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No. 4 – Hmong Egg Rolls Recipe

There are some foods that bring a smile to your face filled with memories. For me, that is classic Hmong Egg Rolls my Mom taught me how to make and I’m sharing the recipe with you.

In the kitchen, my siblings and I impatiently waited for the crispy treat to be freshly fried by Mom and Dad. Each one carefully placed in oil and monitored until the egg roll wrapper got brown and crispy.

Once it floated, they wrapped a napkin around the bottom and handed one to each of us, like a lollipop. You can hear the crunch and taste the hot crispy treat with a sauce. It’s a great snack that has pork, vegetables, and noodles.

Hmong egg rolls are a great side dish to a meal, served as an appetizer, or simply a tasty snack. During football season, I roll a batch and freeze them for a couple hours on a baking sheet. Then place the frozen egg rolls in a big ziplock bag to fry, bake, or grill later.

If you’re interested in making Hmong Eggrolls, then hope you enjoy this recipe!

Summary:

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Notes by Naly is a weekly collection of notes and musings on an eclectic mix of topics ranging from business, food, travel, beauty, poetry, and more. It’s written by Naly and is a glimpse into her world as an entrepreneur and writer. 

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Ingredients:

Sauce:

How To Make Hmong Egg Roll Filling

Before creating the filler, take out the egg roll wrappers and leave on the counter. This will thaw the egg roll wrapper in a better way than microwaving. Most Asian egg roll wrappers can be found in the freezer section of popular grocery stores, like HMart. 

 

We’ll begin by soaking the vermicelli noodles in a hot bowl of water. Hot water from the sink is fine. I’ve also used boiled water from a kettle for a quicker soak. You want the noodles to soften for approximately 15 – 20 minutes. Reduce to 5 – 10 minutes if using hot kettle water. 

 

Take out another large bowl to combine ingredients for the egg roll filler.

Add the ground pork, diced onions, minced garlic, 1 egg, shredded cabbage and carrots into a bowl. Thinly slice the green onions and add to the bowl.

Drain the soaked vermicelli noodles and run under cold water. Place back in bowl and using kitchen scissors, cut the noodles into small pieces. You can chop the noodles into 1 inch pieces with a kitchen knife if you don’t have scissors. Add the chopped vermicelli noodles to the egg roll filling bowl.

 

Top the entire bowl with oyster sauce, salt, and pepper to your taste. I usually do 1 tablespoon each of salt and crushed black pepper. Mix the ingredients together. 

 

I like to wear powder free latex gloves to mix the entire filling together to incorporate the flavors.

 

Let the ingredients sit for 10 minutes on the counter.

 

Crack 1 egg into a small bowl and blend well. This will be the seal we use to secure the egg rolls. It only takes a dab of egg wash to secure the egg roll.

 

*Warning*

Don’t let the filling mixture sit too long. The vermicelli noodles will get too soft. The vegetables in the mixture will begin to wilt and water. An egg roll filling that is too watery isn’t good either. If this happens (especially as you roll towards the bottom) be sure to drain the mixture of excess liquid.

Rolling & Wrapping Egg Rolls

Check on the egg roll wrappers we left on the counter earlier. By this time, it should be thawed with a bit of firmness. If you have to, pierce a hole in the bag and microwave in 30 second increments.

 

I’ve microwaved the egg roll wrappers before and it works. I prefer the natural thawing on the counter because peeling the skins one by one is more firm to the touch, hence, a nice thin wrapper without any holes. Microwaving the egg roll skin tends to make it meld in a way.

 

My usual set up is on the kitchen island with a chair. 

 

I like to use a long piece of aluminum foil on the counter and roll the egg rolls on that. Place the small bowl of egg wash near you too. Bring an empty platter or cookie sheet to put completed egg rolls on. 

 

On a counter or kitchen table, set up your work station. This is a small step that makes a big difference. Once you begin rolling, work through until the filling is done. Make sure you have a comfortable seat, grab a beverage, and listen to music or watch something. If you’re making egg rolls with friends or family, even better.

Peel each egg roll wrapper and place it in a diamond shape in front of you. Scoop a spoonful of egg roll filling at the bottom corner closest to you. Don’t scoop too much or it’ll be hard to wrap.

