This delicious recipe for egg roll in a bowl is packed with flavor! Lean ground turkey is stir-fried with colorful vegetables and savory seasonings. I serve this Chinese-inspired dish with baked wontons crisps for a healthier twist.
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When a plate of crispy egg rolls hits the table, they typically disappear fast. Now you can enjoy this popular appetizer as a full-blown entree instead of just a starter. All the main components are still intact, but the recipe is now a heartier and healthier meal.
Unwrapped and full of flavor, stir-fried ground turkey and shredded vegetables are ready in just minutes. To add a pleasant contrast in textures, I use sliced wrapper pieces that bake until golden and crispy. Serve with your side dish choice, like steamed rice or cauliflower rice, for a complete meal or simply dive right in as a keto-friendly meal.
Baking instead of deep-frying
I adore egg rolls for their crispy exteriors and savory filling, but if you’re not in the mood for deep frying, try baking sliced wonton or egg roll wrappers. You can find packages in the refrigerated section of most major grocery stores and Asian markets.
Cut the wrappers into ½-inch wide strips about 3-inches long. Brush each side with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. As they bake, the oil helps to lightly fry the surface, creating a crunchy, bubbly texture, mimicking the deep-fried version. They brown quickly, in just 5 minutes, so keep a close eye on color change.
Stir-fry the vegetables
I use a variety of vegetables to add a pop of color while enhancing the taste and texture. Shiitake mushrooms have a nice umami flavor and provide a heartier, meaty chew. Bean sprouts and cabbage work well as crunchy fillers. You can cut these ingredients down into ¼-inch wide pieces since we’re not stuffing them inside a wrapper.
Using fresh slices of green onion adds a hint of allium flavor but without the strong sulfurous notes. Carrots provide both a slight crunch and sweetness to the dish. These vegetables all cook in a hot wok, continually stirring until tender.
You can use any ground meat like turkey, chicken, beef, or pork. For this recipe, I use a 97% lean ground turkey. The little bit of fat (3%) helps the meat stay tender, flavorful, and not dry out. You could also use pieces of crumbled extra-firm tofu, seitan, or tempeh for high-protein vegetarian options.
Enhancing the flavor of the meat
Before adding the ground turkey to the wok, first, saute fresh ginger and garlic in hot sesame oil. This step instantly adds intense earthy aromatics to the dish and infuses savory flavors into the oil and meat. While stir-frying the poultry, break it down into smaller bite-sized pieces.
Soy sauce provides a nice burst of umami notes to season the meat that complements the salt and pepper. If you like a sweeter taste, I recommend using coconut aminos instead. Once the meat is done cooking, add back the vegetables to rewarm, then it’s ready to serve. This recipe works well for meal prep as it makes four generous servings or six smaller ones.
Other flavorful add-ins
For a stronger savory taste, add 1 tablespoon of hoisin or oyster sauce to the meat mixture. I often use it for an extra boost in my turkey lettuce wraps. For a spicy kick, add some chili flakes, oil, or sauce like sriracha. Add chopped bamboo shoots or water chestnuts, have a nice earthy taste.
What to serve this with
- Steamed white rice or brown rice
- Cauliflower rice or broccoli rice for low carb options
- Homemade sweet and sour sauce to drizzle on top, just like the appetizer
Why you stir-fry the vegetables first
The vegetables are high in moisture, and once chopped and cooked, they release water into the pan. The liquid can dilute the flavor of the meat and seasonings. Therefore, I briefly stir-fry them to wilt and tenderize the plants’ cell walls. You’ll see the moisture being expelled, but the high heat will evaporate most of it. Carefully wipe down the pan with a paper towel before adding in the turkey. Water will make the meat steam instead of sear.
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Egg Roll in a Bowl
Baked Wonton Crips
- 4 wonton wrappers
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- kosher salt, for seasoning
- black pepper, for seasoning
Egg Roll Mixture
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 3 cups shiitake mushrooms, ¼-inch thick slices
- 1 ½ cup shredded carrots
- 4 cups napa cabbage, ¼-inch thick slices
- 1 ½ cups bean sprouts
- ⅓ cup green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 pound ground turkey, chicken, beef, or pork
Baked Wonton Crisps
- Set the oven rack to the middle position and set the heat to 375ºF (191ºC). Cut the wrappers into ½-inch wide strips about 3-inches long, about 40 pieces.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly brush vegetable oil on both sides. Season the surface on the side facing up with salt and pepper. Bake until lightly golden brown and crisp, about 5 to 6 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Allow it to cool on the pan until ready to use.
Egg Roll Mixture
- Heat a wok, large saute pan, or skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the mushrooms and saute for 1 minute. Add the carrots and saute for 1 minute. Add the cabbage and saute for 1 minute. Add the bean sprouts and green onions and saute for 1 minute. Add ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper, stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a large plate or bowl.
- Wipe down the pan with a paper towel to remove any moisture. Heat the wok over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and sesame oil. Once hot, add the garlic and ginger. Saute until fragrant, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn, 15 seconds.
- Add the ground turkey and cook until no longer pink, breaking down the meat into smaller pieces, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add soy sauce, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper, stir to combine.
- Add the vegetables back to the pan, stir and cook until warm, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If desired, serve with rice. Top with wonton crisps and green onions.
- Wok Spatula
- Recipe Yield: About 6 cups
- Serving Size: 1 ½ cups and 10 wonton crisps
- Wrappers: If using larger egg roll wrappers, then only 2 are needed. Cut them into strips about ½-inch wide by 3-inch long.
- Make it gluten-free, paleo, whole30, and keto: Omit wonton crisps. Use coconut aminos or Braggs Liquid Aminos instead of soy sauce. Use sea salt instead of kosher salt. Use avocado oil, olive oil, or canola oil instead of vegetable oil.
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