Eggrolls. Those greasy, fried, crispy rolls of deliciousness you get with your order of Chinese food. But did you know how easy and cheap it is to make them at home? The really only difficult part of making them is to fry it. And, although I haven’t tried it myself, I have a feeling that you could bake them in the oven and achieve essentially the same result, except without the characteristic bubbles.
This recipe is a pretty cheap one to make. Carrots, cabbage, and onions are pretty cheap. Shrimp and mushrooms, while a bit more pricey, are optional. Egg roll wrappers aren’t to cost prohibitive. A note about the carrots. Obviously, most cooking on a budget is trading convenience for price. You can get a pound of baby carrots for a dollar, or about a pound of string carrots for $2.50. Usually, I cannot bring myself to pay an extra $1.50 simply for convenience. A dollar-fifty might not be a lot, but if you include grated cheese, peeled onions, pre-boiled eggs, and even store-bread, it adds up over time. I just slice carrots for recipes or chop them the long way for ramen. However, when you’re splurging a bit calorie- and time-wise, you may as well splurge a bit for easier carrots that fit the recipe better.
Also, you can easily make them vegan by not adding the shrimp. If you do, I would make sure that you also get vegan wrappers, hoisin sauce, and mustard.
I guess I don’t know what else to say about egg rolls. They are cheap, and delicious, and easy. Trust me. And then make it, and find out for yourself!
- 1 napa or green cabbage
- 3 onions
- 2 cups carrots, either shoe-string or sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon ginger
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped (optional)
- 1 cup salad shrimp, defrosted and lightly chopped (optional)
- 21 egg roll wrappers (you can also find them as wonton wrappers, but make sure that you get the bigger size).
- 2 cups, plus 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
- Hoisin sauce or mustard to serve.
- Slice the cabbage and onion into long, thin slices. Heat a tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat in a wok or pan, and then add the veggies and the carrot. Cook for 5-7 minutes, then add the ginger, garlic, and mushrooms, if using. Cook until tender. Cool for 10 or so minutes. If your mixture is particularly watery, drain in a colander over a bowl.
- While the mixture is cooling, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.
- While the oil is heating, roll your egg rolls. Place a single wrap on the counter. Place 1/4 cup or so of the mixture into the bottom third of the wrapper. Roll the bottom to the center, and then fold the sides in. Roll from the bottom to the stop. Repeat until you run out of mixture or wrappers.
- Once your rolls are all done, check to make sure that your oil is hot. This can be done by either placing a scrap of roll in the oil or the butt end of a wooden spoon. If the oil sizzles, it’s ready.
- Fry your rolls. Work in smallish batches, so the temperature of your oil doesn’t drop too much. Because your ingredients are cooked, you’re just looking to cook and crisp the wrapper. Once the rolls are golden-brown, remove them from the oil, and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Serve with hot mustard, hoisin sauce, or whatever, and enjoy!