Our family has been making these egg rolls for years! We look forward to making these every year when we celebrate Chinese New Year with family and friends and any other time we have a craving for delicious egg rolls!
Our Favorite Chinese Egg Rolls
1 package egg rolls wrappers (typically found in the refrigerated section of your produce department)
3 boneless chicken breasts cut into tiny pieces
2/3 cup dry sherry
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 carrots, grated
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Peanut, grapeseed oil, or other oil with a high-smoking point
Marinate chicken pieces in a sealed plastic storage bag or container with sherry and soy sauce for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a skillet. Add carrots and green pepper. Cook until tender and a bit caramelized. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add one more tablespoon of sesame oil and cook chicken until done, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Add chicken to carrots, bell pepper and garlic. Season mixture with a little salt and pepper and let cool.
Place egg roll wrapper so that it looks like a diamond. Spread 2 tablespoons of the filling across the width of the wrapper. Take the point facing you and fold over the mixture. Tightly fold both sides inward and complete rolling. Use a little water on the final point before closing completely.
Heat peanut oil (or canola oil) in a deep saucepan and fry egg wrappers until browned. Because the filling is cooked, you are just cooking the wrapper itself. Be sure to have your heat high enough (375 degrees) so that it cooks quickly or the egg rolls will be soggy. Do not overcrowd the pan.
Tip: Cutting the chicken while it is still a little frozen makes it easier to cut.
Tips for Making Egg Rolls
You can freeze the marinade and chicken in a heavy-duty freezer bag and thaw when ready to make your egg rolls.
Drain the oil from the chicken and vegetables so the wrappers do not get soggy.
Filling must cool before adding to the egg roll wrapper.
Make sure you taste the filling before you put it in the wrappers; adjust seasonings.
Frying egg rolls as soon as they are filled prevents them from getting soggy.
Make the filling ahead of time.
If you can, use peanut oil and bring the temperature to 375 degrees. Peanut oil has a higher smoke point
Heating oil changes its characteristics. Some oils can become unhealthy when heated too high, so make sure you find out which are best to use when frying. Peanut oil has a very high smoke point, but you can try palm oil if anyone in your family is allergic to peanuts.
Place egg rolls, one at a time, in the pan to prevent splattering. Leave room in between. Overcrowding will also bring the heat down.
Never stack egg rolls onto top of one another before or after frying.
Egg rolls can be frozen either before or after frying. If fried, make sure they have cooled completely before freezing.
Here’s what our family table typically looks like when we spend a day in the kitchen creating our own Chinese food!
Adorning our table: Steamed Dumplings with Nate’s Dipping Sauce, Fresh Lettuce Wraps, Chicken Fried Rice, Nate’s Asian Chicken Kabobs and of course our family’s favorite Chicken and Vegetable Egg Rolls.
“GUNG HEY FAT CHOY”
Happy Chinese New Year
One year the boys and I made a very large elaborate dragon. The boys distributed homemade flyers throughout the neighborhood. The next day, our neighbors waited as our family and friends paraded their dragon around the neighborhood, complete with noise makers and costumes. What fun! This same dragon, made out of recyclables, made his appearance each year. He even showed up once at a children’s story time when our boys were asked to read a book to the younger children!
One year my husband created a fun and engaging way to introduce the children to pi, the mathematical constant whose value is the ratio of any circle’s circumference to its diameter in Euclidean space. Approximately equal to 3.141593 in the usual decimal notation pi is one of the most important mathematical and physical constants used in mathematics, science and engineering. Although the Chinese were not responsible for finding pi, they have made great strides in computing it. We held a pi reciting contest, used circular plates to demonstrate pi and we showed the children how to convert things into pi, including their next pi birthday!
To Do and Notice
Carefully wrap string around the circumference of your circular object. (Ask a partner to help.) Cut the string when it is exactly the same length as the circumference. Now take your “string circumference” and stretch it across the diameter of your circular object. Cut as many “string diameters” from your “string circumference” as you can. How many diameters could you cut? Compare your data with others. What do you notice?
What’s Going On?
This is a hands-on way to divide a circle’s circumference by its diameter. No matter what circle you use, you’ll be able to cut 3 complete diameters and have a small bit of string left over. Estimate what fraction of the diameter this small piece could be (about 1/7). You have “cut pi,” about 3 and 1/7 pieces of string, by determining how many diameters can be cut from the circumference. Tape the 3 + pieces of string onto paper and explain their significance.