The Hungryman has been really miserable at work lately. If somehow his never-ending complaints and constant frustration didn’t give it away, the permanent wrinkles in his forehead from constant frowning and the thinning of his face (I promise I’m feeding him) certainly would have. I listen with an empathizing ear wishing there was more I could do. While Saturday is usually a race to see how many errands we can manage to squeeze in, this time I tucked away my to-do list for another day. Allowing him rest and feeding him nourishing food was what this day called for.
We rolled around the house in our PJs all day. The Hungryman caught up with all his favorite YouTube singer-songwriters (and he follows MANY), played his precious Elia, sent troops into battle in “Clash of Clans” (he forgets his age)…while I worked on recipes and improving my photography. Days like these are so rare, which makes me wonder if we need to reprioritize. Perhaps we are taking on too much…
As time was all we had on this lazy day, we made egg rolls. The Hungryman doesn’t cook, but he sure can wrap like nobody’s business. His
monstrous pudgy fingers never cease to amaze me with their incredible dexterity and precision.
The recipe comes from one of his closest college buddies, LeeAnn. I may have been slightly…just a tiny bit jealous of her in the beginning as she is beautiful, smart, sweet, and has shared many wonderful memories with my husband that I wasn’t a part of. Now, I adore her. Apparently, she is notorious for her Vietnamese egg rolls, and she graciously shared the recipe with me. I’ve been guarding it with my life and still have the original handwritten recipe from 7 years ago. The only change I made was substituting ground pork with lean ground turkey.
Contrary to what it seems, egg rolls are super simple to make. It is a bit time-consuming, I admit, so it’s best if you recruit an extra pair(s) of hands. Gathered around a table to wrap, this could be wonderful bonding time.
For the filling: First pulse mushrooms and carrots then shrimp in a food processor until finely chopped. As for the noodles – boil and when done, quickly transfer to an ice bath. Mix these and the additional ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
There are 2 ways you can choose to fold your egg roll. But first be sure to have a warm water bath on hand to make your wrappers pliable. Option 1: You can lay out the wrapper as we’ve done with the edges parallel to the chopping board (i.e., edges parallel to you). Place filling. Fold left and right edges toward the center and roll tightly. Brush egg yolk on the final edge to seal the roll.
Option 2: You can lay out the wrapper with a corner pointed toward you. Place filling and repeat as above. I don’t think it makes a difference either way, but you may prefer one over the other for aesthetic reasons.
I know egg rolls are traditionally deep-fried. LeeAnn practices this method as well. But if you don’t know me by now, I don’t deep fry anything! Not to mention, I wouldn’t be able to handle the greasy mess. Therefore, we pan-fried. Now you don’t get that crunchy, chip-like shell. However, you will experience a slightly crispy exterior and a perfectly steamed interior.
First, pan-fry the egg rolls under med-high heat in a pan coated with canola oil. Once browned, flip. When both sides are golden and blistered, pour in some water. Make sure to have a lid ready to cover as soon as the water hits the pan (oil + water = a very volatile frying environment). This will allow for the filling to get nicely steamed. Remove cooked egg rolls, wipe the pan, and repeat.
Of course, you can’t forget the dipping sauce. This one was a Hungryman original (he gets a creative spark every now and then :)). We liked it for its bright, clean flavor.
Sounds like a lot of work, but the whole process was rather therapeutic, especially for Hungryman (He enjoyed this almost as much as making dumplings around holiday time). We really enjoyed the time together, and I’m sure you will too with whomever you choose to make this!
- 1 package spring roll wrappers
- 1 pound lean ground turkey (I used 93%)
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/2 pound shrimp
- 1 carrot
- 4 long green onions, chopped
- 5-6 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water
- 1 bean thread vermicelli
- 3 Tbs fish sauce (look for the 3 crabs on the label)
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbs sesame oil
- 1/2 Tbs of ground ginger
- 2 egg whites (leave yolk for closing the wrappers)
- 1 Tbs fish sauce
- 4 Tbs water
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp sriracha
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Soak noodles in boiling water until cooked. Be ready to quickly add to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Soak dried mushrooms in hot water for about 15 min or until softened. Squeeze both noodles and mushrooms dry. Cut vermicelli into shorter strands.
- In a food processor, pulse mushroom and carrot until finely chopped. Add to large mixing bowl. In same food processor, add shrimp and pulse until coarsely ground (do not overprocess or it will become pasty). Add all the ingredients to the large bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- Place 2-3 Tablespoons of filling in center of wrapper. Roll corner/edge closest to you over filling. Fold in sides of wrapper and continue rolling. Lightly brush remaining corner/edge with egg yolk and tightly roll. Gently press to seal. Repeat.
- Add about 2 tsp of oil in a frying pan. Fry egg rolls on both sides until browned (approx 3-4 minutes per side). Add about 3 Tbs of water to pan and quickly cover with a lid. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes to steam the filling.