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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My Mother’s Famous Chinese Egg Rolls

mothers-famous-chinese-egg-rolls-recipe

These are my Mom’s Famous Crispy Chinese Egg Rolls and a recipe that I published way back in 2007 but somehow got lost in the Internet void. Thank goodness that this recipe was part of my cookbook so I still had the text and photos. ~Jaden

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This is one of those recipes that is a little more time consuming to make, but one that’s my favorite because 1) it’s my Mom’s recipe 2) everyone who has tried them instantly declare they are the best they’ve ever had 3) you can make a big batch of them and freeze them. I usually call a couple of my girlfriends over and we have an eggrollin’ party where we’ll make a massive batch of them, enjoy them fresh that night and have enough for all to take home and freeze. If you are making these with friends, I’d suggest doubling the recipe so each person has some to take home to freeze. I promise you they will taste just as good fried after frozen and you will never taste better egg rolls than these. BUT – you must follow my Mama’s rules.

Ready?

Mama Ruthie’s Egg Roll Rules

Mama’s Rule #1: Your egg roll filling ingredients must be drained of excess moisture and cooled before rolling. Soggy, hot filling makes soggy egg rolls.

Mama’s Rule #2: Use the right kind of wrapper. The size I get is 8 x 8 inches (20 x 20 cm) around and come 25 wrappers to a package. These wrappers are light, paper-thin and fry up to a shatteringly crisp crunch.  Oh yes, before I forget – “spring roll” and “egg roll” are interchangeable and mean the same thing. Sometimes my regular American grocery store will have “spring roll pasta sheets” that are in the refrigerated produce section. Do not use those – they are way too thick! Let’s just say that if it has Italian writing on the package, it probably ain’t the good stuff for Chinese egg rolls.

Rule#2A. Treat the wrapper right. You also want to keep the wrappers covered with a damp towel at all times to prevent the edges from drying and cracking.

Mama’s Rule #3: Roll small and tight! Sloppy and loosely rolled egg rolls will break apart and allow oil to seep into the inside of the roll. Mama says baaaad. One time I was watching a celebrity chef on television making monster egg rolls the size of a cola can. Who in the heck can wrap their mouths around that thing? It looked hideous. Mama’s egg rolls are elegant and skinny. Don’t be too greedy and overstuff them!  And roll them tight so that the filling doesn’t fall out while frying! Remember the days when you were younger and rolled your own…um…cigarette? Channel those rolling skills back.

Mama’s Rule #4: Lay the rolled egg rolls neatly with a piece of parchment, foil or wax paper in between each layer if you are stacking them on top of each other. Keep them covered with plastic wrap or a towel to prevent drying. If you are freezing, freeze them in like this first. Once frozen, you can gather them up and transfer them to a plastic freezer bag. If you roll them out and jumble them all together in a big pile, they’ll eventually stick to each other and you’ll tear the delicate skin trying to pry them apart.

How to make my Mother’s Famous Chinese Egg Rolls

The printable recipe is below, but here are step by step photos on how to wrap. The recipe is for ground pork as the filling, but as you can see in these photos, the filling is very flexible. I’ve used chopped shrimp, ground chicken, ground beef, ground turkey, very thinly sliced pork (almost like matchstick sized). In these photos, I used crawfish and diced Chinese sausage!

These photos are just a guideline to teach you how to wrap (and the wrong way to wrap Chinese Egg Rolls!)

