Updated: Jan 20, 2022
With the Packers headed to a playoff game this weekend, you might be looking for some great game-time fare. Crispy Vietnamese Egg Rolls made with venison might be just the ticket!
I was inspired to try this when the woman who does my nails, Lee, from Lee's Nails in Plover, WI, gave me a ziplock bag full of her homemade frozen pork and vegetable egg rolls for Christmas in 2020. She and one of her colleagues, Ong, provided directions for preparing them. They were delicious! So, I asked Lee how to make them. Between the directions she gave me, YouTube videos on using the spring roll wrappers, and a recipe that Huy Vu has on his website, hungryhuy.com, I was able to make some great egg rolls. On a personal hunch, I added a bit of Chinese five spice to the mixture, which we really liked. This fall, I decided to try a venison version. This was excellent as well, and a great way to use some of the last of my 2020 buck from the little cabin.
1lb ground venison
lb ground pork
2 cups cabbage and carrot shredded (I used packaged Cole slaw mix)
1 cup rice noodles chopped in 1 inch threads
4 oz cremini mushrooms
11/2 tsp black pepper fine grind
11/2 tsp Chinese five spice
2 tsp sugar
25 Vietnamese spring roll wrappers (I got the ones from the frozen foods section of the local Asian market)
1/4 cup water
1 TBSP Flour
Roughly chop the cabbage, carrots and mushrooms in your food processor. Add the pork, venison, eggs, salt, pepper, sugar and spice and mix well.
Take the thawed spring roll wrappers from their package and cover with a damp towel. Mix the flour and water in a small prep bowl and keep it handy. You are going to use this to "glue" the edge of the filled wrapper.
Now comes the trickiest part of this, wrapping the rolls. Take one wrapper from the stack. You will need to carefully peel it off. Lay it out on a clean counter top and fold it about a third of the way up as pictured above. Add a tablespoon or less of the filling and fold in the outer corners. Then roll forward, tightly. When the roll is complete, dab a bit of the flour "glue" around the top corner and seal. Place the completed rolls on a cookie sheet. When you are all done, slip the cookie sheet into the freezer. When the rolls are frozen, store in the freezer in a Ziploc, until just before they are needed.
To use the rolls, heat about an inch of canola oil in a skillet. Heat the oil on medium high until a drop of water spatters out of the pan (be careful here) Working 4 or 5 at a time, add the frozen egg rolls to the hot oil, again, be careful. Use your tongs. Fry the rolls, turning and adjusting heat as needed until they are golden brown on all sides. Drain on paper towel, while you cook the next batch. These are meant to be served with fish sauce. You could use hot mustard or soy sauce. I really like sweet Thai chili sauce with mine.
My son-in-law, Dan Honl, believes that serving wings as Packer party fare is good luck for the Packers (it's only weird if it does not work). Wings, fresh veggies, and your favorite libations added to the egg rolls is a great combination. This is a wonderful way to enjoy your venison burger. It is worth the effort. Enjoy and Go Packers!