3cupslightly packed finely shredded/sliced Napa/Chinese cabbage(omit thick center spines)
1 ½cupsfinely chopped celery
1 ½cupsshredded carrot(about 2 carrots depending on size)
¾poundChar Siu (Chinese BBQ pork), homemade or store-bought, cut into 1 ½-inch-long thin matchsticks
1 ½tablespoonscornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
Sweet and Sour Sauce:
3tablespoonsunseasoned rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1tablespoonsoy sauce(preferably low-sodium)
2teaspoonscornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
18egg roll wrappers
1large egg,lightly beaten
Canola, vegetable, or peanut oilfor deep-frying
To make the filling: combine the sugar, salt, pepper, water, oyster sauce, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Stir this flavoring sauce well and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds until soft and aromatic. Add the cabbage, celery, and carrot, stirring well to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute until the vegetables have collapsed slightly. Add the flavoring sauce and continue cooking for about 2 minutes, until most of the liquid has disappeared and the vegetables have just cooked through. Add the pork and continue cooking, stirring to combine the flavors and heat through, about 1 minute. Give the cornstarch a final stir, and pour over the filling. Cook for about 30 seconds to bind the mixture nicely. Transfer to a platter and spread out to cool completely. Feel free to prepare the filling up to 2 days in advance. You should yield about 4 ½ cups filling.
Make the sweet and sour dipping sauce: combine the water, sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a near boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Give the cornstarch a final stir and then add it to the pan. Continue cooking for about 15 seconds, or until the sauce comes to a full boil and thickens.
Remove from the heat, transfer to a serving bowl and set aside for 10 minutes to cool and concentrate in flavor. Taste and add extra salt, if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature. Feel free to prepare the sauce a day in advance. You should yield about 1 cup sauce.
To assemble the egg rolls: Place an egg roll wrapper on a work surface with the points facing 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. Place ¼ cup of filling just below the center of the wrapper in a horizontal log shape going from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock, but leaving about 1 ½ inches on either side for folding over. Fold over the bottom of the wrapper, brush the upper edges with egg wash, then fold in the sides of the wrapper. Roll tightly from the bottom up to seal and finish, forming a cigar shape. Set the finished rolls, seam side up, on a baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel or lightly damp paper towel to prevent drying.
To fry egg rolls: Line a sheet pan with paper towels and then place a metal rack over the top. Heat 1 ½ inches of oil in a deep skillet or pot over medium-high heat to about 375°F on a deep-fry thermometer. Slide in a few rolls and fry for about 3 minutes flipping halfway through or gently pressing down to submerge (they may be stubborn flipping over) until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oil and drain on the metal rack set over the paper towels. Repeat with the other rolls. Be sure not to add too many rolls at once since it will lower the oil temperature suddenly. Try to keep it at or around 375°F throughout the cooking process by adjusting the heat as necessary.
To bake egg rolls: Preheat the oven to 425°F and lightly oil a baking sheet. Place the egg rolls on the oiled baking sheet and brush them all over with more oil. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes on one side, then flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown on the top and bottom (they wont really brown on the sides the same way they do when fried).
Serve hot, whole or cut in half with the sweet and sour dipping sauce.
These are so delicious even at room temperature. I've made them for a gathering where they sat out for a little while and people still scarfed them down! They will become less crispy as they sit, but they are really so flavorful that it doesn’t even matter.
Reheat leftover egg rolls in an oven or toaster oven at 375°F for about 8 minutes or until crispy and heated through.
To freeze uncooked or cooked egg rolls: arrange egg rolls on a small tray or baking sheet (line it with parchment paper if they're uncooked to avoid possible sticking) and freeze until solid. Then transfer frozen egg rolls to a freezer bag, press out the excess air, and seal. Freeze for up to 2 months. Fry uncooked frozen egg rolls from a frozen state, but just add another minute or so of cooking time as needed until they are crispy golden brown. For frozen cooked egg rolls, thaw in the refrigerator until completely thawed, then use the steps above to reheat them in the oven or toaster oven to freshen them up, or drop them in a fryer again. They won't taste as fresh as when you first fry them but they will still be delicious!