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Homemade Corned Beef Egg Rolls
The first time I was introduced to the delicious treat several years ago, it was being sold at a local corned beef eatery - and, for an assumingly reasonable deal (2/$4). I was reluctant to try one, but was hooked instantly after I did. Although my taste buds and stomach were overly enjoying the treat, my wallet didn't agree as much... I was chomping down on the deliciousness nearly everyday (sometimes purchasing two $4 deals). After realizing that I was spending almost $30/week, I had a distasteful decision to make.
Being the budget-minded genius I figure myself to be, my decision was made for me... I'd make the corned beef egg rolls myself! But wait, how do you even make them? My next, but (hopefully) last purchase of the treat would be my guide.
I knew the main reason I had liked the corned beef egg rolls were because they weren't made like other egg roll products and dishes I had eaten before: they were filled with only meat and cheese, and no veggies. This part of recreating the rolls would be simple to figure out. The complications were found in the egg roll-ing part.
Still not so familiar with going to YouTube for some quick answers, I set out to investigate the making of the corned beef egg rolls (of course this meant - to me - buying some more from the eatery). By this time, I had realized I didn't have to actually make the egg roll wrap, and could easily purchase the item. The brain wheels were turning... if I could 'buy' the wraps, then I surely could 'buy' the rest of the ingredients!
As luck would have it, my hen circle had all the answers, from cost-cutting ways of getting the ingredients to actually preparing the corned beef egg rolls. Needless to say I was relieved and ecstatic, all in one emotion. I plugged for more information to assauge my curiosities, since I had a set of teachers: why do they even call them egg rolls? (I'm not able to eat "eggs", but it was a fine time to worry about that seeing that I had indulged in a mass amount - if the wraps were actually an egg product)
What Is An Egg Roll... Wrap?
The opinions came flying: "it's made of egg, but I'm sure you can eat it; you have to use an egg wash to make sure the flap holds while you fry them..." the answers were too much like misnomers. The bottom line (supported by my mass amounts of intake)was there wasn't enough egg product in the wraps that would make me sick.
But, if you're somewhat like me and wondering why is an egg roll wrap called by a name that has no strong connection to what it is, then I'll share some of my research:
An interesting blogspot post provided some pertinent facts; according to the author of World Turn'd Upside Down, the history of the egg roll is actually fascinating in detail: it's a possibility that the name derived from an earlier dish that was actually created by rolling a fried egg around meats and vegetables, to create a sort of sandwich. Sounds more believable than what we are using now-a-days. But later, the history continues to add that in a later version of the ancient cookbook, the 'rolled-up' egg was replaced with an altogether different product.
Within the Yahoo! Answers community, I was able to find a couple of reasonable comments as to how the egg roll received its name. The best one explained how the wrap was a wheat flour, egg base product, whereas the wraps used for items like spring rolls were made of a rice flour. I could accept that explanation a bit better than most I had heard or read about. But, of course, it's up to you and your own judgment on what the exact definition may be... like I stated before, many definitions seem to be misnomers.
So, I had my facts. I had my instructions. Now, it was time to gather my ingredients. I had been relieved to know that I could purchase what I needed at any local grocer or deli. But for some reason, I favored the shredded corned beef meat like I would get on a corned beef sandwich. It was an added plus to find a corned beef retailer that sold the meat wholesale. Getting my cheese and egg roll wraps would be effortless at the neighborhood grocer. The time I spent shopping for the ingredients was less than any time I had ever spent in line waiting on my order for the retailer's corned beef egg rolls. They were delicious, but honestly not enough to be waiting nearly 20-30 minutes to get them. Preparing my own corned beef egg rolls were already saving me time. The cost of the wholesale meat was around $8 (enough for 2-1.5 lbs sandwiches); the pre-packaged egg roll wraps were close to $2/3 (depending on name brands), and the cheese was in the range of $3-5 per pound (also depending on types and name brands)... giving me a grand purchasing total of less than $20! I'm saving money, now - and ready to eat!
If you would like to save even more time and money - use what you have in your kitchen (leftover corned beef from dinner, or pre-packaged/deli corned beef from your fridge; cheese slices/shredded), and if you're the type of cook that can make your own wraps, save even more!
How Often Do You Shop For Groceries?
Let's Start Cooking!
I finally had everything I needed, and I was beyond excited to get started. I didn't want the traditional egg roll dish I would get at Chinese food places, or even the suggested ideas from my teachers. I didn't want to add any cabbage, or other type of vegetables - I only wanted meat and cheese filling the wrap. I'm stating this to say you can add vegetables to your corned beef egg roll, by simply adding the vegetable of your choice onto the wrap. But if you're feeling the way I'm feeling about the meat and cheese only, let's start cooking (the rest can catch up later)!
- Cooked Corned Beef, chopped or shredded
- Cheese, sliced or shredded
- (optional) Cabbage, cooked and drained
- If you're working with pre-cooked or packaged items, continue to the next step; if you have raw ingredients, you know what to do - cook! Then continue to the next step.
- Heat your cooking oil; oil should be enough to cover your wrap (best for rolls to be deep-fried). Gather your ingredients, wraps, and wrapping materials needed.
- Use one wrap per corned beef egg roll you want, start piling the ingredients (not too much, that will rip the flimsy wraps when you start rolling them), secure the wrap flap. Set aside, then continue until you have rolled as many as you want/need.
- Ensure the cooking oil is hot enough (use caution and common sense!), drop the rolled sensations into the hot oil, gently. Allow wraps to brown (this step is also allowing the cheese to melt and meat to heat), or entire roll rises (floating). Take out and allow oil drainage, and cooling.
- Enjoy your time and money-saving, scrumptious, homemade dish! Then come back to my article, and share your results - and feelings.