Pork and Shrimp Egg Rolls are such a quintessential Chinese take-out appetizer. They are also one of my favorite comfort foods.
As Christmas approaches, I thought it might be fun to attempt these. Why you ask?
Did you know that, according to Slate, sales of take out and dine in Chinese food increase by 152 percent on Christmas day? I know, I know, making these yourself at home kind of defeats the purpose. But still... you know I love a challenge.
This project actually happened because I had a big craving for Chinese Barbecued Pork (char sui) along with half of a pork shoulder in the freezer. This pork is amazing. Make extra. It will not go to waste, trust me. However, if you don't have time to make your own, don't let that stop you. You can buy the barbecue pork (it's the pork that's dyed red) from a Chinese take out restaurant. The first time I tried it was for this Barbecue Pork Lo Mein, and it was amazing.
Because I had a lot of the barbecue pork, I made these egg rolls and a Cantonese fried rice dish, to be posted soon!
These egg rolls are so rich and crunchy. Along with the pork and shrimp, these also contain garlic, ginger, Napa cabbage, and shiitake mushrooms.
I bought these egg roll wrappers in my local Chinese grocery store. There was such a huge selection of egg roll/spring roll wrappers. Some were refrigerated, and some were frozen. They should not be confused with Vietnamese spring roll wrappers, which are dried and need to be rehydrated (don't even ask me about the time I tried to deep fry with Vietnamese spring roll wrappers... it wasn't pretty).
I've heard that the Wei-chuan brand in the freezer section will produce a thinner and smoother shell. I'm definitely giving them a try next time. I've also heard good things about TYJ Spring Roll Pastry. If you are an egg roll expert, I'd love your recommendations!
Bottom line, these things were delicious. You can either make them in a deep fryer if you have one, or in wok or sturdy pot with just an inch of oil. Leftovers were wonderful and still crunchy when reheated in a convection oven.
I served these with a plum sauce mixed with chili garlic sauce. I think a platter of these with an array of dipping sauces would be perfect for a football watching party.
Barbecue Pork and Shrimp Egg Rolls
1 tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil, plus more for frying the assembled egg rolls
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, and coarsely chopped
2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 to 9 ounces Chinese style barbecue pork, cut into 2 inch long sticks
24 6-inch fresh or frozen egg roll or spring roll wrappers
- Heat a wok or a large skillet (don't use nonstick) on medium high heat until a tiny bead of water evaporates upon contact.
- Add the tablespoon of oil and swirl it in the pan.
- Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for about 15 seconds.
- Add the shrimp and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
- Add the cabbage and mushrooms and stir fry for another 1 to two minutes.
- Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir fry until the shrimp is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the pork. Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes.
- Strain the mixture in a colander to drain off any excess liquid and return it back to the bowl.
- Fill a small bowl with water, and place a slightly damp towel over a baking sheet.
- Remove one egg roll wrapper from the package and place it on the counter with one corner facing you. Place about 2 teaspoons of filling on the bottom half of the wrapper, about 2 inches from the bottom. Fold the corner facing you over the filling. Fold the two sides toward the middle, with the two corners overlapping.
- Dip your fingers in the water, and moisten the edges of the top corner. Roll the wrapper from the bottom, keeping the sides overlapped, and seal with the top corner. Place the roll seam side down on the sheet pan under the damp towel. Repeat with the remaining egg rolls.
- Fill a wok or heavy Dutch oven with 1 inch of oil and heat to 350 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
- Using tongs, lower the egg rolls into the pan, and fry 3 to 4 at a time. Turn them on occasion so that they brown evenly. When they are golden brown, after about 3 to 5 minutes, remove them from the oil and transfer them to the paper towel lined pan.
- Once you've fried all of the egg rolls, transfer them to a platter and serve with the dipping sauce of your choice.
Adapted from The Chinese Take-Out Cookbook