In our house, salads are very much an afterthought. If I actually want people to eat them, I serve them as a first course, and we rarely eat multi-course meals. When we had friends over last weekend for dinner, Cory suggested that in lieu of salad, perhaps I could incorporate veggies elsewhere. “Like egg rolls?” he asked. I kind of rolled my eyes at first (only he would suggest replacing salad with fried food), but given that I found what looked like a fantastic recipe for baked egg rolls, I thought I would give it a try.
I made the filling in the morning and let it cool completely, then assembled the egg rolls in the afternoon. Since they only took a few minutes to bake up and are really best when eaten immediately, I baked them up right before dinner. If you’re waiting a while (more than a half hour or so) between assembling the egg rolls and serving them, cover the assembled egg rolls with a damp kitchen towel and keep them in the fridge (the wonton wrappers will dry out fairly quickly).
Adapted from Imperrfections
For the egg rolls:
- 1/2 Napa cabbage, shredded (I used the food processor for both the cabbage and the carrots.)
- 3 large carrots, shredded
- 8 large crimini mushrooms, minced (I used both the caps and stems.)
- 3 green onions, chopped (green and white parts)
- 1 tsp. canola oil, plus a bit more for brushing on top of the egg rolls
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
- 1/3 c. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 package (16) wonton wrappers
For the duck sauce:
- 1/2 c. water
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. mango jam
- 1-1/2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Combine the cabbage, carrots, mushrooms and green onions in a bowl.
- Heat the canola oil in a pan and saute the garlic and ginger in the hot oil. Add the vegetable mixture, soy sauce and sesame oil and saute for ~4 minutes until the moisture in the veggies is cooked out.
- Remove the veggies from the pan and let cool.
- Combine the ingredients for the duck sauce in a small saucepan and simmer for 5-10 minutes until it’s thickened and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool (you want this to be at room temperature when it’s served, not hot).
- When the veggie mixture has cooled, assemble the egg rolls and set them aside on a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat:
Wet the edges, then roll up the wonton wrapper the rest of the way. The outer edge of the triangle should be face-down. Continue rolling the rest of the egg rolls until you’ve exhausted your supply of either wonton wrappers or filling (for me, the wonton wrappers went first).
- Brush the tops of the egg rolls with canola oil, then bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes. (Mine weren’t quite brown enough after 12 minutes, so I broiled them for an additional 2 minutes.)
- Serve immediately with the cooled duck sauce.
I’ll be honest — I never expected these to be as crunchy as traditional fried egg rolls, but was I wrong! We all really liked the combination of textures. The criminis (beautiful ones from Greenling!) added a heartier flavor and consistency to the filling, and the saltiness of the soy sauce and sweetness of the carrot played off each other nicely. Traditionally made with apricot, the duck sauce made with the mango jam was a nice change. It had the same sour-sweet flavor as the stuff that comes in plastic packets, but tasted so much fresher and brighter.