An egg roll is basically an appetizer or a dinner dish with a crispy outer crust and a stuffing. The savory preparation is most widely viewed as a variant of the Asian spring roll. The roll is very versatile and can be made with almost all available vegetables and meats. This is a filling preparation and is consumed almost all over the world.
History of the Egg Roll Recipe
The roll is an Asian invention. The appetizer was originally eaten in East Asia and over the years, it spread to other parts of the world. It is believed that the spring roll is the ancestor of the egg rolls. There are various theories about how the dish came into being, each linking it to a different Asian country. There are various versions of the roll throughout Asia.
The roll has various features of the Cantonese cuisine and therefore, Southern China is mostly credited as being its sole inventor.
Egg Roll Recipe: Common Ingredients Used
Egg rolls are very versatile and there is no single recipe to make them. When made in its most traditional form, however, the dish is made with meat, chopped cabbage, dough and egg. Based on individual preferences, any type of meat can be used. Chicken, beef, pork and lamb are most commonly used as stuffing. This is true for vegetables as well, while cabbage is the traditional vegetable chopped for fillings, almost anything can be used in its place. The stuffing can also be a mixture of 2 or more vegetables.
Seasonings of choice are used to add flavor to the preparation and sometimes, shredded cheese is also added.
Egg Roll Recipe: Preparation Overview
Making an egg roll is fairly simple and the preparation time is about 10 to 15 minutes. Frying is the common method of preparation. All the ingredients are first prepared as required and thin sheets of dough are cut out. The stuffing is mixed and placed in each sheet, which is then wrapped and enclosed. The wrap is dipped in egg or egg wash and deep fried. The end can be closed or kept open.
A well made roll has thick and puffy skin and it is crunchy with a well-cooked filling.
Serving and Eating Egg Rolls
In Southeast Asian countries, the egg roll is most commonly consumed as an appetizer or a part of the breakfast meal. The preparation is served hot, either all by itself or with a thick and spicy dipping sauce. The rolls can be left intact or cut into smaller pieces, based on personal preferences.
In some countries, egg rolls are served as a part of a more elaborate lunch or dinner meal. The dish can also be consumed as a quick-snack.
Egg Roll Recipe: Popular Variations
Over the years, the egg roll has evolved a lot and there are many versions of the dish in today's times.
The egg roll, in Mainland China and various other Chinese-speaking nations in Asia, is an egg-based pastry which is flute shaped and is yellow in color. It has a flaky crust and is consumed as a dessert. Sesame seeds, chocolate, strawberry, cream or caramel are used as topping or flavor.
A popular variant of the dish is found in West Bengal in India, particularly in Kolkatta. The roll is essentially a fried egg which is wrapped inside a paratha, an Indian fried flat-bread made from flour. More elaborate versions of the egg-paratha are stuffed with meat and/or vegetables of choice. Lemon juice and tomato ketchup are optional additions.
The British and Australian version of egg rolls is a fried egg packed in a bread roll or a chopped hard-boiled egg packed into a bread roll with mayonnaise. The dish is a breakfast as well as party buffet food.
In Mexico, an egg roll wrap, or the burrito or taquito, is stuffed with cheese and beans. Meat, peppers and spices are optional ingredients. The preparation is deep fried and served with salsa or sour cream.
The Indonesian variant of the preparation is called Lumpia Semarang. It is similar to the spring roll but it is predominantly made with egg.
Egg Roll Recipe: Health and Nutrition Facts
As the dish is deep fried and usually made from flour, the egg roll can be high in calorie, carbohydrates and fat contents. The meats used can also make the food unhealthy and unsuitable for consumption by some. The food is, therefore, eaten in controlled quantities, especially by those who have high cholesterol levels or suffer from weight-related issues.
To make the rolls healthier, whole-wheat flour can be used instead of the traditional version and soft white meats can replace red meats like beef and pork. Instead of deep fried the preparation can be shallow fried so that it does not soak a lot of oil and before serving, it should be drained properly. The egg roll should, however, be consumed in small quantities even if it is made with comparatively healthier ingredients.