After you fry the filling, you’ll want to spread it out to cool on a baking sheet. Tilt the baking sheet and prop it up so that all the juices accumulate. You’ll discard this juice. Too much juice in filling makes soggy eggrolls.

mother-famous-chinese-egg-rolls-recipe drain

Lay the wrapper on a clean, dry surface as shown. Spoon just a heaping tablespoon of filling near the bottom corner. Resist the urge to over stuff with too much filling!

mother-famous-chinese-egg-rolls-recipe filling

Lift the bottom corner up and begin rolling until you reach halfway up.

mother-famous-chinese-egg-rolls-recipe roll tight

Fold over the left side, and then the right side towards the center.

mother-famous-chinese-egg-rolls-recipe

Continue folding up with a tuck-roll-tuck-roll motion. Dip your fingers into the cornstarch slurry and brush all over the final top corner. Finish up the roll, seal and place seam side down.

mother-famous-chinese-egg-rolls-recipe seal tight

See how tightly the egg roll wrapped? Any holes or large air pockets will allow oil to seep in, resulting in a greasy egg roll! The width or diameter of the egg roll should ONLY be 1.25-inches. If you make them any larger (i.e. too much filling) you’ll end up with less egg rolls.

mother-famous-chinese-egg-rolls-recipe finished

The wrong way:

Common mistake is to not fold over and tuck good enough. See that big space? Oil seeps in and will make your egg roll greasy.

mother-famous-chinese-egg-rolls-recipe big hole

Big holes = your egg roll will fall apart while frying.

mother-famous-chinese-egg-rolls-recipe too loose

See the difference between the above photo and this one?

mother-famous-chinese-egg-rolls-recipe finished

Print

Mother's Famous Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe

Servings: Makes 50 egg rolls Prep Time: Cook Time:
mothers-famous-chinese-egg-rolls-recipe

Once you make these egg rolls, you'll never make them any other way! Make sure you get the correct egg roll wrappers. They should be FROZEN and very thin, almost paper thin. Do not use egg roll wrapper found in the refrigerated section (usually near tofu) in Western supermarket - they make starchy, thick, gooey egg rolls with big bubbles on outside when you fry. It's important to make sure you keep your wrapper and rolled egg rolls under plastic wrap so that they do not dry out!

Ingredients:

50 Spring/Egg Roll Wrappers (about 2 packages), defrosted unopened at room temperature for 45 minutes or in the refrigerator overnight
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with ¼ cup of cool water to seal egg roll
Cooking oil, for fryingFOR THE PORK
1 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarchFOR THE VEGETABLES
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
½ head of cabbage (about 11 ounces)
3 carrots
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
10 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper1. To make the filling, combine the ingredients for the ground pork together. Marinate at least 10 minutes. 2. To a food processor, add the shiitake mushrooms. Pulse a few times until the mushrooms are finely chopped. Insert shredder disk (large holes) and shred the cabbage and carrots. 3. Heat a wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add just 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add in the garlic and ginger and quickly stir-fry until fragrant. Add in the contents of the food processor (cabbage, carrots and shiitake). Turn heat to high and stir-fry for 1 minute until the vegetables are beginning to soften. 4. Use your tongs to make a large, empty spot in the middle of the pan (push the vegetables aside), swirl in an additional 1 teaspoon of cooking oil. When hot, add in the ground pork. Cook the ground pork in the middle of the pan until beginning to turn brown. Now use your tongs to mix the pork with the vegetables.5. Add the rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and black pepper. Continue to stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes until the pork is cooked through. 6. Scoop out the filling to a baking sheet and spread out to cool. Prop up one end of the baking sheet slightly to allow excess the moisture to drain to one end. Let cool for 15 minutes and then discard all of the accumulated juices. 7. Now, you're ready to wrap (see photos for instructions on how to wrap). IMPORTANT: Only use 1 heaping tablespoon of filling for each egg roll. These are slender egg rolls, the width of the egg roll should only be 1.25" diameter. Keep the rolled egg rolls in neat, single layer and covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying. If you want to stack the egg rolls, make sure you have layer of parchment paper in between the layers to prevent sticking. Keep wrappers also covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Refrigerate up to 4 hours until ready to fry or freeze.8. To fry the egg rolls, fill a wok or pot with 2 inches of high-heat cooking oil. Heat the oil to 350°F (175°C) or until a cube of bread will fry to golden brown within 10 seconds. Gently slide in or lower the egg rolls, frying 4 to 6 at a time, turning occasionally until golden brown about 1½ minutes. Place on wire rack to drain and cool.NOTE: To fry frozen egg rolls, do not defrost the egg rolls – just add them to the oil frozen, frying 4 to 6 at a time. Add an additional 1½ minutes to the frying time since they are frozen.

