HOMEMADE EGG ROLLS ARE the best appetizer or meal and are easy to make at home!
These Chinese homemade egg rolls rival any restaurant! They are bursting with juicy pork, cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, and bean sprouts all wrapped up and fried OR BAKED to crispy perfection. You can swap out the pork for your favorite protein or add extra veggies to make them vegetarian. This egg roll recipe also boasts my unique food processor technique for the filling which means practically NO chopping and your filling comes together in minutes! These egg rolls also freezer beautifully for fabulous instant lunches or snacks or whenever you need a juicy, crunchy egg roll fix.
Egg rolls are a favorite restaurant menu item – but did you know they are SO easy to make a home?! They are one of our absolute favorite homemade appetizers and perfect for upcoming Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, game days and every day in between!
Patrick gets downright giddy whenever I make egg rolls, and with good reason. The deeply satisfying crunchy shell giving way to the rich, juicy, complex filling all dunked in tantalizing sweet and sour sauce. They are such a favorite at our house that I’ve already shared: Sweet and Sour Chicken Egg Rolls, Sesame Chicken to Egg Rolls, Southwest Egg Rolls, Philly Cheesesteak Egg Rolls and now these classic Chinese pork egg rolls!
EGG ROLL RECIPE
These homemade egg rolls are everything you love about your favorite Chinese takeout egg rolls, but at a fraction of the price and completely customizable!
REASONS TO LOVE THIS EGG ROLL RECIPE:
- Family friendly: everyone loves egg rolls AND you know your family so you can customize this egg roll recipe just how they like it.
- QUICK and easy: my food processor technique will change your life – no more dreading making egg rolls because it takes minutes! Just brown the pork, throw the veggies in your food processor, pulse, then assemble. I use this food processor technique in all of my egg roll recipes, potstickers and wontons recipes and it is a game changer!
- Simple ingredients: this egg roll recipe uses easy to find ingredients so you don’t have to make any special trips to an Asian market.
- Customizable: swap the pork for chicken, shrimp, beef, etc. customize the veggies with your favs. You can even use a bag of stir fry veggies for the filling and call it good.
- FLAVOR! the pork egg roll filling is bursting with aromatic garlic, ginger, and green onions along with soy sauce, chili sauce and a splash of sesame oil for tantalizing layers cocooned in a shatteringly crispy shell.
Ingredients for Chinese Egg Rolls
The ingredients for this easy egg roll recipe are simple but flavorful. You will need:
- Egg roll wrappers: are commonly found in the refrigerated produce section of the grocery store, often at an end aisle or even with the salad dressings. If you can’t find them – just ask, because they are there! You will want a package with 18 egg roll wrappers. Many come in a 20 count, so you should be good to go.
- Cornstarch slurry: to seal the wrappers, you will need 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with water. This “glues” the wrappers closed much more effectively than just water or an egg wash.
THE PORK FILLING
Pork and vegetables combine to create the intoxicating layers of flavor and texture. The pork is further seasoned with pantry friendly Asian ingredients that take seconds to add for an exponentially delicious result:
- Ground pork: you can go as lean as you like here, but you might need to add some oil to the pan when cooking if not using a nonstick pan. If you don’t go lean, make sure to dab the pork of excess grease because greasy pork means soggy egg roll wrappers which means tearing egg rolls.
- Soy sauce: use reduced sodium so we can control the salt.
- Rice wine: should become a pantry staple if you do much Asian cooking. I use it in almost all of my Asian Recipes such as Beef Bulgogi and Sesame Noodles. Rice wine is NOT rice vinegar- DO NOT switch them out. Rice wine adds a sweetness and depth of flavor; rice vinegar, on the other hand, will add an acidic flavor.
- Where do I Buy Rice Wine? I use “Kikkoman Aji-Mirin: Sweet Cooking Rice Seasoning” which is commonly found in the Asian section of most grocery stores or you can Amazon it. I highly suggest you google image before you head off to the grocery store so you know exactly what you are looking for. The best substitute for rice wine is pale dry sherry.
