Crispy Vegetarian Egg Rolls

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Don’t be intimated! Delicious crispy egg rolls are easy to make. I’ll show you my essential tips for filling, folding, and frying success. Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice, and you have an excellent appetizer before starting your meal.

serving platter with egg rolls and a dipping sauce
Table of Contents
  1. Make the filling
  2. Chill and drain
  3. Wrapper selection
  4. How to wrap an egg roll
  5. Oil selection
  6. Frying tips
  7. What to serve this with
  8. Homemade Egg Rolls Recipe

Egg rolls are a hard finger-food to resist, as each bite has the perfect balance of crunchy texture and savory filling. When I order Chinese food, this appetizer always ends up in the takeout bag. I use fresh-cut vegetables like cabbage, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and green onions for this recipe. However, you can easily customize the filling with ground meat for a heartier option.

Once you fill and fold the pieces, the deep-frying step creates that extra crispy and golden shell. The critical component is to use a high smoke point oil with a neutral flavor for cooking several batches. The hardest part is deciding what type of sauce to dip them in.

bowls of vegetables and a stack of wrappers

Make the filling

To make a colorful filling with various textures, I use thinly sliced napa cabbage, carrots, and bean sprouts. Shiitake mushrooms add subtle savory and umami notes, with a chewy, almost meaty bite. Minced ginger and garlic provide strong aromatics and intense flavors. 

The vegetables are stir fry in a wok or saute pan until soft and tender. These ingredients release a lot of moisture, so the cooking process evaporates most of the liquid, preventing soggy egg rolls. I use a little bit of sesame oil and soy sauce for seasoning the filling mixture.

Recipe Resources

Chill and drain

After stir-frying, I recommend spreading the vegetable filling on a sheet tray and chilling it in the refrigerator. The vegetables will release further moisture during the cooling process. Also, tilt the pan to gather any excess liquid, then drain. You don’t want the filling to be soggy or overly wet when adding it to the frying oil.

vegetable filling cooling on a baking sheet

Wrapper selection

You can find Asian wrappers in the refrigerated section of most major grocery stores or Asian markets. They typically come in two types; “egg roll wrappers” are thick, heavy, and flexible, while “spring roll wrappers” are thin and papery, similar to ones used for lumpia.

The spring roll variety is extra crispy but is harder to find. People often confuse them with the white-colored Vietnamese rice paper wrapper. The thicker egg roll wrappers will be a little chewier and require a few extra minutes of frying time. Both are good options, though. 

How to wrap an egg roll

If using egg roll wrappers, place the dusted cornstarch-side facing up. The sticky starches make it easier to seal the roll together. Spread about three tablespoons of filling to the corner of the wrapper. Tightly roll and tuck so that they stay together when frying. You want to remove as much excess air and space as possible between the filling and wrapper. Brush water on the sides and top of the wrapper to help seal it. 

If using the thinner spring roll wrappers, use egg whites because those wrappers don’t have cornstarch on the surface and the albumin proteins are tackier. Alternatively, you can ditch the wrapper altogether and make an egg roll bowl.

In between rolling, make sure to cover the wrappers with a damp paper towel because they dry out quickly once you open the package. The wet paper towel will keep them pliable. At this point, the egg rolls are ready to fry, or you can freeze them to use later. If storing, make sure to freeze them in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan and then transfer them to a resealable plastic bag or airtight container.

Oil selection

When deep-frying, it’s essential to select the proper oil for cooking. You want something with a high smoke point like peanut oil or canola oil (around 450°F/232°C).

The egg rolls fry at 350°F (177°C), therefore at least a 50-degree temperature buffer prevents the oil from breaking down too quickly with prolonged use in between batches. These oils are also neutral in taste so that the egg rolls don’t absorb a strong undesirable flavor.

metal tongs lifting a fried egg roll out of the oil

Frying tips

Use a deep-fry thermometer or instant-read thermometer to verify the oil reaches 350°F (177°C). Try to maintain this temperature throughout the frying process. If the oil gets too hot, the wrapper will brown too quickly, but the filling won’t have enough time to crisp. Simply turn down the heat and wait until the temperature drops down.

I like to work in small batches, two or three at a time. Since the process goes quickly, this ensures they get evenly cooked. A stainless steel spider strainer or metal tongs come in handy for moving the items, draining excess oil, and safely removing the egg rolls from the pot.

