Like burritos, sandwiches, and tacos, egg rolls don't have to be restricted to any traditional recipe mold, because they are fantastic vehicles for experimenting with many different flavors. The classic Chinese restaurant egg roll contains ingredients like carrots, cabbage, scallions, and pork, and comes with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. When you break it down, though, all you really have is vegetables and protein wrapped in a crunchy carb and dipped in a sauce. There are so many different combinations of these foundational elements, which means you can create something that's juicy, delicious, and exactly what you're craving.
Mashed recipe developer Erin Johnson thought so too, which is why she created this recipe for pulled pork egg rolls, which she calls "one of [her] favorite ways to use pulled pork." When you look at the usual accouterment you would eat with this smoky meat, it's easy to see why the egg roll angle works. Coleslaw provides the same fresh crunch as classic egg roll vegetables, barbecue sauce stands in for sweet and sour, and pulled pork obviously replaces the meat. The one ingredient that isn't a direct replacement is sweet, American-style pickles. These are an irreplaceable part of the pulled pork experience and should be added to the egg rolls even if you're not the biggest fan of them, due to how much their acidity balances out the oiliness of the dish.
Why Pulled Pork Makes Juicy Egg Rolls
Pulled pork, even when it's leftover, is one of the most succulent preparations for pork you'll encounter on this planet. It comes from the pork butt (ironically located at the shoulder), which is a cut of the pig that is deeply marbled with intramuscular fat just waiting to be rendered down and absorbed by the surrounding meat. The pork butt gets seasoned, then cooked low and slow for hours in an oven or smoker, allowing the long cooking time to break down the connective tissue while getting self-basted by delicious fat. After cooling, the pork then gets shredded (or pulled) into tender bites of meat confetti that can be used to adorn nachos, paired with beans and barbecue sauce, or in this case, stuffed into juicy pulled pork egg rolls.
This meat naturally works better at keeping egg rolls moist compared to ground pork. When preparing traditional egg rolls, you first have to saute the ground pork and vegetables in order to make sure the meat gets completely cooked. Ground meat typically doesn't have as high a fat content compared to pork butt, and will dry out easily in the frying pan. Add to the fact that it still gets cooked further in the frying process, and you've got a filling that desperately needs the help of sauce to be enjoyable. Pulled pork doesn't suffer from the same fate, and still has plenty of fat to help coat the other ingredients inside the wrapper.
Read the original article on Mashed.