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Egg Rolls (Cha Gio/Nem Ran)

Pork and Shrimp Egg Rolls served with a Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce | recipe from runaway rice.com

This is my Mom’s recipe and I have to say, these egg rolls are the best I’ve tasted.  (Thanks Mom!)  I like the balance of meat–pork and shrimp, and vegetables in the filling.  This recipe uses carrots which is quite common.  The taro root is a differentiating ingredient and adds a nice mealy texture to the egg rolls.  There’s no cabbage in this recipe which I find makes the filling wet and gives the egg rolls that funny (you know!) smell.

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks
  • Make sure to remove any excess water from the noodles and vegetables.  Adding 2 teaspoons of cornstarch to the filling helps to absorb any excess moisture.  This helps to reduce the chance of egg rolls popping and exploding when deep frying.  (We don’t want any oil splatters or burns!)
  • Peel off a small stack, about 5-7 egg roll wrappers at a time, fold in half to form two triangles, and then using scissors cut along the folded line.  I cut the entire package first.  When rolling, I take one of the small stacks, peel off the individual wrappers and then make the egg rolls.  To keep the unrolled wrappers moist, cover with a damp paper towel.
  • When I am short on time, I make the filling the night before and then refrigerate.  The next day, I roll and fry.
  • Any leftover egg rolls can be refrigerated and then reheated in a toaster oven.  They’re just as delicious as freshly fried!
  • Strive to have the same amount of filling in each egg roll.  Also prior to rolling, evenly distribute the filling forming a small log on the wrapper.  This way you will have an even amount of meat and wrapper and they will all cook at the same time.
  • Don’t let the egg rolls sit too long before frying.  The wrapper will get moist from the filling.
  • Make sure to use enough oil to completely immerse the egg rolls when deep frying.  If you use too little oil, the egg rolls will not brown evenly.
  • I find the egg rolls cook faster when deep frying in a single layer.  Double stacking or over-filing the fryer increases the cooking time.
  • I love the taste of peanut oil!  The egg rolls brown up really nicely and quickly with this oil.
  • If you don’t have an electric fryer, deep fry the egg rolls in a saucepan or wok.  Use a thermometer to get the right temperature.

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Grilled Pork Sausage Fresh Spring Rolls (Nem Nuong Cuon) and Grilled Shrimp, Egg Rolls and Rice Vermicelli (Bun Cha Gio Tom Nuong).

Ingredients

1 lb ground pork or country style rib pork pieces
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 lb carrots
1/4 lb yellow onions
1/2 lb taro root (fresh or frozen)
1-1.8 oz package bean thread noodles
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp cornstarch (optional)
1 package egg roll wrappers (25 square sheets per package)
1 Tbsp cornstarch + 1 Tbsp water
vegetable oil for deep frying

Directions

Peel skins off carrots and taro root and rinse with water.  Pat thoroughly dry with a paper towel.  If using frozen taro root, cut into smaller chunks.  Use a stand mixer with a shredder attachment to finely shred the taro root and carrots.  Alternatively, use a food processor or mandoline to achieve the fine shreds.  Finely dice the onions.

Mince the shrimp by hand or use a meat grinder attached to the stand mixer.  If using pork pieces, grind the pork using the meat attachment as well.

Soak the noodles in warm water for 10 minutes to soften.  Blot the noodles dry using a paper towel.  Using scissors, cut noodles into short strands.

In a large bowl, combine the pork, shrimp, carrots, onions, taro root, noodles, sugar, salt, ground black pepper and optionally cornstarch.  Mix all ingredients well.  (I use my hands and this takes approximately 2 minutes.)

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water and stir until smooth.  We will use this mixture later to seal the wrapper.

See above for tips on cutting and peeling the egg roll wrappers.  Place a single wrapper triangle on a cutting board so the point is on top and the longest side of the triangle is closest to you.  Place 1 heaping tablespoon of filling on the wrapper centering it along the bottom edge of the wrapper.  Fold the left and right sides of the wrapper over the filling.  (The two folded sides should meet in the middle of the roll.)  Take the bottom edge and fold it over and then roll gently away from you.  Use firm pressure but don’t roll too tightly or the wrapper will tear.  When there’s just a 1/2-inch triangle section of wrapper left, dip a finger in the cornstarch/water mixture and dab the top triangle with the “glue”.  Finish rolling, sealing the wrapper edge well.  Roll a batch of a dozen egg rolls and the fry per below.

