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Recipe for egg rolls (allegedly New York-style)

raytamsgv Dec 4, 2006 11:29 PM

I've compiled a recipe for egg rolls. From what I've gathered on other boards, these are New York-style egg rolls, though I've never heard that term used by anyone I knew in the Chinese restaurant business in Los Angeles. It's from memory, so it's a bit sketchy at points. The ingredients are approximate, because we used to make hundreds at a time, and it's a challenge to convert to home quantities. Anyhow, properly done, these will be about two inches in diameter, six inches long, and have a bumpy, crispy skin. These are NOT the ones you will find in most "authentic" Cantonese restaurants. If these aren't New York style egg rolls, I apologize in advance. Happy cooking!

Here is the URL: http://www.geocities.com/raytamsgv/re...

  1. l
    lad1818 Dec 7, 2006 04:49 AM

    Thanks for the recipe.

    Here's another. As a former New Yorker who grew up with NY egg rolls and misses them, I find this recipe comes pretty close, certainly closer than any egg rolls I've gotten in restaurants here, Genghis Cohen and the late Manhattan Wonton Factory included. This recipe is from David Rosengarten. Here goes:

    Filling:

    2 T peanut oil
    1 T minced ginger
    3/4 C minced scallion
    2 celery stalks, diced
    4 C shredded Napa cabbage
    1/2 C bean sprouts
    1/2 C chicken stock
    1/2 C julienned Chinese roast pork
    1/2 C diced shrimp
    1/2 -to 1 tsp sugar
    1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 T water
    1 T sesame oil (note: he never used this during the demo, but throw it in if you want)
    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    For the paste:

    1 C boiling water
    2 T cornstarch dissolved in 3 T water

    12 Eggroll Wrappers
    vegetable oil for frying

    Heat wok
    put peanut oil in - heat up
    add 1 T minced ginger and 4 C shredded cabbage
    add 3/4 C minced scallions
    add celery
    add bean sprouts
    cook a few minutes until mixture begins to soften
    Add black pepper. Lots.
    Add sugar.

    Meanwhile, dissolve cornstarch in cold water.

    Take chicken stock, put it around sides of wok.
    Add roast pork and shrimp.

    Pour the dissolved cornstarch a little at a time into the mixture to thicken it up a little. Drain mixture in a colander and let it cool.

    Make a paste (which you'll use to seal eggrolls):
    1 C simmering water - add the cornstarch (2 T in 3 T cold water).

    To make eggrolls:

    Lay out wrapper like a diamond
    Put some cooled mixture in center.
    Fold in corners from sides - seal corners with paste
    Fold in corners from top and bottom - seal

    Fry 4 minutes or until nice and golden.

    18 Replies
    1. re: lad1818
      Mr Taster Oct 21, 2010 09:23 AM

      Perfect with a good eggroll is a clean, clear, but flavorful wonton soup. I absolutely love this recipe, and it can be done in about an hour.

      For the soup/stock:
      Brown 4 lbs chicken legs (w/ skin and bone) that have been hacked into small pieces, about 2" (I have the poulterer weigh mine out and then hack them with a cleaver before begging). If your poulterer is not willing to do this and you don't have a cleaver at home, put a good 8" chef's knife in position and hack through the bone with a hammer (gentle tapping works-- you're not driving in railroad spikes!)

      Brown chicken pieces in 2 batches in heavy dutch oven over med high heat. After 2nd batch browns, add first batch back to pot. Cover with heavy lid, turn to low, and let cook 20-30 mins until chicken releases a lot of its juices. Then add several green onions (slices lengthwise and smashed with butt-end of chef's knife) and about 1" of ginger, thinly slices and also smashed. Add to pot and cook for 1-3 mins until fragrant. Then add 2 qts of boiling water. Be sure to scrape any browned bits of fond from the bottom of pot. Cook for 20 mins until richly flavored, and add salt/pepper to taste. Be sure to defat before using.

      This broth is fantastic on its own, but when you mix up your own batch of wontons it does amazing things. For some reason, this recipe doesn't call for bbq pork (instead it calls for veggies like shredded cabbage, green onions and carrot) but as a NYC Chinese food purist, you and I both know that the only thing that absolutely belongs there is the BBQ pork. Add veggies at your discretion.