- Asian chili sauce: use your favorite chili sauce like Sambal Oelek or sriracha. Use as much or as little as you like. As written, the egg roll recipe uses 1 teaspoon chili sauce. This will NOT make the egg rolls spicy but will add flavor. If you know you love heat, you might want to consider adding more – or you can add it to your own egg rolls or the sweet and sour sauce.
- Sesame oil: a “secret ingredient” that adds an irresistible, subtle nutty flavor.
- Salt and pepper: every recipe benefits from salt and pepper – they enhance the rest of the flavors.
- Napa cabbage: is best for authentic flavor but you may substitute with green cabbage. You will need half of a small head of Napa cabbage, about 11 oz.
- Mushrooms: one 3.2 oz. pkg. shiitake mushrooms for their fabulous earthy, umami flavor but you may substitute with cremini mushrooms or omit if needed. Do NOT rinse mushrooms or they will suck up water and make your filling soggy; instead wipe with paper towels.
- Carrots: 2 medium carrots chopped into 2” chunks so they can easily fit into your food processor.
- Bean sprouts: again, don’t rinse or they can make your filling soggy.
- Green onions: I don’t recommend substituting with white/yellow onions or shallots because they will not soften like green onions in the egg rolls and therefore will be too strong.
- Ginger: you will need 1” peeled ginger – you don’t need to mince because the food processor will do all the work.
- Garlic cloves: just peel the garlic and the food processor will do all the work.
Our goal of deep frying the egg rolls is to create a deeply golden, crunchy exterior but be aware not all oils are suitable for frying. You will need an oil with a high smoking point (around 450°F/232°C) and neutral flavor. If you select an oil with a low smoking point, not only will you have an incredible amount of smoke, but the oil will break down creating an unpleasant odor and unappetizing taste.
Vegetable oil is my go-to oil for frying because it has a smoking point comfortably above frying temperature and is very neutral. Other oils suitable for frying (although some aren’t as neutral as others) include:
- Peanut oil
- Soybean oil
- Safflower oil
- Canola oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Corn oil
- Sunflower oil
CAN YOU I USE CHICKEN INSTEAD OF PORK?
Yes! You may substitute the pork for an equal amount of ground chicken. You can also make this egg roll recipe with lean ground beef, shrimp, or tofu, depending on your preference.
HOW DO YOU MAKE VEGETARIAN EGG ROLLS?
You can transform this homemade egg roll recipe into Vegetarian Egg Rolls by substituting the pork for extra firm tofu or your favorite plant-based protein, OR omit the meat and add additional vegetables to the filling. You can amp up the quantity of the mushrooms, cabbage, carrots and sprouts, or add additional vegetables.
One of my favorite ways to add vegetables to egg rolls is to purchase a bag of stir fry vegetables with broccoli, carrots, snow peas, etc. and to stir fry them for a couple minutes then place them in the food processor to chop.
You can also hand pick and add any of the following:
- Bell peppers
- Water chestnuts
- Snow peas
HOW TO MAKE EGG ROLLS
Step 1 – Chop Vegetables: Add cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, sprouts, garlic, ginger and green onions to your food processor and pulse until finely chopped. You may need to scrape down the sides if a few stubborn veggies remain. If you don’t have a food processor, you can certainly chop by hand. Set aside.
Step 2 – Brown Pork: Cook pork in a large skillet over medium heat until no longer pink, breaking into small pieces as you stir. If your pork is lean, you may need to add some oil to brown. If it is not lean, then dab with paper towels after cooking to remove any excess grease which can make our filling soggy and tear the egg roll wrappers.
Step 3 – Add Flavor: Stir in soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, chili sauce, salt and pepper.
Step 4 – Add Vegetables: Add chopped vegetables, and stir fry for one minute. Don’t cook longer because we don’t want the veggies to become too wilted.
Step 5 – Chill Filling: Transfer pork and veggies to a baking sheet and place in your freezer for 15-30 minutes until chilled OR cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. It is crucial to chill the filling otherwise a hot filling will make the egg roll wrappers soggy and soggy egg roll wrappers easily tear.
