I made Egg Rolls! And as promised, I said that I would look up what the difference is between egg rolls and spring rolls. I found a site with pictures to tell them apart, and it’s pretty neat to see how they differ. The version of egg rolls that I am familiar with and made are referred to as “American Chinese Egg Roll” in this post. Basically what I can gather is that there is no precise definition of either one that everyone agrees with. A google search showed many people saying that egg rolls have meat while spring rolls do not, and other’s saying that yes, they do have meat but the veggies are julienned. One thing I noticed is that my spring rolls used “spring roll pastry wraps” and my egg rolls used “egg roll wrappers”. Both were available in similar sizes, although you can also buy the spring roll wraps in a smaller size (in between the large size/egg roll size and wonton wrappers). Both looked like it was a thin pastry. I can’t compare the two because I did not have them on hand at the same time. One other thing I noticed is that I bought the egg roll and wonton wraps from Walmart in the produce section (by stuff like herbs and bok choy), while my cousin Tanya found the spring roll wraps in the freezer section. I’m not sure that matters as both can be frozen, but I thought I should point it out. The last thing is that, as the site points out, egg rolls bubble when fried and the spring rolls for whatever reason just don’t.
I got my recipe from a site called Chinese Food. Seems like a good resource, eh? It has a few pictures along the top of the site in a slide show format, and after checking this out I came up with my method that worked quite well. Like I say in my video, I was unable to find any videos as resources that rolled the egg rolls in the way that I wanted to do. There were tons out there that looked great, but the egg roll looked just like my spring rolls, and I wanted something big and rectangular. So I figured that I would have to come up with my own method, and after a lot of trial and error (cue egg rolls bursting in the deep-fryer), I was able to come up with two of my own methods.
Okay, now down to business. So with hindsight as 20-20 I know why my egg rolls weren’t turning out the way I wanted them to. I started making this and soon ran out of wraps, but had already filmed what I needed so it wasn’t a big deal to wait until the next day to buy more and finish it then. The first day I made them I had used wraps that I had in the freezer and then set on the counter to thaw, while the second day my packages were fresh from the store (remember I said Walmart has them in the produce/fresh section). For some reason the wraps that had been in the freezer were a lot thinner and kept bursting unless I used two wraps at a time (like double wrapping it). However, I didn’t have any problems with the fresh wraps! I should have videoed that time, but I had already edited my video and uploaded it since I had to quit early the first night. So now I will walk you through the two methods I used to make them the “American-Chinese” way.
This is the brand of wrappers that I used from Walmart. I am sure there are other varieties out there, this is just the one I found first. Keep in mind what I said about freezing throwing them off! It appeared thinner and sticky.
So this is what my egg rolls looked like from the first night with the wraps that were frozen. The one on the left is double wrapped for added protection. The one on the right is not double wrapped, and you can notice several small nicks where the filling made holes.
These are the egg rolls cooked from the first night. You can see that they are quite brown. It’s actually too brown for my liking, but I didn’t realize it would only take 45 seconds on each side to get that dark. When we did the spring rolls at the same temperature they look a couple of minutes. I also noticed that my basket was in the way, so I started cooking without it and I think that helped. In addition, I used my chopsticks to flip them and pull them out, rather then the tongs. All of these changes together made it so that they didn’t burst! And that’s a mess and a half to try to clean out of burning hot oil!
So this is one of the methods I used. You can see that I used egg wash on half of the wrap around the edges, then placed the meat filling beside it. Then I folded it over and put egg wash around the edges again. After that I folded down the tops and side. The last two pictures are the same, but the roll is flipped over for one.
Method from the video: I brushed egg wash on two sides of the wrapper that were touching. Then, like the other method, the meat is placed right beside the egg wash. Next, fold the unwashed corner over top of the meat, but not touching the egg wash. With the envelope style from my spring roll post, fold one side over, making sure to keep it straight along the bottom for a more even envelope. In the same manner, fold the other side over. Lastly, tuck the envelope opening over tightly and sealing it.
This is a side-by-side comparison of the two methods I used. The first method is slightly longer and thinner, while the second technique is shorter and more plump. I had to add the last photo of them cooked to prove that I didn’t burn them all! I swear it was the frozen/thawed wraps that threw me off! This recipe made about 25 rolls. I gave a few away and then put the rest in the freezer. Keep your eyes peeled for my last learning project post, because I have a surprise in store for you!
So here is my video! Please excuse the fact that my egg roll is overcooked. At least I remedied the problem!