Sunday, September 12, 2010

Egg Rolls & Soup

Tonight's menu was homemade egg rolls and noodle soup. I know, it's too hot for soup; but we swam in the lake today so it was actually a perfect meal.

First let me tell you about the soup. I have no recipe to share, just some tips. First, the soup was made from the turkey carcass that was left from Rosh Hashana. Whenever you have a turkey carcase (or any meat bones for that matter) you should always stick it in a big pot, cover with water, and let it simmer for 24 hours. Yes, I said 24 hours. I've been known to leave it going longer. Then simply strain the stock, put it in containers and freeze until you need it (let it cool before you cover and freeze it).

To get the broth to taste like you got it from your favorite Chinese restaurant you should shred some fresh ginger directly into the pot and add a few tablespoons of dry sherry or rice wine. That thickened broth consistency that Chinese soups sometimes have is made with cornstarch. Careful not to use too much, you don't want it thick. 1 tablespoon mixed with 2 tablespoons of the broth then slowly added to the soup should be enough for a large pot. You can add beaten egg for egg drop soup or wantons or, like I did tonight, noodles and spinach (or other veg). I also like to add some tofu (called bean curd on most Chinese menus) if I have it and may even skip the noodles all together as I used to love this spinach and bean curd soup from a restaurant near us. You can also add any of the Chinese veggies you like. Shredded cabbage would be good (in this case overkill because I'm serving it with egg rolls) or bok choy. Also try cans of water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. Don't forget to top it off with some sliced green onion and, if you like, a drizzle of sesame oil. I like to finish off my own bowl with a touch of Chinese style mustard and a scoop of duck sauce.

Now, the egg rolls. This recipe is great. It is so easy to make and has a wonderful flavor. I love the ginger in this and think it would be a big mistake to leave it out. Feel free to use ground turkey in place of the beef or pork if you eat it. If you are vegetarian you may want to try some vegetarian ground beef.

What you'll need:
1 lb ground beef

2 teaspoons grated, fresh ginger (pull off a knob, peel it, and grate it)
2 garlic cloves, minced (you can grate this too)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar (I used agave)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1-16 ounce bag coleslaw mix (the kind with the carrots and purple cabbage)
3-4 green onions, sliced
1 egg, beaten
1 package egg roll wrappers (I made 18 with this recipe)

Your deep fryer or oil to fry in.

Brown the ground beef and drain off the grease.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for about 2 minutes.
Add the salt, sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Let simmer for a few minutes.
Put the slaw mix into a bowl along with the green onion.
Pour the meat mixture over the slaw.
Stir it together well. Let it cool for a few minutes.

There are 2 ways I know of to wrap an egg rolls.

The straight way:
Take out an egg roll wrapper and lay it on the counter. It should be in the shape of a rectangle. I find it easier to have the long edges parallel with the counter edge.
Brush all the edges with egg.
Place a scoop of the mixture in the center of the wrapper, closer to the edge that is closer to you.
Fold in the sides and then roll it up.

The diagonal way (my favorite way)
This time the wrapper should have a point aimed at you.
Brush the edges with egg again.
Place a scoop of filling in the center and fold in the two side points.
Then roll it up from point to point.

When you are done making all the rolls you may want to save them to fry at another time. This is what I did today. I made them in the morning, then we went to the lake and when we got home we just popped them in the fryer. If you want to save them I suggest you lay them, one layer at a time, on a plate lined with wax paper and put wax paper between the layers.

When you are ready to fry get the oil up to 350 degrees F. Drop them in and fry them until they are golden brown. You'll have to turn them half way through. A trick my husband told me is to place a second fryer basket on top of the egg rolls so they don't pop out of the oil until they are done and you wont have to turn them.

Maybe the photos will make the rolling part more clear.

Here we have the meat on top of the slaw mix.

Look! It's like a meat salad.

Now let's wrap these up.

This is how it should sit in front of you for the first way of rolling.
Brush all edges as shown.

See how the filling is in the center (not dead center, a little closer to me).
Then I folded over the edges and now I am starting to roll it up.

This is what it should look like when it's rolled.

This is how we start the diagonal roll.
Notice the points.

Fold in the sides. Let the points over lap.

Then roll it up.

The shorter one is the diagonal roll.

This is a mess of egg rolls all fried up and yummy.
Serve them with your favorite sauce. We like duck sauce with ours.

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