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During a recent inventory of the refrigerator, I noticed that I had a package of egg roll wrappers that had gone ignored. Sometimes, on a whim, if I see a novelty/exotic item in the grocery store, I’ll buy it for future use. I don’t always shop at the same grocery store, so if I see an item like egg roll wrappers, I’ll buy them becasues when I want them I won’t remember where I saw them before and will become frustrated in search of them. The freshness date seemed months away (it was actually weeks) and I was certain I’d find a use for them.
Well, “time waits for no man” or cook, so with days left to either freeze or cook, I opted for cook. The recipe on the package seemed pretty straight forward, with only a few ingredients needed. I’d never made egg rolls from scratch before. I was ready. Most of the items I already had on hand and in an effort to prevent waste, I was eager to get rid of some geriatric fresh (?) ginger and these wrappers. A short while later I had everything I needed. I even deduced a hack for the shredded cabbage and grated carrot: a bag of cole slaw in the salad section of the market. That prevented me from wasting a half head of cabbage (or finding another use for it) and it meant I didn’t have to buy carrots that I didn’t want. And the cost difference was not significant as the bag of veg was on sale for $1.50. To the lab!!
As usual, I was less than thrilled with the ingredients listed on the wrapper package, so I modified it a bit. The result was a flavorful blend of meat, vegetables and spices. Regretably, I had to use canned sprouts (the store I shopped had minimal offerings). Next time, I’ll go to the Asian market and get fresh sprouts or shop somewhere else. For  about $10 we had 21 delicious egg rolls. The mixture took minutes to put together and minutes to fry up. The longest part was rolling them all, but if you have helpers, even better.
I will definitely make these again. The filling is versatile and I’d love to try them with other proteins (I used pork this time). I also think I’d freeze some to prevent the temptation of eating all 21. We ate them for dinner with no other dishes. I know that typically egg rolls are considered an appitizer, but when I gave it some thought, they were a complete dish of meat, veg and carbohydrate. If you eat enought of them (babe was 11 enough??!!) then you really don’t need anything else but a beverage and a napkin.
1 Package egg roll wrappers (I use Nosoya)
1 Bag cole slaw “salad” mix (cabbage and carrots)
1 package or can of bean sprouts
1 lb ground pork (or shrimp, chopped…or ground turkey, tofu, chicken, seitan crumbles)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch of ginger, minced or 1 teaspoon ground
3 scallions, chopped (white and green parts)
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of sugar
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
Vegetable oil (if frying…can also be baked)
Sause of choice for dipping, if desired
  • Heat a skillet. Once hot, add half of sesame oil and meat.
  • Saute until half done. Add entire bag of cabbage mix. Stir, cooking 2-3 mins.
  • Add ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, soy sauce, cinnamon, sugar, rest of sesame oil. Stir.
  • Cook until the veg is softened and the meat is done (about 5 mins).
  • Add scallions, stir, turn off heat. Let cool to room temperature.
  • Wrap 2 T of filling into each wrapper, following the directions on the package.
  • Place the filled and rolled items on a lined baking sheet.
  • Bake or fry according to directions on wrapper package.