get the ingredients today and I will prep the filling tonight, roll them Friday night and fry them Saturday. :D Just so I don't get too tired making a big batch.

I first started making egg rolls when I moved out on my own. My first batch was TERRIBLE! :? The meat was tough and I didn't use the correct ingredients. I've continuously played around with how to improve them. Here are some things to watch out for: how you roll them. If the egg rolls are not tight enough, the air pockets will make them go soggy FAST. This is what happened to the first batch. I rolled too fast, and didn't take enough care to make sure they were tight w/ no air pockets. Also watch the meat to shrimp ratio. Should be about 2 parts ground pork 1 part ground shrimp (roughly). As for cooking, I never precook my meat before filling. I avoid this only because numerous family friends have told me not to, that the texture of the meat will change, etc. (side note: one woman I recently talked to said she fills, rolls, wraps, then microwaves for a few minutes, then deep fries, just to brown. She's considered a very good cook, so I may try this one day, since I'm watching my weight...)

HotnSpicy, not sure how you are handling the egg rolls after they are cooked, but make sure to follow 2 golden rules of egg roll cooking: 1. never let it rest laying down, always stand it up vertically in a colander 2. never line the colander with paper towels, or anything. This is yet again one of the things I screwed up in the first batch.

As with all home cooking, each family is different, some swear by using taro, others do not. Some love wood ear (like me), others do not. I'll let you all know how it goes later! :D :D :D


I think I see where I went wrong, htc. I don't think I rolled my egg rolls tight enough to eliminate air pockets. That's probably why they didn't stay nice and crispy. I'm going to try again, rolling nice and slow so that I don't get the air pockets. Thanks!!! :D
 

choclatechef

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I base my idea of what a good egg roll is like by my favorite restaurant near my alumni college -- it was called Mars Cafe.

I used to go there all the time. It was a mom and pop operation. The kitchen was where you could look into it and see what dad was doing.

I based my recipe and techniques on what I saw that older Chinese guy do, and how his food tasted. Maybe it is not the norm, but it is what I am used to and what I like. Different strokes.....
 

Lifter

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OOOOH!

QUIT TEASING US!!

Post your recipes!!

My family would kill for a good source of egg rolls/spring rolls, and this would be SOO good!!

Lifter
 

choclatechef

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Now you know I usually don't use a "recipe", but this is what I put in the egg rolls:

chinese cabbage, bean sprouts, sliced celery, onion, ground pork, or chicken, or shrimp.

I would shred the cabbage, and soften it, the celery, and onion a little but still crisp in a saute pan with a little sesame oil. Then I would saute my ground pork, or chicken or shrimp about half way done and add a dash of soy sauce [not much and I like La Choy not Kikkoman] and let the filling cool and drain if there is any excess moisture.

I would mix cornstarch and water to make my glue, and fill my egg roll wrappers -- letting them dry -- so they would not be soggy. I would make enough so I could freeze some for several meals.

I would fill a kettle with about 4 inches of peanut oil and heat to medium high temp. Fry til golden and drain.
 

htc

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ChocChef, you know, I've never made egg rolls using cabbage! I'm going to have to try your recipe some time. I imagine with the use of cabbage, you would have to precook it a bit.

So I just made my filling tonight. I will wait to post the recipe and get feedback from the family first. I made 2 different batches and will post both recipes if I get a good review. You'll have to give me a couple days, since the party isn't until Saturday.
 

Lifter

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Choclate Chef, you have named My "Cristmas wish"...a decent deep fryer!

But tell me..I only see "sesame oil" in farly "tiny" bottles...(meaning this argues to get expensive!)

And how long can you "keep" a given oil, from a deepfryer (one reason why DW tossed the old one, umpteen years ago!)?

Can appreciate the "cabbage" thing, loads of bean sprouts is more my thought...

What abot the "covers"? Where do you find these, or how do you make them?

Lifter
 

kitchenelf

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I love Spring rolls myself - have never tried egg rolls - but I sure would like to see this recipe - I may just have to make them.

Lifter - shall we do a "give us your eggroll recipe chant"????
 

choclatechef

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Lifter said:
Choclate Chef, you have named My "Cristmas wish"...a decent deep fryer!

