“It may be the way the cookie crumbles on Madison Avenue, but in Hong Kong it’s the way the egg rolls.” -Robert Orben
Every once in a while, a spirit of irrational ambition will strike me. This spirit possessed me last Thursday. I undertook the making of a Chinese dinner which included egg rolls made entirely from scratch.
I decided to make the wrappers a few hours ahead of time and as I happily rolled out pieces of the dough, I pondered on the pleasure that can be derived from putting a little extra (albeit unnecessary) effort into the preparing of a meal. The charm of the labor-of-love was somewhat lessened several hours later when I was forced to frantically reform and re-roll over half of the pre-made wrappers. Happily, this snafu did not harm the quality of the finished product, and my egg rolls turned out fine. A word to the wise, however: if you are going to make egg roll wrappers ahead of time, do not stack them with nothing more than a dusting of flour between the squares. They will stick together and you will find yourself in the same mess I did. I recommend generously flouring and perhaps inserting slips of wax paper between wrappers. To be very safe, it is probably best just to make and use them right away.
These egg rolls are baked, not fried, so they’re a bit healthier than your traditional version. You can fill them to suit your own taste. I just stuffed mine with shredded cabbage and carrots. That’s how I roll.
Egg Roll Wrappers (Courtesy About.com)
- 2 Cups flour
- 1 Egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Cup ice water
(Yields 12 wrappers)
Sift the flour into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg with the salt. Stir in 1/4 cup of the water. Add the egg to the flour. Stir in as much of the remaining 1/4 c of water as needed to form a sticky batter.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about five minutes.) Cover dough and let rest at least 30 minutes.
Knead dough briefly, then cut in half. Roll each piece into a cylinder. Lightly score so you have twelve equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 3 1/2 inch square. (*Note: My “squares” were more like rectangles. And by “rectangle”, I really mean “blob”.)
Stack wrappers while prepping remainder of dough and keep covered with a damp cloth. Wrappers can be used right away, refrigerated, or frozen.
Egg Rolls (Courtesy AllRecipes.com, with some alterations)
- 1 1/2 C grated carrots
- 2 1/2 C shredded cabbage
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 425°.
Coat a large skillet with nonstick spray; add vegetables and garlic. Cook/stir over medium heat until crisp-tender (about 3 minutes.)
Combine cornstarch, water, soy sauce, oil, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Add to the skillet and bring to a boil. Cook/stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Prepare egg rolls one at a time. Spoon 1/4 cup of filling onto a wrapper, fold sides towards the center, and roll tightly. Place on a greased baking sheet. Spray tops of egg rolls with cooking spray. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.