What to serve this with

Fingers holding an egg roll and dipping it into a sauce

How to choose the right oil for deep frying

The goal of deep-frying is to achieve a crisp and golden brown exterior while properly cooking the inside filling. Choose an oil that has a neutral flavor and high smoke point, comfortably above the frying temperature. You don’t want the oil to break down. Otherwise, an unpleasant odor and taste will transfer to the food.

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Homemade Egg Rolls

Egg rolls are a popular Chinese appetizer, but making them at home is easy! Just stuff with vegetables, wrap, and quickly deep fry.
Pin Print Review
4.35 from 29 votes
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Servings 12 servings
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Chinese

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cups shiitake mushrooms, ⅛-inch thick slices
  • 1 ½ cup carrots, matchstick or shredded
  • 3 cups napa cabbage, ⅛-inch thick slices
  • 1 ½ cups bean sprouts
  • cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup water, for brushing
  • 10 egg roll wrappers, 6 ½ inch
  • 6 cups peanut oil, or canola oil, plus more as needed to reach 3-inches in depth

Instructions 

  • Heat a wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat, then add the vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the mushrooms and saute for 1 minute. Add the carrots and saute for 1 minute. Add the cabbage and saute for 1 minute. Add the bean sprouts and green onions and saute for 1 minute. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for 30 seconds. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil, stir to combine, and cook for 1 minute.
  • Transfer filling mixture to a sheet pan, spread into an even layer, and cool in the refrigerator, about 15 minutes. Drain any excess moisture from the pan after cooling.
  • Add the water to a small bowl and have a brush ready. Make sure to cover the wrappers with a damp paper towel to keep them from drying out.
  • One a cutting board, place one wrapper with the dusted cornstarch-side facing up and a corner pointed towards you. Add 3 tablespoons of filling to the lower third closest to you, making a 4-inch long mound. Tightly roll from the bottom corner towards the top, until about halfway up.
    Press on the edges of the filling to make sure it's packed and even. Brush a small amount of water on the left and right corners of the wrapper. Tightly fold the corners of the wrapper towards the center so it looks like an opened envelope.
    Brush the top corner of the wrapper with water. Tightly roll until it's completely sealed. Each roll should be about 4 inches long and about 1 ¼-inch wide. Repeat the process with the remaining egg rolls.
  • In a large pot, add enough peanut oil to fill about 3-inches in depth. Heat oil over medium heat until it reaches 350°F (177°C), this temperature should be maintained throughout frying.
  • Working in batches, add 3 to 4 egg rolls at a time into the hot oil. Occasionally move them for even cooking to achieve a crisp texture and golden brown surface, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Transfer egg rolls to a paper towel-lined baking sheet with a cooling rack on top. Repeat the cooking process with additional egg rolls.
  • Serve immediately with desired dipping sauce.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Freezing uncooked egg rolls: Freeze in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan and then transfer to a resealable plastic bag or airtight container for up to 3 months. Fry directly from the freezer until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Making a larger batch: For 20 egg rolls, cook double the amount of filling and use 20 wrappers.
  • Using thin spring roll wrappers: Add 2 tablespoons of filling and spread into a 4-inch long mound. Brush the wrapper with egg whites for better sticking. Fry until golden brown and crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes. The thinner wrapper cooks faster. Makes about 15 egg rolls.

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Nutrition Facts
Homemade Egg Rolls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 78 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 194mg8%
Potassium 310mg9%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 2765IU55%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
Calcium 31mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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38 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Sarah Nixon says

    Jessica I love your recipes and I am planning to use many of them in my upcoming Chinese New Year dinner party on February 16th. I would like to try these egg rolls but really don’t like frying…..Any chance they might be okay baked in a hot oven??? Thanks and keep up the wonderful work!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you Sarah! Deep frying will definitely give the best taste, color, and crispiness, but I think you could still bake them and get nice crunchy rolls. I would try placing the egg rolls on a rack set inside of a baking pan. Generously spray or brush the rolls on each side with vegetable or canola oil, and bake at 400F (200C), for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. You do not have to turn them over if they are on a rack. If you don’t have a rack turn them over halfway through baking. Please let me know how they turn out!

        • Jessica Gavin says

          I was just asking my friend about that John! I don’t have experience using an air fryer, but i don’t see why it wouldn’t be something to try, especially since the filling is already cooked?

          • Jessica Gavin says

            The cornstarch is typically already lightly dusted on the wrappers, and it will be on the inside of the egg roll since you’re filling it with that side facing up. I hope that helps!

