The Cantonese chicken egg roll shows you the beauty of authentic Chinese food. It uses the perfect combination of meat, savory dried foods, colorful veggies, and a well-balanced sauce to release the ultimate umami. I learned this recipe from a famous Hongkongese dim sum chef. This is a must-try if you’re into real Chinese food.
Prep Time: 1hr
Cook Time: 30mins
Total Time: 1hr30mins
Servings: 25egg rolls
Author: Maggie Zhu
25spring roll wrappers, squared, 8 inches / 20 cm in length
Place dried shiitake mushrooms in a bowl and add warm water to cover. Let rehydrate for 20 to 30 minutes (10 to 15 minutes if using sliced mushrooms). Gently rub mushrooms to remove dirt. Discard the liquid.
Combine oyster sauce, rice wine, sugar, salt, and white pepper in a small bowl (leave chicken broth out). Mix well and place near stove.
Make two bowls of slurry (one for cooking the filling, one for assembling the rolls). Combine potato starch and water in two small bowls separately. Mix well. Place one bowl of slurry near stove.
Slice bamboo shoots, carrots, and rehydrated shiitake mushrooms into thin strips. Transfer them to a bowl and place near stove.
Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until warm. Add garlic and stir a few times, until fragrant. Add ground turkey and ground pork.
Push the ground meat to one side of the skillet. Add bamboo shoots, carrots, and shiitake mushrooms to the other side. (*see footnote 4) Cook meat and vegetables on each side of the skillet. Stir and chop the meat into smaller chunks with a spatula. Cook bamboo shoots and mushrooms on the other side. Stir occasionally. When the ground meat is cooked on the surface, mix the meat and vegetables and continue cooking, until the liquid in the skillet is fully absorbed.
Add sauce. Cook and stir for a minute, until the sauce is evenly mixed with the ingredients.
Add chicken broth. Cook until the ground meat is cooked through.
Stop heat and swirl in cornstarch slurry. Continue to mix with spatula and cook with residual heat, until there is no liquid left in the skillet.
Transfer the filling to a plate and place in the fridge to cool completely.
Assemble the roll
While the filling is cooling, take spring roll wrappers out of the freezer and allow them to thaw, 20 to 30 minutes. After the wrappers are thawed, transfer them to a cutting board. Cover with a damp cloth (or you can wet two pieces of thick paper towel with a spray bottle and place them on the wrappers) to prevent them from drying out.
Mix the dipping sauce.
Slice green onions into thin strips. Transfer the filling to the working surface. Place the potato starch slurry nearby.
Work on the spring rolls one at a time by following the pictures shown in the post above: gently peel a spring roll wrapper from the stack and place it on the working surface, a pointed end facing you. Add 1 tablespoon of filling and two slices of green onion onto the lower third of the wrapper (*see footnote 5). Fold the lower part of the wrapper upward to cover the filling. Fold the both sides in to secure the filling inside. Tuck and roll the filling tightly upward until it forms a roll. Stir the potato slurry again. Rub a thin layer of the slurry onto the top point of the wrap. Gently fold and push to seal the roll. Place the roll on a cutting board. Continue working on the rest of the rolls in the same way.
When you finish assembling half of the rolls, cover them with plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out. Continue to work on the rest of the rolls. (*see footnote 6)
Add 1 inch (2.5 cm) oil into a wok (or deep heavy pot) and heat over high heat until the oil reaches 350 to 370 degrees F (about 180 C). Place a strainer on a bowl (or cooling rack on a baking tray) and set it nearby the stove.
Fry spring rolls in small batches of 5 to 7. Fry until the bottom side turns pale golden. Flip and continue to fry, until both sides are golden. Transfer the rolls to the strainer to drain and render the extra oil. When the next batch of rolls is cooked, move the ones from the strainer to a plate. Continue cooking the rest of the rolls.
Serve the rolls with the homemade dipping sauce.
Reheat leftover egg rolls
Place leftover egg rolls on a metal baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake at 350 F (180 C) until the rolls are warmed up (You don’t need to preheat the oven). It takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
Choose good frying oil with a high smoke point such as peanut oil, sunflower oil, or corn oil. If you use a thermometer to monitor the oil temperature, you can also use canola oil, walnut oil, or grapeseed oil. They have slightly lower smoking points, but are still acceptable for this application.
I found that fattier ground turkey generates very good results. You can use ground chicken as an alternative.
Ground pork will add a very nice flavor to the egg rolls. If you want to skip it, make sure you use ground turkey or chicken that contains a high percentage of fat.
I cooked the meat and vegetables at the same time, because I used a large skillet to make sure the ingredients were evenly cooked. If you are using a small skillet, or want to double the recipe, you should cook the meat and vegetables separately.
You might be tempted to add more filling. I suggest you keep the filling small, less than 2 tablespoons, unless you’re using large egg roll wrappers. The filling in this recipe is very flavorful. You can make better looking rolls by keep the filling small, plus they won’t fall apart during the cooking.
If you have a few egg roll wrappers left in the end, do not put them back into the freezer (you won’t remember to use them unless you’re making egg rolls again the next day). And do not throw them away (wasteful!). Fry these sheets after you finish frying the rolls. You can break them apart after frying, and scatter them on top of hot and sour soup, savory congee, or wonton soup (or snack on them). They’re so yummy!