It’s that time again--#GoJunkFood! What is #GoJunkFood? It’s a little project that Chris at Blog Well Done and I launched a while back. We got to talking about loaded fries and how I wanted some, and then the ball was rolling. So each time we decide to do this, we choose a junk food, and anyone that wants to join in is more than welcome. It’s fun to see what everyone comes up with. You can find us on twitter if you’d like a heads up!
Our latest installment features egg rolls. While not always considered “junk food,” they are deep fried, and may not always register very high on the good-for-you scale. So, here they are, for your junk food loving eyes: Maine Lobster Egg Rolls.
My husband had been hearing talk of winter Maine lobsters being better than summer Maine lobsters. He was wondering if we should try some, you know, so we could be sure. Where was he hearing this talk? I don’t know, but I wasn’t about to argue, since his experiment was going to involve lobster. He wanted me to make more lobster rolls, which I’ve been craving like crazy! No way I could turn that request down, right? I figured I’d use some of the lobster for egg rolls-which worked out perfectly, didn’t it? Ooooh yeeeeaaah. It did. And I can't post this without a huge thank you to my #1 sous chef, who is also pretty damn handsome, if I do say so myself--my husband, Billy! He did all of the messy lobster work, and made a ginourmous dent in the chopping of the egg roll ingredients. Thanks, Billy!
Oh, you might be wondering if we found a difference between the summer and winter lobsters? After careful research, which involved choosing and cooking the lobsters, pulling all of the meat out, and making the classic lobster rolls and the egg rolls, we found…no difference. Surprise! They’re freaking good all year ‘round.
Egg rolls aren’t hard to make, just time consuming. So worth it, though! I usually double up a recipe when I make egg rolls, because of you’re going to the trouble, you may as well make extra. I didn’t this time, though, because that would’ve meant twice the lobster, and we wanted rolls, too. Still, this recipe makes roughly twenty one rolls, so that’s nothing to sneeze at!
Maine Lobster Egg Rolls
makes approx. 21 egg rolls
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp diced fresh ginger
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp agave or honey
2 tbsp rice vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chopped fresh shitake mushrooms
4 green onions, sliced thinly
2 stalks celery, diced finely
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
2 cups julienned snow peas
1 cup chopped water chestnuts
5 cups chopped Chinese Cabbage
9 oz fresh lobster meat, cut in a small dice and set aside
egg roll wrappers
Blood Orange Dipping Sauce (See below)
In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce, ginger, oyster sauce, agave or honey, and vinegar. Set aside.
In a wok or large skillet, heat about 2 tbsp of oil over med-low heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a few minutes until golden brown. Add the shitake mushrooms and sauté for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rest of the vegetables (But NOT the lobster-you're using that later.) and sauté for about 6-8 minutes, or until fully cooked. Set aside to cool. I like to pour the cooked filling out on to a baking sheet with sides so it cools faster.
When the filling is cool, get your egg roll wrappers, filling and lobster meat ready for assembling the egg rolls. Place one wrapper at a time in front of you, so it looks like a diamond shape. Wet the edges with a finger dipped in water. Place 1/4 cup of the filling in the center, and top that with one tablespoon of the lobster meat. (This is why I diced the meat sort of finely, and didn't mix it right into the filling. One, adding it to the hot filling may have made it rubbery, and two, this way each egg roll had the same amount of meat in it.) Take the corner of the wrapper that is pointing to you, and roll it away from you and over the filling, and pull it back over the filling, making it tight. Fold in the left and right corners, then continue rolling the egg roll away from you, toward the outward facing corner of the wrapper, and sealing it closed.
Continue these steps until you've used up the wrappers. (Our package said it should have had 21 wrappers, but it only had 19. We had enough lobster and filling to make 21, but were short those 2 wrappers. If you're making these and counting on having the 21 egg rolls, it may be best to buy 2 packs of the wrappers to be on the safe side.)
Heat about 2-3 inches of oil in a deep skillet. I like to use an electric skillet for this because you can control the temperature of the oil. You want the oil to be around 350 degrees for a good sear on the outside. Once your oil is to temp, carefully place 4-6 egg rolls in the oil. (If you have a large pan, you can probably fit 5-6, and a smaller pan, maybe about 4-5.) Don't crowd too many rolls in, or you'll risk lowering the temp. of the oil too much, and they won't sear on the outside, they'll just soak up too much oil. Fry them for 3-4 minutes on one side, and using tongs, carefully flip them over and fry for about 3 minutes on the second side. Remove from the oil and drain them on a rack set over a brown paper bag, or paper towels. (I don't drain them directly on the paper, because then they're just sitting in oil. The rack keeps out of the draining oil.)
Let the oil come back up to temperature before frying more egg rolls. This takes only a few minutes, but makes a big difference!
- The Blood Orange Dipping Sauce was based on this recipe. I played with it somewhat, and it’s a good base, but it needs more work, I think. The citrus was definitely a nice flavor with the lobster egg rolls! So go ahead and use that recipe if you like, or choose your favorite.
- I might also mention that these egg rolls are so flavorful, you could even go without a dipping sauce. Leftovers the next day are even better. I said so, so it's true. Ha!
- Check out Renee’s Vegetarian Egg Rolls on her blog, Flamingo Musings! I’ll be sure to add links for anyone else that joined in, too.