Growing up, I always heard my mother refer to avocados as “pears”. The version of the avocado I am more familiar with on the island is the larger green avocado, not the smaller, dark purple Hass Avocado. I enjoy the Hass, but I adore the larger “Pear”. Somehow the good-for-you, fatty, richness of the avocado always complimented, in a very cooling way, whatever traditionally spiced dishes came out of my mother’s kitchen.
My love for avocados was elevated to even higher heights, when I lived in Washington, D.C. As a college student one of my favorite restaurants was a major chain restaurant well known for its Avocado Egg Rolls. It was love at first bite! Since we don’t have that particular restaurant on the Rock, necessity gave birth to this simple recipe that would solve that particular craving!
It’s also a great go-to appetizer to share with my vegetarian friends, and it helps me use up some of the season’s “pears”. Lime and Culantro show up to punch up the guacamole type flavors in this dish. Crispy, warm, and cooling all at the same time! Perfect, summer party food!
2 large ripe Avocados
1 Small Red Onion
2-3 Stalks of Culantro or the equivalent substitute of Cilantro
1 Tomato diced
1-2 Limes (to taste)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Package of Egg Roll Wrappers
Enough Peanut or Vegetable Oil for Frying
Cut the avocados into large chunks and squeeze the lime juice over it. The lime juice works in two ways here: it protects the flesh of the avocado from oxidizing and turning brown; and it also dials up the overall citrus flavor!
Try to use only enough lime juice to coat and flavor the avocado. You want the flavor of the lime without too much extra moisture. It really is a judgment call. If it needs a bit more lime add it. Remember, you can always add, but you can’t always subtract an ingredient from a dish. Add the juice a little at a time, tasting for overall flavor.
Add the diced red onions, culantro or cilantro, tomato, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate the mixture for a few hours to give the flavors a chance to properly come together.
After you remove it from the refrigerator, check the taste to see if it needs a bit more lime, salt, or other adjustments. This recipe is all to your taste. If it tastes good it IS good.
Take the egg roll wrappers, and turn one corner towards you. It should resemble a diamond more than a square. Place about 2 tablespoons of the filling across the center of the egg roll wrapper.
Pull the corner pointed toward you over the filling. Then pull the side corners over that. If you are looking down on the egg roll it should look like an opened envelope at this point.
Dip your finger in water and run it over the final corners of the egg roll wrapper to help create a seal, then wrap that final corner over the roll and seal.
Heat a pot with enough oil to cover the egg rolls. I prefer to use Peanut Oil. I think it gives the egg roll a better flavor. If not, you can use regular vegetable oil.
Once the oil is hot enough place the egg rolls in and fry until crisp and golden brown. It will only take a few moments to fry nicely. Keep your eyes on them, as they can easily go from golden brown to burned!
Also, these rolls don’t refrigerate well. The moisture from the avocado can make the wonton skin soggy and impossible to fry. As soon as you wrap them, fry them!
Finally, slice the egg rolls in half. You can serve this either with regular Chinese Duck Sauce. Or you can mix up a couple limes with some local honey, add the zest of the limes, and lightly drizzle over the rolls.
Serve hot! And enjoy!!