Published in Carolina Country September 2020
Long ago, in my mid teens, my sweet Aunt Andrea was one of the first folks who recognized my desire to COOK… although she and my uncle lived way up in Michigan! I remember eating my first Chinese food on visits up to see them when I was a little girl… flying there on Piedmont Airlines and earning my little stewardess wings on every trip… unheard of now, “back in the day” children like me were allowed… actually encouraged, to wait on other passengers… hand out food trays, and help pick them up. Unimaginable these days! Somewhere tucked away in a box are some of those “wings” I earned… way back then.
Those first experiences with Chinese food left much to be desired for me. I suppose, even as that little girl of 5ish, I had started developing a “refined palate” because they would order for us and I thought that was the most boring BLAND food I’d ever eat. They must have thought they needed to ease us into that exotic cuisine, and turns out (after chatting about it over the years) they were ordering me, mama and my grandma Moo Goo Gai Pan and wonton soup. Can you get any more plain Jane that that? That “soup” was nothing more than a bowl of wannabe broth… with a thing floating it in. That thing, I later learned, was a wonton. As my daddy would say about the soup years later at the Kanki, they waved a picture of a chicken over that bowl and called it
He wasn’t on the Michigan trips, or he’d have said the same about that too.
Fast forward a decade. When I was about 15, Aunt Andrea sent me a box book set about Chinese cooking. The big book is all about the various regions of China and the foods of each. Tucked inside the box, a little spiral bound cookbook where I found a recipe for homemade egg rolls. Thinking back, I cannot even remember where mama found egg roll wrappers for me to make them since we didn’t really even know what Asian/Chinese food was back then and I certainly don’t think they had those at the Piggly Wiggly! But I do remember making them…
For the longest time, my friends would just be amazed that I MADE egg rolls! Some begged me to make them some… some still do. While some figured out they really are easy to make and took to make’n for themselves. I encourage you to do that too. You can make my recipe as is… or tweak it to your like’n. Use other ground meat. Omit the shrimp or add more! That’s the beauty of egg rolls. You can roll, wrap and deep fry just about anything.
I make collard and chow chow rolls… BBQ & Slaw rolls… apple pie rolls and blueberry too… served with a dollop of ice cream on the side. Keep wrappers on hand and roll up whatever you have leftover in your fridge… everything is better deep fried and dipped in peach and pepper jelly jam, eh?
Once you make some, snap a pic and share it over in my facebook community! Or come over and ask me any questions you might have.
Wendy's Pork & Shrimp Egg Rolls
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 2-3 tablespoons water
Egg Roll Filling
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 pounds ground pork, cooked and crumbled
- 6 cups shredded cabbage
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 2 bunches green onions, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely diced
- 1-2 pounds small shrimp (cooked)*
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 3-4 tablespoons everything bagel mix
Wrap & Roll
- 1 package egg roll wrappers
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- cooking oil for frying (peanut preferred)
- Whisk the cornstarch mix together. Set aside.
- Heat oil to medium high in wok or large heavy pot.
- Add cooked pork and stir with garlic for a minute. Add cabbage, carrots, onion and celery. Cook about 3 minutes, stirring until crisp-tender. Throw in the shrimp, sesame oil and everything bagel mix. Give the cornstarch mix a stir and pour it in, stirring to glaze mixture.
- Set aside to cool.
- To wrap, place wrappers with one corner pointing towards you. Put 2 tablespoons of filling across wrapper. Fold bottom corner over filling; fold 2 sides in; then roll to close. Brush edges with egg wash to seal. Fry in medium hot oil until crisp brown, about 3 minutes.