Chinese food-inspired Christmas

Egg rolls for Christmas? Why not?

Egg rolls for Christmas? Why not? Photo: Stevendepolo via Flickr.

Every Christmas, my brother, mother and I watch, laugh and recite lines from the movie A Christmas Story. I’m not sure when my family started a Chinese-themed Christmas menu, but it was near the time we made watching A Christmas Story a tradition.

I remember the first time I ate my mom’s egg rolls. They’re divine and near the best thing I’ve ever eaten. My husband thinks they’re next to godly. I agree.

Last Christmas, my mom gave me the first “family” cookbook. It was a homemade gift, and the contents were priceless. It was handwritten and included mom’s famous egg roll recipe. My brother and I begged for the recipe for years to try to serve at music festivals. She never gave it. She wanted a cut. But, when I needed a Christmas menu, I started to break her down.

“Mom, let me share the recipe.”

After much wine and whining, I got permission. Thanks mom.

My other columns took on vegan cooking. This is my first recipe with meat and egg.* It’s my Christmas gift to you, reader…..may your family enjoy.

Chicken Egg Rolls

4-5 shitake mushrooms
½ Organic chicken breast
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cornstarch
½ tsp soy sauce
½ head Napa cabbage
1 container fresh bean sprouts
½ head bok choy
1/3 bunch green onions
Chinese Five Spice Powder
1 egg
1 package egg roll wrappers
Peanut oil
Wok, tongs, large and small bowl ,whisk

*Check in your area to find local farmers who sell fresh pasture raised chickens and healthy fresh eggs.

The first step is to prep the filling to marinate for the egg rolls. Coarsely chop the mushrooms and dice the chicken. Whisk the salt, cornstarch and soy sauce. Add the marinade to the chicken and mushrooms and allow to marinate for 20 minutes. Next, thinly slice the Napa cabbage, bok choy and the green onions. Mix together and separate into equal halves. Heat the wok until medium heat. Using a little peanut oil, sauté the chicken and mushrooms. Next, sauté the cabbage mixture until tender and add to the chicken and mushrooms. Add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp five spice powder to mixture. Allow to cool to the touch. Lightly beat the egg. Follow the direction on the egg roll wrappers using about 1 and a ½ Tbs of filling per wrapper. Add more oil to your wok, turn back up to medium. Fry the egg rolls until brown on all sides. BE CAREFUL. They will fry quickly and the oil is hot. Serve with chilled plum wine and duck sauce.

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