Every true southerner respects the almighty collard leaf. I do, anyway and was really scared of doing these beautiful collard leaves an injustice when playing around with this recipe for collard green egg rolls. What this turned out to be was my all-time favorite egg roll.
My Mom grows the most beautiful organic collards you’ve ever seen. And I knew it would be alright to “play” with a collard recipe because she has LOTS of them growing right now. So I went to her house down the street and cut a big ‘ole stalk of collards from her garden ~ she has them growing in all kinds of places in her yard! These were cut beside her greenhouse.
See how big and healthy the leaves are? Mama told me to leave the stalk once I cut it because it helps to nurture the soil. I wish I would have gotten that green thumb from her but I didn’t. So I’ll just keep cookin’ what she grows :-).
So I took my big bag of collards home, started simmering a big pot of water and salt pork pieces and began cleaning the collards. Then I like to cut out the big stem in the center using kitchen shears – I don’t like “stemmy” collard greens.
I ended up with a big bowl of collard green ribbons. This recipe made 15 collard green egg rolls, using about 25 medium to large sized collard leaves which was using 1/2 of the bunch I cut from the stalk.
By that time my salt pork had been cooking about 45 minutes, and I put the sliced collards in the pot of boiling water, a big handful at a time. Then I covered the pot and let the collards simmer and cook for about 45 minutes. Oh, and I added some fresh ground pepper and SRIRACHA sauce. I’ve NEVER added sriracha to collards, but I knew that the cream cheese and collard mixture would probably taste a little bland, so I wanted to give the collards a little “kick” outside of using traditional hot sauce.
Once they were ready, I drained the collards & salt pork pieces in a colander and placed them in a big bowl.
This is where it got scary. Of course I tasted the collards and they were divine. Was I getting ready to ruin this beautiful mess of collards with cream cheese? I was almost trembling :|. But it was a good decision
So I added an 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese and stirred it all up with a spoon.
Then I took a package of egg rolls and placed one on a sheet of wax paper (meanwhile I had some peanut oil in a deep skillet heating up). I took my finger and spread beaten egg around the edges of the egg roll to help it to “stick together” better. Then I placed about 2 heaping tablespoons of the collard mixture in the center of each egg roll and folded it egg roll style:
Then I fried these collard bad boys up in some hot peanut oil that I heated over medium high heat. I knew it was ready when i put the corner of the egg roll in the oil and it started to sizzle.
Oh yeah. That was some true collard love. I was really shocked at how good they tasted. I’m a southern girl that grew up in a small farming community, and the only way I’ve ever eaten collards is, well, just collards. That’s why I called it “Collards Gone Classy”. I think my Papa would have been proud of me for this one :-).
So here’s the printable version of the recipe for my collard green egg rolls. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
- Approximately ½ bunch of collards (about 25 medium-large sized leaves)
- (1) 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 8 ounce package salt pork trimmings, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
- 1 package of egg roll wrappers
- 1 egg, beaten
- Black pepper, to taste
- Peanut oil for frying egg rolls
- In a large stock pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil with salt pork pieces.
- Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for approximately 45 minutes while preparing collards.
- Wash collards by holding each leaf under cool running water in sink, rub leaves to remove any dirt.
- Remove big stems at the bottom of each leaf with kitchen shears.
- Roll 3-4 leaves up into a "log" and slice into about ½ inch ribbons.
- Bring water with salt pork trimmings to a rolling boil
- Add collard green ribbons, one big hand full at a time.
- Add 1 tablespoon of sriracha sauce and pepper, to taste.
- Stir well.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for approximately 40-45 minutes, or until tender.
- Drain collards & salt pork in colander.
- In a large bowl, mix collards with salt pork and softened cream cheese with a spoon until blended.
- Place egg roll on wax paper and moisten edges with beaten egg.
- Place approximately 2 heaping tablespoons of collard mixture in each egg roll and fold.
- Cover each egg roll with a dampened paper towel to prevent from drying out.
- In a skillet with high sides, fill about 3 inches high with peanut oil (approximately a 24 ounce bottle).
- Heat peanut oil over medium high heat.
- Fry egg rolls until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
- Place egg rolls on paper towels to drain.