Egg Roll in a Bowl
To cut out the fried aspect of traditional egg rolls, try egg rolls in a bowl instead.

When we were kids, my sister and I often had conflicts over our favorite places to eat. Any time I was in the mood to visit the Chinese buffet, she balked, claiming she hated Chinese food.

If my parents were kind enough to push the issue and decide to go anyway, she always seemed to find plenty to eat, but it was still a struggle to convince her every time.

It was a few years ago that she mentioned going to eat Chinese food with her husband, and I was shocked to learn that she now has a taste for it.

I tried to convince her she owes me compensation, but she seems to think that her acts of denying me Chinese food all those years isn’t that big of a deal. I guess some childhood feuds never end.

Now that I can get Chinese food whenever the mood strikes, I’m a huge fan of egg rolls. There’s something about the seasoned meat combined with some slightly crunchy cabbage that always seems perfect.

Of course, the fried outer shell is less than perfect as far as calorie consumption is concerned, which is why I was very interested in trying a recipe that keeps all the goodies from the inside but gets rid of the egg roll wrapper completely.

The recipe I tried is from the blog “Mostly Homemade Mom.” You can find her post at I increased the amount of garlic and ginger and added pepper.

Egg Roll in a Bowl

To cut out the fried aspect of traditional egg rolls, try egg rolls in a bowl instead.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: cabbage, egg roll, sausage


  • 1 pound ground sausage
  • 8 to 10 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 1 bag dry coleslaw mix
  • one bunch green onion sliced


  • In a large skillet, brown and drain the sausage over medium heat, crumbling it as it cooks.
  • While the sausage cooks, combine the garlic, ginger, soy sauce and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Add the cabbage/carrot mix and stir it to combine it with the sausage.
  • Dump the sauce mixture over the top of the sausage and cabbage and stir. Let the mixture heat through for about five minutes. The cabbage will still be pretty crunchy. If you’d rather have it softer, place a lid on the pan and check it every five minutes until it reaches the level of wilted you’d like.
  • Top with the sliced green onions and serve.

I really liked this recipe. The increase in ginger and the addition of pepper did kick up the spice level just a tiny bit, so if that’s not your cup of tea, you might back those off.

Also, while this did reheat fairly well as leftovers, it left quite a bit of juice in the bottom of the storage container, which let the cabbage get soggy quickly, so I wouldn’t leave it in the refrigerator for too many days before finishing it off.

Eating an egg roll in a bowl wasn’t as good as the real thing (I mean, when you take away the fried dough part, how could it be?), but it satisfied a craving, and it was easy to make, which I appreciated.

My younger self would have been glad to see that I was getting to enjoy one of my favorite things. I think I’ll take this dish to a family potluck, just to see if my sister enjoys it, too. I’ll try not to take it personally if she doesn’t like it—and especially if she does.

This piece first appeared in print on May 2, 2019.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.