Braised Cabbage, Shrimp, and Bacon Egg Rolls
This egg roll was one of the most popular menu items at the Comedy Union, and people still ask about it to this day.
Prep: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
for the egg roll:
half head of cabbage, shredded
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
bacon lardons, approximately 1/2 pound cut into quarter-inch thickness
2 pinches brown sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pinches chili flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound fresh peeled and deveined shrimp
wonton wrappers (you can purchase these at your nearest Asian grocery store)
small bowl of water (to seal the egg rolls)
cooking oil, for deep-fryer
for the 'makes everything better' dipping sauce:
1 can chipotle chilies
3 cloves garlic
2 cups honey
1. Thinly chop cabbage. Finely mince thyme. With the back of a knife, smash garlic and chop into fine mince. Cut lardons into quarter-inch thickness.
2. In a sauté pan over high heat (almost to smoking), get oil hot. Add cabbage, thyme and chili flakes to the pan. Hit it with a pinch of salt and pepper. Let it braise in its own juices for three minutes, tossing occasionally until it reduces (approximately 5 minutes).
3. In a separate pan, render lardons over medium heat until crispy. Add two sprinkles of brown sugar to the pan and mix to incorporate, stirring constantly. It will caramelize, so make sure that it doesn't burn. Now, if you want to add Courvoisier, be extremely careful: take the pan off the heat, add a dash of booze, and light a match. Add back to low heat and allow alcohol to burn off.
4. In a separate pan, cook the shrimp over medium-high heat for ten to twelve minutes. Sprinkle fresh thyme, chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Move onto plate to cool. Set aside.
Chef's Note: They will cook again once they're in the fryer.
5. Take cooled shrimp and cut into bite-sized pieces.
6. Next, make the egg roll. Take one sheet of wonton dough and add two pinches of braised cabbage onto one corner of sheet. Add some of the lardons and shrimp on top (but don't overstuff the wrapper).
7. Now, grab the back corner and tightly roll towards the corner directly across from it (you don't want the ingredients to fall out). Make sure to neatly tuck the two opposite corners into the roll so that you have a perfect seal. Seal the roll off with water (use your fingertip by dipping into water). Set aside.
8. Next, make the dipping sauce. In a food processor, add chipotle, garlic, honey, salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth.
9. Fry the egg rolls. In a deep-fryer with oil at 325° F, carefully drop egg rolls (they should be fully submerged) into hot oil until golden brown, approximately 3-4 minutes. You can also cook these in a cast-iron skillet or pan over the stove (make sure to check the frying temperature). Once cooked, drain on paper towels, cut on an angle, and drizzle with the dipping sauce. Garnish with thyme and enjoy.