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Recipe for BBQ Pork Egg Rolls that are filled with bbq pork. Freezer friendly, spend half a day creating egg rolls and have egg rolls in the freezer waiting for a quick fry for many meals to come, impromptu guests, or prep cooking for parties.
Making Egg Rolls
Chinese BBQ Pork Egg Rolls start with ground pork that is flavored with all of the char siu flavorings, but a lot less work than a traditional BBQ pork recipe.
This method produces smaller pork pieces anyway. No need to run the char sui through a food processor or dice it up small.
These really are easy, just time-consuming and you might find random pieces of cabbage in kitchen corners when you are done.
I just clean off every flat surface in the kitchen and then run the vacuum on the floor.
Now I remember why I always make them in such large quantity.
Freezing the BBQ Pork Egg Rolls
Listen, the freezer is your friend with this recipe. When frozen individually before bagging them together, you can cook up as many or as few at a time as you want.
This also serves as a deterrent to eating too many at once.
Remember to keep them covered with a plastic wrap until they are frozen or they will dry out and you will have a mess when they are cooked.
If these crack open you will have a devil of a time getting all the little pieces out of the oil.
They are perfect hiding in the freezer when you are looking for a simple, no time to cook dinner.
In my house, these get served up as an accompaniment to chicken chow mein, fried rice, or some just plain white rice.
The apricot sweet and sour sauce is great on top of rice.
I know, egg rolls are supposed to be an appetizer, but sometimes we eat them as the main dish.
On those nights I serve a bowl of jasmine rice along with some zucchini and onions stir-fried in oil, dark soy sauce, and garlic.
We like to use the apricot sweet and sour sauce on our rice.
Meat for Chinese BBQ Pork Egg Rolls
You can substitute char siu (Chinese BBQ pork) if you make it at home or even if you are lucky enough to have a Chinese restaurant in your area that still offers it in the menu.
We have exactly one in my area that we can find. It used to be conveniently located by my house, and then we moved to the other side of town.
The Asian markets are not closer than that restaurant so I opt for using char siu flavored ground pork, my preferred NOH Char Siu Seasoning is readily available.
I don’t have a recipe for char siu yet that I like, so I will continue to use the ground pork char siu powdered combination until I do.
It makes for a fine substitute. If you do not like the char siu flavoring, by all means, use straight ground pork, or leftover pork cut into slivers.
Plain old cooked pork is what I used for years in my old egg roll recipe.
Our Egg Rolls contain peanut butter
If you have a peanut allergy, be warned, they both contain peanut butter.
Chicago Chinatown influenced my Chinese food preferences early on and many Chicago area Chinese restaurants use peanut butter in their egg rolls.
The addition of peanut butter is the only way I have ever been able to recreate a flavor anywhere near close to the same.
Vegetables for Chinese Egg Rolls
The vegetables of my choice are Napa Cabbage, green cabbage, and bean sprouts.
You can add any other vegetables you like.
Some places add carrots for color and sweetness. I don’t find the addition of carrots necessary.
Any hard vegetable like carrots or celery may need a brief blanching in hot water as the cabbage gets.
The cabbage needs to be thinly shredded BEFORE blanching.
You can use a mandoline or a sharp knife. Just try and keep the slices to less than a 1/4-inch.
If you are going to use a mandoline I suggest only cutting the cabbage into halves or quarters and leave the core intact to help hold the leaves together.
For the love of all things holy, use the safety shield that came with the mandoline. I know it’s buried somewhere in the cabinet, go look for it, I’ll wait……….
When I say blanching, I truly mean just a quick 30 to 60 seconds in the hot water.
The second you see the green starting to brighten just a bit, the cabbage is done. get it out of the hot water and into a colander.
I even give it a quick rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Now is when you want to go ahead and squeeze out as much water as you can from the cabbage.
Please do not skip this important step or your eggrolls will be soggy and likely to blow through your wrappers when you go to cook them.
I squeeze it with my hands over the sink and place the cabbage onto some flour sack towels, wrap the cabbage tightly and then twist the towel. Do this over the sink as well, you will be amazed how much water is still in there.
