Mom’s Gifted Egg Rolls with Pickled Daikon Recipe | PBS Food

Mom’s Gifted Egg Rolls with
Pickled Daikon

When my parents immigrated to the US, they were warmly welcomed into their new community. So, every year for the holidays, my mother showed her gratitude by making dozens of egg rolls (with her kids as sous chefs), which we would package in foil and a bow to give out as gifts to the neighbors. These egg rolls, and that act of gratitude, are the reason why I cook.

This dish is packed with complex flavors and textures that are firmly bundled together. Before enjoying the egg roll, wrap it in a cool, fresh red lettuce leaf and dip it in the flavorful fish sauce. When you take your first bite, you will taste the richness of the seasoned pork, the flavors of the sea from the crab and shrimp, and the finely minced vegetables that cut through the protein. All of it is enjoyed with a side of pickled daikon to complement the egg rolls.

This recipe from Foo is featured in the Family episode during Season 1 of The Great American Recipe.


Yield: Serves 6



  • Egg rolls
  • 1 cup dried Chinese mushrooms
  • 1 small head green cabbage, cored
  • 1 small jicama, peeled
  • 4 carrots, peeled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 8 ounces shrimp, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (6-ounce) can lump crab meat, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (8-ounce) package vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (1-pound) package egg roll wrappers
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce

  • Pickled daikon
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 medium daikon, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes

  • Dipping sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste
  • ½ cup water


  1. In a medium bowl, soak the mushrooms in water for 15 minutes to reconstitute and soften. Drain, pat dry, and chop, then set aside.
  2. With a mandoline, thinly shave and then finely chop the cabbage, jicama, and carrots. Set aside.
  3. In two separate bowls, beat 1 egg and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, shrimp, crab, vermicelli, mushrooms, cabbage, jicama, carrots, Vidalia onion, scallions, shallot, garlic, 1 of the beaten eggs, fish sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  5. Lay out 1 egg roll wrapper in a diamond shape with one corner facing you. Scoop about 3 tablespoons of the egg roll filling onto the corner facing you. Begin to roll the wrapper away from you while applying a little pressure. Halfway through, fold the right and left corners into the center of the filling and continue to roll away from you. Seal the ends with some of the other beaten egg.
  6. Pour the vegetable oil into a deep fryer or large, heavy-bottomed pot and heat to 300 degrees F. Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
  7. Add 3 egg rolls at a time to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Transfer to the prepared rack.
  8. To make the pickled daikon, in a medium bowl, whisk together the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt to make a quick brine. Add the cubed daikon.
  9. To make the dipping sauce, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, vinegar, chili paste, and water in a small bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  10. Serve the egg rolls with lettuce leaves for wrapping. Offer the pickled daikon and dipping sauce alongside.
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