But tell me..I only see "sesame oil" in farly "tiny" bottles...(meaning this argues to get expensive!)

And how long can you "keep" a given oil, from a deepfryer (one reason why DW tossed the old one, umpteen years ago!)?

Can appreciate the "cabbage" thing, loads of bean sprouts is more my thought...

What abot the "covers"? Where do you find these, or how do you make them?

Lifter


I don't use a deep fat fryer, although I have one [it is real old, and I fear for the wiring -- it was my grandfathers]. I usually use a cast iron dutch oven.

True, sesame oil is expensive, so you could just use peanut oil.

I don't usually keep oil after two uses, so I don't know.

The cabbage I use in egg rolls is chinese cabbage. You could also use bok choy.

Egg roll wrappers are sold in the refrigerator section of the supermarket.
 

htc

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Chef, you use nappa cabbage for the filling? Do you take only the stem, and not the leaf then?
 

choclatechef

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I chop up the leaves, not the stem or core.

The stores I shop in just call it chinese cabbage.
 

htc

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hmm, interesting. I always thought it was the round cabbage. I imagine if you kept the leaves, it'd get really soggy. Good to know!
 

htc

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So I'm ready ready to report back...*dunnn dunnn dunnn* and the verdict was good! :D My family liked the egg rolls. :D :D That's saying a lot because my brothers NEVER compliment my cooking (we're always kind in a friendly competition with one another).

Mistakes I made this time around: put too much filling. I found out from my family that this is why my egg rolls don't stay crispy longer like other peoples egg rolls. I cant seem to help it, when I was rolling them, I kept looking at the filling and thinking it wasn't enough. :? call it greedy. Another caution, don't buy the wraps and leave them in your freezer too long. I had an unopened bag of wraps at home already and bought a new bag from the store. Even though they were the same brand, I noticed the one I already had was drier than the new one. I don't know if it has to do with the fact that the grocery store has a bigger freezer or what. Since it was drier, it was harder to wrap tightly. Next time I am only going to buy what I need. I noticed you can't refreeze the wraps either cuz when you go to use them again, it turns out kinda funny (crumbly and dry). Not sure if anyone else has experienced this.

Had a blast making these! I took my time, rolled really tightly.
 

htc

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Here is a "recipe" of what I did for the filling:

-2 pounds ground pork
-1 pound ground shrimp
-3 shredded carrots
-1 large onion (minced/diced really small)
-ground white pepper
-1 small spoon sugar
-2-3 larg spoon fish sauce
-2 mini bundles of cellophane noodles
-taro (shredded)
-jicama (juilenne-spelling?)
-wood ear (I usually put this in, but this time forgot and was too tired to add it)
-2 whole eggs

try to get it from the Asian store or ground your own, I've noticed at the American grocery store, the fresh ground pork is way too fatty. (I made my own this time) Decide if how you want to make it, with taro or jicama, don't use both! Using the quantity above, I split it into 2 different versions, 1 bowl w/ jicama, 1 bowel with taro. Just prep the ingredients above and then split the meats and add the taro/jicama last. I bought pre-peeled taro from the Asian store. It has two big pieces in a vacum sealed pack, I used 1 piece--I think I could have used both though. As for the jicima I used a whole med. sized one. When you soak the wood ear & noodles, make sure to use a paper towel to get all of the water out. After you have preped the meat, take a small bit and pop it in the microwave or pan fry it for taste. If you are using it as appetizers, make sure it's salty enough. If you are going to eat w/ noodles Vietnamese style, not as much of a need to put too much fish sauce, since you'll have the home made fish sauce.

When you roll, use egg yolk to seal the ends. The recipe above made 55 large egg rolls. As I said above tho, I filled mine too much. Could have probably extended it to 65 or 75 pieces and still been good.

I hope you guys have as much fun making this as I did!

p.s. It's taken me 4 tries before I got a decent batch, so if it doesn't turn out wonderful the first time, keep trying! I went all the way from Oregon to Florida to get these family tips/secrets!

pps, if you make too much, freeze in a cookie sheet, then put in a ziplock bag or some sort of airtight box. When you want to eat it, take it frozen and put in in your hot oil to cook.
 
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