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Note: Is it an egg roll, a spring roll, or a dumpling or potsticker? Should it be boiled, steamed, baked, or fried? Should it have cabbage, bok choi, beat sprouts, cellophane noodles, bamboo shoots, or water chestnuts? Sources vary. One knowledgeable source, Quindy Moritz, says they are egg rolls that are edible and do NOT, under any circumstance, contain cabbage! She's from Thailand, so she should know. Her recipe is listed first, although I do not agree with her when it comes to greens in my egg roll. Ying Chang Compestine, Secrets of Fat-Free Chinese Cooking, distinguishes betwee spring roll wrappers (square wontons or cirular gyoza) and rice paper wrappers. Rice paper is extremely delicate to handle and not the faint of heart cook. They do not need to be cooked to be edible. A Harrowsmith (out of publication) article describes spring roll wrappers as thinnner than egg rolls and suggests baking to achieve results similar to frying. The article also suggests using phyllo dough as a substitute and is often used for dim sum (a type of egg roll). Whatever your preference, serve with Nuoc Cham dipping sauce. Check out our Fillings for Strudel recipe for variations. Strudel Dough may serve as a substitute for wrappers, though it has not been tested in Planter kitchen yet. Quindy Moritz's recipe is listed first. Our preferred version is second, but it is a work-in-progress! Shrimp is listed in many recipes, but omitted in the preferred version until the cook feels comfortable enough to try it. Though Compestine does not have a recipe for baking rolls, the egg roll wrapper instructions do. Baking is our low-fat preference; the results are almost as good as deep-frying. Serve with Dipping Sauce.
1. Spring Rolls, Harry and Quindy Moritz How are Spring Rolls different from Egg Rolls? The simple answer is: Spring rolls are egg rolls that are edible and do NOT contain any cabbage! Quindy is Thai, so she's a reliable source. MSG is not recommended for people with high blood pressure. Ingredients: 1 Lb Ground Pork (or Chicken/Turkey) [Pork is definitely best!] 1 1/2 t Salt 1 t Ground Black Pepper 1 t Accent (MSG) (Optional) [Use it if you can!] 1 cp Finely Chopped Green Onion 4 Oz Dry Bean Curd Threads 1 lb Bean Sprouts 4 Eggs 8 oz can of Sliced Mushroom Pieces 1 pkg. Lumpia Brand Egg Roll Wrappers 32 Oz Crisco Brand Cooking Oil 1. Soak the bean threads in warm water until soft, drain, then cut into 1 inch segments. 2. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT bean sprouts in a large mixing bowl. Knead mixture until well mixed. Then, add bean sprouts and knead again until well mixed. 3. Separate egg roll wrappers, and roll about 2 heaping tablespoons of mixture into each wrapper. Lesser filling makes for thinner rolls, but we prefer the plumper ones. 4. Fry the spring rolls in medium-hot oil (350-375 degrees), covering about half the depth of the rolls with oil, turning occasionally, until nicely browned and crispy. 5. Remove from fry-pan with tongs and set out to drip dry in a colander lined with paper towels. 6. Serve piping hot, with a dipping sauce, if preferred. 7. Makes 25 to 30 spring rolls, depending on the amount of mixture added to each wrapper. Recipe can be up-sized indefinitely.
2. Shirley's Egg Rolls 1/2 lb pork, minced or sliced into thin 2" lengths, marinated in 2 T soy sauce 2 t ginger, minced 1/2 cp chopped scallions, or finly minced onions 2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks 3-4 cps bok choy, the whites cut into matchsticks and the greens coarsely chopped 8 shitake or other thin mushrooms, finely chopped bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, or chopped water chestnuts to taste (opt) 1 lb egg or rice wrappers 1. Marinate pork while preparing vegetables 2. Prepare vegetables, keeping separate. 3. Heat 2 T oil in wok till hot, add marinated pork. In wok cooking, it is recommended you do not stir meat while it is searing. Sear for several minutes, turning heat down if necessary. Pour into dish and set aside. 4. Add a little more oil, add vegetables, then cook for 4-5 minutes till softened, about 5 minutes. 5. Mix pork into mixture. 6. Spoon about 2 heaping tablespoons (@ 1/4 cp) into each wrapper and fold according to instructions on package. Seal each roll wtih some egg white or flour/water paste. Place on lightly oiled cookie sheet or rack and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Harrowsmith recipe sets oven temp at 425.
