GF: Homemade Egg Rolls

Eight years ago I had my first – and last – homemade phenomenal gluten-wrapped egg roll. I remember the evening well. My love (a native Chicagoan who also happens to be Chinese-American) and I were dating/living together at the time. While we made the egg rolls, he were talking about my first trips to Chicago, etc. I started to tell random stories. (Of course.)

One of which was about my then college buddies and I driving to Chicago for a weekend. (One of the girls was from the nearby suburbs, so we all went home with her to explore the city.) What I vividly remembered, I told him, was driving around freaked out by the traffic with one friend holding a map and the other reading street signs.

In particular, I remember the girl reading the map telling the other to watch for “Wentworth or Cermak Road”. (We were headed to Chinatown.) The girl in charge of street signs was quiet for the longest time. Long enough for our already-thin-thanks-to-traffic-patience to wear out further.

The girl with the map asked in a more demanding tone “Where are we, T? You are watching the street signs, right?”

“Of course I am,” she replied quite exacerbated with us herself, “Quit being so pushy. I just can’t read the street signs. I don’t know what it says, so leave me alone.”

Huh? Oh great, I thought, we put someone with worse vision than my own in charge of the street signs!

“What do you mean you *can’t* read them, T? That doesn’t make sense.”

“Well,” she said, “They look all strange to me. I can’t figure out what they say.”

At the next red light I could finally look up long enough to see what her problem was. At the sight of the street signs written in kanji (“Chinese”) script, I just about busted a gut and wet my pants.

“Um, T?” I asked, “Did you think maybe you couldn’t read it because it’s written in Chinese? Do ya think maybe we’re here already?”

Good lord. That woman is NOT my choice of navigator now. In fact, my navigator does little more than try to look cute and stick his big head out the window when we drive by any lakes or streams. My black lab is the best navigator and side-seat driver ever. He’s awfully quiet.

Needless to say, by the time my love and I met, I had learned my way around Chicago well and knew enough about Chinatown to find my favorite egg rolls. Thankfully, he taught me there was so much more to Chinese food than what I had known before. And with the few tips and tricks from his family – and himself – I have learned to make some fabulous Chinese food.

One trick he taught me the night we made egg rolls. He was telling me about working in his family’s Chinese restaurant as a child. (He was cute as a little guy. He told me that he and his sister got the best tips. LOL) He said that to hold all the egg roll ingredients together, his grandfather would add peanut butter to the veggie and meat mix. Say what? Come on now, I thought, peanut butter? How gross.

Boy, was I wrong. When we added peanut butter to the egg roll filling mix, I was convinced I was going to hate them. Hardly. Those egg rolls beat out anything I had eaten before. And shortly after the egg roll making-bonanza, I learned that I had Celiac Sprue. No more egg rolls. Well, at least not until now.

While this recipe may not make my weekly rotation, it was nice to make some tasty egg rolls that were even delicious for lunch the next day at work! (Yes, you read that right – they were still delish at lunch!) The only bizarre thing? The egg rolls didn’t brown like the gluten-filled wraps. I’m not sure why, but to be honest, these white egg rolls hit the spot. I’m not much of a fried foodie, it makes my heart seize just thinking about it, but sometimes….. Sometimes you just have to live a little.

If you have been craving egg rolls too, may I suggest you take the plunge and try some of these? If you aren’t hung up on the coloring, your taste buds will love you.

My Egg Roll Wrapper Recipe
Ingredients
1/2 cup cold water + 1/4 cup cold water (added tablespoon by tablespoon)
1 egg (whisked in to 1/2 cup cold water) + 1 egg for sealing egg rolls
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch (+ more for dusting)
1/3 cup corn starch
1/3 cup sweet rice flour (+ more to avoid sticky dough)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon gelatin

Directions:

