My friend Eric has been promising to make me Filipino egg rolls forever. The day finally came!
I have a love-hate relationship with your standard Chinese-restaurant egg roll. I always feel like I have to order them. Like it’s a rule or something. And then I feel like I have to eat one. But there’s something so strange about them. What, exactly, is in there? The insides of an egg roll are unrecognizable. And they’re so big. I always end up with some mysterious ingredient stuck to my shirt, along with a drip or two of gooey sweet and sour sauce.
Filipino egg rolls are a whole ‘nother story. First of all, I watched these being made, so I know exactly what was in them. Just ground pork, chopped onions, grated carrots, and some salt and pepper. That’s it! They take all the stuff I like about your stereotypical egg rolls (crispy & fried!) and fix all the stuff I don’t (unrecognizable innards! Too big to eat without making a mess of myself!).
After you mix together the pork, onions, carrots, salt and pepper, spread the mixture onto the wonton wrapper, leaving three of the corners free.
Then you’re going to roll this sucker up like a burrito. First fold up the corner that has some of the good stuff on it, then start rolling. After a few rolls, fold in the sides to square it up. Brush some egg yolk over that last corner to glue it shut.
Ready to fry
Eric says the intent is to have a long, skinny roll. I rolled mine a little fatter than his. Bad habits die hard. They don’t have to be perfect, but you don’t want any of the insides coming out during the frying process, so don’t let your wonton wrappers rip while you’re rolling.
Fry them up in some vegetable oil until they’re nice and golden brown. Don’t worry that the pork will end up raw. It’s a pretty thin layer in there. It’ll be fine.
Eric whipped up a couple sauces. I don’t recall what went in to all of them. At least one was just some ponzu sauce that I had on hand, and another was soy sauce with something else. The one I liked the best was rice vinegar and sriracha. These little rolls are meant for dipping.
We made far too many of them, and ate most of them. My son finished them off later when he got home, and he and I fantasized about all of the stuff we could try rolling up in wonton wrappers to fry. Prepare yourself for an onslaught of Filipino egg roll variations.