Forget the Fatty Take-Out. Start BAKING Eggrolls at Home.

Like a sandwich or quesadilla you can pretty much stuff anything inside an egg roll although Asian-inspired flavors seem to work the best. (Must be a mental thing?) Cafe Drake HRV will soon be posting pics and recipes for a vegetarian version but for now, we made these with chicken. Begin by gently simmering 1 whole or (2 split) free-range chicken breast in water to cover for about 20 minutes. If you add a chopped carrot, clove of garlic, bay leaf, black peppercorns and celery seed as above you'll end up with 1 bonus quart of chicken stock afterwards. Basically, just cook the chicken until done and work with skin-on, bone-in breasts only for maximum juiciness. After the chicken is finished cooking remove from pan and when sufficiently cooled shred the meat from the bones, discarding bones and skin as you wish.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the shredded chicken to a large mixing bowl along with an equal amount of finely chopped cabbage. Add 2 minced garlic cloves, about 3 T. soy sauce, 1 T. grated ginger, 1 T. sesame oil (the toasted kind) and salt and white pepper to taste. If you don't have the white variety, black pepper is fine. If you're in the mood for heat, add 1-2 minced red chilies. Mix well and set aside.

Super Quick Pickles perfect with Asian fare: thinly slice one small onion and peel and slice thinly 2 carrots. Place in a bowl and heat on the stove to just under boiling: 3/4 cup white or rice vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 t. salt. Add a minced garlic clove if it behooves you. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid close to boiling. Remove from flame, cool for 15 minutes then pour over sliced veggies. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 45 minutes and store in the liquid, in the fridge, for up to two weeks. Works great with radishes too.

Place one egg roll wrapper - available at all supermarkets, generally refrigerated - so that it resembles a diamond. Take 2 T. of the chicken and cabbage mixture and place in the center. Roll up according to package instructions. Repeat until you run out of chicken and cabbage, 10-12 rolls total.

Like so.

When you've created this envelope shape you'll need to moisten the closing flap with water before sealing. Don't worry; instructions are printed on all egg roll wrapper packages.

Instead of frying, place wrapped egg rolls, seam side down, on an oiled baking sheet. brush the tops of the egg rolls with either vegetable or sesame oil. Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 425 degree F. oven. Flip once during cooking and reduce temperature slightly if you notice any egg rolls browning excessively.

A dinner of Chicken and Cabbage Egg Rolls with Quick Pickles, salad and roasted string beans.


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