Ground Beef with Peas, Carrots, and Mung Bean Sprouts

This ground beef recipe is a filling for egg rolls. Let’s start with the wrappers.

There are different types of egg roll wrappers. There are thick ones made of wheat that tend to overpower the filling and there are paper thin ones like rice paper or lumpia (loom-pyah) wrappers, both of which are found in Asian grocery stores. You can also use phyllo dough if you wish, but you would bake rather than fry them. The one type typically found in regular grocery stores is made of wheat. Whichever you prefer, the ideal taste I find is one with thin wrapper so the filling is the dominant texture and flavor rather than the wrapper.Brown 1 lb. of ground beef and set aside.

For the filling, chop 4 carrots, 1 onion, and mince as many garlic cloves as you want; try 4 if you want an exact number. Sauté the onion in a skillet with 1-2 tbsp of cooking oil over medium heat. Put in the garlic after a minute, followed by the carrots. After two to three minutes, put in the cooked 1 lb of ground beef and 1 or 2 cups of frozen green peas and 1 cup of mung bean sprouts. If you wish to cut out the carrot chopping part, then use frozen carrot and green peas mix (1 cup). After the mixture is heated through, throw in ½ to 1 cup of raisins, depending what flavors you want to dominate your egg roll, and add a sprinkling of Bragg Liquid Aminos, soy sauce, or tamari sauce, depending how salty you want it to be.

When done, take the whole mixture and place in a strainer or use a slotted spoon to put everything in a bowl. You can keep the liquid for another use. In case you run out of wrappers, the leftover filling and liquid can then be mixed in with cooked rice. Then you’ve got another dish for another meal even if it’s just for one or two servings.

Put in a few spoons of the filling in a wrapper. Be aware that the wrapper is fragile and thin, so you can better assess how much to put in. When you fold the wrapper, fold in the sides first. (Do not roll it like you would a homegrown tobacco cigarette.)

Once you’ve finished rolling the egg rolls, which you will have put on a platter, no stacking, you have the option to pan-fry or oven-fry them.

If pan frying, take a big skillet and put in enough cooking oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. There’s no need to deep fry these. However, if you have a deep-fryer appliance, then use that. If not, then use either of the methods I just gave. (You can do both methods at the same time and compare results.)

If pan-frying, put cooking oil in a skillet, over medium heat. When the oil is heated, not smoking, gently put in how ever many egg rolls you can fit in and fry for about 3-5 minutes for each side, or when golden brown. As you are cooking, you will get an idea how long it takes to brown them. Place the cooked egg rolls on a paper towel-lined plate or a rack so you won’t have greasy egg rolls. Add some more oil if you need to as you are cooking, but be sure the oil is warmed enough so you won’t have the egg rolls soaking in it for too long.

If you wish to oven-fry, get a baking sheet and spray or rub in cooking oil. Place the egg rolls seam side down, no stacking. Spray the egg rolls with cooking oil and put in a preheated oven 400-425 degrees (400 degrees for stainless steel baking sheet; 425 for aluminum) and bake 10-15 minutes for each side.

Serve the egg rolls with a bowl of bok choy soup (chicken broth, scallions, garlic, and cut up bok choy). As dip for the egg rolls, malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar mixed with minced garlic is very tasty. I don’t recommend duck sauce because it’s too sweet and gloppy and the raisins in the egg rolls will suffice in providing bursts of sweetness. Vinegar cuts the greasiness, although we’re aiming for non-greasy egg rolls here based on the preparation above.

Have fun dipping!

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