Too many times, I’ve ordered egg rolls at a Chinese restaurant, only to get a greasy, soggy and bland appetizer. Not the best way to start a meal, in my opinion. This recipe set out to improve the egg roll by adding unique flavor from different beer styles, making a truly satisfying starter that can also be a great bar snack. Cooking with beer is showcased by marinating and braising different proteins in beer, that can be used to make this recipe. Try these Beer-Infused Egg Rolls with any Chinese or Asian feast!
My Egg Rolls can be made a few different ways. The base recipe is for a vegetarian egg roll, filled with shiitake and enoki mushrooms. One can add julienned or diced extra-firm tofu, to give them more texture and protein. To make a Pork Flavored Beer-Infused Egg Rolls mix the vegetable filling with a Chinese Style BBQ Pork . To make a Duck Beer-Infused Egg Rolls, use Braised Duck Legs in a Flanders Red Plum Sauce with the mixed vegetables.
A quick note on frying oil for cooking. Not all oil is great for frying at a higher temperature. As I mention in my Hot Oil Fondue recipe, it is important to understand the different smoke points in the varieties of oils available for cooking. The type of oil used for frying food is important, as it becomes the cooking medium. I suggest rendered fat over oil, as it has more flavor, the moisture has been removed and usually has a smoke point. My favorite fats to use are rendered duck fat (the most flavor, IE think duck fat fried potatoes or in this case fried chicken), rendered pork fat or beef tallow. For oil, it is important to understand the smoke point of a refined vegetable oil. Not all oils are equal when it comes to heat, as the oil can burn, denature and not be as good for you. I suggest Avocado oil (520°F | 270°C), rice bran oil (450°F | 232°C), refined peanut oil (445°F | 231°C) or coconut oil (450°F | 232°C). These oils have a higher smoke point or higher temperature, to prevent the oil from burning. Do not use canola oil, vegetables (corn safflower | sesame), extra virgin olive oil or other GMO oils that have high amounts of Omega 6, as they can easily burn or go rancid faster.
To serve: All three of these Beer-Infused Egg Rolls are wonderful when served with a Hot Beer Mustard Sauce, for an extra kick of heat and flavor!
Before you start cooking, prepare the carrots, bean sprouts, pea shoots, shiitake and enoki mushrooms, bamboo shoots, scallions, and bell pepper as described above.
In a wok or large skillet over high heat, add the oil, tilting to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic and ginger. Stir with a spatula for 10 seconds, then add the mushrooms, bell peppers, and scallions, stirring well. After about a minute, add the bamboo shoots, carrots, and pea shoots, cooking for another minute or two, until all the vegetables are barely cooked through. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Transfer them to a casserole pan, spreading out to cook. The vegetables should hold their shape and have a slight crunch. They should not be soggy.
To make vegetarian egg rolls, use the filling as is.
If you’re making Chinese-Style BBQ Pork egg rolls, add the sliced pork to the vegetables and mix to combine, allowing time to cool.
How To Wrap the Egg Rolls:
Remove the egg roll wrappers from their package and cover with a slightly damp towel to prevent the edges from drying out. Place one wrapper onto a clean, flat work surface, with one corner pointed toward you. Drop 2 tablespoons of filling just below the center line (between the right and left corners), forming it into a cigar shape. Take the corner closest to you and fold it over the filling, pulling it toward you to make a tight wrap, rolling once. Then, brush the left, top, and right edges of the roll with an Egg Wash. Fold the right and left corners to the edge of the filling and roll the cylinder away from you, sealing with the top corner. The key to a good egg roll is not using too much filling and rolling it tightly. Set on a sheet tray and repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers.
To Cook Egg Rolls:
Take a good sized pot, fill with oil, and place over high heat until a thermometer reads 350°F | 177°C. Carefully place 3 – 4 egg rolls, seam down, into the hot oil and fry for about 2 minutes a side, until golden brown.
Flip, cooking the second side until the same shade is reached, then place on a cooling rack or a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining egg rolls. If you’re not serving them right away, place the tray into an oven preheated to 250°F | 121°C.