Mom's Best Recipe - Egg Rolls with Sweet and Sour Sauce
What is the most requested mom-made meal for my family? Egg rolls with sweet and sour sauce is the hands-down winner!
My mom is a master in the kitchen. She loves to bake and cook for her family and friends. I can imagine she was more than a little disappointed when her only daughter (yes, me) did not have the desire or the patience to work alongside her in the kitchen. Sure, I would help when I was asked, but it wasn't something that I had a passion to do.
Fast forward years later when I realized all the knowledge and life lessons that I could learn in my mom's kitchen. Patience. Resilience. Perseverance. Encouragement. Life skills could be learned while waiting for water to boil, following a recipe or trying to make that special brownie recipe taste just like Mom's. Now I cherish the quality time I spend with my mom in the kitchen, and I think she really gets a kick out of my asking for recipe ideas and help with certain projects.
One of the absolute favorite meals my mom made when my brothers and I were growing up was Egg Rolls with Sweet and Sour Sauce. I had mastered the Sweet and Sour Sauce but never EVER attempted the egg rolls. So I grabbed my camera, opened my mind and ears and stepped into Mom's kitchen to help make one of her famous dishes.
Here is what you will need...
First, brown one pound ground beef with some onion. She uses green onions some days and other times white. Today, we used about a quarter of a white onion and three green onions. Cook and drain grease.
Dump a bag of packaged coleslaw mix into the cooked hamburger and onion.
Next, you need to add soy sauce. Because my mom never really measures, she told me to shake the bottle all around the pan two times. Then taste it and see if it needs more. Soy sauce is pretty powerful, so you can make however salty you like.
While the cabbage, hamburger and soy sauce cook a bit, lay out your egg roll skins on a flat surface. If you don't have a big enough surface to do them all at once, keep the extras in the package because they will dry out.
Scoop a spoonful of the cabbage mixture into the middle of the egg roll skin.
Now this is where it gets interesting. First, fold up the bottom corner of the egg roll.
Next, fold in each side, crimping it a bit at the fold.
Roll up from the bottom.
Bring the top point down and rub a little water on the tip so that it sticks.
Add the egg rolls to a pan of very hot vegetable oil. My mom never checks the temperature of the oil. She just dips a corner of the egg roll in to see if it is ready. Using a smaller pan (one that holds about 3 egg rolls) works best.
They cook pretty fast, so flip them soon after they hit the oil. Tip from mom: make sure you are wearing an apron because they do splatter!
When they are brown and crispy, remove from the oil and shake off the excess. Put on a paper towel-lined cookie sheet to absorb some of the grease.
Serve with your homemade sweet and sour sauce. (My recipe is included with egg roll recipe below.)
The crisp and delicious simplicity of these egg rolls is always a hit. I know I will never make these or any recipe as good as my mom, but I am so lucky to have the opportunity to learn all I can from her. I can't wait for the next project in my mom's kitchen.
I love you, Mom!