Low-Carb Recipe: Inside-Out Egg Rolls!

19 May

For a printable version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

Asian-flavored cabbage rolls

This ain't your grandmama's homemade cabbage roll. Unless she was a low-carb dieter back in the old school, of course. And also possibly Chinese.

Yesterday I couldn’t stand the cravings I had all day for a Chinese egg roll–a real, honest-to-blog, greasy, salty, chewy, “carby,” restaurant-style, deep-fried, now-I-can-meet-Jesus egg roll dinner.

But alas! I’m low-carbing it right now and eating such a sinful goodie;was a complete non-option.

Nonetheless, by the time I picked up the family and pulled into the driveway last night, I knew I had to try–one way or another.

An hour later, I was sure glad I did.

Cabbage leaves.

Cabbage leaves.

I’ve never been much on the standard Italian-seasoned, soup-covered, vintage beef & rice cabbage roll. But these…these were something else entirely. Not to brag or anything, but DANG was this a great idea!

Shredded core.

Shred the remaining cabbage core.

Not only was the filling in these cabbage rolls a dead ringer for regular egg roll centers, it was easy to make, low-carb, lowfat, low-cal, and even vegetarian! And cooking them uncovered at half-time meant in addition to being speedier than their traditional counterparts, the rolls’ outer “shells” kept a wonderful firmness that separated them from your average, soggy, run-of-the-mill stuffed cabbage.

Toss the filling veggies.

Toss cabbage, carrots, celery and green onions.

Chef’s Note: It is infinitely easier and produces infinitely prettier results if you freeze a head of cabbage overnight and then fridge-thaw & core it before peeling the giant leaves off for roll wrappers. Plus, you don’t have to waste time boiling the cabbage then, either.

Stir-fry filling mixture.

Add eggs to filling and keep stir-frying until less wet.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and warm 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a large skillet over MEDIUM heat. While stove heats up, core a thawed, previously-frozen head of cabbage and remove stem.

Place spoonfuls of filling into each cabbage leaf.

Spoon filling mixture into each cabbage leaf.

Slowly peel away 8 to 10 large cabbage leaves, keeping them as much intact as possible but cutting away any stiff parts that were near the stem. (You want the leaves to be kind of floppy all around.)

Take the remaining portion of cabbage left on the head and shred it with a large knife. (You’ll get about 2 or 2-1/2 cups left on a medium-sized cabbage after stripping the best leaves.) Throw shredded cabbage in a large bowl.

To shredded cabbage, add about 1/3 cup shredded carrots (♥see note!), 1 petite-diced celery rib and 4 petite-diced green onions (scallions). Toss all of the chopped vegetables together.

Stuffed cabbage leaf.

Roll leaf around filling mixture.

Note: While carrots are generally discouraged during the induction phase of many low-carb diets (Atkins, South Beach, etc.), the small amount (1/3 cup or about 1-2 small handfuls) I used in this recipe is fairly benign, particularly when you look at a bag of shredded carrots and notice how much empty space is actually in that bag.

Meanwhile, if you feel uncomfortable having them in there during induction phase, just leave ’em out. It’s no biggie. They just add a little bit of extra texture and some welcome color to the filling, but they’re still expendable. Throw the veggies into your warm, oiled skillet. If you’re making this vegetarian (I did), add 1 cup dehydrated texturized vegetable protein (TVP)♥ (What’s TVP, you ask?) to the skillet, along with 1 cup of water.♥Chef’s Note: If TVP isn’t available at your discount store, you can easily make this recipe using a pound of ground turkey or other (ground) meat instead; just add it to the skillet first and throw in veggies once meat begins to brown.

Sprinkle stir-fry mixture with: 2 teaspoons ginger, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1 teaspoon Oriental 5-Spice Blend (or your own choice of cinnamon/nutmeg/anise/whatever), and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Shake in about 2 tablespoons soy sauce and crack 2 eggs into skillet. Break yolks immediately with spoon and continue to stir-fry until vegetables are tender but firm and TVP or meat has fully browned. (No pieces of egg should be discernible.) Remove skillet from heat.

Mix oil & soy sauce for basting.

Place 2-3 spoonfuls stir-fry mixture in the center of each cabbage leaf, stopping to roll each one before moving onto the next. To wrap, first roll leaf like a tube around the filling and then tuck each cabbage end underneath the “tube” you just made. Place rolls side by side, tucked side-down, in a greased baking dish.

Raw, basted cabbage rolls.

Baste the tops of the uncooked wraps with a mixture of 1 tablespoon oil & 1 teaspoon soy sauce before placing UNCOVERED into hot oven.

Browned & ready to eat!

Bake approximately 25 minutes, or until cabbage glows bright green and filling mixture can be seen through the now-translucent leaves.

Remove from oven; use tongs to distribute rolls onto plates. Allow to cool about 2 minutes before eating. Freeze or refrigerate leftovers.

Inside-out egg rolls.

Inside-out is very delicous!

Make a pouch.


12 Responses to “Low-Carb Recipe: Inside-Out Egg Rolls!”

  1. redforkhippie May 19, 2010 at 10:19 PM #

    That looks great, and much easier than trying to make egg roll wrappers from scratch, which is a monumental pain in the butt.

  2. Gracie May 20, 2010 at 9:09 AM #

    I froze some leftovers and can’t wait to have them again tonight for dinner when I get home!!! (Guess the boys will be fending for themselves tonight…will it be fish sticks or corn dogs? Hmmm.)

  3. Becky July 6, 2010 at 10:03 PM #

    I really enjoyed this recipe! (Finally I had an excuse to use my Chinese 5 spice powder!) My husband said it was good, too, and you don’t know but that is high praise coming from him. Anyway, thank you so much for sharing your recipes with the world. I found this one by googling around for TVP recipe ideas, and will now visit your website often. Take care, Gracie! 🙂

  4. Gracie July 6, 2010 at 10:24 PM #

    Wow, thanks for the rave review, Becky! I’m so glad they came out as well for you, and I really appreciate that you took the time to come back and post your comment afterwards–that is a big deal for small-time food blogs like mine to be sure our culinary experiments reproduce well in other kitchens! I hope you’ll be back. 🙂

  5. sonny July 7, 2010 at 11:12 AM #

    I went to the store and have all the needed items to give this a try. Thank you so much for the detailed instructions and recipe. I am hoping this will fulfill my extreme desire for take out chinese rools , which are my downfall:) I will come back to let you know how it went for me..

    • Gracie July 12, 2010 at 8:26 AM #

      Sonny, I hope your rolls came out well! I have been thinking about this recipe all weekend. I think my house may smell like cabbage again tonight! 🙂

      • sonny July 12, 2010 at 9:06 AM #

        Hi Gracie.. I clicked reply on that email before I even thought about it lol.. Which will explain why I havent been cookin in the house since thursday night..
        I will most definately be doing this recipe as soon as I can.. It was mighty sweet of ya to write me..
        Mine isnt a decorating blog but I’d be tickled to have you visit anytime , anyway..


  6. Wilmer Ennenga February 3, 2011 at 6:51 AM #

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

    • Gracie February 3, 2011 at 6:55 AM #

      Welcome, Wilmer! I’m glad you found us–we’re a happy community and love newcomers! Thanks for commenting!


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