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Chinese egg rolls - The ultimate guide to making restaurant-style egg rolls at home. These Chinese egg rolls are filled with tender meat and crunchy vegetables. I’ve included three cooking methods in this recipe and all of them yield a very crispy crust. Make them ahead and serve them as an appetizer at your dinner party or as a snack. #dimsum #takeout
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5 from 2 votes

How to Make Chinese Egg Rolls

These Chinese egg rolls are filled with tender meat and crunchy vegetables. I’ve included three cooking methods in this recipe and all of them yield a very crispy crust. Simply make them ahead and serve them as an appetizer at your dinner party and you’ll thank me later.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: takeout
Servings: 20 25 egg rolls
Calories: 101kcal
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup carrots , shredded
  • 2 cups napa cabbage , thinly shredded
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger , minced
  • 1 pound (450 grams) ground turkey (or chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup green onions , thinly sliced

Egg rolls

  • 25 egg roll wrappers 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches or 17 x 17 cm, thawed (Footnote 1)
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

Dipping sauce (optional)

  • Homemade sweet chili sauce (or store bought)
  • Chinese dumpling sauce
  • Homemade hoisin sauce (or store bought)

Instructions

Egg roll filling

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet (or cast iron skillet) over medium-high heat until hot. Add the carrot and napa cabbage. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  • Add the bean sprouts and stir for 1 minute.
  • Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and the honey. Cook and stir for another minute until the liquid has evaporated. Transfer everything to a plate to cool.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the garlic and ginger into the same skillet. Stir for 20 to 30 seconds, to release the fragrance.
  • Add the ground turkey (or chicken). Cook while chopping the ground meat into small bits with a spatula, until lightly browned.
  • Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and the hoisin sauce and black pepper. Stir and cook until the liquid is absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer everything to a medium-sized bowl to cool.
  • Add the cooked vegetables and green onions to the bowl of ground turkey. Stir to mix well.

Wrap the egg rolls

  • To prepare the wrapping station: Add some water to a small bowl. Place the egg roll wrappers on a plate along with a spoon and the filling. Prepare a large plate or oven tray to hold the wrapped egg rolls and a cutting board for wrapping the egg rolls.
  • To wrap an egg roll, gently remove one egg roll sheet from the stack using both of your hands and place it on the cutting board, with a corner pointed toward you. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling onto the lower end of the wrapper, making a 4-inch (10 cm) wide, tight and even mound. Tightly roll from the bottom corner toward the top, until about halfway up. Tightly fold the left and right corners of the wrapper towards the center, so it looks like an opened envelope. Dip your finger into the water and brush the top corner of the wrapper. Tightly roll the egg rolls upward until it’s completely sealed. Repeat the process, until you’ve used all the filling.
  • Although you can freeze the egg rolls at this stage, I personally prefer to cook them all and store the cooked ones so I only need to set up the deep frying equipment once. On the other hand, if you want to make the egg rolls in advance and serve them fresh at your party, you can freeze the egg rolls without cooking them. To do so, place the egg rolls on a baking sheet with gaps in between. Wrap them tightly with plastic wrap and store in the freezer until ready to cook. You can fry them directly from the freezer, with an additional 1 minute of fry time.

Cook the egg rolls

  • Prepare a baking sheet with a rack on top, for cooling the egg rolls.
  • Option 1 - To deep fry the egg rolls, heat 1-inch (2.5 cm) of oil in a deep medium pot or a dutch oven over medium heat to 350 F (177 C). If you do not have a thermometer, insert a wooden chopstick into the heated oil. You should see continuous tiny bubbles coming up around the chopstick. If the bubbles only come up here and there, the oil is not hot enough. If the bubbles are large and bursting to the surface, the oil is too hot.
  • Fry the egg rolls in batches of 5 to 6. Flip and move them occasionally for even browning. Fry until the egg rolls are golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and transfer the egg rolls with a slotted spoon or wire spider onto the rack to let them cool. Repeat until you have cooked all the egg rolls.
  • Option 2 - To bake the egg rolls in the oven, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). Place the egg rolls onto a lined baking sheet, seam-side-down, with about 2 fingers’ width gap between. Generously spray oil on top. Bake for 9 minutes, or until the bottom turns a golden color. Flip the spring rolls and spray oil onto them again. Return the tray to the oven. Bake for another 6 to 8 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. Once done, let the egg rolls cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving to maximize crispiness.
  • Option 3 - To fry the egg rolls in an air-fryer, preheat the air-fryer to 390 F (10 mins or so). Cook them in batches. Spread a few spring rolls in the basket without overlapping them. Spray with a thin layer of oil, or you can bake them without using any oil. Bake for 6 minutes, flip, and bake for another 5 minutes. Once done, let the egg rolls cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving to maximize crispiness.
  • Serve the egg rolls hot with whichever dipping sauce(s) you prefer.

Store and reheat

  • You can store the cooked egg rolls and reheat them later. If stored and reheated properly, the egg rolls will be just as crispy as freshly fried.
  • To store the egg rolls, spread them on a wire rack and let them cool completely. The egg rolls will be very hot inside once cooked, so it might take 1 to 2 hours for them to cool completely. Once cooled, you can store them in an airtight container or in a large ziplock bag. To get the best result, I prefer to spread the egg rolls in a single layer in a gallon ziplock bag and lay them flat in the fridge (or freezer). This way, the egg rolls won’t overlap and get soggy.
  • You can reheat the egg rolls in the oven or in an air fryer. Bake them at 350 F (180 C) until hot, or for about 10 minutes or so. The rolls will remain crispy.

Notes

  1. The recipe was adapted from the one in Jessica Gavin’s cookbook Easy Culinary Science for Better Cooking.
  2. The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 20 egg rolls generated by this recipe, without any dipping sauce.
  3. The best way to thaw the egg roll wrappers is to transfer the package from the freezer to the fridge and let them thaw slowly over a couple hours. If you’re in a hurry, you can also place the package of egg roll wrappers on your kitchen counter for 20 to 30 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 20g | Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.4g | Protein: 8.3g | Fat: 4.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.7g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 244mg | Potassium: 131mg | Fiber: 0.6g | Sugar: 1.2g | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1.1mg