Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Rolling Up Hmong Egg Rolls

Mom & I hard at work making egg rolls. 
That's me in the pink in the back, Mom's hands are in the front.
My family doesn't follow a totally traditional Thanksgiving.  This year we had turkey breast, mashed potatoes & gravy, corn casserole, ribs, and egg rolls.  The egg rolls were my idea, I chose Hmong-style eggrolls since I think that's the type Sonny D likes at the farmers' market on the north side of Madison.  

We decided to experiment, my mom wanted to see how they would turn out if we baked some in the oven and deep-fried others.       


Mel's Kitchen Cafe Mary’s very authentic egg rolls
Miss M Yang Hmong egg rolls how to make Hmong egg rolls
Melanie's Minnesota Morsels Hmong egg rolls

I mainly followed the Mel's Kitchen Cafe recipe but cut the amounts in half. 


Makes about 35 egg rolls
  • 1 lb ground turkey or pork (I used turkey)
  • 3 oz bean thread noodles (I used 5 oz and didn't realize it was too much, seemed fine) 
  •  10 oz package shredded cabbage/ slaw mix 
  • 2 eggs 
  •  2 egg whites (save egg yolks for sealing wraps) 
  •  10 oz shredded carrot 
  • 1/2 onion minced 
  • 50 TYJ (SpringHome) brand spring roll wrappers (6" square, frozen) 
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  •  4 tablespoons oyster sauce  
  • 2 tablespoons mushroom soy sauce 
  • 1/2 tablespoons fresh black pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce 
  •  1/2 tsp garlic powder  


Cook the meat over medium heat and break it up as you go.

Prepare the mung bean noodles as indicated on the package.  I let mine soak in hot water for 20 minutes rather than attempting to boil them.  We had a lot of  time, so waiting for them wasn't an issue. When they're done soaking, cut the noodles several times with kitchen shears. 

Closeup of the filling
Pull out your spring roll wrappers, they don't need to really defrost, but after you open the package keep them covered with a damp kitchen towel as you work so they don't dry out.  

In a very LARGE container (your biggest mixing bowl or something larger, like a cake container) mix the meat, noodles, veggies, eggs, and sauces.  Blend thoroughly. 

Mom displaying her finished egg roll.

To Wrap

Take the two extra egg yolks and put them in a small container (in the photo above you can see our custard cup above with the pastry brush on the rim) and add about a tablespoon or two of water to thin it out.  This is going to be your glue to keep the egg rolls shut while they bake or fry. 

Place a few tablespoons of the filling (I found three tablespoons to be the best amount) in a diagonal line across one of the corners.  Fold that corner up and over the filling and pull the filling tight with the wrapper.  The spring roll wrappers I bought are tougher than the wonton style typically found in the produce section of the grocery store, so you don't have to be as delicate as you might expect. Then brush on the thinned out egg yolk on the top of your "envelope" of the unfolded corners of the wrapper.   Then fold the two opposing sides over each other and roll tightly to close the top.   For a visual, check out Miss M Yang's egg roll wrapping instructions

Us in progress.  Check out that large container of filling!

If you want to bake: 

When you get about halfway done wrapping up the egg rolls, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Definitely opt to bake your egg rolls if you have a lot that aren't sealed up tight because any openings will end up burning the filling while in the hot oil of a fryer.

If you want to deep-fry or pan-fry:

Start up your deep-fryer as you start to wrap the egg rolls.  If you're going to pan-fry, you're working with less oil, so start that when you're closer to done wrapping all of the egg rolls. 

Finished egg rolls waiting to be fried. 
To bake, place the egg rolls on an oiled rack or cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, flip them all over and bake 10 more minutes.  I was planning to brush or spray some oil on them to enhance browning, but I was in such a hurry that I forgot. 

Or deep fry until golden.  I timed ours to be 4 minutes for two egg rolls in a small fryer.  
My mom's hands making excellent egg rolls.

Frying it up.

The finished baked egg rolls, should have oiled the rack because some ripped as we removed them.

Close up of a fried egg roll.


I'm quite glad we tried Hmong style, the filling ingredients are really easy to get at a regular grocery store (other than the wrappers).  Plus in general they're easier to make than the ones we've made in the past since you only need to pre-cook the meat and noodles, none of the veggies.

Sonny D ate only about 3 total out of the close to 15 leftover egg rolls we brought home.  Lately he hasn't eaten much food, though, so I don't take it personally. 

Husband Jeff and I totally loved them.  Jeff particularly liked the Mae Ploy sweet chili dipping sauce I bought at the Viet Hoa market where I found the spring roll wrappers.   We reheated leftover egg rolls in the toaster oven, but I don't think they cooked long enough to re-crisp.  I don't know what the secret is for that, maybe a hotter oven.  But they were still great.  

I wish I had thought ahead to bring some of my equipment over to Mom's house, mainly a baking rack and baking sheet since she didn't have anything similar and we had to makeshift something together.   But in the end we did a great job with what we had and they turned out tasty!  

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!