Monte Cristo Kahlua Pork Egg Rolls
How the Monte Cristo sandwich was derived from Dumas’ book, I may never know. What I do know, is someone needs to shake the inventor’s hand and say thank you for making a comfort food that so perfectly combines breakfast and lunch. The chef and owner of the North End Caffe in Manhattan Beach took this scrumptious sandwich even further by adding an Asian flare and stuffing it into a crispy egg roll. Oh… My… God it is so GOOD!!! Zerek and I first heard about the delectable dish while watching Diners Drive-Ins and Dives one day before I had a work trip to Los Angeles. What luck! He visited me while I was out there and making the trip down to Manhattan Beach was the first item on our To Do list. It was an A-MAZING experience. We loved these egg rolls so much I knew I just had to try to make them, whatever it took. So, I watched the show several times, taking copious notes, and I scoured the Internet for the transcript and any other bits and pieces I could pick up. I made them the weekend before last for the TCU tailgate at Cowboys Stadium. Although they weren’t hot and crispy by the time we were out there, they were still a hit!
I will warn you, this is going to look like a difficult recipe, but in fact, it’s not at all. It was so EASY! The hardest parts are 1.) having patience while the Kahlua Pork is cooking and 2.) finding some of the ingredients. Follow my easy directions below and you will be the envy of any tailgate, dinner party, or gathering you have. So, after all that rambling, here we go…
Fire Level: yellow-red (Only one ingredient can change the spice level, so I think this is definitely a yellow unless you get carried away with the sriracha)
STEP 1 (try to do this a day or two before): Gather your ingredients. Of course this is important in all recipes, but especially important here because it might be difficult to find some of the items. You will likely have to find an Asian Market in your hometown. If you are in Dallas I suggest the Asian World Market in Plano. I have put the items that you will likely need to purchase at the Asian Market in bold.
KAHLUA PORK INGREDIENTS
- 1 Large Pork Butt
- Smoked Sea Salt (Difficult to find and can be pricey. Zerek found it at Central market for $10 but you can use it again and often. It smells wonderful!)
- 1 Package Banana Leafs (If frozen, let thaw before cooking)
WASABI MOJO INGREDIENTS
- 3 Cups Mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- 2 Tablespoons Teryaki (I suggest getting a high quality, thicker Teriyaki sauce, not the thin kind you would use for marinade). Make sure to buy a whole bottle because you will need the rest.
- 1 Tablespoon Wasabi Powder (Feel free to add a bit more if you are a huge fan of Wasabi)
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- 1.5 Teaspoons Sesame Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Ginger (I just used ginger powder from the spice aisle)
EGG ROLL INGREDIENTS
- 1-2 Packages of Swiss Cheese (If you just want a hint of swiss cheese in the egg rolls you can get by with one package, but I suggest getting two so that the egg rolls are more cheesy)
- 1 lb. Black Forest Ham
- 1 bunch Scallions
- 2-3 Eggs
- 1 Package of 25 Egg Roll Wraps (If frozen, let thaw)
- Sriracha (A.K.A. Rooster Sauce)
- Peanut Oil (I suggest a medium to large bottle)
- Sesame Seeds
STEP 2: Cook your pork butt!
Coat the pork butt all the way around in the smoked sea salt. Take a deep roasting pan (I used one of the disposable tin ones) and line the bottom of the ban with banana leaves. Place the pork butt on the banana leaves and wrap the top of it in more banana leaves. Add about a cup of water to the bottom of the pan (under the banana leaves) so that nothing burns. Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven at 220 degrees for 10-12 hours – yes I said HOURS. I told you this required patience. If you have a pork butt that takes up the entire pan, you will need more like 12 hours. Mine was a bit smaller so I checked it at 10 hours and it was just slightly pink so I went ahead and took it out. Slightly pink is good. That means it still has a lot of the moisture and flavor and hasn’t dried out.
STEP 3: Prepare the Wasabi Mojo
At some point while the pork butt is cooking (and you will have quite a while to do this), put together your Wasabi Mojo. Combine all the ingredients above, from the Mayonnaise to the Ginger and whisk together in a bowl. Feel free to tweak the ingredients to your taste. If you can’t taste the wasabi, add a bit more.
STEP 4: The Pork is Done
Once your Kahlua pork is done, feel free to try a bite. Go on, you know you want to do it!! Break apart the pork into a large bowl. It should fall right apart. You won’t even need a knife. Add a little bit of the juice from the bottom of the pan to add some additional flavor. Stir it into the pork. If you are going to immediately go to finishing your egg rolls, great! If not, feel free to place the pork into the refrigerator until you are ready to make the egg rolls.
STEP 5: Heat the Oil
I don’t have a deep fryer at home and I doubt many of you do. Therefore to cook the egg rolls, I put a big pot on the stove top and filled it halfway full with peanut oil. You need to make sure you can put several egg rolls into it and have them be completely submerged in oil. Cook the oil on Medium High until you can sprinkle a few drops of water into the oil and hear it crackle.
STEP 6: Make your egg wash
Crack a couple eggs into a small bowl and whip them up so that you have some egg wash to hold the egg rolls together.
STEP 7: It’s Wrapping Time!
It’s now time to put it all together. Take one of your wrap pieces and place it onto the counter top in a diamond shape, so that one of the points is at your belly. Layer the egg roll ingredients onto the center: half a slice of Black Forest Ham, half a slice of Swiss cheese, some pork, a few one-inch pieces of scallion, drizzle a bit of teryaki on top, and sprinkle with some sesame seeds. Use a basting brush (or your fingers if you don’t have a brush) to spread some egg wash around the edges of the wrap. Fold the bottom point up to the top point and press the edges of the triangle together. Fold the left and right corners into the center and roll the egg roll until closed. Make sure to wrap very tightly so that none of the ingredients fall out when cooking.
STEP 8: Cook ‘em up!
Drop the egg rolls into the oil and cook until golden brown. Don’t be surprised if parts of the outside turn black. This is likely due to the teriyaki showing through the wrap and not because you burned the egg roll. When finished, place the cooked egg rolls unto a paper towel to soak up some of the access oil.
STEP 9: Prepare the sauce (YUMMY!!)
In my opinion, the sauce is one of the best parts of this dish. This is also the part of the dish where you can make this spicy! Take a small saucer or tiny sauce bowl and put the three sauces into it: The wasabi mojo you made earlier, some teriyaki, and some sriracha. Only use a bit of sriracha if you don’t like spice, but feel free to use a lot if you want the sauce really spicy. If you haven’t had it before, sriracha has a GREAT flavor so at least include some of it. Refer to the picture to get an idea of the amount of each of the sauces to include. You want mostly wasabi mojo. Sprinkle with some sesame seeds and serve!!
STEP 10: ENJOY!!
Because I love the sauce so much, I like to use the leftover sauce for other Asian dishes too. For a quick dinner idea, pick up some egg rolls or wontons from the frozen section of your local supermarket and serve with this sauce. Add in some chicken fried rice and you have a delicious dinner.
Another dinner idea if you don’t like Asian food very much – just make the pork!! It is so tender and delicious; it would be great for sandwiches. Add your favorite barbeque sauce or just use the pork by itself and you have a wonderful pulled pork sandwich.