Happy Chinese New Year! Today marks the start of the Year of the Dragon, otherwise known as Chinese New Year. According to an old chinese proverb, all creations are reborn and renewed so today marks a day of change. I have always been fascinated with the Chinese culture, especially the food. I have been making egg rolls since I was 9 years old and decided to share my recipe in honor of this lunar occasion. The sweet chili sauce became a staple in my house about 6 years ago, there's nothing like some sweet heat. Enjoy the holiday and recipes.
25 Spring Roll Wrappers ,defrosted at room temperature for 30 minutes
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with ¼ cup of cool water
Oil, for frying
1 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic, chopped
½ head of cabbage
1 carrot, shredded
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded
1 tablespoon peanut oil
½ tablespoon Chinese rice wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper
For the filling, in a bowl combine the ground beef, garlic, cornstarch, and pepper together. While it develops flavors, grab another bowl and shred the cabbage and carrots. Slice the mushrooms into a fine dice.
Heat a wok over high heat. Add the peanut oil and swirl to coat. Toss in the beef and stir-fry until no longer red, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, push the meat to one side of the pan. Add the cabbage, carrots, ginger and the mushrooms and stir-fry about 2 minutes, until the vegetables are softened. Add the rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and black pepper.Mix together ingredients in the wok stir-fry for another minute. Remove and transfer filing to a baking/cookie sheet and spread out to cool. To help remove some of the extra juices, place a folded dish towel under one end of the baking sheet. Let cool for 10 minutes.
After eliminating all of the extra juices, use paper towels to blot the filling to rid of extra oil or juice. It’s time to wrap your rolls. Add no more than 1 ½ tablespoons of filling (click here to see an example from a trusted source) and roll tightly. You must make sure there are no open gaps or you will have greasy rolls!
As you roll, keep them in a neat stack covered with parchment paper. I like to stack as I roll and use parchment in between the layers. If you don’t have parchment paper, you can use wax paper.
Fill a wok 3 inches of high temperature cooking oil. Heat the oil to 350°F. Place the egg rolls gently in the oil to prevent hot grease from splashing (I’ve been burnt plenty of times!), frying no more than 4 at a time. Cook just under 2 minutes and drain on wire rack.
Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp. fish sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tablespoon red chili paste
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
Over medium-high heat, Place all ingredients, except the cornstarch mixture in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and let mixture reduce by half. Reduce heat to low and add the cornstarch mixture. Stir to incorporate and continue stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat and enjoy.