Directions:

1. To make the filling, combine the ingredients for the ground pork together. Marinate at least 10 minutes. In the meantime, shred the cabbage and the carrots using your food processor or by hand. Slice the mushrooms into very thin strips (or you could use your food processer and pulse a few times to get a fine dice.

2. Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. Add the cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the pork and stir-fry until no longer pink, about 2-3 minutes. Turn heat to medium-low, push the meat to one side of the pan. Add the garlic, cabbage, carrots, ginger and the mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 minute, until the vegetables are softened. Add the rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and black pepper. Continue to stir-fry for another minute. Scoop out the filling to a baking sheet and spread out to cool. Prop up one end of the baking sheet so that it tilts and will allow all the moisture to drain to one end. Let cool for 15 minutes.

3. Discard all of the accumulated juices. Use paper towels to blot the filling to rid of extra oil or juice. Now, you're ready to wrap (see photos for instructions on how to wrap). IMPORTANT: Only use 1 heaping tablespoon of filling for each egg roll. These are slender egg rolls, the width of the egg roll should only be 1.25" diameter.

Keep the rolled egg rolls in neat, single layer and covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying. If you want to stack the egg rolls, make sure you have layer of parchment paper in between the layers to prevent sticking. Keep wrappers also covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Refrigerate up to 4 hours until ready to fry or freeze.

4. To fry the egg rolls, fill a wok or pot with 2 inches of high-heat cooking oil. Heat the oil to 350°F (175°C) or until a cube of bread will fry to golden brown within 10 seconds. Gently slide in or lower the egg rolls, frying 4 to 6 at a time, turning occasionally until golden brown about 1½ minutes. Place on wire rack to drain and cool.

NOTE: To fry frozen egg rolls, do not defrost the egg rolls – just add them to the oil frozen, frying 4 to 6 at a time. Add an additional 1½ minutes to the frying time since they are frozen.

***

Other Egg Roll/Spring Roll Recipes

Red Lantern Vietnamese Spring Roll Recipe Cha Gio

Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

Egg Roll Recipe on RasaMalaysia

White on Rice has a vegetarian Vietnamese Curried Tofu Spring Roll (not fried!)



252 Responses to “My Mother’s Famous Chinese Egg Rolls”

  1. Dave — 3/2/11 @ 1:58 am

    Love the recipe, but generally these are called Spring rolls. Egg rolls are dipped in egg, via the name egg roll, also they are generally bigger in size made with a larger type dough. Just one of my pet peeves.

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  3. Anna — 3/6/11 @ 5:47 pm

    Jaden, I’ve made these several times, and had to drop by and thank you for inspiring me.

    The first time, just for the experiment, I made them just as written, but since then I’ve made them basically to use up whatever protein I have around. Shrimp, chicken, leftover pork chop, barbeque, it all seems to work quite nicely.

    I don’t seem to have found the larger sized wrappers that you mention, though, but they’re still quite tasty.

    I’ve experimented with several of the varieties I can find, and don’t have any complaints beyond the rather wimpy size of the wrappers. The grocery store fresh ones remind me of the first egg rolls I ever ate as a little kid, the lumpia are so elegant, but harder to work with (I think the ones I’ve found aren’t all that fresh).

  4. david — 3/15/11 @ 7:50 pm

    jaden … what is your preferred/recommended dipping sauce(s) for your Mother’s Chinese Egg Rolls?
    thx.

  5. Anh — 3/24/11 @ 9:38 am

    If you have a 99 ranch market near you, please check out the different sizes of spring rolls wrappers in the freezer section.

