These healthy baked egg rolls with bacon and sweet chili dipping sauce provide a satisfying crunch and tons of flavor – you won’t miss the fried version!
When my husband and I were dating in Boston we used to frequent Kowloon Restaurant in Saugus, MA – your quintessential Chinese American restaurant complete with scorpion bowls and pu pu platters. The atmosphere was lively, the service was fast and the food was hot and greasy. Let me tell you – we were fat, happy and in love.
Fast forward to today, we now live in Grand Rapids, Michigan which actually has some of the best authentic Asian food I’ve ever tasted. Unfortunately for my egg-roll-loving husband, we are severely lacking in the Chinese American restaurant department. While this doesn’t bother me so much now that I’m living a healthier lifestyle, my husband craves his “East Coast Egg Rolls” as he now calls them and is always on the hunt when we go out for Chinese food.
After his recent 204291359th failed attempt to find what he was looking for, I decided to take matters into my own hands. After heavy debate and much discussion, we decided that the biggest difference between Boston egg rolls and Grand Rapids egg rolls is the lack of celery. We had cabbage, we had pork, we did not have celery.
Wife to the rescue. By sautéing cabbage and celery in a little bacon fat (for smoky flavor) and adding tons of aromatics including ginger, garlic and scallions, we officially nailed it. Added bonus? These healthy baked versions don’t leave us feeling weighed down after the meal.
What does that really mean? I can eat more ice cream.
No forks required.
- 2 slices bacon - thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger - grated
- 2 cloves garlic - grated
- 4 scallions - minced
- 4 cups napa cabbage - shredded
- 2 celery stalks - minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 oz can bamboo shoots - drained and minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce - low sodium
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon shaoh sing rice cooking wine or sherry wine
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- pinch cayenne - optional
- 8 egg roll wrappers
- 1 egg - lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- sweet chili dipping sauce - for serving
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with tin foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Heat a deep pan over medium heat and add bacon slices. Cook until bacon is crispy and fat is rendered, about 3-4 minutes.
- Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon and reserve on a plate lined with paper towel.
- To the same pan, cook the ginger, garlic and scallions in the bacon grease for 60 seconds over medium-high heat.
- Add cabbage, celery and salt to the pan. Saute until tender, stirring frequently, about 8-9 minutes.
- Add bamboo shoots, soy sauce, sesame oil, shaoh sing, rice vinegar and cayenne. Cook for 2 additional minutes then remove mixture from the pan to cool.
- To prepare the egg rolls, create a little assembly line by placing the beaten egg in a small bowl with a brush and the oil in a separate small bowl with a separate brush. Next, lay the egg roll wrappers out on a clean work surface with plenty of space.
- To fill the egg rolls, you'll want the wrapper to be facing you in a diamond shape (not a straight square.) Using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, add about ¼ cup of the cabbage mixture into the center of the wrapper.
- Next, brush all four edges of the wrapper with egg then bring the right and left corners together. Bring the bottom corner over the top of the mixture, tuck then roll until egg roll is formed. Place egg roll on the baking sheet, sealed side on the bottom.
- Lightly brush the top of each egg roll with vegetable oil then bake for 20 minutes. To ensure even browning, flip the egg rolls once half-way through around the 10 minute mark.
- Serve with sweet chili dipping sauce.