Step 6 – Make Dipping Sauce: No egg roll recipe is complete without dipping sauce! While the egg roll filling is chilling, make the sweet and sour sauce by adding all of the ingredients to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until slightly thickened. Set aside. (Sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.)
HOW TO WRAP EGG ROLLS
Wrapping homemade egg rolls is super easy so please don’t be intimated! It might take you a couple to get the hang of it, but then you will be an egg roll wrapping master.
Step 1 – Prepare Surface: Line your counter with parchment paper or a nonstick cooking mat to place rolled egg rolls on if frying or line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil if baking and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Keep egg roll wrappers covered when you’re not using them so they don’t dry out which will make them brittle and easily tear.
Step 2 – Add Filling: Position an egg roll wrapper with one point towards you. Place 1/4 cup pork filling centered in the bottom third of the wrapper.
Step 3 – Fold: Fold bottom corner over filling and press out any air.
- Firmly fold the side corners towards the center over the filling so it looks like an empty envelope. I also tuck the very tips of the corners in.
- Brush a small amount of the cornstarch slurry over the left and right corners of the wrapper – what looks like the open envelope lid. If your egg roll isn’t properly sealed, it will leak when cooking, so make sure it’s secure.
- Continue to tightly roll the egg roll up, pressing in the ends, until it is completely sealed.
Step 4 – Store: Place finished egg rolls on prepared nonstick surface as you make them and keep covered with a damp towel so they don’t dry out. Repeat process with the remaining rolls. Start to heat the oil as you near completion.
SHOULD I BAKE OR FRY Pork EGG ROLLS?
I don’t fry much at my house because I think almost everything tastes just as good or almost as good baked. And when I say almost everything, I’m talking to you egg rolls.
You just can’t achieve the same tantalizing, shatteringly crunch when you bake your egg rolls – and if you a re going to spend the time rolling your egg rolls, you might as well make them taste AH-MAZING and splurge a little, especially because I’m guessing you are making these egg rolls for a special occasion – like Game Day, parties or Christmas Eve or New Year’s – because they are New Year’s Eve worthy delicious.
Or at least Patrick and I think so. And when my honest critic asks me when I’m posting my egg roll recipe specifically so he can tell his friends to make them, you know it will cause even your toughest critic to sing your praises and your palate to beam with joy – if you fry your egg rolls.
HOW TO FRY EGG ROLLS
- Heat vegetable oil in a deep stock pot/Dutch oven or deep-fat fryer to 350 degrees F or medium high heat.
- Gently add egg rolls in batches so they don’t overcrowd the pot.
- Fry egg rolls until golden brown, turning egg rolls a few times while frying.
- Drain on paper towels and repeat with remaining egg rolls.
FRYING TIPS for Chinese egg rolls
If you aren’t familiar with frying, it is easy! Here are some helpful tips and tricks for the perfect fried egg rolls every time:
- I highly recommend an instant-read thermometer to ensure you have the correct temperature not only at the beginning of frying, but throughout the entire frying process. If your oil is too hot, then the egg rolls wrappers will brown quickly, but won’t be as crispy because there wasn’t enough time for the water to evaporate. If the oil is too cold, the egg rolls will never reach peak crispiness. You can still fry without a thermometer, but it may be more trial and error.
- If you are frying without a thermometer, make sure you add a pinch of flour or pinch off some extra egg roll wrapper and add it to the pot. If it boils, your oil is ready but if it boils and turns dark within a minute or so, your oil is too hot. You will have to remove from the heat, wait a few minutes, return to heat and try again.
- Take care you don’t overcrowd your pot so the egg rolls can cook evenly and so you have plenty of room to flip the egg rolls over with tongs. This also helps you keep a close eye on them so they don’t overcook.
- Use a stainless-steel strainer to transfer fried egg rolls to a paper towel lined baking sheet or serving platter so they stay crispy. If you don’t have a strainer, then you can use tongs but be careful not to puncture or drop the egg rolls!
