Are you ready to fry in egg roll heaven? Here is your shopping list: (WARNING: This makes a LOT of egg rolls. No worries, though. They get eaten very fast and you can freeze any leftovers. I very rarely have enough left over to freeze as I eat them for every meal the next day. Mmmmmm. And you can freeze them either before or after you fry them. Just make sure they aren't wet if you freeze them raw or they will stick together, and that they are cool if you freeze them fried so they won't get soggy and stick together. )
2 packages egg roll wrappers
1 pound (or a bit more) Sweet Italian Sausage
1 large, or 2 small heads of Napa Cabbage
1 can sliced water chestnuts
3 handfuls of bean sprouts (or two cans of La Choy bean sprouts, but I prefer fresh)
(and various other vegetables to your liking)
Squeeze sausage from its casing (If you can find the sausage in a block instead of in a casing it is a lot less gross) and brown like you would hamburger meat, breaking into small pieces. Drain and put in fridge.
Now chop your brains out. Have a big bowl ready for the Napa cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters the long way and then slice thinly. This is very messy. And put in the large bowl.
Dice the water chestnuts
Throw in the bean sprouts as they are.
Grate one to two large carrots.
Finely dice 2 stalks of celery.
And finely dice, grate, or julienne any other veggies you want to put in but which are all optional at this point(peppers, onions, mushrooms, broccoli stems, etc)
Season veggies with around 4 tsp of garlic salt, throw in some Chinese 5 spice powder if you've got it, maybe some ginger, you know, just throw whatever Chinesey flavors you like into it.
Heat up a tablespoon of oil in a very large fry pan (or if you have a large crockpot you can do it all at once in there too). Heat up half the sausage till hot and then throw in half the veggie mess. Toss constantly (unless it is in the crock, then just stir it up occasionally). Drizzle 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce (or teryaki) mixed with 3 teaspoons cornstarch over the veggies as you stir them. You just want to cook till the cabbage starts to wilt. Set aside in big bowl. Repeat with second half of meat and veggies, but make sure your pan is really hot before you repeat. Place in big bowl with rest of filling.
Heat your oil to 350.
While oil heats, start wrapping. This is a long tedious process so try to get lots of people to help. This is why we usually only have egg rolls when visiting family or have friends over, so there are many hands for helping. Keep small bowl of water close at hand for moistening the edges of your wrappers. Dip finger in water and run along the edge of the wrapper. The cornstarch used to keep the sheets of dough separate acts as a glue when wet and helps seal your egg roll. You want to make sure that the eggroll is properly sealed. If there are any gaps or holes the filling will spill out into your oil and oil will get into your eggroll making it grossly oily. Here is a link to someone else's instructions if you need more visuals. And then fry till crispy golden brown on both sides.SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE
For sweet and sour sauce I throw equal amounts (about a cup each) of white vinegar, brown sugar, and soy sauce into a sauce pan, add the juice of a large can of pineapple tidbits and 1/3 of the pineapple, and heat till hot. When hot, stir in 1 tablespoon cornstarch that has been mixed with 2 tablespoons water. Stir till it no longer looks cloudy. You can add some red food coloring for that fun Chinese restaurant look if you want. Make sure to scoop up the pieces of pineapple with your egg roll. YUMMERS!
CREAM CHEESE WONTONS
Now, if you have left over egg roll wrappers, cut them in 1/4ths (into smaller squares). Fill them with a dollop of cream cheese. If you want you can add stuff to the cream cheese like garlic, green onions, shrimp, crab meat, or all of the above. Moisten 2 connecting edges and fold over into a triangle and seal shut, then fry these little guys just like you did the egg rolls. These are sooooo good dipped in the S&W sauce!
And if any of this is confusing let me know what you need clarified and I will edit this in red to try and fix the recipe. There has never really been a recipe for these. It is one of those things you just eyeball and throw together.