A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 22, 2004
Egg Roll, Won Ton (Cantonese Cuisine)
Remember Chinese (Cantonese) cuisine? Lum Fong (who owned a Chinatown restaurant on Canal Street) was credited for introducing many Canontese innovations to America, such as egg rolls and won ton soup.


Wikipedia: Egg roll
An egg roll (Chinese: 蛋卷; pinyin: dàn juǎn; literally "egg scroll") is an appetizer which was originally eaten in East Asia but has spread throughout the world as a staple of Asian cuisine. It is said by some that the spring roll led to the creation of the egg roll. Many Asian countries are claimed to have originated the dish, and variants of the egg roll exist in multiple Asian cuisines (such as the Vietnamese chả giò). Southern China is the most likely source, as it stems from features of Cantonese cuisine.

An egg roll is made by wrapping a combination of chopped vegetables (often mostly cabbage), meat, and sometimes noodles, in a sheet of dough, dipping the dough in egg or an egg wash, then deep frying it. It can be closed or open ended.

When compared with its cousin, the spring roll, the egg roll is generally larger; has a thicker, puffier skin; is crunchier; and has more filling than the spring roll. However, the terms "spring roll" and "egg roll" are often used somewhat interchangeably. The egg roll dough is wheat-based while the spring roll is sometimes rice-based.

In mainland China, many Chinese-speaking regions of Asia, and Chinese immigrant communities around the world, egg roll is predominantly referred as the egg-based, flute-shaped pastry, with typically yellowish, flaky crust often eaten as a sweet snack or dessert. Some varieties are made with sesame seeds or other flavorings/toppings, such as chocolate, cream, or strawberry.The term may also be used to refer to another modern Asian breakfast cuisine that mixes the western omlet with thin egg roll wrappers. The American style egg roll would commonly be referred as "fried spring roll" instead.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
egg roll orig. U.S., a Chinese roll made of diced meat or prawns, and shredded cabbage with other vegetables, fried in a casing of thin egg-dough; also, loosely, = spring roll s.v. SPRING n.1 7 a.
1938 S. MIDDLETON Dining, Wining & Dancing in N.Y. v. 75 Mister Lum..is famous for his..*egg rolls, Canton style.

Tips on Tables:
Being a Guide to Dining and Wining in New York at 365 Restaurants Suitable to Every Mood and Every Purse
by George Ross
New York, NY: Covici, Friede Publishers
1934
Pg. 163:
LUM FONG'S 220 Canal Street (Off Baxter Street)
A few of the specialties from Mr. Fong's kitchen are moo goo gai pen (sliced breast of chicken with mushrooms and bamboo shoots), Chinese _kreplach_ (Mr. Levy's contribution), fresh lobster Canton style, real Chinese noodles, egg roll, and roast duck.

The Chinese Restaurants in New York City
by Louis H. Chu
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts at New York University
February 1939

MENU BEFORE PAGE 48 (Figure 16)
Chicken Chow Mein...
Pepper Steak...
Pork Chop Suey...
Roast Pork Fried Rice...
Fried Egg Rolls...
Subgum Chop Suey With Water Chestnut...

MENU BEFORE PAGE 66
Chicken Egg Soup...
Wonton Soup...
Subgum Chicken Chow Mein...
Almond Chicken...
Egg Rolls...

November 1941, House Beautiful, pg. 126, col. 2:
(From Lum Fong's restaurant - ed.)
Mushroom Egg Foo Young.
Mix 2 ozs. sliced mushrooms, 1/2 cup chopped onions, 2 ozs. diced meat (optional, but if you decide to use it, ham, roast pork or chicken are recommended), and pepper to taste. Add 4 well beateneggs and stir thoroughly. Just at the moment you are ready to cook, salt to taste, but not sooner. Divide these ingredients into portions. Pour, one ata time from a soup ladle into deep fat. Cook until golden brown. This will yield 3 or 4 portions.

28 June 1952, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, pg. 10, col. 8:
Lum Fong Dies;
Chinese Headed
2 Restaurants

Won Fame in Canton; Came
Here in '15; Introduced
Noted Dishes of Province

Lum Fong, sixty-six, operator of Chinese restaurants in New York since 1915, died Thursday in St. Clare's Hospital, 415 W. 51st St. He had homes at 174 Canal St., New York, and at 15 King St., Malverne, L. I.

Mr. Lum was the head of Lum's 52d St. Corp., operators of Lum Fong's at 150 W. 52d St., and of Lum Fong, Inc., at 220 Canal St. He was credited with introducing many famous Cantonese dishes to this country.
(...)
Mr. Lum was born in Canton, where he became owner of a restaurant famed throughout the province. He came to this country in 1915.

28 June 1952, New York (NY) World-Telegram and Sun, pg. 20, col. 1:
The operator of two restaurants in the city, he (Lum Fong -- ed.) was credited with introducing and popularizing many Cantonese dishes to American diners, including won-ton soup and egg and shrimp roll.

28 June 1952, New York Times, pg. 19, col. 4
LUM FONG, 66, OWNER
OF TWO RESTAURANTS

Lum Fong, well-known Chinese restaurateur who was credited with having popularized won-ton soup and egg and shrimp roll in this country, died Thursday after a long illness in his Malverne, L. I. home. His age was 66.

Mr. Lum was born in Canton, the son of a legislator. Before coming to this country in 1915, he had owned a restaurant in Canton.

After his arrival in the United States, Mr. Lum served as manager of a Chinese restaurant and in 1925, founded the restaurant at 220 Canal Street that bears his name, In 1940 a second Lum Fong restaurant was opened at 150 West Fifty-second Street.

Mr. Lum was said to have introduced many famous Cantonese dishes to the American public.
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Sunday, August 22, 2004 • Permalink