      Wontons
      4 ounces ground pork
      4 water chestnuts (fresh or canned), peeled and minced
      1 teaspoon fresh ginger , minced
      1 small garlic clove , minced
      1 teaspoon dry sherry or rice wine
      1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
      1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
      1/4 teaspoon sugar
      1/8 teaspoon salt , plus more for cooking water
      1 tablespoon scallion greens from 1 medium scallion, minced
      1/2 large egg white , lightly beaten
      1 teaspoon cornstarch
      32 wonton wrappers

      Mix all filling ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes so the filling can solidify a bit and the flavors can comingle. Now for the mise en place... set a baking sheet lined with parchment nearby. lay out a kitchen towel on your work surface. Place a small bowl of water nearby. Lay several wonton skins out flat in a diamond shape on top of the towel, with one of the 4 points pointing at you. Take 1 FLAT tsp of filling (don't overfill!! It doesn't look like much, but this is the right proportion to fill a standard wonton skin) and place in the center of each skin. Now, dip both of your forefingers in the water and wet the two sides of the point that are pointed away at you. Do this for several (or all) of the wontons. Now, fold each one over away from you, making sure to press as much air out as possible as you seal the edges. Now, wet the two side tips of the wonton (not the tip that's pointing away) and fold them in towards the middle over your finger to seal them and make a little compact packet. If you've followed these directions, the only point of the wonton skin remaining is the tip that was initially pointing away from you. Please each finished wonton on the parchment paper baking sheet and refrigerate uncovered for at least 20 minutes

      Now set 4 qts of water to boil in a large pot. Once water is boiling, add chilled wontons and gently stir. Wontons cook very quickly-- no longer then 2-3 minutes. Be sure not to overcook or the skins turn to gum, then paste, then dissolve into the water. (You see, if you had overfilled the wonton, the meat would still be raw at the point the skins fall apart). Remove each wonton as it floats to the top and place on a cool plate.

      Add wontons to broth (along with minced BBQ pork, of course!) immediately before serving. I like to garnish with a few green onions.

      Mr Taster

      1. re: lad1818
        Mr Taster Oct 21, 2010 09:30 AM

        OK, it occurred to me that we should post a bbq pork recipe here as well, since it appears in both the eggroll and wonton soups. This also is an amazing Cooks Illustrated recipe-- I've made it several times with great success.

        Chinese Barbecued Pork

        To facilitate cleanup, spray the rack and pan with vegetable oil spray. The pork will release liquid and fat during the cooking process, so be careful when removing the pan from the oven. If you don't have a wire rack that fits in a rimmed baking sheet, substitute a broiler pan, although the meat may not darken as much. Pay close attention to the meat when broiling-you are looking for it to darken and caramelize, not blacken. Do not use a drawer broiler--the heat source will be too close to the meat. Instead, increase the oven temperature in step 5 to 500 degrees and cook for 8 to 12 minutes before glazing and 6 to 8 minutes once the glaze has been applied; flip meat and repeat on second side. This recipe can be made with boneless country-style ribs, but the meat will be slightly drier and less flavorful. To use ribs, reduce the uncovered cooking time in step 4 to 20 minutes and increase the broiling and glazing times in step 5 by 2 to 3 minutes per side. This dish is best served with rice and a vegetable side dish. Leftover pork makes an excellent addition to fried rice or an Asian noodle soup.

        Ingredients
        4 pound boneless pork butt (Boston butt) , cut into 8 strips and excess fat removed

        Butchering Pork Butt
        Pork butts are usually about 4 inches thick. If using a pork butt that is thinner than 4 inches, cut into six pieces instead of eight.

        1. Cut roast in half lengthwise.
        2. Turn each half on cut side and slice lengthwise into 4 equal pieces.
        3. Trim excess hard, waxy fat, leaving some fat to render while cooking.

        1/2 cup sugar
        1/2 cup soy sauce
        6 tablespoons hoisin sauce
        1/4 cup dry sherry
        1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
        1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
        1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
        2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (from 4- to 6-inch piece)
        2 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
        1/4 cup ketchup
        1/3 cup honey

        Instructions

        1. Using fork, prick pork 10 to 12 times on each side. Place pork in large plastic zipper-lock bag. Combine sugar, soy, hoisin, sherry, pepper, five-spice powder, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic in medium bowl. Measure out 1/2 cup marinade and set aside. Pour remaining marinade into bag with pork. Press out as much air as possible; seal bag. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

        2. While meat marinates, combine ketchup and honey with reserved marinade in small saucepan. Cook glaze over medium heat until syrupy and reduced to 1 cup, 4 to 6 minutes.

        3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set wire rack on sheet.

        4. Remove pork from marinade, letting any excess drip off, and place on wire rack. Pour 1/4 cup water into bottom of pan. Cover pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, crimping edges tightly to seal. Cook pork for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue to cook until edges of pork begin to brown, 40 to 45 minutes.

