I love egg rolls (or spring rolls, which is what I think I’ve got here) but to be honest, frying is something I leave to restaurants. Not only is the thought of deep fried, greasy dough not terribly appealing, I don’t want to be saddled with a vat of used oil! Not a safe kitchen practice with a toddler. At least not when Mom can be a bit of a klutz. So I started popping my homemade version into the oven or pan-frying them lightly (as my mother used to do). The result is delightfully crunchy and light – a great way to add an array of vegetables into any meal or snack time.
- For the Vegetables
1 tsp olive oil
2 cups of savoy cabbage, sliced thinly
1 cups of shredded carrots
1/2 medium onion, sliced
10 fresh shiitake mushrooms (or dried black mushrooms soaked for 15 minutes)
2 tbsp green onions, sliced
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Freshly ground pepper
Spring roll wrappers defrosted unopened at room temperature for 30 – 45 minutes
Optional, sauce for dipping
- For the Meat
1 lb ground pork, cooked with 1 tbsp soy sauce mixed with 1 tsp cornstarch OR
5 chicken tenders, roasted with salt and pepper and pulled into strips
- Cook meat.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot add the cabbage, onions, and ginger to the pan and cook, stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes, until the vegetables just begin to wilt. Add garlic and carrots. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Mix in scallion, mushrooms, and cooked meat. Adjust for seasonings. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Place 2 tablespoons of the cooled mixture on the center of the egg roll wrap.
- Fold the bottom up over the filling.
- Fold the two sides over, making it look like an envelop
- Then roll it up like a burrito.
- TO BAKE: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the rolls on a baking sheet. Spray the top of each roll with cooking spray. Place in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes then turn them over. Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
- STOVETOP: Add 2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil to a non-stick pan, placed over medium-high heat. Gently slide in the spring rolls, frying 4 to 6 at a time, turning occasionally until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Place on wire rack to drain and cool.
What’s the difference between a spring roll and an egg roll, you ask? From what I gather, spring rolls are loaded with vegetables (cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, sprouts), sometimes contain meat (pork), and wrapped in a thin flour skin that becomes delicately crispy when fried. Egg rolls seem to appear in more westernized Chinese take-out joints and are fried in a thicker flour and egg wrapper. They’re also larger than spring roll.