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I was looking for fun things to make on Pinterest because, well, Pinterest. I came across my favorite Adventure in Food yet: Spring rolls!
When I was growing up I thought Egg Rolls were gross. I don’t really like eggs, and knowing that they might be in that delicious looking crispy shell made me say “no thank you”. But a few years ago I finally asked what was in a Spring Roll when I worked a Chinese restaurant (Shout out to my boys at Gin-Gin’s!) and decided to try one. Well, now I think they are super delicious and am so glad I have yet another thing to eat massive quantities of when I order Chinese.
Then I came across this recipe and knew in my heart of hearts that I had to try it. You can take a look at the recipe through the link, and I’ll narrate to the best of my ability what I did with my various Spring Roll attempts. I will say that this is definitely not a quick kitchen experience, and it’s very helpful to be unemployed when deciding to make 3-4 batches of Spring Rolls just because you have to get the recipe and technique right.
First thing I did was prepare the cabbage, which should be sliced thinly, and I decided to chop it up even more so it wouldn’t be too stringy. I then chopped up some green onions and smashed up the garlic. The garlic goes into the frying pan while you fry up your ground chicken. It smells heavenly.
Here I actually deviated from the recipe for the first batch of Rolls, instead of using the sauce they suggested I made one that was a variation of Caesar Salad dressing. Basically lemon juice, Dijon mustard, Worcester sauce, Parmesan, a wee bit of EVOO. I was being creative!
First step is draining the grease from the meat, then taking it off the heat and adding the rest of the veggies already prepped and stirring it up. The cabbage doesn’t get really cooked here, it’ll stay nice and crispy. I put the sauce I made in and stirred everything up again and put the top on the pan so it would all get steeped in delicious flavor.
Put the entire mixture in a big bowl and let it cool off for about ten minutes. It’s just way easier for the entire Roll process.
Now, at first I thought that Spring Rolls should be made with classic Spring Roll paper… but no, I was wrong. It’s way too tough and sort of ends up plastic in texture. We have a Chinese market in town so I took a walk and picked up some legit Egg Roll wraps. My only suggestion is that you actually get them out and defrost them over an hour before you start this process, because I kept forgetting and while I made it work like a boss they do tare when not defrosted.
The first batch I made I didn’t use quite enough filler to make the rolls really satisfying, so add more than I did in the pictures.
I lined up the Spring Rolls on a pan and brushed a bunch of EVOO on them, then cooked them according to the directions in the recipe. They came out OK.
I even made them a fancy dipping sauce and it was really honestly essential because they were so dry.
Then I watched a commercial about breakfast wraps and decided to design a Bacon-Egg-and-Cheese-Roll, AKA Breakfast Egg Rolls. Yes, now that I’m old enough to tie my shoes and get into rated R movies I do stomach eggs sometimes. I fried up bacon, scrambled some eggs, and added some grated cheese. BAM, filling done. I then made the rolls and decided to cook them on the stove top in oil instead of in the oven, because I love greasy and everything that can be fried in it. These came out better than the oven baked rolls, and I was very happy about breakfast for a few days.
I was still getting the hang of the frying process, so they aren’t as brown as I like them. Also I recommend letting them drain before eating, and letting them drain on a slant so that the oil doesn’t get caught in the roll and make you very unhappy.
The next day I decided not to waste my cabbage and to use some ground pork to make more Spring Rolls. Also, once you start making them it’s hard to not want them all the time. I subbed the Pork in and used the sauce that the original recipe called for. And I fried the crap out of them.
Listen, I’m no chef but these were by far the most delicious things I’ve ever made. I am fully planning on making them again because I want to have one in my mouth right now.