        5. Turn on broiler. Broil pork until evenly caramelized, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove pan from oven and brush pork with half of glaze; broil until deep mahogany color, 3 to 5 minutes. Using tongs, flip meat and broil until other side caramelizes, 7 to 9 minutes. Brush meat with remaining glaze and continue to broil until second side is deep mahogany, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool for at least 10 minutes, then cut into thin strips and serve.

        Mr Taster

        1. re: Mr Taster
          j
          just_M Oct 21, 2010 12:02 PM

          Thanks Mr. Taster - those recipes sound delicious!

          1. re: Mr Taster
            monku Nov 19, 2010 02:25 PM

            This is the best Char Sui recipe I've run across from the famous Golden Dragon Restaurant at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Oahu. I make it on the upper rack of my gas BBQ.
            http://archives.starbulletin.com/2007...

            Even if you don't use their recipe, a great tip is to soak the pork first to get out the blood and some of the gamey taste from the pork.

          2. re: lad1818
            Mr Taster Nov 8, 2010 10:04 AM

            I made and dried the filling last night.... am going to wrap and fry them tonight!

            Can I assume that you deep fry them in a dutch oven or a fly-o-lator? I've got a 7.25 qt Le Creuset and a digital thermometer. Would love to know any tips re how much oil, ideal frying temp (assuming 375?). Thanks!

            Mr Taster

            1. re: Mr Taster
              Mr Taster Nov 10, 2010 09:33 AM

              Finally made these eggrolls last night. They were great! Not exactly what I remember from my childhood, but pretty close and pretty damned tasty with some freshly mixed "oriental mustard" powder from Penzeys, and Dynasty brand duck sauce (not the perfect duck sauce, but it was close enough). We took some pics... I'll try to remember to post them later.

              Mr Taster

              1. re: Mr Taster
                raytamsgv Nov 10, 2010 09:49 AM

                Good job!

                1. re: raytamsgv
                  Mr Taster Nov 10, 2010 10:31 AM

                  Too bad the geocities link no longer works :(

                  Mr Taster

                  1. re: Mr Taster
                    raytamsgv Nov 10, 2010 11:53 AM

                    If you want a copy of the recipe, I think I have it saved on my laptop.

                    1. re: raytamsgv
                      Mr Taster Nov 10, 2010 12:28 PM

                      Sure, I'd love to see it if you've still got it.

                      Mr Taster

                      1. re: Mr Taster
                        raytamsgv Nov 12, 2010 02:12 PM

                        Mr. Taster,

                        Here is the original file I had posted on my old website. I added a few notes as shown in the square brackets. Again, this is mainly from memory, but my relatives say that it sounds right. Let me know if you have any questions, and definitely let me know how it turns it. If it's good, feel free to invite me over. :-)

                        EGG ROLLS (allegedly New York-style)

                        Until 2006, I've never, ever heard of New York-style egg rolls. I had always assumed that there were two styles: 1) the small, finger-sized ones with light, crispy skins (authentic Cantonese); 2) the big, fat ones (Cantonese-American). I'm fond of both. After reading some posts on http://www.chowhound.com, it seems that the big, fat egg rolls are New York-style, which was a big surprise to me because I've lived in California all my life. Anyhow, from what I gather, here are the characteristics of a New York-style egg roll:

                        1. It's big--about 2 inches in diameter and six inches long.
                        2. The skin is not smooth like the Cantonese ones. Instead, it's rather bumpy. Inside, there is a second skin.
                        3. It has plenty of meat in the filling. It's more like a meal than an appetizers.

                        Based on that, it seems like we had served New York-style egg rolls. I've written the recipe below as best as I can reconstruct it from memory. The contents of the filling should be adjusted to your preferences. As I mentioned elsewhere, these amounts are approximate, because we churned out hundreds of egg rolls at a time. Let me know how they turn out.

