Thursday, March 24, 2011

Egg Rolls!

Guess what I found, right there at Kroger, next to the organic extra-firm tofu? Egg Roll Wraps! Really! How cool is that? And, it was on "Manager's Special" for only 99 cents (cause it expires tomorrow), so, of course, I HAD to get it! Even though I've never made egg rolls in my life. But, there were instructions and a recipe of sorts on the back, so I figured I'd risk the 99 cents and go for it. 'Cause my family LOVES egg rolls. And, it's one of my squeemish foods because of all the preservatives in the industrial pre-packaged frozen food-product egg rolls you can buy at the store.

So, into the cart they went, and I brought them home brimming with confidence that I could figure out how to make egg rolls. I'm really not being ironic here, I really was sure I could do it. If I've gotten ANYTHING from the 30 Day Vegan workshop (we're in week three), it's been a very healthy dose of confidence. I'm working with ingredients I previously could not even identify, figuring out the techniques that go along with them, blending flavors and textures I had no idea could go together, and making a palatable (sometimes even delicious) meal from the whole mix.

Egg Rolls? Can I make Egg Rolls? Bring it on, baby!

I used tofu (yes! tofu!) instead of the animal flesh recommended on the wrapping package. Having previous experience with frying tofu for another dish, I jumped right in. Fried up about 14 oz of tofu seasoned with salt and pepper in 1 tbs of sesame oil til golden-y, then added in some garlic, ginger, lemon, lime and a wee bit of soy sauce. For the last couple of minutes, I tossed in about 2 cups finely chopped cabbage, 1/2 cup finely grated carrot, 3 green onions finely chopped, and some crab meat just for the heck of it. Cooked until soft and warm all over...

Cooled for about 20 min while I started our "main" dish...Broccoli Noodles with Thai Peanut Sauce (courtesy of the 30 Day Vegan). I had some extra Thai Peanut Sauce in the fridge, which I bolstered with a little extra soy sauce, and was good to go. Just boil the soba noodles, toss in the broccoli and pre-cooked chick peas at the end, and your pretty much done.

Back to the rolls, plopped about 2 Tbsp of filling onto each wrapper, and folded like a diagonal burrito (directions are on the package).

Rolls ready to go...

I don't have a deep fryer, so just put about 3/4" olive oil in my cast-iron chicken fryer, heated to about 350 (I do have a thermometer for that part), and plopped in four rolls at a time.

They cooked up QUICK! Just a couple of minutes on each side, then fetch them out onto a paper towel.

Lined up in a bowl ready to be joined by their compadres.

And, finally, a boat-load of Egg Rolls, ready to be devoured. Which they were.

So, how did they turn out? Wow! They were AWESOME! Every single last one of them was wolfed down around barely-muffled sighs of contentment, and that last one fought over and split into thirds for equal distribution. Even William, who detests vegetables in any form, was licking his plate to get up every last bit of filling. I can't honestly remember having better egg rolls from any restaurant.
Although a bit time-heavy this first time around for me, these could be some really awesome appetizers for entertaining. Make up the filling ahead of time, wrap and roll, and stick in the fridge until it's time to fry them. It really only takes about 2-3 min per batch to cook them, and cut in half they'd be perfect bite-sized morsels. Little dishes of dipping sauce, and you're all set.
Okay, so who's up for Chinese Night next Tuesday?!?


  1. Did I tell you how I had a reaction to the MSG in the chinese take-out about a month ago? I thought I would never again have chinese food, but this might work!

  2. Yummo - sounds delish!
    I'm way behind on reading bogs so I need to go back and see what's up with your vegan self!! :)

    See you Tuesday for Chinese night - thanks for the invite!!

  3. Oh my gosh!! Christin came over last night and we made these. YUMMY!

  4. These look great! (but crab meat in a vegan dish?!?)

    We used to use these wraps for a ground beef/bean sprout type roll. I love what you're doing with them!