Homemade Egg Rolls – Baked not Fried, and it works!
Disclaimer – forgive any typos, etc. Posted after a long day! 🙂
When food shopping a few weeks ago, I picked up some egg roll wraps, just for fun. A few weeks later, I realized that I needed to use them soon, as their freshness date (as a refrigerated product) was fast approaching. I just happened to have a half a head of cabbage that needed to be used up, too, and I always carrots in the fridge and cooked chicken in the freezer. No worries that the recipe from which I decided to start (the one on the Nasoya wrap package) called for lean ground pork. While starting with raw meat versus cooked adds yet another level of complexity to any dish, I had also found egg roll recipes that called for cooked chicken, so I decided to create my own recipe based on a few that I found online.
Here are the links to the two recipes from which I was working:
Here is what I used:
- 1-2 tablespoons oil for sauteing (I used peanut but canola is fine)
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- 2 cups finely chopped cabbage
- 1/2 cup grated carrot
- 1/3 cup small-diced daikon radish
- 1/8 cup chopped chives
- 2 cups finely diced cooked chicken
- 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon + water to add to cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon additional water
- 2 Tablespoons tamari (soy) sauce
- 12 egg roll wraps
Okay – let me start by saying that you should feel free to look at other recipes for seasoning ideas! I was playing around and what I used tasted yummy, but not all the same ingredients are necessary for excellent results.
For example, one recipe called for oyster sauce and I didn’t have any, but I had hoisin sauce. After reading various opinions as to what was a suitable substitute for what, I figured I would add a bit of anchovy paste to add some depth without being overly “fishy.” (Anchovy paste has a way more subtle effect than you would think.) And, I had no bean sprouts but I figured that the daikon radish I had on hand would add an extra texture, albeit not quite that of the sprouts but in step with an oriental dish. And, both recipes called for green onions, another ingredient I lacked. But, I have some chives growing in a pot, so I tossed some of them in.
You may also notice that of the two recipes I cite as sources, one calls for minced ginger and one for minced garlic. Well, hey, why not both? Fun fact: Pearl, my cat of 18 years, whom I adopted when I was in my mid 20s, loved anything, including broccoli, if it was sauteed in garlic and ginger. That cat had good taste. 🙂
Anywhoooo…the process was quick and easy. First, I chopped the veggies.
Then I sauteed the garlic and ginger:
Then I added the veggies and cooked for just a few minutes until a bit soft but still with some crunch.
Next, I added the chopped chicken and heated until warmed through, then added the sauce and cornstarch mix – everything from the hoisin sauce on in the ingredient list that I had mix together until smooth before adding.
Once the sauce was added to the chicken and heated through, I moved the mixture from the pan to a bowl so it could cool off enough to handle. Then I started assembling the egg rolls. I used 1/4 cup of filling for each wrap.
Just so you know, I had no idea that for the first 5-6 egg rolls, I didn’t realize how thin the wraps were and used two per roll. Those that had a double wrap were fine, but not additionally good enough for me to recommend using double wraps all the time unless you try it and find you prefer a thicker egg roll wrap. 🙂
Then I folded up from the bottom and then from the side.
Next, I used just a bit of water when finishing and securing the fold, put them on a very lightly greased cookie tray, brushed just a bit of olive oil on the tops, and put them in my convection/toaster oven at 425 for 12 minutes.
Both recipes noted above said between 10-15 minutes at 400 or 425 degrees in a regular oven, so I would pick your temperature and keep and eye on them.
I thought these tasted great as is, but I did make a dipping sauce from soy sauce, a bit of rice wine vinegar, some sugar and a bit or minced garlic and onion.
So, the verdict is – homemade egg rolls are easy to make and, while there are plenty of recipes with instructions for frying, I think baking works just as well and even better for crispness, especially when reheating (10 minutes at 350 works) and, obviously makes for a lower fat content.
Next time I will make a bunch and freeze to bake at a later date. Quick easy, and healthy – works for me!