                        Ingredients

                        Deboned chicken meat (preferably dark
                        )Cantonese BBQ Pork (cha siu), preferably lean
                        Celery
                        Bamboo shoots
                        Salt and pepper to taste
                        Egg roll skin
                        Whole eggs
                        White flour

                        Instructions

                        1. Julienne the bamboo shoots and celery. The celery doesn't need to be too thin, but each piece should not be longer than 2 inches or so.
                        2. Cut the chicken meat and cha siu into narrow strips less than 2 inches long.
                        3. In a large wok, saute the chicken meat over medium-high heat. I use either corn oil or peanut oil, as olive oil tends to aquire a nasty flavor at medium to high temperatures. The meat should not be charred or burnt at all. Once done, add celery and bamboo shoots. Continue cooking. You might need to add a little water initially. But don't add to much. Cook until somewhat tender, but not too tender. Add cha siu.
                        4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
                        5. I believe this was about 50% celery, 25% chicken, 12.99925% cha siu, and 12.00075% bamboo in volume when the filling finished cooking. If you are somewhat mathematically-challenged, use 13% cha siu and 12% bamboo. Adjust the different amounts until you find a mixture you like.
                        6. Set aside in a colander and allow to drain for two to three hours or so.
                        7. Crack open a few eggs and mix in a container about eight inches wide (i.e. wider than the egg rolls) and about two or three inches deep. Find another pan with similar dimensions, and put in about an inch of white flour. Bring the filling to this work area.
                        8. On a clean surface, place an egg roll wrapper and so that one corner points toward you (I'll refer to this as the home corner), another corner points directly away from you (the away corner), and the other corners point toward your left and right (left and right corners).
                        9. Dip your finger either in the egg mixture or small bowl of water. Use your finger to spread this out on the two edges formed by the left, away, and right corners. The edge should have about a half-inch of moisture. This is the be moist, not soaking wet.
                        10. Spoon or place some mixture on the lower half of the wrapper from left to right. This will be a few inches above the home corner. Draw an imaginary line from the left to right corner, the filling will be a little bit below this line.
                        11. Take the home corner and wrap it tightly over the filling. Roll it up toward the away corner. When you reach the imaginary line, bring the left corner to the center. Do this with the right center, too. Remember, this should be rather tight. This is like wrapping a burrito.
                        12. Continue rolling until the away corner has been rolled up. If you've done this correctly, it looks like an egg roll. If not, you have a Chinese taco; try it again.
                        13. Roll the egg roll in the egg mixture until it is thoroughly covered in egg mixture.
                        14. Roll the egg roll in the flower until it is completely covered with flour.
                        15. Set aside in a bamboo steamer. We used huge metal steamers, so I'm not sure if it will stick to the bamboo.
                        16. Repeat until done with all the filling.
                        17. Steam in a wok for about 15-20 minutes (I'm a bit fuzzy about the time).
                        [Note: Don't steam so long that it becomes mushy. You need to be able to remove it later].
                        18. Remove from steamer and let cool.
                        19. Place egg rolls in a container. If you want to stack them in layers, separate the layers with wax paper or foil. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
                        20. The next day, deep fry in hot oil. After a few minutes, the skin should brown nicely and be rather bumpy. Remove from the oil, allow to cool, and eat.
                        [You do not actually need to refrigerate overnight. Just let it cool and dry off a bit before you throw it into the deep fryer.]
                        Different places will add different ingredients to the filling, such as shitake mushrooms, Napa Valley cabbage, etc. Use whatever you like. You might want to try with a small amount of filling to see how it turns out before making a whole bunch of them.

                        1. re: raytamsgv
                          Mr Taster Nov 12, 2010 03:14 PM

                          Hey raytamsgv,

                          Thank you very much for reposting this recipe. It is an interesting variation, but I definitely think the Rosengarten one is closer to the truth.

                          Having made a batch of tasty ones last weekend, I have a few more insights into how they make them back east.

                          First of all, there are some Chowhounds who have claimed in previous NY eggroll discussions that the reason the eggrolls around NYC are similar is because they are somehow mass produced and shipped to every mom & pop Chinese food operation. This doesn't make sense, for several reasons:

                          1. They are *not* uniform. Although NY eggrolls definitely follow a similar and very distinct regional style, each place has a different recipe. Some are bland. Some are not. Some have more pork. Some have less. None have chicken :) (see qualifier below)

                          2. They are incredibly quick and easy to make. Once you've mixed up a big batch of filling (which keeps for at least a couple of days, as it did in my fridge), it takes literally seconds to fill and wrap the rolls to order. Frying them takes about 4 minutes. I was actually shocked at how incredibly easy it was. All the prep work is in making the filling. If you've got a deep fryer filled with oil, wrapping takes about 15 seconds, and 3-4 minutes to fry it up beautiful dark bubble brown and crisp.

                          As for the recipe, just a few clarification points:

                          "It has plenty of meat in the filling".
                          Well, "plenty of meat" depends on what your idea of "plenty" is. In NY, there is most definitely a *correct* ratio of veg to meat. It's not wildly variant like it is here in LA or in other parts of the country.

