“Excuse me?” One of my kindergarteners is tug, tug, tugging at my shirt, “excuse me…”
“Yes…?” I’m taking attendance half-hearing his question.
“I know what we’re making today.”
I stop, in search of eyes hidden behind a mop of bangs, happy for a little bit of enlightened knowledge as I provide him my full attention, “What’s that?”
“I know what we’re making today…” His smile is full of mischievousness. I’m nervous now, “what are we making today?”
“Pickle soup.” And he does a little dance in place, kicking up his knees, “Pickle… Soup! HA!”
The rest of the students throw up their hands and perform a similar dance, “pickle soup!? Bwahahahaha!”
I can tell Mr. Pickle Soup has been itching to say his comment. He’s been mulling it over waiting to entertain. “Pickle Soup!” He’s jumping in place clapping his hands in self-congratulations. The others follow. Maybe they’ve all rehearsed it.
“How did you know?!” Dancing stops.
“What?” Mr. Pickle Soup replies.
“Yeah, pickle soup. We were going to make egg rolls, but pickle soup sounds way better. We’ll do that instead. I have a jar of pickles in the fridge I’ve been trying to figure out how to get rid of. It’s perfect.”
“Egg rolls? I like egg rolls. Can we make egg rolls? We can make egg rolls.”
“But you said pickle soup and I think you’re right that it would be a delicious thing to make.”
He’s tug, tug, tugging and my shirt again, “no, I know what we’re making today.”
So we made egg rolls.
Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls
Makes 40 egg rolls
2 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil)
2 cups shredded (about 1/4 large) napa cabbage
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup soy bean sprouts
1 cup water chestnuts, sliced
5 scallions, sliced
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons arrowroot
3 tablespoons honey (or sugar)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
1 package egg roll wrappers (many grocery stores now carry these. Look for them in the refrigerated section next to the tofu.)
1 egg, whisked + 1 tablespoon water
Sweet and Sour or other Asian dipping sauce
Make Filling: Warm 2 tablespoons avocado oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts, water chestnuts and scallions, stirring to cook evenly and mix. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring, until vegetables are slightly wilted but still crisp. Dissolve arrowroot in water and add to skillet. Stir to incorporate and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in honey, soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger. Allow to cool slightly.
Assemble Egg Rolls: Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Lay egg roll wrapper on a flat work surface, in a diamond shape so a corner is pointed towards you. Place 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of the wrapper. Fold the bottom corner up, over filling, just below the top corner. Fold the right corner over, keeping the bottom edge lined up. Fold the left corner over, keeping the bottom edge lined up. Starting from the flat edge closest to you, roll the wrapper up tightly. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until filling/ wrappers are finished. Brush egg rolls with egg wash and bake 10 to 15 minutes, until golden and crisp. Serve with dipping sauce.