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The Real Question To This Series: What Is An Ottawa Egg Roll?

256th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

The New York Rangers flew across the country last night, in preparation for tonight’s Game 1 battle against the Ottawa Senators.

Canada is a strange and cold place and people need to do things to survive the cold and moose attacks. So the mayors of the two respective cities made a bet with one another on who would win the series. If Ottawa wins then mayor Jim Watson gets New York bagels. We all know what those delicious balls of crispy outside, doughy inside are. You don’t need me to tell you. If the Rangers win then Mayor De Blasio gets ... Ottawa egg rolls? I do not know what these are, but I will be dammed if I will allow my favorite sports team to fight for a food I do not know about.

So what are Ottawa egg rolls?

Well, they’re ... egg rolls ... with ... meat inside? It literally looks like a Chinese egg roll, only there’s meat pouring out of both ends.

The start of my search brought me to a review about one place’s Ottawa egg rolls that stated:

The egg rolls here are the meatiest I have had in Ottawa. The ratio of meat to cabbage is probably 70/30. They were a little stubby but the heavy amount of pork makes up for it. Haven't had much else from here but we will definitely be ordering more of these.

That answers one big question: Meat and cabbage fill these rolls of egg. But how much cabbage should there be? Should it be 50/50? 60/40? This person seems like like the 70/30, but who knows if that’s the way they’re supposed to be made. The same way you’re not supposed to put grated locatelli cheese on pizza but I do anyway because I love it.

Let’s keep digging.

Now it appears there are two forms of an Ottawa egg roll:

Form 1: It literally looks like an egg roll you’d get at any Chinese restaurant anywhere.

Form 2: It looks like a cannoli, only instead of being stuffed with sweet delicious cannoli cream it’s with meat and cabbage in some unknown required ratio.

Which one is the right way? I’m going to assume it’s the second form, and here’s why:

In my extensive (ten minute) search to discover the hidden secrets of an Ottawa egg roll I kept coming across a restaurant called “Golden Palace Restaurant.” In fact, simply searching “Ottawa egg roll” in Google brings about a 70/30 ratio of Golden Palace Restaurant links compared to anything else.

This seemed to be a key find, because the restaurant makes a boast about “how far our egg rolls travel” and it does boast an impressive list. It appears their egg rolls have traveled to every living corner within the Canadian boarders and then also the United States, Switzerland, China, Japan and so many more places. It’s amazing!

More importantly, you can order their egg rolls to be shipped to you. However, you must order at least two dozen at a time, and you need to increase your orders by two dozen egg rolls. So you may not order three dozen Ottawa egg rolls, but you may order six.

It also seems important to mention this Golden Palace Restaurant is a Chinese restaurant. So these egg rolls do seem to be of Chinese origin, although they’ve been altered to fit a more Canadian need of beef and fat to warm their bodies during the intense cold.

Google images showed me a great many Ottawa egg rolls. In all of the pictures there does seem to be a heaping pile of duck sauce to go along with these cylinders of meat and cabbage. In a few photos there appeared to be another side of sauce which looked specifically like spicy mustard. It makes sense that spicy would like to meat these egg rolls (wink) but most seemed to just go straight duck sauce if anything at all.

Just when I think I truly know what goes into an Ottawa egg roll disaster strikes. I find a recipe for how to make it from CBC.

  • 1/4 green cabbage, cored.
  • 6-8 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed.
  • 50 grams dried vermicelli noodle.
  • 1/2 stalk celery.
  • 2 green onions.
  • 1/3 lb ground pork.
  • 1/4 tsp Piggy Market 5 spice.
  • 1 tsp salt.
  • 10-15 egg roll wrappers.

Mushrooms? Dried Vermicelli noodles? Celery?????????????????? (I HATE celery)

This is too much to bear. I cannot go on.

So win the series, Rangers. Not just to move on to the next round, but so we can finally figure out what the hell this Ottawa egg roll thing is ...