Before venturing into vegan territory, we enjoyed a lot of yummy foods that contained milk and egg products.
No big deal. We still ate plenty of eggs, and we were no stranger to a good, cheesy ravioli. But then, life changes and grows, like it should, and the hubs (@freedompoint) wanted to go the next step and start a vegan lifestyle. This was mainly to encourage family that had also chosen this path. As it turns out, a lot of his inflammation in his hands went down, and he wanted to stick with it.
So began the need to properly make sure that the prepared food I bought at the store was actually free of animal bi-product. They sneak a lot of milk and eggs into things!
So among all the foods that were now questionable, egg rolls were definitely at the top.
The problem was...which seems fairly obvious...the wrappers contained egg, and one way I loved to spice up a simple stir fry night was to also make a batch of egg rolls! Crispy on the outside with a hot savory flavor on the inside, dipped in a sweet duck sauce. My mouth is watering.
Now, when we go to restaurants, it's always exciting because they typically have spring rolls and spring rolls have a different texture because their dough is eggless. They are also meat free.
But we don't eat out much. So, I experimented with different varieties, even trying rice paper wrappers. Which was interesting.
So, while the daughter and I were at the grocery store the other day, we ventured passed the “meat free” section of the produce department. It always makes me laugh that they keep the vegan substitutes there, not all of them, but the cheeses and the meats. I guess it makes sense, they are made out of vegetables...kind of, and I would rather them not be with the actual meat. Anyway, it's also where the wonton and egg roll wrappers are.
We were differently in need of a fun mealtime spark. So, I eyeballed the wontons and noticed they were egg free. Curious. So then I looked over at the egg rolls and read the ingredients list. NO EGG. 😲
What?! The dreamer and I were shocked! This was the same brand I always bought before, and I could've bet a thousand vegan doughnuts that they had egg in them!
As I flipped them back over, right there in bold writing it said “eggless” and right beside that it was certified vegan. And maybe vegan right on the front...haha.
We were definitely laughing. How long had this been going on? Had they always been vegan but I just assumed they weren't? Then my daughter pointed to the words that said “New and improved” and suggested that must be it. It wasn't me...it was them, haha. She's precious and I love her.
So, you better bet your bottom dollar we scooped those suckers up!
When the day came to make them, I was pretty excited. I decided not to fry them, but to bake them. I know...I know...it's just not the same. But we had just eaten an oily dinner a few nights before, and we were pretty oiled out.
So, the first thing you need for making egg rolls is cabbage and carrot. Typically you would grate the carrot, but our grater is in quarantine at my parents, so I chopped it and put it in our Ninja. Then I cut the cabbage as small as possible. We also had some tofu on hand, so I chopped it up small and threw it into the pot.
I don't have an exact recipe, unfortunately, but this is one that you can taste as you go.
As the cabbage/carrot/tofu mixture began to cook down, I seasoned it with salt, powdered ginger, onion powder and garlic powder. Be sure to stir thoroughly because I has some rolls that didn't taste as flavorful as others.
Once the cabbage is soft, it's time to stuff the rolls!
I greased the cookie sheets with olive oil, and preheated the oven to 400. Next, I prepared a plate to make the rolls with a small bowl of water next to it. The egg rolls, themselves, are thin so be careful separating each one. Sometimes you'll come across one that is so thick it has to be two, but there's no way to get them apart. Lay a single sheet like a diamond on the plate and spoon two to three tablespoons on the mixture. Then roll the corner closest to you half way, then tuck the side corners and continue to roll all the way up. Once the roll is complete, dip your fingers in the bowl of water and use them to wet the seal of the egg roll to help it hold in place. Then set them on the cookie sheet, seal down and brush with oil. Bake for 10-12 minutes!
One package of egg rolls is about twenty sheets. Because we really love to tie into dinner, I bought two. I also used one medium head of cabbage and about 5 carrots.
They were definitely a hit! Minus a few that didn't hold enough flavor. The sauce we bought didn't go that well, so next time I will stick with regular duck sauce. Also, I would like to add other fun things like sprouts and fresh ginger and garlic. The possibilities are endless!
Wait a second...I have a killer recipe for south-west egg rolls... Yes, please!