Every family has their favorite dishes—the ones everyone cheers for time and time again—and these pulled pork egg rolls were an instant classic in my parents’ house. I decided to make them again for a ladies’ night I hosted one Friday night, because who doesn’t want to eat crispy crunchy fried food on Friday after they’ve been good all week? (“Good” in terms of health is relative to the girl, but you get what I mean.)
I texted my sister Annie to tell her I was cooking up the egg rolls for my lady friends. “Shut up!” she replied. “I’m SO jealous. Take some pictures for me so I can drool over them.” And so I sent her a series of picture messages showcasing the meal, from the piles of pork to the final deep-fried product, complete with BBQ dipping sauce. Annie practically drooled on me through the phone, and my friends started salivating as soon as they got a whiff of all the good stuff in the works in my kitchen. After sharing three or four bottles of wine between the five of us, my girlfriends and I were all dying to mow down on these pulled pork egg rolls and the stir fry I served up alongside them.
These egg rolls are basically a southern version of the classic egg roll, served with one of the American South’s favorite condiments: barbeque sauce. A pork butt (aka pork shoulder) is cooked low and slow until it’s tender and easily shredded. Then the cooled pulled pork is tossed with tri-color slaw mix, relish, seasonings and BBQ sauce before it’s spooned into a traditional Asian egg roll wrapper and deep fried. HOLY YUM! This culinary collision of the Deep South and the Far West won my girlfriends’ hearts just like it did my family’s, and I’m sure it will win yours, too.
Oh, and did I mention this would be a real crowd pleaser for the Super Bowl? The egg rolls can be made ahead and frozen for up to a month or two. Just make sure and freeze them in a single layer on a sheet tray before putting them into a zip-top bag. There’s no need to defrost them when you’re ready to fry them: Put them directly into the hot oil and allow an extra minute or two for them to fry all the way through. In fact, I’m about to fry up a batch right now for lunch. There’s a blizzard coming, and I’m bound and determined to make the best of it. Hope you’re all doing the same!
Pulled Pork Egg Rolls
This recipe is adapted from Paula Deen. If you don’t have Paula’s Butt Massage seasoning, simply make your own by blending paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder, using 1 Tbs. paprika to each ½ tsp. garlic powder and onion power. Egg roll wrappers are available in the produce section of most grocery stores. Click here to download a copy of this recipe.
1 (2½ lb) boneless Boston butt roast or pork shoulder roast
2 tablespoons Paula’s Butt Massage seasoning
1 (16-oz.) bag tri-color slaw mix
¼ c. celery, diced
2 Tbs. sweet pickle relish
¼ c. plus 2 tablespoons barbeque sauce
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste
1 (16-oz.) packages egg roll wrappers
Vegetable oil or peanut oil, for frying
Barbeque sauce, for dipping, optional
Season and cook pork shoulder. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a roasting pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, and place roast in pan. Rub seasoning mixture over roast. Cover tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil and bake for 3 hours, or until tender. Let roast cool to touch and shred the meat with a fork or clean hands.
Make egg roll filling. In a large bowl, combine 2½ cups of the shredded pork (reserve any leftover meat for another use), slaw mix, celery, and pickle relish. Pour BBQ sauce over pork mixture, season to taste with salt, pepper and garlic powder, and toss gently to coat.
Make egg rolls. Place 1 egg roll wrapper on a clean flat surface with one corner pointing towards you. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush corners with water. Spoon 1/3 cup of pork filling in center of each egg roll wrapper. Fold bottom corner of wrapper over filling. Fold left and right corners over filling. Tightly roll filled end toward remaining corner, pressing gently to seal. The end result should look like an envelope. Repeat with the remaining filling and egg rolls wrappers.
Fry egg rolls. In a deep fryer or large Dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 2-inches. Heat the oil to 365˚F (oil will drop to 350˚F when the egg rolls are added, which is exactly the temperature you want to fry at). Fry the egg rolls in batches until they are golden brown, about two minutes. Drain on a wire rack placed over a sheet pan lined with paper towels to let the excess oil drain away. Serve with barbeque sauce.