Somehow, I woke up today thinking about making egg rolls for dinner. Maybe it was because we had thin sliced pork chops for supper last night and there was some stored in the freezer. I bought a small head of regular cabbage and some green onions.
For the filling, I sliced up the pork into very thin slivers, adding cooking sherry, a little soy and cornstarch to tenderize it before cooking. Defrosted four large shrimp, cleaned, cut them up and added cooking sherry and cornstarch. In a hot skillet lined with vegetable oil, I stir fried the chopped green onions, pork and shrimp. I kept them separated in the pan until they were almost cooked through. Added the sliced shitake mushrooms and stirred them together until cooked – then I emptied the skillet contents into a waiting bowl.
To a fresh skillet, I stir fried half of the cabbage sliced into fine slivers until cooked, adding the drained shrimp, pork mixture back into the pan. Cooked over medium heat and mixed the cabbage in with the rest of the filling. Turned off the heat, stirred it one more time and let it rest and cool until time to make the egg rolls.
The filling needs to be drained as much as possible so the liquid will not spurt while deep frying the egg rolls. It should be cooled completely before filling on an egg roll wrapper. When wrapping, take a square and position it with the point at the top; use your finger to wet the edges of the left and right slanted edges. Take some filling and start rolling it snugly until you can fold the left and right flaps over the middle, then keep rolling until you can seal the whole thing with the pre-moistened edges. The point of the wrapper will be facing you. (see photos)
When ready to deep-fry the egg rolls, heat up some vegetable oil to 2-3 inches in a deep saucepan or skillet. Take a chopstick and a small piece of filling to test whether the fat is hot enough – it should sizzle gently. Make sure that the egg rolls are sealed well before frying so that liquid doesn’t leak out and pop hot fat into the air. Cook 2 or 3 of them at a time, turning them until golden brown. Remove to paper towels to drain.
In parallel, I cook some Sapporo Ichiban ramen in its soup and add fresh spinach to the bowl when serving. Either miso soup or some kind of soup noodles is ideal as an accompaniment to the fried egg rolls. I usually put out a small dish of hoisin sauce with a little sesame oil and soy as a dip for the egg rolls.
My secret pleasure in making egg rolls is eating cold leftovers while watching TV at night. Who knew? Yum!