21 February 2008
How Not to Make Egg Rolls
I made egg rolls for dinner last night. They were a disaster. I feel very disappointed, because I have made them several times to much better success. Pictured above are baked egg rolls with tofu filling, which pretty much sums up the main failures. I should not have baked them, and I should not have attempted to cook with tofu. I ate tofu in Hawaii and it was good. I just don't know how to cook with it, so I need to avoid it, I guess. A reliable source informed me that tofu needs to drain a day in advance so it is nice and dry. I think the fact that I pulled it out an hour before cooking time probably contributed to the problem, though I did strain it and place it on paper towels with a heavy item on top to squeeze the moisture out. I also looked up a recipe for baked egg rolls so I could bake them rather than fry them. That was another mistake. The wrappers ended up tasting like dry noodles. Vlech.
So here is the recipe from the Azumaya package in the way it ought to be done:
1 lb lean ground beef, pork, chicken, or tofu (if you are extremely brave, ingenious, and experienced with tofu or just one of those lucky people for whom everything always works), drained and crumbled.
1 tsp minced ginger
2 Cups finely chopped cabbage
1/4 lb bean sprouts
1/2 shredded carrot
3 green onions finely chopped (I always leave these out because I like the egg rolls sweeter)
2 Tbsp. Oyster Sauce (available at your local 99 cent store if you live in the greater Hurricane area)
1 pkg Azumaya large square wrappers
Oil for deep frying
Sweet and sour sauce
Stir-fry meat or tofu and ginger in wide skillet over high heat until lightly browned, 2-3 min. Add cabbage, bean sprouts, carrot and green onions; cook 2 minutes. Stir in Oyster sauce. (This may smell funny, but it won't taste funny). Let mixture cool. Use 2 tablespoons filling for each egg roll. Place wrapper in diamond shape with filling in center. Fold bottom corner up and snugly around filling. Fold two side corners over. Wet top corner, and roll the center up over it.
This part is very important:
Deep fry a few at a time, turning occasionally, until golden. (I pan fry in mostly vegetable oil with a little sesame oil for flavor). Drain on paper towels. Serve with sweet and sour sauce. I like to serve them with sweet soy sauce, which you can also get at the 99 cent store when they are not out if it, as they are right now (So aggravating!). The nice Asian man there tells me the sauce (to which I affectionately refer as the hooch) will be in next week.