Khmer Egg Rolls | Sugar for Breakfast: Khmer Egg Rolls

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Khmer Egg Rolls

Egg rolls.

Real, south-Asian egg rolls. Not the frozen kind. Or the over-fried, extra greasy with thick won ton shells with nothing but cabbage on the inside like at the Chinese restaurant with what looks like little specks of red meat substance on the inside.
Everyone has their own preference on how they like their egg rolls. Myself, I love the thinner won ton wrapper, with meat and veggies I can see and make out what they are when I bite into it.
I myself am not Asian. But, my husband, Channa is. He is Cambodian…or Khmer…whichever you prefer to call it. Marrying into his family is like marrying into a food paradise. Besides learning how to make Pho, I learned how to make egg rolls that are loved by all. I have never been to a party where these were present and see one person turn them down. I believe these egg rolls can convert those whom believe that they do not like any Asian food into opening their mind and converting them. Yes. They are that good.

So bear with me while I fumble my way through trying to explain how to make the most delicious hand-held food I know of Smile
This recipe makes about 10 dozen egg rolls, and be prepared to spend an afternoon rolling them, I believe in having a cooking partner while attempting these.
Remember, everyone’s recipe is probably a wee different, and the more you make them, the better they become. It is definitely a recipe that is handed down through years of making it while growing up. So trying to convert this into actual measurements was very difficult. A trip to a local Asian market or grocery might also be in store to find everything you need. Otherwise I believe you could probably find the food items online for order if none are close to you. This also calls for MSG, monosodium glutamate. I’m sure salt can be substituted, however I wouldn’t know the exchange on it for measurements or taste, as I’ve never had it that way.

Khmer {Cambodian} Egg Rolls

by Emily Chhouy
Prep Time: 1 few hours
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Ingredients (120 egg rolls)
  • 1 1/2 large heads of cabbage, sliced into small pieces
  • 2 large white onions, chopped
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 package Vermicelli noodles (thin clear mung bean noodles) Soak in water during preparation of the vegetables
  • 2-3 pounds lean turkey (ground beef can be used, however turkey fries quicker and doesn’t bleed as much into the oil)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup MSG (monosodium glutamate)
  • 4-5 Tbsp black pepper
  • 3 eggs + 1 or 2 for wrapping
  • 120 egg roll/won ton wrappers
Add all the chopped/grated vegetables to a very large mixing bowl.
Combine so all the vegetables are thoroughly mixed together.
Use your hands and break any larger cabbage pieces while combining with the other vegetables.
Take the noodles out of the water and cut into smaller strands using a clean pair of kitchen shears or scissors and combine with the vegetables.
Add the meat to the to the vegetable/noodle mixture.
Combine well with your hands again. You could try using a large spoon, but good luck.
Add the eggs, breaking the yolk before combining with the mixture.
Add the sugar, MSG, and pepper.
Combine well.
*my husband’s hint is to look closely at the mixture. When you can see the granules of the sugar, MSG, and pepper over everything coating it well, then you have enough. The measurements listed are approximate.
Adjust if necessary.
Now you are ready to roll!
Roll the egg rolls, placing in a large baking pan until ready to freeze or fry.
To cook the egg rolls add to hot oil and fry until the wrapper turns a great golden brown and crisps.
Serve with a side of sweet chili sauce!
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This is what our “rolling station” looks like on our dining room table:

(the large silver bowl is full of egg roll filling)

I have taken pictures of the step-by-step rolling process. It isn’t too hard, the trick is to get the right amount of meat mix on the wrapper to begin with. It takes practice, as does rolling. The hubs used to make fun of mine, but now after almost 13 years of practice and thousands of egg rolls later...I roll them better than him. He even admits it!

Here is the written rolling directions:
1. Add large tablespoonful to wrapper just above one corner, centered in the wrapper, but not in the middle
2. Pull the bottom corner over the meat mixture
3. Roll the bottom towards to the top ONE roll
4. Fold the 2 side corners in towards the middle
5. Roll one more time
6. Add egg yolk to the top corner to act as the glue to hold the wrapper together
7. Roll onto the yolk to finish the egg roll!

If you don’t plan on eating all the egg rolls at once, place into large freezer bags and freeze until you are ready to enjoy. When we fry frozen ones, we just pop them into the oil still frozen. We are too impatient to thaw out.
Be prepared for people to ask you to make them some all the time. But it is definitely a labor of love…one that we commit to only one or two times a year.


  1. I'm Khmer and this is very similar to my mom's recipe. I don't use MSG anymore and no one's complained. I'm 36 and my mom STILL makes fun of my eggrolling skills so don't fret. My friends and family ask for these every holiday so heaven forbid if I feel lazy one year and not deliver. My 14 yr old daughter is now getting paid .25 for each eggroll since we have to make so many. She sure does roll them quickly without complaining now. Great post, thanks for sharing. I will send your recipe to my friends in Brazil.

    1. That is so funny about them making fun of your egg rolling skills! Mine are getting better...somewhat :) It is very time-consuming. I don't think people realize how labor-intensive it can be. We recently took orders and ended up making over 20 dozen for orders. It took us 4 days to make them all. And our house smelled like an egg roll for about 4 days after...I'm glad that I blogged about it, I got tired of trying to write it out for people! Thanks Vanin!



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