This recipe is a bit of crazy serendipity. I happened to make and thoroughly enjoy a pulled pork taco and later in the same afternoon make and enjoy some of my great French fries. Seeing some leftover ingredients from the taco along with the deep skillet of peanut oil that I used for the fries gave me a wild idea. Why not make a rolled up taco and fry it like a Chinese egg roll?
Yes, the idea is off the wall, but I proceeded to make one as described in this Food Nirvana recipe, and it turned out to be delicious. Go figure!
The ingredients I used when making the normal taco were juicy shredded pork, an 8" diameter soft flour taco/tortilla shell, thin slices of Pepper Jack cheese, halved pimento stuffed green Manzanilla olives, diced onion, diced tomato, Sriracha pepper sauce and chopped lettuce. That makes a yummy taco. Now, what would I put into a taco that I would fry like a Chinese egg roll? Well, it is pretty obvious that the tomato and lettuce and olives would not do well, so I limited the content to the pork, the onions, and the cheese, for they go together naturally.
One thing I didn't use was any egg. Thus, to keep a rolled up taco with the ends folded in to seal the moist meat, onions and cheese, I decided to use three wood toothpicks to keep the rolled up flour shell intact. So I guess I am guilty of a misnomer for calling this creation an egg roll. Ah, well ... I was trying to get you to visualize the product by using the egg roll description as an example.
As it all turned out the end product was very much like an egg roll ... crisp on the outside and filled with warm tasty ingredients on the inside. I simply used Sriracha sauce as a dip/condiment instead of the traditional Chinese Duck Sauce or Hot Mustard.
You can have a lot of fun with this recipe, both in surprising people when you serve the food and in thinking about all the ingredient variations you might try. Best of all, soft flour taco shells/tortillas are easy to buy and easy to handle when making this dish. There simply isn't anything complicated or any steps that require special techniques or knowledge. In short, it is easy.
Ingredients: (makes four fried tacos/Mexican egg rolls, or, two servings)
4, 8" diameter soft flour taco shells/tortillas
3 cups of moist Mexican pulled pork (taken from a container that has broth in it from the making of the pork)
1 cup of diced sweet onion
8 ounces (or more) of Pepper Jack cheese, sliced thinly or grated
12 plain wooden toothpicks (I use the rounded ones with sharp points on both ends)
2 quarts of peanut oil in a large, deep skillet, yielding oil about one inch deep
1 bottle of Sriracha Hot Chile Sauce as a condiment for dipping
Heat the oil in the skillet to 350 degrees F. Use a quick or instant read thermometer to be accurate. Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain that temperature.
While the oil is heating cut or grate the cheese and dice the onion. Check the oil temperature periodically and adjust or maintain the heat as necessary.
Lay out the four taco shells on a counter and divide the filling ingredients evenly, making a six inch long straight line of ingredients towards one side of each shell, and leaving an unused border of dough about one inch wide on each side at the largest diameter at the center of the shell.
Roll up each taco from the ingredient side while folding in the extra dough on each end to seal the ingredients inside, then use three toothpicks to puncture all the way through each taco, one in the middle and one about an inch from each end. You should notice a small amount of moisture on each end from compressing the juicy pork and other ingredients during the roll up. This is desirable as it helps to seal the taco dough and protect the inner ingredients from the hot oil during frying.
At this point you should have four rolled up tacos that look like uncooked egg rolls with toothpicks sticking through them and sticking out evenly on both sides. Each rolled up taco should be five and one half to six inches long and about an inch and a quarter to one and one half inches thick.
Fry the tacos two at a time in the hot oil, allowing no more than two minutes on the first side. Note that the toothpicks should be made to stick out relatively horizontal. Then turn the tacos over with tongs to fry the second side, again limiting the frying time to no more than two minutes.
Put the fried tacos on a paper towel to drain any oil from them. Then immediately fry the other two tacos.
Be sure to turn off the heat under the skillet.
Serve the hot tacos immediately along with a bottle of Sriracha Hot Chile Sauce for dipping.
A small salad goes very well with this meal ... So why not use the lettuce, tomatoes and other ingredients that you would have used in making a regular taco? You might want a cool Ranch or Bleu Cheese dressing with the salad.
Ice cold Corona® beer in a frozen mug is a great drink for this meal.