egg rolls

3 Different Ways to Make Super Tasty Egg Rolls

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Updated on February 7, 2024

Reviewed by Esraa Ali

It is not known exactly when humans invented appetisers. Some sources claim that they go as far back as the early third century BC in Athens, Greece. Others say they originated somewhere in China and moved from there to Russia and then to Europe. Either way, appetisers have grown to be a thing over the years that we constantly enjoy and indispensably consume.

As the name suggests, appetisers are to stimulate appetite, so typically served before the main course. They can be hot, such as soups, or cold like salads. Although they are often associated with Western cuisine, appetisers are popular in other parts of the world as well. In fact, many non-Western appetisers have spread to the rest of the world, such as Greek meatballs, Middle Eastern hummus and Chinese egg rolls.

Speaking of Chinese egg rolls, in particular, they are pretty common in America and have, over the years, become a staple in Asian-American restaurants. In this article, we are going to explore the goodness of egg rolls and what makes them so distinct, and we will also provide you with three different ways to make them at home. 

Egg Rolls

egg rolls

So egg rolls are small cylindrical tucked rolls made by wrapping pastry wrappers around a filling comprising various vegetables combined with eggs, meat and sometimes herbs and spices. The rolls are then deep-fried in vegetable oil and served with a dipping sauce.

Although their origin is often disputed, as we mentioned a few paragraphs ago, egg rolls are mostly associated with Chinese cuisine in particular, though they are quite common in other Asian cuisines as well, such as Thai cuisine and Vietnamese cuisine. In the United States, egg rolls are served as appetisers in American-Chinese restaurants and are homemade and eaten as tasty snacks as well.

Eggs Rolls vs Spring Rolls

Unlike what many may think, egg rolls are different from spring rolls, typically in the wrapper, not the filling. Egg roll wrappers are originally made from egged batter and are usually thicker. On the other hand, spring rolls have a thinner, more delicate skin and do not incorporate any eggs at all.

Apart from that, there might not be much of another difference between the two rolls. As both of them are traditionally deep-fried, some say egg rolls are just a variant of spring rolls.

Either way, egg rolls and spring rolls are still delicious and worth spending time to make.

Egg Roll Main Ingredients

Egg rolls comprise two main parts: the wrapper and the filling.

The original Chinese egg roll wrapper can be either uncooked like puff pastry or cooked like crepes. Both are made from wheat flour mixed with eggs, water and cornstarch. Such ingredients are made into a dough to make the uncooked wrappers and into a batter for the cooked version.

That being said, the egg rolls made and used in American-Chinese restaurants in the United States do not have any eggs in them. Whether they are cooked or uncooked, the batter or dough just mixes flour, water and cornstarch to make the wrappers.

Speaking of the filling, there is also the original version and the varieties.

The original Chinese egg roll recipe uses eggs within the filling. One cool thing about egg rolls, however, is that they give the impression that they are full of eggs, given that they are named after them. Yet, the truth is that the original Chinese recipe actually uses as few as two eggs to make 12 egg rolls. 

Besides eggs, Chinese egg rolls also contain cabbage, carrots, roast pork, green onions, bamboo shoots and soy sauce as the main ingredients of the filling.

However, now, egg rolls do not necessarily need to have eggs inside of them to be called egg rolls. In fact, some believe they were called so not because they have eggs but as a reference to the egg whites used to seal the wrapper edges when rolling it.

That is why there is a wide variety of egg roll fillings that use other ingredients than just cabbage and pork. Many people like to add chicken, ground meat, or mushrooms as the main source of protein and combine them with beans, corn, or vegetables. 

Egg Roll Dipping Sauces

egg rolls

As a finger food, egg rolls are served with a dipping sauce. The original rolls usually go with sweet and sour and duck sauces. Although these two sauces may taste a little similar, they are actually different.

The sweet and sour sauce is made from ketchup, soy sauce, and vinegar, all mixed with water and cornstarch. On the other hand, the duck sauce is made with apricots, plums and peaches combined with vinegar, sugar, ginger and chilli peppers. 

