Recipe–Egg Rolls with Hui Min

045 copy

EGG ROLLS WITH HUI MIN:  (Hui Min is not a new Oriental Sauce, it is the name of my friend.)

I have to confess.  I find egg rolls a bit scary.  I never really knew what was in an egg roll, and therefore had some trepedation about ordering them.  Now the kiddos love them and always order them, and I of course steal bites and love each bite. So when my friend Hui Min [Way Ming] invited me over to learn how to cook egg rolls, I was very excited.

001 copy

Hui Min is a cook.  Her father and mother owned a Chinese Restaurant in Arkansas for most of her growing up years.  Prior to her parents move to the United States, her father had trained as a chef.  He learned all the different regional styles of cooking in China.  Just like the U.S. which has regional specialites– Texas BBQ, Maryland Crab Cakes, Maine Lobster Rolls, California Rolls, Boston Baked Beans, etc. . .–each region of China has their specialties.

002 copy

Our kids play soccer together and are also in the Youth Orchestra together, so they all get along.

046 copy

003 copy

But before we begin cooking, let’s stop and have some tea–green tea.

042 copy

Little Man helped himself to tea for the next hour.  I was very surprised he would chug down unsweetened tea, so he must have been really thirsty!

004 copy

Hui Ming instructed me on which package of rolls to buy.  This package says “spring rolls”, but are not the spring rolls that we associate with Vietnamese food.

 (photo from here.)  These spring rolls wrappers are made of mainly tapioca starch and rice starch.  There might be a way to fry them, but when I tried they were a sticky mess.

Now if you are truly crazy you will make your own egg roll wrappers.  (Recipe here.)  Or you can just buy them from your local grocery store.  My local Kroger’s carries them in the Asian Food Section.

023 copy

Hui Ming began by browning 2 pounds of turkey in her wok.  She likes turkey rolls as they are a little more healthy.  When I made my egg rolls, I used Pioneer Woman’s Spicy Pork recipe.  The pulled pork in the egg rolls was excellent.

009 copy

Hui Min [Way Ming] started by getting out her wok and splashing in some oil.  Later when I made them at home, I just used my extra large skillet.  While the oil is heating, chop up some celery.

011 copy

. . .and some onions.  Hui Min didn’t “dice” her celery and onions, but rather sliced them up into attractive slices.  I don’t know how she did it, as her knife was flying.

024 copy

When the ground turkey was cooked, Hui Min heated up some more oil, then sautéed the celery and onions together.

019 copy

Now here is a truly time saving tip.  Hui Min buys coleslaw mix!!  She usually adds one bag for each pound of meat.  (In this case two pounds of turkey = two bags of cole slaw mix.)  She used to chop up a cabbage and shred several carrots until on day she realized that she could just buy the bagged cole slaw mix.

031 copy

Add the cole slaw mix to the sautéed celery and onions to just soften the cabbage.  Now wasn’t that easy!

032 copy

Now if you are going to deep fry the egg rolls, you can skip this step–as the cabbage gets quite cooked in the hot oil.  Hui Min didn’t deep fry her egg rolls, but rather sautéed them on the stove.

036 copy

Add the meat you are using, and combine.  This is a photo of the ground turkey. . .

038 copy

. . .and this is a photo using the pulled pork.

016 copy

To season the veggie-meat filling, Hui Min used some different looking jars.  I got a general translation on all the ingredients and tried them at home.  From back row left to right:

  • Black pepper–easy enough.
  • The next container is Granulated Mushroom Bouillon.  Basically it is just like adding a bouillon to “up” the flavor.  I don’t have “granulated mushroom bouillon” and didn’t use it when I made them at home.  I think if you want a mushroom flavor you could easily just sauté up some mushrooms along with the celery and onions.
  • Himalaya Pink Salt.  Regular salt works just fine, but pink salt is just plain old fun.
  • Fried Garlic–I minced my own garlic and sautéed it with the celery and onions.
  • Fried Red Onion–This is a dehydrated onion similar to the onion flakes we can buy in the spice section of the grocery store.  Add dried onion powder, dried onion flakes, or just add extra onions when sautéing.

030 copy

Vegetarian Mushroom and Oyster Sauce.  I don’t own any.  However, I do use Oyster Sauce in several Thai recipes, so I do have it on my pantry shelf.  You can find it in the Asian Section of most grocery stores.  It contains oyster extract, some soy sauce, and other flavors.  This ingredient really makes it taste like a Chinese Egg Roll, and not a cabbage roll.

045 copy

Hui Min took a pinch to make sure the flavor was just right, then added some soy sauce.

049 copy

HOW TO ROLL EGG ROLLS:  Hui Min began by separating all of the egg roll wrappers.  They just peeled apart quite easily.  I noticed that coconut palm oil was a top ingredient in the wrappers, and I think the coconut oil made them quite pliable.

059 copy

Next Hui Ming turned the wrapper so that it made a diamond (not a square).  She added a spoonful of the cabbage-meat mixture.

051 copy

She then folded the bottom of the diamond up over the mixture, . .

052 copy

. . .and began rolling.

053 copy

She used her index finger to kind-of pinch in the cabbage-meat mixture, . . .

054 copy

. . .and then folded in the sides.

055 copy

Then she rolled it up the rest of the way.

056 copy

The last little end just stuck to the rest of the roll.

057 copy

That is how you roll an egg roll.

060 copy

We placed our rolled egg rolls with the ending side down and continued to roll.  Our kids had just been sledding together and all seven of them were quite hungry–so was I!

062 copy

Hui Min just sautéed her egg rolls in a lightly oiled skillet.  Later when I repeated the recipe I deep fried my egg rolls.  (See the first photo of this post.)  Hui Min says that you can also bake them in the oven.  I have several frozen in my freezer that I plan on baking, but I can’t tell you how it works because I haven’t done it yet.  The deep fried egg rolls were delicious (as all deep fried foods are), but the sautéed ones were much healthier and almost as tasty.  I don’t think I will deep fry my egg rolls again.

064 copy

Now when you set the table, you set out silverware, but in this household, they set out chop sticks.  Hui Min also uses chopsticks in cooking.  She can manipulate most foods with chop sticks.  Everytime I would have used tongs, she uses chop sticks.

065 copy

After an afternoon of sledding (kids) and an Asian cooking session (ladies), we were glad to sit down and eat dinner at Hui Min and Dave’s house.  What a fun afternoon.  What a delicious dinner.  Hui Min cooked up another Chinese dish, but I will save that for another time.

Thanks Hui Min!  I’m ready for another cooking lesson.


041 copy

This entry was posted in Recipes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Recipe–Egg Rolls with Hui Min

  1. sybaritica says:

    LOL … I actually *did* think Hui Min was some sort of sauce when I read the title. I like the folding technique here!


    • whitsendmom says:

      Just headed over to your blog to check it out. Very interesting–food and travels in the artic circle with a little lawyer work thrown in. Can’t wait to read your next post.


  2. trixfred30 says:

    I love egg rolls. But I didnt know you could bake them or do them in a skillet – one for the future I think


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s