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Nick Jirasek

Old Habits, Ludlow Liquors’ permanent food installation, offers blue collar creative throwbacks inspired by the chef’s Chicago upbringing.

2959 N. California Ave., Chicago


Filipino Egg Rolls


  • 1/2lb ground pork
  • 1/2lb ground beef
  • 1 12oz container low sodium Spam, chopped up
  • 4 green onion sprigs, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded, ribbed and diced
  • Thumb sized nub of ginger, minced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tsp patis (fish sauce)
  • 2 eggs
  • Package large sized spring roll or eggroll wrappers
  • Corn oil for frying

For the Sauce:

  • 1 c white vinegar
  • 1 Tb fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced


For the Filling:

On high heat in a large frying pan, sauté ground pork and ground beef until nicely browned. Remove meat from pan and set aside in large mixing bowl. Add a bit of corn oil to the hot pan and add diced celery and red pepper, stir vigorously, scraping up the yummy meaty bits left in the pan. When tender, remove and add to the bowl of cooked meat. Add a bit more oil to the pan, add ginger, garlic and green onions and cook till just tender and fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add to the bowl mixture. Add Spam to the bowl mixture along with soy sauce and fish sauce. When cool enough to handle, add eggs and mix thoroughly with hands, a potato masher or spoon. The texture should be like a lumpy paste.

For the Sauce:

Combine white vinegar, black pepper and garlic, set aside.


Unpackage the eggroll wrappers and keep covered with a moistened paper towel to prevent them from drying out. Place a wrapper with a point facing you like a diamond, place a teaspoon of the meat mixture in the middle of the wrapper and form into a rectangle. Pull up the bottom flap over the meat filling followed by the left and right sides, roll up into a cigar shape, sealing the last flap with a bit of water. Place seam side down.


Preheat 2inches frying oil in a deep pan to 375 degrees. Like southern fried chicken….When the oil is heated, fry the rolls in batches of 4, placing the seam side down initially and cooking till golden brown. About 2 minutes per side. Let cool and serve with sauce.