So, yes. The duck sauce does not actually have any duck products! It was only called so because it is an updated version of the Chinese Tianmian sauce, which used to be served with Peking duck in China back in the day.

That being said, egg rolls can still be served with a variety of other sauces, such as hot mustard, peanut sauce, Sriracha Mayo, Hoisin sauce, Gyoza sauce or plum sauce. Egg rolls are actually so versatile that you can dip them in whatever sauce you like.

1.  Original Chinese Egg Rolls

As you may have guessed, the first egg roll recipe we have is the original Chinese one. This recipe uses uncooked egg wrappers whose dough incorporates eggs. You can either buy an egg roll wrapper packet from the supermarket or, if you can, it is better to make them at home.

As we are making original egg rolls, we are going to use cabbage, carrots, spring onions and soy sauce. The following ingredients make 12 servings, but you can tailor them as needed. Although they may sound simple, egg rolls do take a bit of time to make. So here is your recipe.

egg rolls


  • 1 small head of cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 1 small carrot, julienned
  •  250 grams of roasted pork, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 large eggs, cracked and beaten
  • 1/2 cup of chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup of chopped spring onions
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 12 egg roll wrappers
  • 3 cups vegetable oil for frying


Since we are making egg rolls, we must start by preparing the eggs. Place a frying pan on medium-high heat and add two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once heated, add the beaten eggs. Move the pan so the eggs spread and cover it all, making a big omelette.

Let the eggs cook on one side for 15 seconds or so, then flip and cook them on the other side. When fully cooked, remove the eggs from the pan and place them on a platter. When the eggs cool, cut them into short, thin stripes and set them aside.

Clean the frying pan and place it once again on medium-high heat. Add three tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once heated, add the shredded cabbages and julienned carrots and cook until the cabbage is wilted.

Add the pork, chopped spring onions and chopped celery and mix until everything is well distributed. Add one teaspoon of soy sauce, salt, sugar and white pepper. Mix again well and let the filling cook for about six minutes. Once cooked, add the egg stripes and mix them gently with the filling.

Move the filling to a large tray and let it cool down to room temperature, then move it to the refrigerator to chill for another hour. 

Now that we are done with the filling, let’s make the rolls. Spread one egg roll wrapper on your clean counter with one square edge pointing toward you. Add two to three tablespoons of the filling near the edge, pointing at you, then roll firmly while tucking both sides. Use a mixture of water and flour to seal the edges.

Repeat the same thing with the rest of the egg wrappers. Keep the rolls covered until you get done.

Once you are done rolling all the rolls, it is time to fry them. Place a deep frying pan on high heat and fill it to half with vegetable oil. Once the oil is heated, reduce the heat to medium-high to prevent the egg rolls from burning. Fry the egg rolls in batches, according to the size of your pan, each for six minutes or until they turn golden brown on both sides.

Remove the egg rolls from the pan and place them on a paper towel or a rack to drain any excess oil. Serve your egg rolls warm with a sweet and sour or duck sauce.

2. Air Fryer Egg Rolls

egg rolls

Although deep frying is the traditional way to cook egg rolls, there is still a way to make a much healthier version of them. You can either bake or air fry them, and they will turn out just as delicious. For this recipe, we are going to air fry the egg rolls.

We are also drifting a little from the original ingredients and using some replacements. For instance, we will use ground meat instead of roasted pork, a coleslaw mixture with purple cabbage and a peppery spicy taste from ginger. We are also adding scrambled eggs instead of omelette strips. The following ingredients make 12 servings, and the entire recipe takes a total of 45 minutes.


  • 350 grams of ground meat
  • 3 cups of coleslaw 
  • 1/2 cup of chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon of minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
  • 12 egg roll wrappers
  • 1 egg, cracked and beaten
  • 1 egg white
  • Salt and black pepper


Place a frying pan on medium-high heat and add one tablespoon of vegetable oil. When heated, crack the egg and use a spatula to scramble it. Keep stirring for around 10 seconds, then take the pan off the heat while still mixing. Your scrambled egg should not be runny or firm, just somewhere in between. Move the egg into a small bowl and set it aside.