3. Thai Spring Rolls, Washington Post Makes about 12 spring rolls 2 oz cellophane noodles, snipped or broken 2 T peanut oil 1" cube ginger root, peeled and minced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 lb ground pork 8 cps shredded cabbage 2 carrots, finely shredded 3 scallions, including some green parts, chopped 1 T chopped fresh cilantro 2 T fish sauce spring-roll (lumpia) wrappers 1. Cover cellophane noodles with hot water and allow to soak for about 15 minutes. Drain in colander. 2. Heat oil in large skillet or wok. Add ginger, garlic, and pork, and stir-fry, breaking up port with spoon, just until it loses its pink color, about 4 minutes. 3. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon and add to bean threads in the colander. Squeeze out any moisture. 4. Add cabbage to the skillet and stir-fry til limp, about 2 minutes. Add to the colander and allow to drain for a few minutes. 5. In large bowl, combine colander mixture with carrots, scallions, cilantro and fish sauce. Mix well. 6. Fill spring-roll wrappers, and bake as directed.
4. Vegetable Dumplings Dumpling filling: 4 dried shiitake mushrooms 1 ounce dried rice noodles 1/2 pound Napa cabbage 1/2 pound baby bok choy 2 ounces dried bean curd* 3 tablespoons sesame oil 2 tablespoons soy sauce Pinch of grated fresh ginger 1 ounce monosodium glutamate (optional) 1 packet of frozen dumpling wrappers* OR Dumpling wrappers: 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 1/4 tsp. salt 1 cup cold water small bowl of water Dipping sauce: 3 tablespoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar* 1 teaspoon sesame oil Pinch of white pepper Chinese hot pepper sauce* (optional) * Available at specialty Asian markets To make the vegetable filling: In small bowl, combine mushrooms with boiling water to cover. Let sit 30 minutes to soften. Drain; remove tough stems and finely dice caps. Set aside. In small bowl, combine noodles with boiling water to cover. Let sit 10 minutes to soften. Drain; finely dice. Set aside. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the cabbage; blanch until just wilted. Using a slotted spoon, remove cabbage to strainer set over a large bowl. Press down on cabbage to squeeze out all liquid. Transfer to cutting board; roughly dice. Using the same pot of boiling water, repeat the process with the bok choy. Place all chopped vegetables in large bowl. Finely dice the dried bean curd; add to vegetable mixture. Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, and monosodium glutamate (optional) to the vegetable mixture. Stir in chopped mushrooms and noodles until completely incorporated. To make the wrappers: Place the flour and salt in a large bowl. Slowly add water and mix with your hands. Knead the mixture until it forms a soft dough. Place the dough on a lightly floured counter and knead until very smooth. Divide dough into 50 small, equal pieces. Flatten each piece with your hand to form a thin, round pancake, approximately 3 inches in diameter. The center should be slightly thicker than the edges. To wrap the dumplings: (See step-by-step photo tutorial) Using a spoon or chopsticks, place one heaping tablespoon of dumpling filling in the center of the dumpling wrapper. Using your fingertip, wet the outer edge of the dumpling wrapper with water. Fold up the sides of the dumpling into a half-moon shape. While holding the dumpling lengthwise, curved side up, use your index finger and thumb to pinch the edges of the dough on one side of the dumpling into "pleats," pressing each pleat against the flat side of the dough to seal the dumpling as you go. Start at one corner of the dumpling and work your way to the center (making three to four "pleats"). Then work from the other corner to the center creating another three to four "pleats." Firmly press the pleated side of the wrapper against the flat side to be sure the dumpling is completely sealed. If there is too much filling and the dumpling cannot be sealed, remove the extra filling to prevent leakage during cooking. Line up the finished dumplings on a foil-lined cookie sheet to prevent them from sticking. You can freeze dumplings this way for up to one month. To cook: To cook the dumplings, gently lower them into a medium pot of boiling water and boil for approximately three to five minutes. They are done when the dumpling skins are translucent and the dumplings have been floating for about three minutes. Remove from pot carefully with a slotted spoon. Serve hot. For dipping sauce: In small serving bowl, combine all ingredients. Serve with dumplings. Makes about 3 dozen.