|Fried Egg Rolls on the left and baked on the right.
The filling can be made one day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chill, covered. Stir filling before filling wrappers. In lieu of the ground turkey or pork, you can use leftover roast pork, cut into 2-inch lengths, then cut lengthwise into very thin matchsticks. I often use turkey sausage, removed from the casings, for an extra flavor boost. This recipe is based on a recipe printed in Cooking Light magazine that was submitted by a reader.
Barbara Tropp wrote that once the filling is wrapped, egg rolls can be sealed airtight in a single layer and refrigerated up to 24 hours before baking or frying. The egg rolls can also be frozen up to a week, but must be partially thawed before baking or frying to avoid the wrapper getting soggy.
Sliced shitake mushrooms added with the celery and carrot would be a nice addition, as would some chopped shrimp.
The egg rolls make a great snack and are terrific served with Hot and Sour Soup and Dragon Noodles.
1/2 to 1 cup celery, minced
1/2 head fennel, minced, optional
1 Tbsp minced ginger
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 pound uncooked ground pork or turkey
1 medium head green cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
1 cup shredded carrot
about 2 Tbsps soy sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
sea salt, to taste
14 egg roll wrappers
1 large egg white beaten
peanut or safflower oil, for deep frying; optional
Serve with dipping sauces:
Special Mustard Sauce
Thai Kitchen Sweet Chili Sauce
Spicy Citrus Chili Oil
1. In a heavy bottom soup pot, heat about 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, fennel, ginger and garlic, saute 5 minutes. Add ground turkey or pork; cook 5 to 10 minutes, crumbling the meat with a spatula or wooden spoon. Stir in cabbage, soy sauce and freshly ground black pepper. Cook another 3-5 minutes until cabbage is wilted. Add carrots, stir well and cook another 2 minutes.Taste, add sea salt to season, if necessary. Turn off heat and cool to room temperature. Proceed with filling wrappers, or chill filling for up to 24 hours.
2. To bake egg rolls: preheat oven to 425°F.
3. Working with one wrapper at a time, keeping remaining wrappers covered with plastic wrap, place 1 egg roll wrapper on a work surface with a corner pointing toward you, in a diamond shape. Spoon about 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) into the center of wrapper. Fold lower corner of egg roll wrapper over filling. Fold in corners. Moisten top corner of wrapper with egg white; roll up jelly-roll style. Repeat procedure with remaining wrappers, filling and egg white.
4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray well with cooking spray. Place egg rolls seam side down on the baking sheets and spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 18-20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately alongside favorite dipping sauces.
5. To fry egg rolls: in a deep and heavy pot add oil to a depth of 2-inches. Clip a deep-fry thermometer on the rim. Heat the oil to 350°F. An egg roll should bubble immediately upon contact with the hot oil. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain the temperature at a steady 350°F. The egg rolls will sink, and within a few seconds, rise to the top with a tickle of bubbles. Add only as many egg rolls that can fit comfortably in the oil without drastically dropping the temperature. Fry each until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, turning carefully for even browning. With tongs or a mesh spoon, remove the egg rolls to a triple layer of paper towels to drain. Before frying the next batch, wait for the oil to come back to 350°F. Serve immediately alongside favorite dipping sauces.