Heat the oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit in an electric fryer or saucepan.  Place the egg rolls into a fryer basket with the seam side down.  Put the basket in the oil so that it partially covers the egg rolls.  Hold the basket in place for 10 seconds.  (This seals the edges of the egg roll.)  Now release the basket into the oil completely.  Deep fry for 10-12 minutes until they are golden brown.  If you like them crispier, fry for 13-15 minutes.  Remove the egg rolls from fryer and place on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce as an appetizer.  Optionally serve with rice noodles, fish sauce dipping sauce, and fresh greens and herbs.

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Yields:  35-40 egg rolls

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Won Ton Noodle Soup (Mi Hoanh Thanh)

Won Ton Noodle Soup (Mi Hoanh Thanh) | recipe from runawayrice.comAs the weather cools I gravitate toward soupy dishes and my favorite soups always have lots of noodles like this delicious Won Ton Noodle Soup.  The soup is quite eclectic with its variety of ingredients.  It has hearty meat-filled dumplings, savory roast pork, succulent shrimp, leafy greens, oodles of egg noodles, sprigs of fresh herbs and a sautéed garlic topping to add the right amount of spice.  (Are you drooling yet?)  This belly warming dish is a great meal to make when you have leftover roast pork as  you don’t need much for this recipe.  As for the home-made won tons, with practice, you’ll get really good and can wipe out 16 of these dumplings in a matter of minutes.  If you don’t have time to make the garlic topping, you can buy it at your Asian grocer.  (This topping is fantastic to have around and adds wonderful taste and texture to soups and stir fry.)  You can’t go wrong with this one-bowl wonder!  Enjoy!

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Vermicelli Soup with Chicken, Steamed Pork Roll and Egg (Bun Thang) and Thick Noodles and Fish Cake Soup (Banh Canh Cha Ca).

Ingredients

for the Won Ton
1/4 lb ground pork
6-size 31/40 shrimp, cleaned and deveined
2 Tbsp finely minced onions
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
16 pieces won ton wrapper

for the Noodle Soup
14 oz package won ton noodles (thin egg noodles)
3-14.5 oz cans chicken broth
2 cups water
1 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 sweet onion, quartered
8-size 31/40 shrimp, cleaned and deveined, tail on
8-10 sprigs chives, washed and cut into 2-inch sections
4 bunches baby bok choy, washed

for the Garlic Topping
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Serve with
3-4 oz roast pork
2 tsp sesame oil

Directions

Making the Noodles

Remove noodle bundles from packaging and place in a large colander.  Use your fingers to loosen the strands.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.  Drop the noodles into the water.  Stir the noodles in the hot water and cook it for just 1 minute.

Pour the cooked noodles into a large colander and rinse several times with cool water to stop the cooking process.

Toss the noodles in the colander multiple times and remove as much of the remaining water as possible.  Place a piece of paper towel on a large plate.  Spread the noodles evenly on the plate and allow to air dry.

Making the Won Ton

Cut the shrimp into thin slices.   Add shrimp to the pork along with all seasonings.  Mix everything together combining all ingredients well.

Take a won ton wrapper and place it on a cutting board with one of the corners pointed toward you.  Place approximately 1/2 tablespoon of filling in the center of the wrapper.  Dip your finger in water and run it along the top edges of the wrapper.  Take the corner closest to you and fold it over, lining up the edges to form a triangle.  Gently press your fingers along the edges to seal the wrapper.

With your index finger, gently push up at the center point of the won ton making  a small indentation.  Dip a your finger in water and dab the right corner of the won ton.  Now pull the 2 corners together so the wrapper overlaps.  Pinch the wrapper together to seal.  Continue making the won tons until all of the filling is used.

Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil.  Drop the dumplings into the hot water, a few at a time.  Gently stir the won ton making sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.  Cook the dumplings for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.  Don’t allow the water to boil too rapidly or the dumplings will break.   Use a slotted spoon to remove the dumplings and place into a colander.  Allow to drain.

Making the Garlic Topping

Add minced garlic and oil to small skillet.  Saute the garlic over medium high heat until it’s golden brown–approximately 2-3 minutes.

Making the Soup

Add chicken broth, water and onions into a stockpot.  Cover pot and bring the broth to a boil.  Turn the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove the onions and discard.  Taste the broth and add more salt if desired.  Add the bok choy and cook for 1 minute.  Turn off the heat and add the shrimp.

To serve, add a generous amount of noodles into a bowl.  Drizzle 1/2 tsp of sesame oil on the noodles.  Add the won tons, roast pork, bok choy, shrimp and fresh chives to the bowl.  Ladle a generous amount of broth filling the bowl.  Spoon a bit of the garlic topping.  Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.  Enjoy while hot!

Yields: 4 servings

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