      • Sarah Nixon says

        Thanks for the advice Jessica. I may do a “test run” before the actual dinner I have planned. As an aside, on Friday I made 84 won tons following your recipe for Wonton Soup. Marvellous! Of course my wontons didn’t look like little boats…like yours, but they held together when I froze them individually. I used extra lean ground turkey thighs and had a little left over so heated it up in a saucepan and served it on a corn tortilla (fashion of asian and mexican). Wonderful flavour! thanks again!

        • Jessica Gavin says

          Great idea Sarah! Let me know how the test run goes. So thrilled to hear you made so many wontons, you must have a big freezer 🙂

      • Sarah Nixon says

        Well, made the egg rolls tonight for the family as an appetizer as we “gorge” on the Olympics. Go Canada Go! I used the rack as you advised with a 375 degree oven and was very pleased with the results. I brushed garlic infused oil on the rolls so that they were well coated and they toasted up nicely. Not oily, and pretty fine tasting! Next time I will use more filling so that there isn’t as much “dough” although there were NO complaints! I was just being conservative with the filling so that I would have enough to feed the gang and also wouldn’t have the rolls explode. Egg white “glue” was very effective. Thanks so much Jessica!!!

        • Jessica Gavin says

          Whoo hoo! So much fun eating and watching the olympics 🙂 Thank you so much for your feedback, the modifications sounds perfect and I know your guests will enjoy!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you Gail! I don’t have a sweet and sour sauce, but I love this orange dipping sauce, search “crunchy baked coconut shrimp with orange sauce” on my website. You can add some rice wine vinegar if you want it tangier and take out the red chili flakes if you don’t want it spicy.

  2. KMV says

    Hi Jessica, These egg rolls were delicious and a huge hit last evening. I served with your lettuce wrap recipe and everyone went back for seconds. Looking forward to your cookbook!!!! Thank you KMV in RI.

  3. Natalie Ellis says

    I love egg rolls so much and did make them several times. However, I’m curious about your sauce, it often make peanut sauce for myself. What about you?

  4. Lois says

    Your recipe sound inviting as it seems to have more ingredients than most I have found. I would like to add chicken, shrimp or pork and assume that this ingredient would need to be sautéed with the vegetables. Any advice?

  5. Dershel Cason says

    Wow these egg rolls turned out GREAT, I will definitely make them again and add my favorite meatless crumbles since I’ve recently become a vegetarian. Thank you again for the recipe, very delicous. My family truly enjoyed them.

  6. Sue Primm says

    My husband has had shrimp egg rolls made with bean sprouts rather than cabana and such. Could I substitute bean sprouts in place of mushrooms?
    Sue

  7. Jessica says

    My name is Jessica and I came across your page when searching for eggroll recipies, and notices your name. My husband’s name is Gavin. I have been called Jessica Gavin on accodent before. So neat to see someone with our names together. So, now I have to try your recipe. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing and God bless.

  8. Fashion SM says

    Not as hard as you may think it is! Just a little time spent on chopping up my ingredients but rest is so simple. I didn’t have ginger, just added the minced garlic and it still tastes great! I went ahead and added some chopped chicken to the mix and they were so filling we didn’t even bother with adding a side dish. This is a must-try if you love egg rolls as much as my family does. #thankyouJessicaforthegreatrecipe

  9. Prisci Despistada says

    I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I’ll give it 4 stars because your recipe looks good

  10. Deanne says

    I have made these egg rolls many times and I triple the recipe as they go quickly. Delicious with spicy Thai sauce or plum sauce. There is a line up in my kitchen as I pull the golden rolls out of the oil.

    A lot of chopping so I like to prepare everything in advance, otherwise you will be in the kitchen for a long time – chopping, cooking, cooling, wrapping and frying.

    If you don’t get the moisture out the cooked ones will be soggy the next day IF you have any left over.

  11. Juanita says

    Another great recipe from Jessica! I had never made egg rolls before and found this easy to do. As with her wonton soup recipe, prepared most everything well in advance of assembly. I chose to add the pork filing from her wonton soup recipe (minus the shrimp) to this and it was very tasty. As always, the how to video is much appreciated. Will add this to my go to recipe rotation.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      You’re amazing, Juanita! I love that you added my wonton filling to the egg rolls, that sounds so yummy. Glad to hear that the video was also helpful in making the egg roll recipe.

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