I had no idea there were so many food-related Seinfeld moments
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I kept floating back to egg rolls. Never having made them before, they seemed a bit of a challenge, and interesting enough to bring to a food swap
At our house, we're big fans of mushrooms, as well as flavorful dipping sauces, so this recipe seemed like a great place to start. The only dilemma? The cooking technique. I just couldn't bring myself to fry something in oil and decided to bake them instead.
Aside from the vegetable prep, everything was fairly quick. The filling made one afternoon; assembly and baking the next. There are a few out-of-the-norm ingredients to source, but nothing that will leave you scratching your head in the middle of your Asian grocery.
Whether you're new to the process or looking for some helpful hints, there are several great tutorials online. Take a few minutes; they're very good
Steamy Kitchen teaches the best way to roll them. Offering words of wisdom on everything from the kind of wrapper to buy, to lessons learned around technique (for example, avoid air pockets, they're not your friend)
Livestrong's article gave me the confidence to bake them. I'm not sure they were the utopia of crispness, only that can come from deep-frying, but they certainly were perfect enough by our standards.
The creamy ginger sauce was different and delicious. I couldn't help but use it as a spread for wraps and thinned it out to top my lunch-time salad.
I'm sure this won't be the last time egg rolls will be featured on the Veggies. The ideas out there for fillings and sauces are incredibly diverse. Plus I'm already itching for an excuse to practice my wrapping
(In the end, I didn't bring them to the food swap. Deciding they're best eaten hot, shortly after coming out of the oven. They do get soggy if they're stored as leftovers in the fridge. The good news is you can pop them back in a hot oven, and they'll crisp up again)
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~ Adapted from Food and Wine
Pork and Mushroom Egg Rolls with Creamy Ginger Sauce
- Egg Rolls
- ½ lb ground pork
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- ½ lb oyster mushrooms, chopped (~ ½" sized pieces)
- ½ lb shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps sliced (~ ¼" thick)
- ½ lb cremini mushrooms, chopped (~ ½" sized pieces)
- 2 Tbsp cooking sherry
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- salt and pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
- 1 plump lemongrass stalk, tender white inner bulb only, minced
- 1 red Thai chile, minced (** or ½ tsp dried chili flakes or cayenne pepper)
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- ½ tsp finely grated lemon zest (or 1 tsp lemon juice)
- 10 thin egg roll or spring roll wrappers
- 1 large egg beaten
- Creamy Ginger Sauce
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped (or 1 Tbsp dried)
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 10 Boston lettuce leaves, halved
- Brown the Pork
- In a small skillet, brown the ground pork
- Prepare the Mushroom Filling
- In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add mushrooms, sherry, soy sauce, and season with salt & pepper.
- Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring a few times, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and are tender (~ 8-10 minutes)
- Uncover and cook 5 or 6 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until they're browned
- In a small skillet, heat 2 tsp olive oil. Add garlic, lemongrass, chile, shallots, and 1 Tbsp ginger.
- Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are golden brown, (~ 6-7) minutes.
- Add the lemon zest (or juice, if using), then stir the mixture into the mushrooms, along with the browned pork
- Prepare the Creamy Ginger Sauce
- In a blender, puree the Greek yogurt, olive oil, tarragon, lime juice, vinegar, and the remaining 1 ½ tsp ginger, until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- Assemble and Bake the Rolls
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Place an egg roll wrapper on your work surface with one corner pointing at you. Add 2-3 tablespoons of filling into a 2×4-inch rectangle just below the horizontal diagonal line that connects the right and left corners. Take the corner nearest you and fold it over the filling, rolling it away from you so that the filling is completely encased in the wrapper. Fold the right and left corners in toward the center, keeping it snug, but not so tight that the wrapper breaks, and continue rolling until you have 2-inches of the last corner left.
- Paint the edges of the last corner with a bit of egg, then quickly roll up the egg roll. (this will help hold it together). Lightly brush the top of the roll with beaten egg.
- Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until they're beginning to brown. Then flip them over and bake another 8-10 minutes.
- (For added crispness, put the egg rolls under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, checking every 20-30 seconds)
- Cut the rolls in half on the diagonal, wrap them in lettuce leaves and serve with the ginger sauce.