Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Peanut Chicken Eggrolls

I really have no idea what made me decide to try my hand at eggrolls, but here we are. Surely, I thought, they'll be a hot mess. Turns out, I make some of the best damn eggrolls this side of the Great Miami. Take that, PF Chang's!

You'll need:
1 lb chicken breast, trimmed and cut into about 1/2" pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 bag cole slaw mix (cabbage and carrots)
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
about 10 egg roll wrappers
black pepper
oil (preferably canola, veggie or peanut)
soy sauce

It's easiest to dice your chicken up when it's still just the slightest bit frozen - the knife will go right through it. Heat about 1/4 C oil over medium heat, season your diced chicken with fresh ground black pepper, and toss it into the hot pan (Wok works best), then add 1 clove of the minced garlic. Give it a good stir, toss the chicken around occasionally, and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until done. Careful not to let it start browning - chicken diced this small will cook up fast. Use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a bowl and stick it in the microwave so it doesn't lose heat.

In the same pan, with the small amount of fat & leftover oil from the chicken, toss in your cabbage & carrot mix, the other clove of garlic, red onion, pepper flakes and ginger. I added a little extra oil (sesame and canola) to help it wilt, and about a tbsp of soy sauce here, too. Cook until it's wilted, but not soggy. Get your chicken back out, add that, and give it another good stir.
Now, start preheating more oil about 1" deep in a Dutch oven. You can use a deep fryer, too, but we don't have those kinds of fancy appliances here at Chez FvF.

Now comes the tricky part - working with the egg roll wrappers. It's nowhere near as tedious as working with phyllo dough, but it takes some getting used to. Any part of it that gets wet will become pliable and tear easily, but this pliability also comes in handy later. Observe!

Lay a wrapper out, one corner pointing towards you. Spread about 1 tbsp of peanut sauce (Trader Joe's Peanut Satay sauce works well for this) 2 inches above the bottom corner, then put 3 heaping tbsp of your cabbage & chicken over top of that.

Next, fold the bottom corner over once,
turn the roll over a second time,
then fold the sides in.
It should look just like an envelope.

Finally, roll it up the rest of the way. Dip your fingertips in water and gently slide them along the seams. They'll become gummy and start to seal together.

Your oil should be hot by the time you finish, but you can test it by flicking a drop of hot water into it and see if it pops. Place about 4-5 eggrolls in at a time and cook just under two minutes per side, or until golden brown. they'll be pretty greasy, so drain them on paper towels or newspaper before serving.

I don't feel the slightest bit bawdy about saying that these are probably the best eggrolls I've ever had. The peanut sauce definitely gives it some sass, but it's not overly noticeable. Best of all, they weren't too difficult or time consuming (about 45 minutes, start to finish) and it costs around $7 to make 10 of them.


Sarah Stephens said...

ooh. i just saw this. i really want to try out this recipe soon!

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