 

Take the bottom corner of the egg roll wrapper and roll it up firmly 1/3 of the way up. Form, shape, and smooth the mixture while rolling a little further up 1/2 way. Now fold the corners from the left and right to the center to secure the ends in an envelope. Pull firmly so no mixture escapes during the frying process.

 

Roll the egg roll wrapper with both sides enclosed in an envelope up 3/4 of the way to the top. Then take your finger and dab some egg wash on the top. Roll the egg roll the rest of the way.

Bonus: End Tucking Egg Rolls Technique

 

My favorite way to secure the sides, is to double fold the ends. You can try it when the egg roll is 1/2 way up. Fold both ends of the egg roll filling into a 30 degree angle first, then bring the right and left side in to roll up the rest of the way. It creates a more secure fried egg roll.

Try both and test fry them.

Congratulations, you rolled an egg roll!

Place it on the platter or cookie sheet and repeat until the mixture is done. Each one you roll will sharpen your egg roll wrapping skills. If you have someone peeling the egg roll wrapper, the other could roll and wrap. This gets the task done faster so we can fry. It’s a labor of love.

Frying, Baking, & Grilling Egg Rolls

Once the egg rolls are done being wrapped and lined up to dive in oil, it’s time to heat up the fryer. I know, it’s not that healthy of an option and I’ll cover how to bake or grill the egg rolls too but seriously – fry the egg rolls! 

 

It’s the best finish on the egg roll wrapper and is how it’s traditionally served.

Fill a deep pot half way with oil. Vegetable oil works good and I’ve also tried olive oil, which produces a deeper color but requires more monitoring at a lower temperature. 

 

Using vegetable or canola oil is suited well. Heat it up until it’s ready to fry.

 

Using tongues, carefully place a couple egg rolls in the oil with space. Don’t over crowd it or it won’t fry well. 

 

Carefully monitor the frying egg rolls and turn them so they’re even. If the ends begin to burn, lower the heat and keep turning them. You have to make sure you balance cooking the internal filling without burning or blackening the skin. Adjust the heat as necessary for your frying setup.

 

If you’re interested in a healthier option then baking or grilling is a good choice as well. It won’t have the full crispy skin of a fried egg roll (just fry it), however, it’s a good alternative worth enjoying as well.

Baking Egg Rolls

Set your stove to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place 8 to 10 egg rolls spaced apart. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until the inside is cooked and the skin is brown and crispy. Cook longer depending on the heat of your oven.

Grilling Egg Rolls

On the grill, place the egg rolls perpendicular on the grates with indirect heat. Carefully turn the egg roll to cook all sides and watch for flames that might burn the skin. It can take between 20 to 30 minutes depending on your heat level. Check the egg roll by cutting it in half to ensure meat is cooked. Put back on the grill if it needs more time. 

 

Enjoy!

Sauces & Dips

There are no rules when it comes to sauces and dips to pair with egg rolls. The traditional sweet egg roll sauce can be found in many grocery stores. Enjoy that and pair it with something spicy. The traditional Hmong Spicy Pepper Sauce is a great addition to egg rolls with a spicy, salty, and lime mixture.

 

If you’re in to try something a little spicier, then let’s get in the kitchen.

Spicy Pepper Sauce

Mince and chop up 5 to 10 fresh Thai chili peppers in a small bowl. Add a teaspoon of fresh minced garlic. Add a pinch of sugar and squeeze half a lime into the bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of fish sauce into the bowl. You can adjust the fish sauce based on your preference. 

 

Add fresh chopped cilantro, stir it up and serve with fresh fried egg rolls.

Try it out and let me know what you think.

Hope you enjoyed learning how to make Hmong Egg Rolls at home! Let me know if you tried the recipe and how you tweaked it to your liking. I’ve experimented with different proteins and vegetables before and curious what you have (or want) to try. Let me know so I can try it too.

 

Cheers,
N.

Subscribe to Notes by Naly

This was a free edition of Notes by Naly, with original publication on Substack. 

Notes by Naly is a weekly collection of notes and musings on an eclectic mix of topics ranging from business, food, travel, beauty, poetry, and more. It’s written by Naly and is a glimpse into her world as an entrepreneur and writer. 

Receive Notes by Naly directly in your inboxhttps://naly.substack.com

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