It’s one of those days that are wonderful just because. Nothing special happened, nothing drastically life changing occurred. Just another day – and yet it was perfect. I’m still on cloud nine after my trip to the Santana Row Farmer’s Market. I apologize for a lack of visual aid, but picture this – brilliant blue sky, glorious afternoon sun to warm your fingers; just the slightest chilly breeze that tickles your cheek; trickling water from a nearby fountain; passer-byers are all a blur, their voices only a faint murmur; bursts of colored flowers here and there; and a small green bench, with two occupants sharing a puffy, powdery cannoli, most of which flakes, flutters, and lands on unsuspecting clothing. Yes, that is how I spent my Sunday afternoon – utter enchantment, wouldn’t you say?
Today, I was relatively productive (as in NOT baking), and I managed to get started on the pile of formaldehyde reading I have due by the end of the month. I got home and my mom and I made eggrolls for a family party this upcoming Sunday. And you’re in luck! Because thanks to Kari, I now have step-by-step picture instructions for you, so this will simplify things for you just a bit. I think these eggrolls put our house on the map. You need to come over and try them – amazing! And the best part is, you can make a batch and freeze them forever – or until whenever you’re craving them again. Just take out and deep fry. Done. Simple as that. This recipe makes a huge batch, but you should be able to reduce proportionally. Oh, and as goes with my mom, no exact measurements. Its all in her head and her mouth. So taste test as you go – yes, it is raw, but spoon a little and microwave it until cooked. Try it. Fix as needed.
Eggrolls aka Cha Gio
6 lbs lean ground pork shoulder
3 lbs shrimp, deshelled and minced
1/2 package left over imitation crab (optional, left over from sushi)
2 packages dried mushrooms soaked in water for 15 min., finely chopped
2 packages dried cellophane noodles soaked in water for 15 min. (bun tau), finely chopped
1 large tarot, shredded
5 carrots, shredded
1 large onion, diced
several cloves garlic, minced
eggroll pastry sheets
garlic powder, msg, salt and pepper, to taste
Before anything else, get your dried mushrooms and noodles in two bowls and allow to soak. This will soften them up. Remove from the water, and finely chop them all together. Set aside for later.
In a large bowl or tray, combine all the above ingredients. But go easy on the seasoning, and taste test after each addition by microwaving a spoonful and tasting. If it is too bland, up the salt (fish sauce works great!). If it’s over seasoned, Lord help you. But once you have overcome the seasoning, the next tricky part is wrapping these babies. Luckily for you, I have decideded to follow Kari’s suggestions and include visual guidance if you need it. Wrapping takes a bit of practice before you can make beautifully even handed eggrolls.
Fold one corner of the eggroll sheet like so.
Spread 1 tbs of filling along the edge of the fold.
Fold one flap over so that the folds are somewhat parallel.
Do the same for the other side. Fold over. If there is left over pastry sticking out, you can tuck it in under the flap.
Carefully fold the whole thing over, tucking in the edge under the roll tightly so your final eggroll does not fall apart while it fries.
Continue to roll until you reach the other corner. Dap a little egg white onto the corner – it will be the adhesive that seals the eggroll. Voila. Almost done.
Deep fry in a pot of hot oil. A deep fryer works great, if you are lucky enough to have one. But I am like Alton Brown when it comes to gadgets – multiuse is always best. A large, heavy pot works just fine, thank you.
Serve hot with nuoc mam dam, pickled shredded carrots, lettuce, mint, and cooked rice vermicelli. Fin!