Elevate your appetizer game with this crispy Chinese egg roll recipe. A filling of tender veggies, ground pork, and shrimp is tossed in a mouthwatering mixture of hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and pungent spices before being rolled into wrappers and fried to perfection.
Want to master your favorite Chinese-inspired dishes in the comfort of your own kitchen? Today’s egg roll recipe is a fantastic place to start. The ingredients are pretty straightforward, although you may need a few new items — especially if you are new to Asian cooking.
It may seem like there are a lot of steps in the beginning, but you’ll catch on quickly. I recommend giving yourself at least a couple of hours of prep time to start. The steps are simple, but they can be time consuming.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Vegetables – Cabbages, carrots, celery, and green onion add flavor and texture.
- Oil – Light, nutty sesame oil is used in the filling. For frying, choose an oil with a high smoke point like peanut.
- Hoisin Sauce – This savory umami sauce is rich, salty, and slightly sweet.
- Salt – Balances and highlights other flavors in the dish.
- Sugar – Adds a touch of sweetness and helps balance out the saltiness.
- Five Spice Blend – Popular Chinese spice blend featuring cinnamon, fennel, pepper, anise, and cloves. Look in the international aisle or use my recipe to make your own.
- White Pepper – Slightly milder than black pepper. Adds a subtle heat and ginger-like notes.
- Pork – Ground pork adds a deep savoriness. You can try using other ground meats, like chicken or beef.
- Bay Shrimp – Add a slightly salty, slightly sweet element.
- Egg Roll Wrappers – Thick doughy wrappers made from wheat flour and eggs. They are kept refrigerated at the grocery store, often near the tofu. Spring Roll wrappers can be used, but are thinner.
- Egg – Used to seal each egg roll before frying.
- Sweet and Sour Sauce – Sweet and tangy sauce made from honey, vinegar, and spices. Check the international aisle at the grocery store.
HOW TO MAKE CRISPY CHINESE EGG ROLL
1. Boil Water. In a large pot, bring 8-10 cups of water to a boil.
2. Process the Vegetables. Thinly slice or shred the cabbages with a sharp knife and put them in a large bowl. Slice and shred the carrot. Remove the ends from both the celery and green onions, slice lengthwise, and cut into 3 inch pieces. Add to the bowl with the carrot.
3. Boil the Vegetables. Transfer the veggies to the pot with boiling water and cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring to submerge. Strain the vegetables and move them to a prepared bowl with ice and water for a cold water shock (this helps keep their bright colors). Drain vegetables and transfer them to a kitchen towel. Working in batches, squeeze out excess water or use a salad spinner. Once drained, place the vegetables back into a bowl and set aside.
4. Prep Pork & Shrimp. Place a skillet over medium heat and brown the ground pork with 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce. Set the pork aside to cool while you rinse the shrimp. Use a sieve to shake off any excess water.
5. Combine Ingredients. Into the vegetable bowl, add the pork, shrimp, sesame oil, tablespoon of hoisin, salt, sugar, five spice, and white pepper. Toss to coat thoroughly. In a separate bowl, beat the egg.
6. Add Filling. Use your hands to scoop out about ½ cup of the mixture. Squeeze to compress and place in the center of the egg roll wrapper. Then, dip your finger in the egg and trace the edge of the wrapper.
7. Wrap the Egg Rolls. Start by pulling the edge closest to you up and over the filling. Tuck it under the filling and gently pull back to secure. Fold the right and left edges over the filled portion, and press to seal. Roll forward and press to adhere to the final edge. Place on a tray and repeat with the remaining ingredients. At this point, egg rolls may be sealed and frozen or fried.
8. Fry the Egg Rolls. Heat oil in a skillet to 325°F. Fry each egg roll for about 3-5 minutes, turning often. Wrappers should be crispy and blistering. Serve with sweet and sour or your favorite sauce. Note: Photos show egg roll wrapper used. Video shows the difference using spring roll wrapper. Both are acceptable, but I prefer the classic egg roll with the crispy bubbled wrapper after frying.
Why Are My Egg Rolls Soggy?
Too much moisture is the culprit. Be sure to cold shock and thoroughly drain the vegetables before rolling in the dough. I recommend preparing your vegetables a few hours in advance if possible.
What is The Difference Between an Egg Roll and a Spring Roll?
An egg roll is wrapped in a thick wrapper made from wheat flour and eggs. Spring rolls are wrapped in a lighter, thinner rice paper.
As you can see in the images here the blistered wrapper is an egg roll wrapper and the wrappers used in the video below show the thinner spring roll wrapper.
Why Are My Egg Rolls Greasy?
This usually occurs when the frying oil is not hot enough. Use a thermometer to ensure that the oil stays around 325°F, especially between batches. Otherwise, the dough will simply absorb the oil instead of crisping and forming a protective layer.
Alternatively, you can get greasy results from oil that is too hot! The outside of the egg rolls will cook too quickly, allowing cracks to form that let oil into the filling.
Crispy Chinese Egg Roll
- 2 cups vegetable oil or peanut oil, for frying
- Bring a large pot of 8-10 cups of water to the boil.
- Using a sharp knife, thinly slice or shred cabbages, place in a large bowl. Peel and shred the carrot, add to cabbage. Trim and discard the ends, then cut the celery and green onion into 3-inch pieces and then slice thin lengthwise. Add to cabbage bowl.
- Cook all the vegetables in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes, stirring to submerge. Set up a large bowl with ice and cold water. Strain vegetables and shock in cold ice water bath. Drain and place vegetables on a kitchen towel and squeeze excess water or use a salad spinner and, in batches, remove excess water. Transfer blanched and drained vegetables to a large bowl.
- In a skillet over medium heat brown the ground pork with the 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce. Set aside to cool. Rinse shrimp and shake excess water using sieve.
- Add shrimp, cooled pork, sesame oil, tablespoon of hoisin, salt, sugar, five spice and white pepper to the vegetable bowl. Toss to mix well.
- Beat the egg in a small dish.
- Using your hands, scoop about 1/2 cup of the filling and squeeze to compress. Place in center of an egg roll where a corner of the egg roll is pointing towards you.
- Using a finger, trace the edge of the egg roll after dipping in beaten egg.
- Fold the edge closest to you up and over filling, pulling back to secure filling under fold, tucking the tip under filling. Fold the left and right points up and over the rolled filling, pressing to adhere, and then roll forward to wrap completely and press gently to adhere final edge. Place on a tray. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers. Egg rolls can be sealed and frozen at this point or fried.
- Heat oil in a deep skillet to 325°F. Fry the egg rolls in batches, turning often, for 3-5 minutes until wrapper is blistered, golden brown and crispy. Serve with sweet and sour sauce, or sauce of choice.
- Photos show egg roll wrapper used. Video shows the difference using spring roll wrapper. Both are acceptable, but I prefer the classic egg roll with the crispy bubbled wrapper after frying.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.