Egg Rolls – From My Kitchen to Yours

2013 Feb Cin Egg Rolls 0162013 Feb Cin Egg Rolls 015

What better way to kick off this Chinese New Year than by a posting from my very own family recipes?   Focus on food has been a long-standing tradition in my family.  My grandfather on my mother’s side came to this country on a boat from China when he was just 8 years old.  He grew up owning and working in restaurants in Durango, Colorado and Williams, Arizona.

Words cannot describe how terrific of a chef he was.  Sadly, while I’ve always loved to eat, my interest in cooking didn’t really emerge until after he passed away in 2005 so I was never able to personally draw from his wealth of knowledge.  Since his passing, my mother, sister and I have been trying to recreate all the fabulous food he would make in a way to honor his memory.  Recreating these recipes from memories is no easy task… and by “memory” I mean being 6 years old and being just able to peer over the counter to sneak samples of what he was fixing.   For each recipe we’ve attempted we’ve had major breakthroughs and also some shortcomings.  I will only be sharing the recipes that we have perfectly reverse-engineered.

This week I will share with you his version of egg rolls.  This version is unlike ANYTHING I have had in ANY Chinese restaurant EVER.  Insome senses, it’s not “traditional” however, since my grandfather who was a bona fide Chinaman made them, I deem them to be authentic.

Ingredients:2013 Feb Cin Egg Rolls 004

1 Package Egg Roll Wrappers

Bean Sprouts (12 oz.)

Ham – thinly sliced lunchmeat will do

White pepper (approx. 1 tsp.)

Soy Sauce (approx. 1 Tbsp.)

Sesame Oil (approx. 1 tsp.)

Bamboo Shoots (1 can, sliced)

1 egg (scrambled/uncooked) for sealing the egg rolls

Deep Fat Fryer with adequate amount of oil for frying

Directions:

hamFirst, pour the oil in your deep fryer and set the temp to 350 degrees.  Prepping the ingredients is next.  Cut the ham in to somewhat thin strips then into 1 in length pieces (see pic).  Next, make your already sliced bamboo approximately the same size.   Lastly, open up the bean sprouts and give them a rough chop so they’re approximately the same size as the ham and bamboo.  We’re aiming for consistency in size of fillings (this helps the rolling the egg rolls to go smoother).

2013 Feb Cin Egg Rolls 007 Next,preheat a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat.  Pour in a bit of sesame oil (about the size of a quarter).  If you’re a stickler for measuring, this is approximately 1 tsp. of oil.  When the oil is hot, throw in the bean sprouts first (it will sizzle a bit).  Next, give it a spin of soy sauce (about 1 tbsp..) and white pepper to desired tasted (if you don’t like spicy, give it about 1 tsp.…. if you likey spicy, give it more). It’s all up to your own preference.

As the bean sprouts begin to wilt, add ham and bamboo shoots (they just need to warm through).  Remove from heat just when the bean sprouts begin to wilt.  You don’t want them COMPLETELY wilted because then your egg rolls won’t have any crunch.  There will be some liquid in the pan released from the bean sprouts so you will want to drain them (liquid inside egg roll = no good).  Now… it’s just roll, seal and fry.  Pictures below showing how to roll the egg roll, seal it with some egg.

Let me know how this recipe goes for you! Happy Rolling. photo

Cindy Elkins’ Blog – What can you expect? Food. Fitness. Travel. Simple.

For years I’ve been talking to my family and friends about how much I love food and travel. Travel and food go hand in hand for me. One of the things I love the most about travel is seeing new places, being exposed to different cultures and thus being exposed to their food.

Each place, culture and family has its own food that uniquely sets it apart. Over the past few years, I’ve had the wonderful experiences of getting to know several different cultures though travel and from friends from foreign countries. I have an unquenchable thirst for finding out more about where they’re from, what life is like there and (of course) what they LOVE to eat. In my fantasy world, I’d be able to quit my job and just travel around to all the amazing countries out there and to blog about my experiences.

Alas, I live in the real world and have to be an adult. If I’m lucky, I get to take maybe one fabulous trip per year to a new place I want to explore. Since this doesn’t even come close to satisfying the travel bug inside of me, I’ve decided I will learn as much as possible from the people right here in our community. If and when those fabulous travel opportunities present themselves, you can rest assure that I will be all over it LIKE WHITE ON RICE to tell you about it right here. (Yes, the name of my blog is a play on this saying, not a typo).

My interests don’t lie in food and travel alone. I also have a passion for fitness and healthy food. I love to share recipes that inspire full flavored tastes but not recipes ridden with lots of calories and fat (although I do love a good Paula Dean mayo-butter-cheese concoction from time to time as well). I love all food – I do not discriminate – but there are just some foods that I’m more partial to.

**DISCLAIMER** I’m by no means a chef, or any kind of “cooking-expert.” I’ve never been to culinary school I’m merely a student of all things food related and wish to share my findings and experiences with you. Any tips or tricks I share with you here are just things I’ve picked up by doing. Usually, it’s because I’m looking for a way to cut corners and save myself sometime, but not sacrifice quality.

What you can expect from my blog are insights into different cultures and their foods, ideas for delicious, healthy recipes and my experiences and lessons learned along the way.

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