  6. Laura — 3/24/11 @ 3:09 pm

    These look so good…I will be making these this evening.

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  8. Diana — 3/28/11 @ 11:14 am

    Thank you, thank you! I only wish I could have found the thin wrappers…I asked 3 workers at the grocery store! Hope you don’t mind that I went ahead and posted about them with the “fake” pasta wrappers….I’m definitely going to be keeping my eye out for the thinner ones. Are they rice wrappers, by chance?

  9. Priscilla — 3/28/11 @ 7:29 pm

    Thank you for sharing! My spring rolls always ended up soggy, greasy, and chewy. X(

    There is a difference between egg rolls and spring rolls though- Egg rolls you use a thick wrapper, like for pasta shells, and seal with an egg/water mixture. Spring rolls are made with rice wrappers and are much smaller.

  10. umair — 4/8/11 @ 5:26 pm

    i tried it with cheese n chicken… every1 loved id….

  11. Lavern — 4/13/11 @ 4:11 pm

    I am wanting to try this recipe. I am not experienced at all with making egg rolls. I am confused about something in the recipe that I’m sure is self explanatory but don’t want to take a chance and mess them up…. When you cook the pork filling and push it to the side then cook the vegetable filling and add the wet ingredients. Do you add the the soy sauce, rice wine to the vegetable side, saute then mix the pork ingredients together with the vegetables? I know this is a dumb question, but could you please answer anyway? Thank you.

  12. Sion — 4/27/11 @ 11:42 pm

    Very nice tips and recipe! Finally, an authentic Chinese recipe on the web :D

    However, a small note. Spring roll and Egg roll may be interchangeable words for Americans, but they are actually two different types of food stuffs. The difference is in the wrappers.

    Spring roll wrappers are lighter and sleeker when fried, while Egg roll wrappers are thicker and produces “bumps” when fried.

    In Chinese, spring rolls are the yummy stuff listed above, while egg rolls are the sweet cookie-like sticks.

    Happy eating~

  13. Tanya — 5/8/11 @ 12:10 am

    I’m looking at the filling and I see some bell peppers and shrimp as well, is that correct?

    • SteamyKitchen — 5/8/11 @ 9:32 am

      I wrote above that the photos are from a different batch (a crawfish batch) but I wanted to show you how to wrap the eggroll.

  14. Bobby — 5/24/11 @ 2:26 pm

    Made these last night. My first time making egg rolls and they came yum. The thin wrappers from local chinese store along with the process of tightly wrapping them did it. My wife loved them.

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  16. Patty — 6/10/11 @ 11:34 am

    Thank you, Yummy! No other egg rolls compare. This is the third time I make them. My family kills for them:)! Only one question, this last batch I just made did not drain any liquid, when I tilted pan for 15 minutes. Did this ever happen to you? I tried letting it sit longer and still no drainage. I will fry them now and will see how they turn out.

  17. Patty — 6/14/11 @ 1:35 pm

    They turned out great! Must be because I used extra lean ground pork leaving no grease behind. I use a deep fryer to fry them; I do however have a hard time evenly browning them. For some reason once they first are placed in fryer they start to brown all around except for the top surface. As much as I try to keep rolling them over they roll back. What can I do to avoid this from happening? I like using the electric fryer because it keeps track of the oils temperture. Last question: Which kind of oil do you feel works best for frying? Thanks!

    • SteamyKitchen — 6/14/11 @ 1:57 pm

      Turn the heat lower – you oil is probably too hot. I like using canola oil for frying.

