Some of my favorite memories with my family involve my dad cooking Chinese food. We have made many, many egg rolls over the years: in my kindergarten classes (see pic below!), college apartments, a cabin in the woods, hotel suites, and of course our own houses. Each time has been full of laughter and so much yummy food!
On our recent trip to my aunt’s house, my cousin Benjamin asked if we could make my dad’s famous egg rolls. My cousins affectionately call my dad “Uncle Wok” because of his Chinese cooking skills. My parents brought all the food supplies and the well-seasoned wok. Everyone gets involved with helping stuff the egg roll wrappers, rolling them up, and frying them. It’s such a memorable way to spend time together, a family tradition that we will always cherish. So, gather your own gang, and try the Arthur Family egg rolls! Cheers to Fry-day!
6 TB vegetable oil for stir frying meat/veggies
3 cups vegetable oil for frying egg rolls
2 cups shredded raw Napa cabbage
2 handfuls fresh bean sprouts
3 large stalks celery, sliced thin lengthwise, then widthwise
1 ½ pounds ground pork
1 pound cooked shrimp, shelled, deveined, and chopped
4 green onions, sliced
2 cans sliced water chestnuts, chopped into slivers
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3 TB dry cooking sherry (or rice wine)
1 TB soy sauce
2 TB sugar
Egg roll wrappers at room temp
1 egg slightly beaten
Salt & pepper
- Wash, chop and stage vegetables by the stove in separate bowls. Have all other ingredients measured separately and staged by the stove. The success of Chinese stir frying is to have all ingredients measured and staged for cooking, as stir frying is a quick and last minute technique. This is also less stressful on the cook…trust me.
- Set wok over high heat for 30 seconds, swirl in 2 tablespoons of oil, count to 20, add minced garlic and finely sliced green onions, and stir fry briskly to lightly brown and release garlic flavor into the cooking oil. Add ground pork, salt and pepper to season, and stir fry until meat is browned.
- After ground pork is browned and most of the moisture has evaporated, add dry cooking sherry and soy sauce around the edges of meat and stir fry for another two minutes. Remove browned and seasoned pork from the wok and drain excess moisture and grease on a paper towel.
- Set wok over high heat for 30 seconds, swirl in 1 tablespoon of oil, count to 20, add carrots, and stir fry for 2 – 3 minutes…at the point where color is at its peak and vegetables are still a bit crunchy (do not overcook). Remove carrots from wok to a big glass bowl.
- Repeat this process in three more batches for celery/water chestnuts, cabbage and bean sprouts. Cabbage will reduce in bulk considerably. All stir fried vegetables can be added to carrots in big glass bowl.
- Set wok back over high heat for 30 seconds; there should be enough residual oil in the wok for final stir fry. Add browned pork, chopped/cooked shrimp, and stir fried vegetables. Add sugar and combine this mixture stir frying for an additional 2-3 minutes to allow sugar to glaze meat and vegetable mixture.
- Return meat and vegetable mixture to glass bowl and refrigerate until ready to wrap and fry egg rolls. Mixture should be completely cooled down (at least to room temperature) prior to wrapping. Mixture can be kept for several days in refrigerator to serve at later point in time. Do not attempt to wrap egg rolls with hot mixture; mixture should be fairly well drained of any excess moisture. If pressed for time, go for Chinese take-out and serve egg rolls at later date. 😉
- Fill each egg roll wrapper with approximately 1-½ tablespoon of the mixture. Roll and seal with slightly beaten egg, as illustrated. Place rolls on oiled wax paper or cookie sheet. Egg rolls should be wrapped rather tightly and sealed. Do not over stuff egg rolls or loosely roll, as they tend to explode in the wok making huge mess and stressing out cook and guests.
- Place paper-lined serving dish in a 250° oven. Set wok over medium high heat for 30 seconds; add 3 cups of oil, heat to 375° or until a cube of bread browns (about 1 minute). Oil should not be hot to the point of smoking. Carefully place three to four egg rolls in the oil at once, and cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown, turning often. Remove from wok with a slotted spoon, drain and keep warm until ready to serve.
- Serve with traditional hot mustard and duck sauce. (The absolute best duck sauce in the world is sold at Publix Supermarkets.)
Enjoy! What are you favorite family traditions? I’d love to hear about them!