  1. Put rice flour, salt, tapioca, corn starch, sweet rice flour, xanthan gum, and gelatin in a food processor until evenly combined.
  2. Whisk together egg with ½ cup cold water until well blended.
  3. Turn on food processor and slowly pour egg/water mixture into the dough.
  4. Open the food processor and scrap down the sides. Make sure the dough is evenly processed. At this point, check to see if the dough will easily stick together but is not sticky. If the dough does not come together to form a soft dough, turn the food processor back on and slowly drizzle water in by the tablespoon (maybe up to ¼ cup more of cold water will be needed). If the dough is too sticky, add a tablespoon of sweet rice flour at a time until the dough forms a soft dough.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 Tablespoon/small ice cream scoop balls. While working with one ball at a time, keep the remaining dough in a bowl under a damp (but not wet!) towel.
  6. Press each ball into a small disk.
  7. At this point, you can either use a tortilla press, a pasta roller, or some serious arm muscle and a rolling pin. Roll the disk into a super flat (think lasagna flat) round or square. (If using your pasta roller, roll to the level 3 thickness. (1 being the thickest setting on my Kitchen Aid pasta roller attachment.) Don’t get the wrap too thin or it will rip when you are rolling the egg rolls together with their stuffing.
  8. Continue flattening each ball.
  9. Store the flattened egg roll wrappers on wax paper or parchment paper and cover with a damp (not wet!) towel. Set aside to make your filling. (See below for a suggested filling recipe.)
  10. Once you have prepared your filling, individually lay 2-3 tablespoons of filling into each egg roll wrap. (The amount of filling will vary depending on the size of you wraps.)
  11. There are two ways to fold up the wraps – depending on how flexible your wraps are (depends on how thick/thin they are).
    1. OPTION ONE: Wrap like a spring roll wrapper but be sure to brush the last edge with beaten egg to seal it before frying.
    2. OPTION TWO: Fold in the sides over the top of the filling. Then fold up the bottom. Put beaten egg on the final edge and roll the wrap into the egg-brushed edge so that all sides are covered.
  12. Lay aside completed egg rolls.
  13. Heat 1 ½ inches oil (we use canola or peanut) in a deep pan.
  14. Once the oil sizzles when the end of an egg roll is dipped it, add 3 or 4 egg rolls to the oil to cook.
  15. Stir occasionally to ensure equal cooking.
  16. Each batch of egg rolls will take between 5 – 6 minutes in the fryer.
  17. Drain well on a large stack of paper towels or on a brown bag to absorb the oil.
  18. Serve with Sweet Thai Chile dipping sauce or another sauce of your choosing.

Egg Roll Filling
Ingredients
1 16 ounce/1 pound package shredded cabbage/carrot mix
1 1/2 cups shredded pork or chicken (lightly seasoned)
2 Tablespoons GF soy sauce
1/3 cup peanut butter
salt/pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Add a small amount of olive oil to a pan and heat until it swirls like water. Add meat.
  2. Cook meat thoroughly.
  3. Remove cooked meat from pan with a slotted spoon and return the pan to the heat.
  4. Add cabbage/carrot mixture. Add soy sauce.
  5. Stir-fry until heated through – but not cooked to a mushy state.
  6. Add cabbage/carrot mixture to the bowl with the meat.
  7. Add peanut butter and stir to distribute well and combine all ingredients thoroughly.
  8. Add salt/pepper to taste.


Happy egg rolling!
-Kate

19 comments on “GF: Homemade Egg Rolls
  1. Mary Frances says:

    Kate, I can’t wait to try these. We did the spring roll this week and they were great. John will be excited to have gluten free egg rolls with authentic Chinese restaurant filling =)

    :) I’m glad the spring rolls worked easily for you – they really are a piece of cake once you get all the ingredients together and you master the rolling/wrapping part.
    I hope John likes these too! -Kate

  2. carrie says:

    WOW! If I wasn’t impressed before, I am SUPER impressed now!! Good gracious kate! Where will you take us next? Those look amazing!!! I LOVE and MISS egg rolls!! I’ll have to try these sometime when I work up the courage!! Any kind of THIN gluten-free dough scares me!

    BTW… LOL… i wish you had been in my kitchen last night while I was ATTEMPTING to make your ginger lemon shortbread… it was a complete disaster! LOL well, okay, not completely, I learned how pralines are made! LOL But those cookies for some crazy reason spread across the whole pan and make ONE huge praline cookie! LOL I’m still scratching my head to figure out why! But the praline crumbles will make for a great pie crust! But I am determined! I’m gonna try the shortbread again soon!

    LOL – Hey now, pralines would be tasty too! You could always post that recipe. I have a hard time making pralines here in the ever-humid Pacific Northwest. LOL – Kate

  3. I want some. Can I come over and play?

    I had such a lousy day today I almost went to a Chinese takeout restaurant and glutened myself. THAT bad. :-(

    Come over, honey! You know you have an open invitation!
    I just finished making some GF baklava – want some?
    -Kate

  4. You have to see my bah humbug post!

  5. Yum!! that peanut butter idea is brilliant!! I have heard of someone around here,don’t remember who, that used the spring roll wrappers to make egg rolls. Something about filling them then freezing them then cooking them. I may try that with this filling.