- When you remove the egg rolls, place them on paper towels in a single layer without touching. You don’t want them sitting in oil or touching or they will lose their extreme crunch.
HOW TO BAKE EGG ROLLS
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line egg rolls, seam side down, on baking sheet, so that they are not touching.
- Spray egg rolls with nonstick cooking spray.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until egg rolls are golden, flipping 2-3 times while baking,
- Broil a minute or so on each side for extra crispiness.
TIPS FOR HOMEMADE EGG ROLLS
- Cover wrappers. Keep the egg roll wrappers covered in their packaging when not using or else they will dry out and tear easily. You can wrap the package in plastic wrap or keep sealed in a freezer bag when not in use.
- Cool filling. You must take the time to chill your filling in the freezer or refrigerator before using. If it is warm, it will make your egg roll wrappers soggy and easily tear.
- Remove excess moisture. You don’t want any excess moisture because soggy filling will make soggy egg rolls that can easily tear. If your filling has excess moisture, blot it with paper towels. I found this was the case as I reached the end of the filling and more liquid had accumulated.
- Don’t overfill egg roll wrappers. I find 1/4 cup to be ideal for rolling up egg rolls but if you find you can’t easily roll up and seal your egg rolls, then use less filling.
- Wrap tightly. Make sure you push out any excess air and roll your egg roll as tightly as possible to prevent the filling from leaking into the oil or the oil leaking into the egg roll and causing it to crack.
- Seal egg rolls completely. It is important that the egg rolls are completely sealed otherwise oil can seep in and cause them to break while cooking. If you find your egg roll wrappers aren’t sealing, it might be because the edges are too wet – don’t use too much slurry to seal.
- Cover egg rolls before frying. Just like you need to cover the egg roll wrappers before using, you need to keep the egg rolls covered with a damp towel at all times after wrapping and before frying to prevent them from drying and cracking. If the wrappers dry out, they will easily crack when placed in the hot oil.
- Don’t overcrowd pant. Be patient and cook just 4 egg rolls at a time depending on your pan size so they cook evenly.
- Adjust heat. If you find your egg rolls are cooking too quickly and surpassing the golden brown, then lower heat.
- Don’t stack. Resist the urge to stack the Chinese egg rolls or they won’t be as crispy. I know I didn’t follow my own advice in the photos so I can speak from personal experience that stacked egg rolls will steam and you will lose that shatteringly crispy coveted exterior. It is best to serve the egg rolls lined in a single layer with a little breathing room in between each egg roll.
HOW TO REHEAT Easy EGG ROLLS
Homemade egg rolls are best eaten when they are hot and the wrappers are still crispy BUT you can reheat leftover egg rolls – they just won’t be as crispy. To reheat any leftover egg rolls, line in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until heated through.
CAN YOU FREEZE EGG ROLLS?
Yes, egg rolls freeze very well! Freezing is a wonderful option if:
- you have leftover egg rolls
- you want an easy dinner for later
- you want to eat one egg roll at a time for a snack
- you want an easy appetizer that you just pull out and bake
HOW TO FREEZE EGG ROLLS
- Prepare and cook egg rolls according to directions.
- Let egg rolls cool COMPLETELY.
- Line them on a baking sheet so they aren’t touching then cover tightly with plastic wrap.
- Place in the freezer and flash freeze for 1-2 hours until solid.
- Once solid, transfer egg rolls to an airtight freezer safe container or plastic freezer bag.
- Store in the freezer for up to three months.
- When ready to serve, either fry egg rolls straight out of the freezer (don’t defrost), OR bake from frozen per instructions, adding about 5 minutes to baking time.
CAN YOU MAKE EGG ROLLS IN ADVANCE?
