Egg Rolls, Anyone?

Another miracle has taken place—Stacey and I have this weekend off. We are rarely off at the same time, so we are making the most of it. Pork and chicken are unthawing for another adventurous egg roll making session. 🙂

When I was in high school in Virginia, we had one Vietnamese family in town. I tutored one of the daughters in school, and she invited me over to “help” her mom make a batch of egg rolls. I was so excited to be included and have the chance to “own” that recipe! My family already had a lock on southern cooking. As a youngster, I had access to all kinds of good recipes from my mom and her sisters and friends, but learning to make authentic egg rolls was something they couldn’t really teach me.

I watched (and helped a little) while carrots, celery and onions were minced and mixed with two types of meat. My favorite mix is pork and chicken. You can mix any two ground meats you like. An egg was added to the mix along with a little sugar and flour to help it all hold together. If you try this at home, save some egg white to seal the rice paper before the egg rolls are fried. The part that really fascinated me was watching the stiff rice paper become pliable when submerged in a dish of hot water. The meat mixture was spooned on, egg rolls were sealed and put into the deep fry. One thing to keep in mind: do a test run by putting a bit of the meat in to fry before you actually add the egg rolls. Make sure the temperature is right so the inside of the meat is properly cooked.

If you are lucky enough to have access to an Asian food store, stock up on rice paper. Egg roll wrappers and spring roll wrappers will do, but rice paper is the best option. You can tailor the flavor to your tastes. Stacey adds all kinds of spices to hers, but I like the basic mix, and I leave out the minced veggies because Ysabela and I don’t really like onions and stuff. Happy cooking!

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