    But who did that?

    Great ideas you guys, and even better food!
    :)

  6. mlledaffodil says:

    Have you ever tried using rice paper rolls instead of making your own? They contain only rice flour, the flour-subsitute for your wrappers. I have never tried frying them, but I have seen recipes cooking rice paper wrappers (after all, rice noodles can be fried, so why not the wrappers?). I love your filling idea — adds a southeast asian touch (did grandpa live in Singapore or Malaysia?).

    I use rice wrappers to make a fried spring roll, but traditional egg roll wrappers use an egg pasta. Thus my attempts at recreating that. It was a fun thing to make again with my spouse since we had made it together when we started dating. His family is from the Canton province in China and Hong Kong, thus the filling ideas. I LOVE that it’s peanut butter! LOL

    By the way, the rice wrappers can be fried well, but they don’t really do much baked. I think maybe they are just too thin to do much else wit them and they will crackle if you try to them etc. You can wrapped salmon and flavorings in a rice paper wrap and then pan fry them in a bit of olive oil – YUM!

    =)
    – Kate

  7. Ginger says:

    I use the rice papers for spring rolls, it works great! Vietnamese lumpia are traditionally made with rice papers and fried, so I tried it and have been doing it ever since. I buy the rice papers that are 1/4 of a circle as those are slightly thicker and then add my pork filling roll and fry or freeze for later frying. You don’t even need warm water, you can use cold water to reconstitute them or an egg wash, which will give them a nice golden color. I will try some peanut butter soon, I like it in dipping sauce occasionally, why not in the filling?

  8. allergymom says:

    Do you think this recipe could work with EnerG egg replacer. I’m going to have to give it a try. My poor allergy laden 5 yr old has been wanting to eat eggrolls alongside her sister for as long as I can remember, so much so that one night I gave her a regular egg roll w/ a Benadryl chaser. I know…BAD MOM!

    I think any good pasta recipe that you have that is flexible and allows you to roll is smoothly should work okay as well. As for sealing the egg roll (which is done here with egg), I imagine that tucking it together and using a bit of water/starch mixture (easy on the starch) may work too. I haven’t tried to make egg rolls without the egg – now that *IS* a challenge! You’ll have to let me know how you figure it out. -Kate

  9. Colleen says:

    Kate – do you think this recipe would work for potstickers? My daughter has really missed them since we made out house totally GF. She doesn’t have CD, but my son and I do. She never complains about not having gluten in the house. She would be so thrilled if I made potstickers for her.

    I haven’t tried it yet, but my husband thinks this wil work well. (He mentioned that the night we made these.) Just make the dough thicker and you should be good to go! Boil, then pan fry – and you should have perfect potstickers! :) -Kate

  10. Colleen says:

    Kate – I asked you back in February if you thought this egg roll wrapper recipe would work for potstickers. My non-GF daughter has missed them so much, and hasn’t had them in years since we made our house GF. Today was her birthday, so I decided to try it. I used a potsticker filling recipe from Allrecipes. This recipe surpassed all of my expectations. The dough was easy to work with, and held up well to filling and pan-frying/steaming. My family thought they tasted even better than the storebought gluten ones we used to buy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me make my daughter’s birthday special.

  11. Mary Frances says:

    Oh my gosh! We just pulled the first batch out of the fryer and tried these. They are amazing!!! I’m really impressed with how crisp the wrapper is and how they look like they came straight from a Chinese restaurant.

  12. Mary Frances says:

    Just made 4 more….4 each was not enough!

  13. Mary Frances says:

    I made these again tonight but had to make a few substitutions due to lack of ingredients. For the flours I used 1 c. brown rice flour and 1 c. cornstarch. And instead of an egg I used one flax egg in the dough, and another flax egg for sealing. It worked marvelously and rolled out even easier than I had remembered. Great recipe, Kate! I would never had tried this without you =)

  14. Laural says:

    Is there a different starch that would work other than corn starch. Severe allergy to corn and am GF. Very tough since majority of GF recipes and products use ingredients derived from corn. Home made egg rolls used to be a favorite and is one of the few items I miss that I have not found a suitable CF, GF replacement for. I find the rice paper wrapper version to be no good.

4 Pings/Trackbacks for "GF: Homemade Egg Rolls"
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