You cannot assemble the egg rolls in advance without cooking or else the wrappers will become soggy or dry out and tear. The best option to make in advance is to cook, cool and freeze.
egg roll dipping sauce
Crunchy egg rolls wouldn’t be complete without dipping sauce and my absolute favorite is this intoxicating sweet and sour sauce. I’ve experimented with different ingredients and ratios over the years to create the perfect dipping sauce and this is it! It delivers a sweet, tangy, flavorful, deeply satisfying compliment to the crispy exterior and rich filling – you will want to dunk everything in it!
More reasons to love this dipping sauce:
- QUICK. This sweet and sour sauce takes minutes to make. Just whisk the ingredients together and simmer while your filling chills – that’s it!
- Make ahead. After you whisk the sauce together, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for weeks.
- Adaptable. While this sweet and sour sauce is just right for us, you can adjust it to make it just right for YOU and your family’s personal tastes. Just keep a note of your adjustments then whip out the perfect dipping sauce every time.
- sweeten it up with additional granulated sugar or swap the sugar for honey for a more floral taste
- add sweet heat with sweet chili sauce
- for extra tang, add additional vinegar
- spice it up with additional chili sauce
- amp up the ginger for a stronger punch of flavor or add Chinese 5 spice
Ingredients for Dipping Sauce:
- pineapple juice: I purchase a pack of small cans – they are perfect for something like this. You can transfer the remaining pineapple juice to a plastic bag and freeze for later.
- red wine vinegar: has a distinct flavor and is best not to swap out for another vinegar in this scenario.
- sugar: granulated sugar is best here, use more or less to taste.
- ketchup: is non-negotiable.
- soy sauce: use reduced sodium like we do in the filling.
- seasonings: a pinch of salt and ginger powder enhance the flavors.
- Asian chili sauce: such as Sambal Oelek adds flavor but will not make your dipping sauce spicy. Of course, you can always add more or less to taste.
HOW DO I THIN DIPPING SAUCE?
Your dipping sauce will continue to thicken as it sits, so don’t thicken it on the stove to the exact consistency you want it, but leave a little wiggle room for it to thicken slightly. If it simmers to the point of too thick or sits and becomes too thick, don’t worry! It is easy to thin by whisking in some water over low heat. Alternatively, if your sweet and sour sauce is too runny, then return to a simmer to thicken.
HOW DO I STORE DIPPING SAUCE?
Dipping sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks. When ready to use, just reheat over low heat with a couple tablespoons water, not to make it warm but to thin as it will thick upon refrigeration.
WHAT SHOULD I SERVE WITH EASY EGG ROLLS?
This egg roll recipe is fabulous as an appetizer or as a meal. They pair with practically all of my Asian inspired dishes, and I have a TON – so the real question is what not to serve them with?! Here are just a few ideas to jump start your imagination:
- Main course: these homemade egg rolls pair beautifully with all sorts of Asian cuisine from Chinese to Japanese to Thai food. Seeing as I have so many Asian recipes, I’ll stick with some of my Chinese favorites: Beef and Broccoli, Mongolian Chicken, Mongolian Beef, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Sesame Chicken, General Tso’s Chicken, Szechuan Chicken, Szechuan Beef, Cashew Chicken, Kung Pao Shrimp, Honey Lemon Chicken
- Appetizers: they make stand alone delicious appetizers or serve them alongside Potstickers, Chicken Satay, Yakitori, Korean Meatballs, Shrimp Spring Rolls, Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Chinese Chicken Wings or Pineapple Cream Cheese Wontons.
- Soup: I love apps and soups together! Egg rolls would pair beautifully with any of my favorite Asian inspired soups: Egg Drop Soup, Wonton Soup, Miso Soup, Thai Chicken Noodle Soup, Curried Butternut Squash Soup, Laska, Tom Kha Gai.
- Salad: round out your meal with any of my favorite Asian inspired salads: Crunchy Asian Salad, Chinese Salad, or Asian Pineapple Salad.
- Fruit: fresh fruit such as chopped pineapple is always an easy, welcome side or try Grilled Pineapple, Summer Fruit Salad, Perfect Fruit Salad, Creamy Grape Salad, and Pina Colada Fruit Salad.
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