It’s been a really long week at both home and work and I’m SO glad I took some time to myself. When I say time to myself, I mean time in the kitchen. I don’t know about you, but my therapy is cooking or baking a completely new recipe I’ve never tried before. You have to concentrate a little more and pay attention to what you’re doing just in case the recipe comes out a success! It would be unfortunate to come up with a winner recipe then forget it.
When I was in school, while everyone went out for drinks after a midterm or final, I’d rush home to take a nap (since I was always pulling all-nighters). I’d roll out of bed when it was dark out then would make a run to the grocery store and would start baking the night away. That was how I relieved my stress. My housemates probably thought I was crazy, but they never complained! That meant there was always some type of snack during our breaks from studying.
I haven’t done anything tedious in the kitchen lately and at first I was sort of regretting thinking about making these egg rolls, but that regret quickly went away. Sitting at the table watching random YouTube videos and rolling a bunch of egg rolls was actually a breath of fresh air. It helped clear my mind and it felt just like those late night baking sessions during my college years.
Anyways, the Farmer’s Market near my work has a stand that sells a bunch of vegetables and other ingredients found in Asian cuisines that may be hard to find even in local Asian supermarkets. For example, they have ube, galangal, and mountain potato. I decided to pick up a couple of small taro and ended up making these chicken and taro egg rolls. They surprisingly came out well! The insides are very moist and soft from the taro and the outside is extremely crispy. Perfect snack for this Superbowl weekend!
Make sure to use the small round type of taro and not the large ones that are of an oblong shape. The small taro are more dense and tight while the large taro are more starchy like. Think of a waxy potato vs. a russet potato. Another tip is to make sure to wrap the egg rolls tightly. Wrapping them loosely allows for the oil to seep into and stay in the egg roll making them become very greasy and soggy!
TARO & CHICKEN EGG ROLLS
1 medium sized taro, grated
1 lb. ground chicken
1 small onion, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 pack spring roll wrappers, defrosted. (I used the square shaped wrappers)
1 egg, slightly beaten
canola oil for frying
1. combine all of the ingredients except for the spring rolls wrappers and the lightly beaten egg. Mix all of the ingredients together until everything is evenly combined. Cover and set into the refrigerator for an hour or up to 1 day.
2. When you’re ready to wrap your egg rolls, open your defrosted spring roll wrappers and separate each wrapper. Set a damp sheet of paper towel over them to make sure they don’t dry out.
3. a. Place a spring roll wrapper in from of you so that it shapes a diamond.
b. Using a spoon, place a generous tablespoon of the meat and taro mixture onto the bottom third of the diamond and form the meat into a log shape.
c. Fold in the left and right sides of the diamond partially covering the meat the fold the bottom point of the diamond up and continue rolling upwards like a burrito. Make sure to keep the rolling tight!
d. Using your finger, wet the top tip of the diamond with some of the lightly beaten egg and finish rolling upwards sealing the egg roll.
4. After rolling all of the egg rolls, you can either fry them now or place them in the freezer for later. If freezing, make sure to keep all of the egg rolls in a single layer on some type of baking sheet and partially freeze them before throwing them all into one container. This keeps the egg rolls from freezing into one large egg roll.
5. When ready to fry, heat a medium sized pot of oil, about 3 inches deep, to 375 F. If you don’t have a cooking thermometer, use the chopstick method. Dip a wooden chopstick or wooden spoon into the oil. When bubbles rise from the wood, your oil is hot enough!
6. Fry eggrolls for about 8 minutes or until they’re golden brown. I like mine extra crispy so I keep them in for longer. Don’t overcrowd the pot by putting tons of egg rolls in at once. This will bring the temperature of the oil down and your egg rolls won’t be crisp.
7. Take the egg rolls out and lay them onto a paper towel to drain the excess oil.