Recipe and photos by Lukas Leaf
Traditionally, egg rolls are a staple in Chinese-American takeout, synonymous with soy sauce packets and fried rice. But these deep-fried appetizers are incredible little vessels, lending themselves to various fillings and ingredients. Egg rolls are also a great way to utilize the entire bird (think, perhaps, a package of thighs and/or legs). Since we’re using shredded meat, every piece can be slow-cooked until pull-apart tender.
For this recipe, I went with a classic we know very well: the iconic buffalo wing. These eggrolls are stuffed with pulled pheasant tossed in buffalo sauce and served with a tangy hybrid bleu cheese ranch that’s a dill-packed flavor bomb all its own. The combo creates a perfect addition to any summer feast. You could even smoke the pheasant to add the feel of a backyard barbecue to the mix.
The wrapper or pastry choice is essential. Most grocery stores will have the well-known egg roll wrappers. A second option popular in more traditional Chinese cuisine is the spring roll pastry. It is a thinner version that stays crispy longer and can be found in many Asian markets. I’ve used those for this recipe, but subbing in the former would work in a cinch.
BUFFALO PHEASANT EGG ROLLS
Servings: 12 egg rolls
Prep Time: 2-4 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 12 8x8 egg roll or spring roll pastry wrappers
- 2 cups shredded pheasant
- 2 cups shredded cheddar or Gouda cheese
- 2 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1 cup shredded carrots, packed
- 1 cup green onion, sliced thin
- ½ cup buffalo sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- Vegetable, canola or peanut oil
Bleu Cheese Ranch Dressing
- ½ cup mayo
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 cup bleu cheese crumbles
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire
- ¼ cup fresh dill, minced
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Slowly simmer the pheasant in stock or with basic spices until pull-apart tender. A crock pot overnight works too.
- Pull the pheasant and mix it with buffalo sauce. Don’t go too heavy on the sauce. Just enough to coat everything.
- Add all the bleu cheese ranch ingredients except the bleu cheese crumbles into a bowl and mix until smooth. Toss in the crumbles and break them up some. Put the dip in the refrigerator to cool and set.
- On medium-high heat, cook the cabbage and carrots in a tablespoon of oil until al dente. Toss in the green onions and soy sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Drain any excess liquid from the cabbage mixture and let it cool to room temperature.
- Lay out an egg roll wrapper. Starting at a diagonal, spread a couple of tablespoons of cheese in a line about 4 inches wide just off-center towards you. Now lay a thin line of buffalo pheasant on top of the cheese. Lay the vegetables on top of the pheasant. Roll the corner over the filling and pull the filling towards you as tight as possible without tearing the pastry. Roll over once more. Brush the wrapper with egg wash and fold the two side corners over. Now finish rolling the egg roll as tightly as possible. Set aside and continue with all 12 egg rolls.
- In a fryer or deep-sided pan, bring the oil to 350º. Fry the egg rolls in batches of 4 for about 3-4 minutes, rotating in the oil as needed. They’ll be golden browned and super crispy. To keep the egg rolls extra crispy, put them onto a metal rack to allow the extra oil to drip off. If they sit too long, the rolls will begin to get soggy.
- Serve immediately with the bleu cheese ranch and green onions to garnish. Add extra hot sauce if you’d like.
This story originally appeared in the Summer 2023 issue of Pheasants Forever Journal. If you enjoyed it and would like to see more delicious pheasant recipes in the pages of the Pheasants Forever Journal, become a Pheasants Forever member today!