Place a large pan on medium-high heat and add two tablespoons of vegetable oil. When heated, add the ground meat and sprinkle some salt and ground black pepper. Then, with a wooden spoon or a spatula, break up the meat and stir until it has absorbed all the water, turned brown and cooked.

Add the minced garlic and ginger and stir for 30 seconds, then add the coleslaw mixture and the green onions. Mix well with the meat and let cook until the cabbage is wilted. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil and the scrambled egg. Mix all the ingredients well, then take the pan off the heat.

Like with the previous recipe, move the filling into another pan or tray and let it cool until it reaches room temperature. You can let it chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or use it right away.

Spread one egg roll wrapper on your counter, making one square edge pointing at you. Add two tablespoons of the filling. Roll the wrapper and tuck both ends in. Use the egg white to seal the edges. Do the same thing with the rest of the wrappers.

Divide the egg rolls into batches based on the size of your air fryer. Brush each roll with vegetable oil on both sides, then place the first batch in one layer in your air fryer basket. Set the timer to 10 minutes and the temperature to 200°C.

Let the egg rolls cook, but make sure that you flip them after five minutes. When they turn golden brown on both sides, take them out and serve them warm with any dipping sauce of your choice.

3. Vegan Egg Rolls

egg rolls

We know this does not sound very right, but having vegan egg rolls is not as counterintuitive as having an eggless omelette if you know what we mean. So yes, we are making vegan egg rolls.

The wrappers used in this recipe are made from a mixture of flour, water, and olive oil with no added eggs. You can definitely find these in the vegan section of your supermarket, or you can better make them at home.

These vegan egg rolls also exclude eggs but still keep other ingredients found in the original egg rolls, such as cabbage, carrots, green onions, and soy sauce. Besides those, we will use a bunch of other vegetables, such as black beans, spinach and cilantro to make the rolls more filling.

Regarding the protein source, we are using mushrooms instead of pork, ground meat or chicken. You can also use vegan chicken if you are not into mushrooms that much or plant-based chicken, like the Impossible Chicken produced by Impossible Foods, if those are accessible to you.

Like before, the following ingredients make 12 servings. If you want to make them super-duper healthy, you can bake or air fry them instead. However, we are just going to stick with the traditional way of deep frying.


  • 200 grams of mushrooms, fresh and sliced
  • 1 small head of cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 1 small carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cup of spring onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 425 grams of black beans, drained 
  • 1 cup of chopped spinach
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
  • 12 vegan egg roll wrappers
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 3 cups of vegetable oil
  • Salt and black pepper


Heat three tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pan placed on medium-high heat. Add the cabbage and carrots, mix them with a spatula and let them cook for a few minutes or until the cabbage is wilted.

Add the green onions, mushrooms, minced garlic and soy sauce and mix them all well. Add the beans, chopped cilantro and chopped spinach and mix again. Let the filling cook for a few more minutes or until the spinach is wilted. Remove the pan from the heat, place the filling in a tray and let it cool for 30 minutes.

Place one vegan egg wrapper on your counter in a diamond shape, then add two to three tablespoons of the filling. Roll, tuck, seal, then put aside. Repeat the same process with the rest of the egg rolls.

Place a deep frying pan on high heat and fill it to half with vegetable oil. When the oil is heated, reduce the heat to medium-high, then add three to four egg rolls, depending on the size of your pan. Fry them on one side, then flip the rolls and fry them on the other side until they turn golden brown.

Remove the egg rolls from the pan and place them on a paper towel to drain any excess oil, then do the same with the remaining rolls. Once done, move all the egg rolls to a serving platter and serve them warm with any dipping sauce.

egg rolls

Egg rolls are great versatile appetisers that can also be consumed as snacks between meals. They are also incredibly flexible and can be made in many different varieties. You, too, can play around with the ingredients and get a different egg roll every time. 

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