Tender vegetables like bean sprouts and green onions do not need to be blanched.
The water chestnuts can be diced in a food processor, but I find that the pieces are too inconsistent for my liking. I dice them into small pieces with a knife.
The bamboo shoots will need to be cut into slivers and then shortened.
You can leave out the bamboo shoots if you like, but I think that bamboo shoots are usually that “missing flavor” when you are trying to replicate some restaurant dishes.
Notes on BBQ Pork Egg Rolls**
These will not cook up as dark as the thicker egg roll wrappers found in a refrigerated section at most grocery stores.
I have made these with and without the mushrooms. I prefer the taste with the mushrooms, but prefer the texture without them. These photos are without mushrooms.
BBQ Pork Egg Rolls
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 2 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 large head Napa cabbage shredded
- 1 large head green cabbage shredded
- 1 ½ pounds ground pork
- 1 NOH Char Sui seasoning packet
- 5 green onions shredded in food processor or sliced into thin julienne
- 3 Shiitake mushrooms fresh or rehydrated (optional)
- 1 small can bamboo shoots julienned
- 1 small can water chestnuts finely diced
- 1 pound mung bean sprouts
- 4 tsp white sugar
- 2 – 4 tsp salt start with 2 and taste after all is combined
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 50 spring roll wrappers thawed
- Vegetable oil for frying
Apricot Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 24 ounces apricot nectar
- 1 cup lump or rock sugar found at Asian grocery stores, white sugar can be used as a substitute but use 1/2 cup and adjust to your preferred sweetness
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon ginger fresh, ground, or jarred
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons water
- If using dried shiitake mushrooms rehydrate them now by placing in a bowl of water and allowing to soak until plump.
- Add ground pork to a skillet and turn heat to medium-high. When pork begins to sizzle, add char sui packet and mix well. Continue to cook until pork is cook through and begins to release some of the fat. Add shiitake mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes. Set mixture aside to cool.
- Once pork and mushrooms are cool enough to handle, break up any large pieces.
- Place peanut butter and peanut oil into a small saucepan and heat over low heat until thin and combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Blanch cabbage in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds, once it turns a brighter green remove from water and place in a colander and rinse with very cold water, or place into an ice bath.
- Drain water from cabbage and place into a kitchen towel and wring cabbage dry.
- Combine pork and mushrooms with cabbage, bean sprouts, green onions, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots.
- Add sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper.
- Add cooled peanut butter and peanut oil, mix until everything is evenly distributed. Taste, add more salt if necessary. Depending on the saltiness of your peanut butter, you may not need anymore or you may need another 2 teaspoons. Remember, once you add salt you can’t take it out!
- Fill each wrapper according to package directions.
- Freeze any eggrolls you do not plan on eating the day of preparation in a single layer, not touching each other. Once they are frozen solid they can be placed into another container, or a freezer bag, until ready to use.
- To fry, place oil no higher than ½ full in a saucepan, wok, or deep fryer and heat over medium-high heat until the end of a chopstick starts to bubble. Alternately you can use the end of a wooden spoon.
- When the oil is ready, carefully place egg rolls into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan, ideally, they should not be touching.
- Flip them over a few times, you may find that they will not stay rolled over. If this happens, just use a kitchen spider or other utensil that will not melt in hot oil and weigh the egg rolls over. Remove them as soon as they are to your desired color.
- Remove briefly to paper towels to drain, do not allow the egg rolls to touch as they cool or the sides touching will become soggy.
- If you are using frozen spring roll skins, these will not get as dark or golden as the ones from the produce section in a grocery store.
- If you begin to see filling leaking out or hear bubbling as loud as you did when you first dropped the egg rolls into the oil, remove them.
- Serve with sweet and sour sauce.
Apricot Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Mix nectar, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan. Set over medium-high heat and cook until sugar melts. Rock and lump sugar will take up to 20 minutes before completely dissolving.
- Reduce heat to simmer and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes.
- Bring to a boil, add cornstarch mixed with water. Cook just until mixture comes back to original color. Set aside to cool.