Hi, girls (and boys)! It's Andy again. Alicia has been working on some stuff over the weekend and I have had it pretty much off, so I promised to "keep her in eggrolls." She thinks that sounds obscene, but I vaguely recall the priest saying ". . . in sickness and in health, through crochet patterns and in eggrolls, through the Superbowl if the Bears ever go again . . ." I could be wrong.
These are from The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook that Ali got me for Christmas. The book is already in heavy rotation. One of my favorite parts about using this book is making the trip to the Asian supermarket. I am fascinated by all the crazy seafood and strange cuts of poultry. The recipe, thankfully, doesn't call for chicken feet, but if you need those they have them there. The main thing that you need is barbecued pork, eggroll wrappers (from the freezer section), sweet-and-sour sauce (the stuff we got is called "Thai spring-roll dipping sauce"), and Chinese cabbage (though regular cabbage works, too). So here is everything you'll need:
1–2 cups of Chinese cabbage, chopped up
2 stalks of celery chopped up
about 4 inches of that barbecued pork (they, like, shrink-wrap it), cubed as small as you can
about a half a cup of cooked, baby shrimp, chopped up really small. Who are we kidding, use the whole package.
a can of bamboo shoots, chopped up
half of a can of water chestnuts, chopped up
3 tablespoons of oil
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
large pinch of salt, small pinch of pepper
the white of an egg
First, get some water boiling while you are chopping these things. Then get your eggroll skins out of the freezer. They thaw amazingly fast; by the time you need them, they'll be ready. Once the water is rolling, blanche the cabbage and celery. I throw it all in until the water starts boiling again, then drain it into a colander. While it is cooling, I chop the other stuff up. Keep the shrimp and pork separate from the veggies (which can all go together). Squeeze as much moisture out of the cabbage and celery as you can, then roll it up in a dish towel. It is important for these to be as dry as possible.
Get the oil going over medium-high heat and add the pork and shrimp, enough to get them hot. Then throw in the veggies, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir fry to get them hot. Pour this stuff back into the colander. Go check your email or something while the mixture gets cool, because you will be handling this mixture. After 20 minutes or so, it'll be ready.
Next is the extremely fun part, rolling them. See the pictures above for how I did mine. You take a bit of the egg white and use it as glue, to keep the eggrolls, uh, rolled. I haven't had one break open in the wok yet (knock on bamboo). You know, you should really buy this book. It tells you all about these things and how to make all different kinds of fillings. And they have hand-drawn pictures of lots of crazy seafood and strange cuts of poultry.
Next, get the oil going in the wok. I just use vegetable oil over medium-high to high heat. Fry them like this, four at a time, on all four sides. You'll know when to turn them. When they're bubbly and brown. Use tongs instead of your hands. Trust me on that. I have experience with that.
Now for the hard part, finding a spot for this food on her coffee table filled with crafts in various states of completion. Goes well with that sweet-and-sour sauce from the Asian market. Oh, and I know how everyone loves the corgi, but look at what she did while we were out, see that coffee splattered all over the pattern? Picture her with her back legs on the couch and her front legs on the table drinking Alicia's coffee while looking over her shoulder to see if we're back yet. Audrey, it isn't that you aren't cute, it's just that some of the things you do aren't cute. Thankfully, she hasn't discovered eggrolls yet. (By the way, for those reading the magazine article, we don't give her any scraps!!! She is strictly a dog food/coffee dog.)
Have you ever made eggrolls? Any tips for me?