If you’ve followed along for a while, I’m guessing that you probably love dim sum as much as I do. Since dim sum tends to be a fat laden meal, I often try to make these treats a bit healthier when creating them at home. I figure that you can get the full-fat version at your local dim sum house, and then come back to my recipes when you feel like cutting back a bit.
I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to avoid deep fat frying in my dim sum recipes up to this point. When I finally get around to covering even more dim sum favorites I don’t know that I’ll be able to hold to this, but for now I’m happy to say that these Baked Veggie Egg Rolls are every bit as delicious as the originals. Instead of deep fat frying, these rolls are wrapped with a phyllo pastry that’s lightly misted with oil spray. Less fat, lots of fresh veggie flavor, and no used oil clean up…what’s not to love?
There are a few tricks to creating a perfectly crisp baked egg roll. First, you want to pick veggies with less water content. For this reason, I like to use regular cabbage instead of napa cabbage and dried shiitake mushrooms instead of fresh ones. When you cook the filling over high heat, the goal is to reduce the water content in the veggies, which also helps to concentrate their flavor.
Another thing you’ll want to do is to make sure the filling is completely cooled to room temperature before wrapping it with the phyllo. This is a very important step since steam coming off of the cooked veggies will sog up an otherwise crisp wrapper.
My last tip (and this is an easy one), is to eat these while they’re still freshly baked. You can keep the phyllo and veggie filling in the fridge, and just make the number of rolls you plan on eating when the time is right. This assures a crisp, golden crust that shatters, just like what you’d expect in the most delicious deep-fried kind. Serve these up with some oolong tea based Sweet & Sour Sauce and poof! Chinese take-out night without the guilt!
Makes 12 egg rolls.
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium brown onion, diced (1 cup)
1 Tbsp garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp ginger, grated
1 oz dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated, rinsed, squeezed dry, stems removed, then diced
1 Tbsp sherry or cooking wine
2 carrots, shredded (1 1/4 cups)
1 red bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
1/2 small head of cabbage, diced (5 cups)
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
2 green onions, sliced finely
12 large sheets of phyllo dough, thawed and kept moist
vegetable oil spray
large wok or skillet
large baking sheet
large cooling rack
1/4 cup measure
1.) Place a wok on high heat. Add the vegetable oil to the pan, wait for it to shimmer, then add the onion, garlic, and ginger to the pan and cook for 1 minute. After a minute, toss the diced mushrooms into the pan with the onion, garlic, and ginger, and stir fry for 2 minutes.
2.) Add 1 Tbsp of sherry to the cooking vegetables, then let it cook out.
3.) Next add the shredded carrots and diced red bell pepper. Stir fry them with the mushroom-onion mixture for 3 minutes, then add the diced cabbage to the wok.
4.) Stir fry the vegetables for about 3 minutes, then add the sesame oil, white pepper, sugar, and vegetarian oyster sauce. Continue to cook the mixture over high heat for an additional 4 minutes until all the excess moisture has evaporated and the veggies are slightly browned. Place the vegetable filling on a large plate to cool completely to room temperature.
5.) When the filling has completely cooled to room temperature, mix in the green onions with the veggies, then preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
6.) Place a sheet of the phyllo on a work surface, then spray it lightly and evenly with vegetable oil spray. Place 1/4 cup of the veggie mixture on one side of the phyllo sheet (my sheet was 9″ x 14″), about 1″in from the edge on the short (9″ side). Form the filling roughly into a 4″ log. Fold in the long (14″) sides of the pastry evenly around the filling, then roll the egg roll up in a sushi-like fashion, until you a finished egg roll. Repeat this step 12 times to make 12 egg rolls.
7.) Lightly spray a large baking sheet with the same vegetable oil spray, then park the egg rolls on the baking sheet seam side down. Give each egg roll a final even, light spray of oil, then bake them for about 10 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
8.) Let the Baked Veggie Egg Rolls cool on a cooling rack for a few minutes, serve them with Orange Oolong Sweet & Sour Sauce on the side, and enjoy!