Egg rolls, everyone’s favorite appetizer!
One distinction I’d like to make: while egg rolls and spring rolls are both rolls, they are not describing the same dish! The main difference comes in the wrapper. Chinese egg rolls use a thicker, egg based dough, and having a thicker dough, they can be stuffed more densely. Japanese style spring rolls, called harumaki (haru meaning spring, maki meaning roll) use a delicate, pastry-like dough, so are typically thinner. Then there’s Vietnamese spring rolls, which are not fried and use rice paper to wrap them. All quite tasty, and all quite deserving of their own recipe. For today, I want to share egg rolls since they’re my favorite to make!
You really can’t go wrong with ingredients, so feel free to get creative! As for sauces, I know most people like to use a thick sauce, but for me, I feel like it gets in the way of the texture of the roll itself. It doesn’t get much better than a light dressing to highlight the flavor, so I usually pair these with ponzu sauce. And if you’ve never made egg rolls before, I will admit, wrapping takes practice to get it just right, so be patient! All the more reason to make more, right?
If you notice, this recipe makes quite a few egg rolls. While I’d totally understand if you can’t help yourself and eat them all in one sitting, generally my husband and I can’t eat them all right away. These are really great to make ahead and reheat later, and they freeze pretty well. What we don’t eat, I will usually tightly wrap and freeze, then to reheat, place in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees; it keeps them crisp and tastes much better than using a microwave! Obviously not as good as fresh made, but a great way to make a bunch and enjoy later!
Recipe – Shitake Chicken Egg Rolls:
– Place 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, and cook until bottom is browned. Flip over, cover and cook for 10 minutes until cooked through, then transfer to a cutting board to cool.
– While the chicken is cooling, shred the veggies and mince the garlic.
– Once cooled slightly, finely shred the chicken.
– Place veggies back in the skillet over medium heat. Add the soy sauce and sake, cover and cook until veggies just have softened, then transfer veggies to a bowl. Add the chicken and stir to combine.
– Now comes time for the wrapping! Place a small bowl of water with a teaspoon of cornstarch mixed in and your egg roll wrappers near the cutting board. Make sure to keep the wrappers covered in between rolls because they can dry out quickly!
– To form each roll, start by placing the wrapper on the cutting board with the corner facing you, then add a spoonful of filling to the middle. Spread the filling out in a line, then bring the bottom corner up over the filling.
– Then fold the two outer corners over the filling.
– Dip your finger into the cornstarch mixture and dampen the top corner. Fold the top corner tightly over the roll to finish, pressing lightly on the dampened corner to help seal the dough. Repeat this process with the remaining wrappers, then set them aside to start frying.
– Add enough oil to a small pot to just cover the egg rolls, then turn the burner on to medium high heat and wait until the oil reaches 350 degrees. Place a few eggs rolls in a time and fry until golden, about 5 minutes.
– Transfer rolls to a paper towel to drain off excess oil.
– Serve as is or with your favorite dipping sauce! I usually prefer ponzu sauce.