The other day I asked my Mom to describe my style of food. She answered by asking me how I would describe my food. I said “simple, seasonal, beautiful.” She laughed! “Ha! Simple!”
“Yes” I said, “overall, I use simple ingredients, nothing crazy or technical.” She then asked me what I was going to blog about today. I said responded with “egg rolls.”
“Do egg rolls sound simple?” she questioned. And the answer is yes! Egg rolls can be simple, relatively simple.
Today we will discuss the simplicity of black bean chicken egg rolls. Here is why these are simple. All you have to do is cut and cook the vegetables. Cook the ground chicken. Fill the egg roll wrappers. Roll them up and then bake them. See…simple!
Okay, well maybe this is not the most effortless recipe I’ve posted but trust me this is definitely not the most complicated. Let’s break it down.
First you want to sauté the ground chicken. You can substitute ground chicken with pork, beef, turkey, shrimp or soft tofu. Or you could skip it all together and just binge on the vegetables.
I wanted to give the ground chicken the flavor of one of my favorite Chinese takeout dishes, black bean chicken. I achieved this by using black bean and garlic sauce that you kind find either by Kikkoman or Lee Kum Kee. I also add some fresh ginger and scallions. After the chicken is sautéed allow it to cool in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl.
A very important part of this recipe is to make sure you drain all the liquid from cooked chicken and vegetables. This will ensure you have super crispy egg rolls. I repeat you must do this in order to achieve crispy egg rolls.
Next you want to sauté the cabbage. It’s best to sauté the cabbage by itself because there is such a large quantity to start. It will continue to wilt down and soften as it cooks. Next you can sauté the rest of the vegetables together and finish with the fresh ginger and garlic for 1 minute. All of these vegetables then go into a strainer to drain.
Once again, ensuring that there is virtually no liquid so you can have the optimal crispiness for your egg rolls.
You only need two things:
1) cooking spray
2) wire rack and sheet pan
I bake the egg rolls on a high temperature (around 400°F) on a wire rack fitted on a sheet pan. This allows the heat to circulate completely aroundthe egg roll. No soggy bottom! I lightly spray each egg roll on both sides with cooking spray. This creates a light, golden brown exterior with great crunch.
Honestly, no one will mind that these are not deep fried No one will even know. It’ll be our dirty little secret.
Lastly, to take these black bean chicken egg rolls to the next level I have included an awesome dipping sauce recipe.
All of these ingredients can be found in my pantry and (hopefully) yours as well…
- soy sauce
- rice vinegar
- sesame oil
- sambal oelek (can subsitute with sriracha)
- agave nectar (can substitute with honey)
- toasted sesame seeds
So maybe my Mom was right. This is not the simplest recipe. But it is certainly not the most difficult. We all need a challenge every once in a while. Change things up and expand your horizon. Make something you never thought you could cook before. There’s a whole world of food out there and it’s just waiting for you to make it.
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil (or any vegetable oil), divided
- ½# ground chicken breast
- 2 tbsp black bean and garlic sauce (such as Kikkoman)
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated, divided
- 1 small cabbage, finely sliced
- 3 scallions, finely sliced
- 5 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small red bell pepper, cut into ½" matchsticks
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 3 garlic cloves, grated
- 12 egg roll wrappers (such as Frieda’s)
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp samal oelek
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Heat 1 tsp of grapeseed oil over medium heat
- Sauté ground chicken ground until cooked through. Add black bean sauce, 1 tsp grated ginger and 1 tbsp of scallions to chicken and mix to combine
- Take chicken out of the pan and place in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl to drain.
- Add an additional 1 tsp of grapeseed oil to the pan
- Add the sliced cabbage and sauté until softened. Season with salt and pepper
- Take the cabbage out of the pan and then add the last 1 tsp of grapeseed oil
- Add the remaining scallions, shiitake mushrooms, bell peppers and carrots. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until slightly soft but still firm. Add 2 tbsp of soy sauce and the remaining ginger and garlic. Sauté for another 1-2 minutes
- Place the vegetables in a separate strainer over a bowl to drain
- Once the chicken and vegetables are drained you can begin to roll your eggr olls
- Lay one sheet of egg roll wrapper on a cutting board with the corner pointed towards you. Using water (or egg wash), brush the perimeter of the wrapper lightly until moist
- Lay 1 tbsp of ground chicken 2 inches from the corner. Next lay down 2 tbsp of cooked vegetables
- Fold in the corner closest to you. Next fold in the two side corners. Fold up the rest of the egg roll like a burrito. Continue rolling egg rolls until there is no more filling (should be about 12 egg rolls).
- Place a wire rack on a baking sheet. Spray all the egg rolls on both sides with cooking spray.
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Then flip the egg rolls on the other side and cook for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- While the egg rolls are baking combine ¼-cup soy sauce, rice vinegar, sambal oelek, sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Dip egg rolls into sauce and enjoy!