Once again I have been flirting with some super trendy food ideas from all corners of the internet. Eggroll bowls are a really simple idea. It is a stir-fry dish made of items that frequently inhabit an eggroll. Mr. Food It Yourself and I have been enjoying them for a few months now. Here are some formal recipes:
- A recipe from Delish.com
- If you find a sale on bagged coleslaw mix, you can try this version from Allrecipes.com
- WW, the organization formerly known as Weight Watchers has a version also
What have we learned from these recipes, (and the zillion others on Carbophobic fewd blawgs, which I will not dignify with links)? Cabbage + other veggies + a protein + Asian seasonings = an eggroll bowl. I have used “regular” cabbage, bok choy, nappa cabbage, and savoy cabbage. I have added carrots, mung bean sprouts, snow pea pods, celery, bell pepper, green onion and yellow onion. Additionally, water chestnuts, mushrooms, daikon radish, summer squash, or literally any greens could be used. Many recipes use ground pork as a protein, but beef, chicken, shrimp, or tofu are all perfectly fine. That is what is so good about eggroll bowls. You can use what you have.
This night, I used tofu as a protein. Just like eggroll bowls, tofu can taste like anything you wish. The catch is that you have to add the flavor to the tofu yourself. I started by squeezing the extra water out of my block of tofu, with the help of some paper towels, two plates, and a bag of sweet potatoes. After an hour of extraction, I marinated the tofu in dark soy sauce.
Tonight’s vegetable selection: a savoy cabbage, celery, green onions, and carrots. I also used garlic, but that goes without saying. Two items I have found to be quite necessary for the success of this dish are five spice powder and toasted sesame oil. These items really have no substitute, although you can mix up your own five spice blend.
I sliced the green onion thinly, minced the garlic, and cut the celery into matchsticks. Most recipes that call for carrots say to shred them. I find that my box grater produces a mushy, wet shred. Instead, I use my vegetable noodle cutter. You can also use a vegetable peeler to make ribbons. The cabbage was sliced thinly; I only needed half of the head.
Next, it was time to heat up my Very Large Skillet. I used a combination of grapeseed oil (which can take high heat without burning) and that delicious toasted sesame oil. Once it got nice and hot, I added my veggies. The really trick to stir-frying is to keep stirring. In just a few minutes the vegetables had reduced in volume. I added the block of marinated tofu and broke it up with my spatula. Finally I seasoned it all with a little more soy sauce, a dusting of five spice powder, a bit of hoisin sauce for sweetness, and just a few drops of sriracha.
You really do need to keep stirring to prevent things from burning and to let the water evaporate from the cooking vegetables. Burnt, soggy eggroll bowl is not a tasty dinner. Do not fear, though. The high heat used in this cooking method will keep you at the stove top for only a short time. Dinner will be served before you know it!
Eggroll bowls have become a regular dinner item for us. I like how flexible the recipe is. I like how it can be used to re-purpose leftovers (like that little bit of rotisserie chicken or those last two celery ribs). I like it because it is delicious. I am glad I tried this interesting take on stir-fry. What new items are you adding to your DIYet? Share in the comments!