Fire Station Cooking: Andy’s Egg Rolls

This recipe lands us back in the upper Midwest. It comes from Andy Payne, a new firefighter with the Fargo (ND) Fire Department. As a new member of the department who just finished his one-year probation period, Andy has “volunteered” to do much of the cooking over the past year. This has given him the chance to show everyone how good his kitchen skills really are. Andy truly enjoys cooking and seems to already understand the importance of eating together, as he is always eager to share his various recipes with the crew. Currently, he is working at Station 1 in the downtown section of the city. Fargo has about 110 full-time fire personnel and handles about 4,500 runs a year. A friend initially taught Andy how to make egg rolls. From there, Andy took the recipe and then customized (perfected) it to make the recipe what it is today.


Andy (second from right) and his crew.

In fact, these egg rolls are so good that one of the firefighters, Mike Ambrose (they call him “Grits” because he is from Missouri) actually ate six for supper, two before bed, and two the next morning for breakfast. That makes a total of ten egg rolls in one shift! I wouldn’t recommend this, but it does speak to the tastiness of Andy’s Egg Rolls. Also, if you have a ”Grits” on your crew, you might not be able to feed 6-7 with this serving size. There were six people at Station 1 the night Andy made the egg rolls, and there were about four egg rolls left over.  


Andy’s Egg Rolls

1 lb. pork (seasoned or seasoned yourself)
1 green pepper, chopped
1-2 jalapenos, chopped (optional if you don’t want them hot)
1 onion, chopped
cabbage (mix bag of coleslaw)
soy sauce
1-2 pkgs rice paper (can be found in most grocery stores and comes in a 15-count pack)
2 cups brown rice
1 egg, beaten

To begin, brown the pork with onion and soy sauce. Make rice by following instructions on the back of the box. Preheat oven to 430ºF. Put a little oil in a pan and cook the peppers. When rice is done, add to peppers and add some soy sauce. Add a quarter to half a bag of cabbage. Cook but don’t let cabbage get mushy. Add pork mix and rice mix into a large bowl. Mix them all together well. Put a good helping of mixture into the center of one rice paper. Use the beaten egg to seal the rice paper when wrapping it. Place on a well-oiled baking sheet. When baking sheet is full, brush a little oil on the top of the egg rolls. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, flipping them once. They should be a little golden on both sides. 

Download a PDF of the recipe for easy kitchen reading HERE

It is optional to fry them in oil in a pan. They turn out just as well. Baking them has less oil that ends up on/in the egg rolls themselves. The egg rolls are also very good cold–that means something tasty in the fridge for those late-night runs.


            Ease of preparation: Easy

            Time: About 45 minutes – 1 hour
            Cost: $25 (about $4 per person)
            Feeds: 6-7
I am always looking for more recipes. Please share your creations with other firefighters by sending in your favorite recipe, along with a photo of the finished dish. Each article contains a quick introduction to those submitting the recipe, their department, their recipe, and any stories that may surround the legendary dishes. Send recipes to Please also include your name and e-mail address.  

Eat together when you are able, and stay safe out there.

Craig Nelson has been in the fire service for nine years, working as a volunteer, paid-on-call, and a full-time firefighter/EMT. He works for the Fargo (ND) Fire Department and works part-time at Minnesota State Community and Technical College–Moorhead as a fire instructor. He also works seasonally for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as a wildland firefighter in Northwest Minnesota. Previously, he was an airline pilot. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in executive fire service leadership.

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