For a Pu Pu Platter, Alex Guarnaschelli makes her Classic Egg Rolls, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen, Season 32
Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli

Classic Egg Rolls

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 3 hr 15 min (includes chilling and cooling times)
  • Active: 1 hr 50 min
  • Yield: 16 to 18 egg rolls
What is an actual egg roll? I have two answers; the first is what I remember of egg rolls and the second is what is actually supposed to be inside them. My memory is early, growing up in NYC, where egg rolls were commonplace. My dad used to take me down to The Strand Bookstore on 13th Street (still there to this day) and then a casual lunch place. We would always get an egg roll. I would sit at the counter and crunch down, tasting pork and super sweet and fruity “duck sauce.” Then, I would take a sip of ice-cold soda and let the bubbles go up my nose. Sensory overload in the best way. What is the filling supposed to be? Traditionally, it’s roasted pork, shrimp, carrots, celery and cabbage. While there is no egg in the roll, I use some egg wash to seal the wrappers closed.


Duck Sauce Dipping Sauce:

Egg Roll Filling:

For Assembly and Frying:

Roasted Pork for Egg Rolls:


Special equipment:
a deep-fry thermometer
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Make the sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the duck sauce, vinegar and garlic powder. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the vegetables: Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath with cold water and ice cubes in a large bowl. Place a colander in the middle of the ice bath, not allowing any ice cubes in the colander.
  4. Add a generous sprinkle of salt to the boiling water. Drop the carrots, celery, scallions and cabbage into the water. Cook for 30 seconds. Using a spider, transfer the vegetables to the colander in the ice bath. Let them cool in the ice bath for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a thick kitchen towel and wrap them up like a burrito. Wring the vegetables to remove excess water, then transfer to a large bowl.
  5. Make the filling: To the bowl of vegetables, add the sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, pepper, 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder and some salt and stir to combine. In a second bowl, toss the Pork with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder and mix in 3 to 4 tablespoons of the duck sauce dipping sauce. Add the pork mixture and shrimp to the vegetable mixture and toss to combine. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Assemble: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust it with flour or cornstarch. Set aside.
  7. Place an egg roll wrapper on a flat surface with one of the corners facing you so it’s oriented like a diamond. Brush the edges with the egg wash. Spoon about 1/2 cup filling in a line in the center, leaving about 1 inch on either side of the wrapper empty. Fold either side into the center, then cover the filling with the bottom edge of the wrapper, rolling away from you and rolling as tightly as you can around the filling. (Gaps, air bubbles or hanging pieces of wrapper will ruin the roll when you fry it.) Seal the edge closed with another brush of the egg wash. Place the roll, seam-side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all of the filling and wrappers are used up. (You should yield 16 to 18 egg rolls.) You can also wrap tightly in plastic and freeze them at this point for a later date, but don’t keep them frozen for more than 4 to 5 weeks.
  8. Fry the rolls: Pour the oil into a deep, heavy-bottomed pot and heat to around 350 degrees F over medium heat. Fit a baking sheet with a wire rack.
  9. Working in batches, add several egg rolls to the oil and gently swirl the oil as they fry. This swirling will assure that they fry more evenly on all sides. Fry until they are light to medium brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider, transfer the egg rolls to the wire rack. Sprinkle with salt. Keep warm in the oven. Repeat until all are cooked, allowing the oil to return to 350 degrees F between batches.
  10. To serve: Let the egg rolls cool down slightly, then serve with the duck sauce and spicy hot mustard on the side for dunking.

Roasted Pork for Egg Rolls:

Yield: 3 cups
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place a baking sheet on the center rack to preheat for 10 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper. Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and place on top of the stove. Drizzle it with the oil. Using tongs, place the pork loin or chops in a single layer on the hot baking sheet. (It will sizzle!) Place the baking sheet back in the oven. Lower the temperature to 375 degrees F and roast until the pork is cooked through with an internal temperature of 140 degrees F, 30 to 35 minutes for a pork loin and 16 to 20 minutes for pork chops. Let rest for at least 10 minutes or until at room temperature, then cut into 1/4-inch dice. You can also wrap and refrigerate the pork overnight before dicing.