I can happily say that I spent roughly 75% of my nights out my junior year at the Cheesecake Factory outside of North Park Mall here in Dallas. Eating all the bread and cheesecake we could stomach became a tradition amongst my phenomenal friend group. From birthday celebrations, to secret Santas, to “Good Cause Cake,” the Cheesecake Factory holds some of my fondest undergraduate memories. And I know I’m not the only one — The passion for the Cheesecake Factory amongst this group of friends runs deep. For instance, I once went to just to nom upon cheesecake with my friend Elise (honestly, do you really need anything else?), and when a certain friend of ours found out we had gotten cheesecake without her, she threw her cell phone down on the ground and shattered it. While that may sound extreme to some, I think it demonstrates how seriously we did (and still do) take our cheesecake.
To this day, I can’t walk into that restaurant without thinking of the good times I had there my junior year. It makes me smile. It makes me happy. And so I wanted to try and harness that feeling by trying some Cheesecake Factory recipes at home. So, I present for your dining pleasure, a copycat recipe for their delishhh Avocado Egg Rolls. It has everything my Asian-and-avocado obsessed brain could ever ask for, and they more than lived up to my expectations.
In fact, mine were better.
Cheesecake Factory’s Avocado Egg Rolls: Serves 1-2
Ingredients for the Egg Rolls
- 1 large avocado, chopped into bite sized pieces (not too small, or else you might end up mashing them when you mix it with the tomatoes and onions)
- 2 tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes (bottled in oil)
- 1 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp chopped fresh cilantro/coriander
- Pinch salt
- 3 egg roll wrappers
- Water, or beaten egg for brushing
- Vegetable oil for frying
Ingredients for Dipping Sauce:
- 1/4cup cashews
- ⅔ cup chopped fresh cilantro/coriander
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 inch piece ginger
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 4 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp tamarind pulp (can be found in Asian stores)
- 1/2 cup honey
- Pinch ground saffron (it’s ok to leave it out if you have too much trouble finding it)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Instructions for the Dipping Sauce:
- Combine the cashews, cilantro, garlic, green onions, sugar, black pepper, and cumin in a food processor or blender and blend till mixture is well blended and paste like.
- Combine the vinegars, honey, tamarind and saffron in a small microwaveable bowl and heat for a minute in the microwave, then stir till the tamarind pulp is completely dissolved.
- Pour tamarind mixture into the blender and blend till well mixed.
- Pour blended sauce into serving bowl and add oil. Stir by hand to combine. Refrigerate sauce for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Instructions for the Egg Rolls:
- Combine the avocado, sun dried tomatoes, red onion, cilantro and salt.
- Do not smash the avocados.
- Prepare egg rolls by spooning ⅓ of the filling into egg roll wrapper and roll it up as shown in the photograph above, brushing the corners and edges of the wrapper with the water or beaten egg. Keep them covered with a wet paper towel while you make the rest.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer or thick bottomed pan, over medium high heat.
- When the oil is hot enough, fry the egg rolls for 2-4 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels
- When slightly cooler, slice each roll diagonally and serve with the dipping sauce.
I couldn’t tell you why this recipe seemed better than the original, but I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe it was because I was able to enjoy the nostalgia and good memories I associate with the Cheesecake Factory in my very own home.
To my wonderful friends — I hope that 2015 brings you even more happiness and joy than Good Cause Cake and an extra boat of raspberry sauce.
Happy eating, everyone!