                          I once had a bizarrely meaty eggroll in LA-- almost like a deep fried meatball. Other LA eggrolls I've tasted are flavorless veg with like 3 molecules of chicken or something. NY eggrolls are mostly filled with *well seasoned, FLAVORFUL vegetables* (if filled with bland, unseasoned, spring-roll style cabbage, it's a bad eggroll) but they *always* have several strips or chunks of bbq roast pork as you indicate. Sometimes... *sometimes*... there's shrimp (usually the mini ones). They never (or almost never) have chicken, though I won't swear to that. But make no mistake, the NY eggroll is most definitely *not* about lots of meat. It's about the **right amount of meat** to contrast the primary filling, which is the veg. And knowing what the right amount of meat is comes directly from having grown up in the area, and having eaten enough eggrolls to know the paramaters. In fact, I think that's the essence of why it's so tricky to replicate the gestalt of the thing.

                          In the Rosengarten recipe, the freshly rolled eggroll skin became beautifully dark brown, golden and bumpy *without* the need to batter in egg and dredge in flour. That's a pretty significant change, since pre-batteringing would take a lot of extra time, which I do not know a Chinese restaurant in NYC would want to do... plus there is the issue of the skin sogging out/weakening/breaking if you let the filling sit in the wrapper for too long, although this would be less of an issue if you double wrapped the eggroll with 2 skins.

                          The double skin issue is interesting. I found that when I fried the eggrolls for 3 minutes, (with one skin wrapping the filling) the outer coating of the eggroll became deep golden brown but the interior of the skin (the part touching the dried-but-still-wet interior) remained moist and a little chewy. So although it *appeared* there was a double skin, it was in fact one skin cooked in 2 different ways. When I cooked the eggrolls for 4 minutes, they tended to crisp out a lot more. If I had "double wrapped" the filling in 2 skins, that second interior layer definitely would have remained chewier. Not sure if this is practice in NY Chinese restaurants, but it certainly would be simple, easy, and cheap enough to do ti peel off and fill 2 eggroll skins instead of just one.

                          OK, that's enough eggroll obsessiveness for now :) Thanks again for digging up this recipe- it was quite an interesting read.

                          Mr Taster

                          1. re: Mr Taster
                            raytamsgv Nov 12, 2010 03:32 PM

                            I'm not an expert in NY-style egg rolls, so I will defer to your judgment. As for the issue of a soggy skin, that's the reason why you let the filling sit for a few hours--the extra liquid drains away. We never had problems with breaking skins

                            The texture is different when you deep fry the egg roll skin versus rolling it in eggs and flour. Perhaps this may be why it is called an egg roll--you roll it in eggs first?

                            Again, there is no set way of doing it much as there is no set way to make a hamburger. The important thing is how much you like it. This recipe definitely takes more work, but if you're bored, you can try it regardless of the filling. It might taste better (or not). Good luck, and happy chowing!

                            1. re: raytamsgv
                              Mr Taster Nov 12, 2010 03:51 PM

                              Ahhh egg roll! As in rolled in egg batter. Wow, that certainly is food for thought....... I had not considered that. Yeah, I think I'll play around with both recipes and see what comes up. Thanks again for your work in re-posting this.

                              Mr Taster

                              1. re: Mr Taster
                                Mr Taster Nov 19, 2010 01:31 PM

                                OK, did another round of eggrolls. They're really quite good!

                                Here's the photos.

                                Mr Taster

                                 
                                 
                                1. re: Mr Taster
                                  raytamsgv Nov 19, 2010 02:08 PM

                                  Looks tasty. Were these the ones using the original recipe (i.e. without using the egg mixture)?

                                  1. re: raytamsgv
                                    Mr Taster Nov 19, 2010 02:42 PM

                                    Yes-- the Rosengarten recipe. The wrappers browned and bubbled up all by themselves without additional egg wash.

                                    I did make one modification.... this time I used 2 skins instead of one. (many here have hypothesized that real places in NY follow this practice). Although a lot of the moisture is drained out of the filling during prep process, the remaining moisture serves to keep that interior layer nice and chewy. I like this tecqnique-- a lot. You can leave it in the fryer a little longer knowing that you're still going to have that beautiful contrast of crispy and chewy.

                                    Mr Taster

                                    1. re: Mr Taster
                                      Ciao Bob Nov 19, 2010 03:30 PM

                                      OMG...beautiful job Mr Taster. Reminds me of our fantastic little take-out place in White Plains, Hong Kong Chef. I loved emptying out the roll, mixing the filling with duck sauce and mustard, then refilling and chowing.
                                      Are you going to move on to perfect Egg Foo Young? That's another one I just can't find out in Cali.

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