egg-rolls

I’d never made egg rolls at home before—-it was too intimidating.  But I was wrong.  They couldn’t be easier. If I had deep fried them, they may have cooked more evenly on the sides, yet the last thing I wanted to do in the heat of the summer was heat up a large pot of oil to 350 degrees.  I ended up cooking them in 1/4 cup oil in a non-stick pan. They were fantastic.

Just a word of reassurance: Asian food tends to have a lot of ingredients, but don’t let that discourage you. If you use the basic flavors—soy sauce, ginger, and garlic—then all you really need is to throw in what you have on hand and what sounds good.  If what you have in the fridge is something you once had in take-out, then throw it in and it’ll probably be great.

egg rolls

1 pound ground chicken breast
1 shallot, minced
1/2 onion, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup mushrooms, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 cups cabbage, shredded
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
15-16 egg roll wrappers
1 egg, beaten with a tablespoon of water
6 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying

1.  Heat chicken breast in a tablespoon of oil; add in shallot, onion, red pepper, and mushrooms.  Cook until vegetables become tender, about 7 minutes.  Add in garlic and ginger.  Stir in cabbage and cook until chicken is fully cooked and cabbage is bright green.
2.  Drain chicken mixture in a strainer.
3.  Place mixture in a bowl and stir in cilantro, salt and pepper, soy sauce, sesame oil, and vinegar.
4.  Place an egg roll wrapper on a diagonal and remove any extra cornstarch with a pastry brush; spoon  2-3 tablespoons of mixture on the center.  Fold bottom corner over the mixture, pull in side corners.  Brush egg wash on the remainder of the wrapper and roll up.  Place egg roll on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking pad.  Repeat with remaining wrappers and mixture.
5.  In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of oil on medium heat.  Working in small batches, cook egg rolls until golden brown on all sides.
6.  As they are finished, place on a cookie sheet in a warm oven (200 degrees), until ready to serve.

fried rice

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
pinch salt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups cooked brown Basmati rice
1 large carrot, grated
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce

1.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add in shallot, red pepper, and salt.  Heat for 7 minutes.  Add in garlic, and cook for a minute more.
2.  Add in rice, carrot, and ginger.  Saute until some of the rice starts to caramelize in the pan.  Stir in vinegar and soy sauce.  Serve.