Thin omelets are filled with seasoned ground pork, rolled and steamed. To serve, the Chinese egg rolls are sliced to reveal a beautiful spiral pattern.
If you’re an American, you’d probably be surprised. These aren’t what you call Chinese egg rolls, are they? What are sold in America as “egg rolls” are spring rolls that are dredged in flour, dipped in beaten eggs, tossed in flour a second time and deep fried. They don’t exist in Asia where fried egg rolls are neither floured nor dipped in egg. In Asia, the crispiness of fried spring rolls depends on the quality of the wrapper, the correct mixture for the filling and the ideal frying temperature.
These are Chinese egg rolls. The Chinese even sell them in cans (try Googling “Ma Ling egg rolls”). They’re a delicious breakfast dish and they can also be served as snack.
Making Chinese egg rolls starts with the filling. Ground pork is mixed with spices and seasonings, and a little starch and allowed to marinate for half an hour or so.
Having prepared the filling, you now need to make the wrapper. Crack eggs into a bowl, lightly season and beat.
Cook the beaten eggs as thin omelets.
Allowing one side to turn lightly browned makes the egg rolls prettier.
The filling is spread on the cooked omelets. The egg is rolled, jelly roll style, to seal the meat inside.
When all the omelets have been rolled, the steaming part begins.
Lay the egg rolls in the steamer basket (I lined them with non-stick paper individually to make it easier to lift them out after cooking) and steam for 30 minutes.
Move the steamed egg rolls to a cutting board and cut into slices. Drizzle with a little soy sauce or black vinegar, sprinkle with scallions and enjoy.
- In a bowl, mix together the ground pork, ginger, garlic, half of the pepper and 2 tablespoons scallions.
- In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, rice wine and starch. Pour into the bowl with the pork and mix well.
- Cover the pork and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Beat the eggs with salt and the remaining pepper. How much salt depends on you. I use a generous pinch for every egg.
- Brush the bottom of a non-stick frying pan with sesame seed oil and heat.
- Pour some of the beaten eggs into pan. About a half cup if you're using a 12-inch wide pan. Swirl the pan around to allow the eggs to spread thinly and cover the entire bottom. Cook over medium heat for a minute or so then flip to cook the other side. Repeat until all the eggs have been cooked.
- Take the filling out of the fridge.
- Prepare your steamer by heating at least two inches of water.
- Lay an omelet flat and spread the ground pork mixture over its surface leaving a half inch or so margin along the edges.
- Starting with the edge nearest you, roll the egg away from you to seal in the filling. Repeat until all the omelets have been filled and rolled.
- Place each omelet on a sheet of non-stick paper. Arrange them side by side in the steamer basket. Make sure they are at least an inch apart for better heat circulation.
- Steam the egg rolls for 30 to 40 minutes depending on how large they are.
- When done, cut the egg rolls into rings about an inch think.
- Sprinkle the egg rolls with the remaining scallions and, optionally, drizzle with a little soy sauce or black vinegar before serving.
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