Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mom's Eggrolls

     Okay, first off, these egg rolls are not healthy in any way. They are not cheap either...I spent about $18 on all of the ingredients.  But they are darn good. I'm not giving nutrition information because I just don't want to know...

      A friend of mine wanted to make egg rolls, so I agreed to teach her and give her my mom's recipe. We had a great Sunday afternoon getting our hands dirty and rolling about 40 eggrolls. We ate 2 each right away...and could have eaten much more! I gave her about half to take home and then I gave the rest to several co-workers just because I'm that nice. I'm modest, too :) They all loved them.

     There are many egg rolls recipes out there. This is the one I grew up on, straight from my Mom!

     You can use pre-shredded cabbage and carrots as directed below.  If I have the time, I'll "shred" the cabbage in my food processor, using my slicing disk.

     I'll do the same with the carrots, using the shredding disk. 

      Mincing the onion in the food processor is a snap!  Prepping the veggies using the food processor saves money and time! (I threw in some leftover red onion--resulting in the purple flecks you see below.)

     About the bean thread noodles.  These are really thin...about the diameter of a vermicelli pasta.  These noodles can be found in any Asian grocery store.  Larger mainstream grocery stores, like Lowe's Foods or Harris Teeter, also carry bean thread noodles.  They often come in packages of 8-10.  Each of the little bundles can be individually wrapped in plastic, like so:

      This is what the little noodles look like, before they are cooked:

     Cook the bean thread noodles in boiling water for about 3-5 minutes.  The package usually directs you to soften the noodles in hot water.  This never works.  Boil and drain the noodles.  Then snip the noodles into approximately 1" pieces, it's easy to do with a pair of scissors.  I used my food processor, once more.

     One last note.  If you have a stand mixer, dump everything in the bowl.  The meat-veggie mixture comes together in just a few minutes.  I love it!  (Sorry about the messy kitchen table!)

      Okay, now for the videos.  First, peeling apart the eggroll wrappers.  Eggroll wrappers are often labeled "spring roll wrappers."

     And now, rolling the eggrolls.

     Set the eggrolls on a cookie sheet as you make them:

     I use a Presto Deep Fryer to fry my eggrolls; you can use any medium-large pot.  The oil is hot enough when a bit of leftover cabbage or eggroll wrapper sizzles when it is dropped into the oil. 

     A splatter screen is a must...

     Set the cooked eggrolls on a cookie rack, placed over a cookie sheet.  This lets the excess oil drip off. 

     It is extremely tempting to eat them right away!  Be patient.  Let them rest and cool for about 10 minutes...then chow down!

Mom’s Egg rolls (Cha Gio)
Makes 20-25 egg rolls


1 (1.8 oz) package bean thread noodles, “vermicelli” size (very, very thin like vermicelli pasta)
1/2 head cabbage, shredded. You may also use 1 large package of ready to use coleslaw salad mix (NOT READY TO EAT COLESLAW—you just want a bag of shredded cabbage)
3 carrots, peeled and grated. About 2 cups total, if purchasing packaged, grated carrots.
½ medium sized onion, minced.
1 lb ground chicken
1lb ground pork or turkey. Or just use more chicken
2 tsp of coarse Kosher salt*
½ tsp pepper
2 eggs
2 tbsp of cornstarch and 1 cup cold water
20-25 frozen egg roll wrappers, thawed
8 cups of vegetable oil


1. Bring a small pot of water to boil and drop the bean thread noodles into the boiling water. Allow to boil for a few minutes, 3-5 min, until the noodles are soft and pliant. Drain the noodles. Using scissors, cut the noodles into 1 inch lengths.

2. Put the cooked bean thread noodles, cabbage, carrots, onion, ground chicken, and ground turkey into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.  Alternatively, put everything into the bowl of a stand mixer and let the machine do the hard work for you!

3. Add the coarse Kosher salt, pepper, and eggs.  Mix until everything is throroughly combined.

4. Peel apart the eggroll wrappers.  Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside.

5. Put 1 cup of water into small pot and mix in the cornstarch.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Take the pot off of the heat.  The cornstarch mixture will slowly cool and gel while you roll the eggrolls.  This is fine.

6.. Lay one egg roll wrapper diagonally across a dinner plate. Brush the cornstarch mixture onto the corner of the wrapper furthest away from you. Place 4 tbsp of meat mixture (I use an ice-cream scoop with a trigger handle) on one corner of the wrapper closest to you.  See the video above.  Form into a log. Wrap the sides of the wrapper over the filling, then the corner closest to you over the log.  Roll the filling in the wrapper, gently squeezing the wrapper around the filling to let most of the air out; ensure that the last corner seals the egg roll. Add more cornstarch mixture if needed. 

8. In a large pot or deep fryer, pre heat the vegetable oil to 325 degrees. DO NOT USE olive oil, the smoke point of olive oil is too low and you may get a grease fire.

9. Place 1-4 egg rolls into the hot oil, using a splatter shield if you have one. The egg rolls float once they are done, usually about 7 minutes per batch. Remove from the hot oil and let them drain on a few paper towels laid on top of a plate.

10. Use whatever dipping sauce you desire…hoisin sauce, peanut sauce, nuoc mam…

RE-HEATING INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 325 degrees. Put the eggrolls on a baking sheet and put them into the oven for about 15-20 minutes. This will also re-crisp the eggroll.


  1. These sound amazing. I haven't been lucky enough to have much of your mom's cooking. Perhaps I'll make these someday. If I do I will let you know how it goes!

  2. Hi Beverly,
    Thanks for your comment! I hope to include more of my Mom's recipes in the future. Glad you enjoyed reading the post!


  3. Love the video showing how to roll the eggrolls. I now see why my past attempts didn't turn out so well. Very cool!

  4. Hi Paula,
    Fantastic! I'm so glad the video is helpful! Thanks for visiting my blog!


  5. WHOA I wanna make these immediately! I love eggrolls and have been fortunate enough to eat homemade ones from a coworker's mom. They were out of this world. So tempting!

  6. Hi MrsJenB:
    Thanks for checking out my post! My Mom is a fabulous cook and I'm so happy to share her recipe.