  18. Debbie — 6/19/11 @ 10:02 pm

    Can you prefry then freeze? then reheat in the oven

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  20. Ocean frieght — 6/30/11 @ 2:47 am

    Very nice instructions .. Delicious recipe.. I like it

  21. Jessica — 7/6/11 @ 10:56 pm

    My first time making egg rolls and this recipe made it a joy! The secret is in the seasoning, I think. I used leftover fried chicken (without the coating) and didn’t have any problems with sogginess. Cooked 12 of them in the oven after brushing with veg oil, 25 mins, and they were pretty good. Will be better fried but baked worked well enough. Thanks so much for a great recipe!

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  23. chinagirl — 7/24/11 @ 3:52 pm

    wow what a great article. i also have a blog that i attempt to teach others how to make chinese food. i sell my egg rolls to individuals via word of mouth advertising.

    I think you are doing a great job with your blog. The photos should help your readers a great deal. I think your awesome.

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  25. Tonya — 8/12/11 @ 10:18 am

    Is there a way to make the eggrolls and bake them instead of frying?

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  27. Naomi — 8/28/11 @ 8:57 pm

    I had a hard time finding Chinese Rice Wine. Can I use rice vinegar instead?

  28. Bri — 8/31/11 @ 5:45 am

    loved it! i made this for my boyfriend he loved it!! we have been up all night making another batch. his family is comeing out for labor day and he wanted me to teach him. so fun. i did have a hard time finding the thin rice wrapers but my local asian market had just what i needed. thanks this is something i will make again and again!

  29. rebecca — 9/4/11 @ 6:27 pm

    Wow and thanks. I’ve tried so many times to make egg rolls that cooked the wrapper before burning it and have always failed. Until today. I cooked the filling then allowed it to drain and DRY before wrapping it, took several hours of drying but well worth it. These were the best egg rolls I’ve ever made (I’ve been making mediocre ones for 29+ years).
    Thank you so much for the tip to use cool and dry filling. I feel like a nice face-palm would be appropriate at this moment. It’s a good thing that the hubby is asleep cuz if he saw me scarfing these down he’d never think of me as sexy again.

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  31. Arista — 10/10/11 @ 9:32 pm

    Do you mind telling me how you made the crawfish/chinese sausage egg rolls? Did you cook the sausage first?

  32. Arista — 10/10/11 @ 11:15 pm

    also if you dont mind sharing, which chinese sausage? I baught one, boiled it and its reddish in the center. I was boiling it for a long time so it must be cooked but it tastes weird and its soft in the center. Am I missing something? Also I couldent find crawfish at my grocery store

  33. mill grene — 10/11/11 @ 7:37 pm

    Oh my goodness. The absolute bes thing! I was so proud of myself. And they were delicious. I tweaked a bit here and there, but stayed the course for the most part. Finding the wrappers was the most challenging thing. But once found it was worth the effort. So now I have a new item to add to my appetizer, party treats, quick snack…….

  34. Sherry Stearns — 10/22/11 @ 6:05 pm

    I do drain my filling before rolling the egg rolls, but I save the liquid and use it in place of the water in the slurry. If I have way too much liquid, I reduce it and let it cool before making the slurry. It is ashamed to pour all that flavor out when it can be utilized. I don’t have any problem with the sealing of the egg roll.

  35. HARP Refinance — 10/28/11 @ 3:44 pm

    I would like to tell you that this recipe is absolutely delicious! I tried it over the weekend and it turned out perfectly. You really did a great job of presenting everything that needed to be done – and the pictures you post make it impossible to not try this yourself!!

  36. Melanie Stewart — 10/30/11 @ 1:38 pm

    I am wanting to make these for my family but my daughter can’t have soy or dairy. I have a recipe for soy free soy sauce but am wandering if the egg roll wrappers or dairy/soy free? What are they made of?

    • SteamyKitchen — 10/31/11 @ 9:42 am

      You should be fine – egg, flour, water. But please check the ingredients first!

  37. Nancy Brush — 11/2/11 @ 11:25 am

    Thank you for publishing this recipe. I especially appreciate the photos and comments regarding the folding technique. I made fresh lasagne dough and am going to experiment with that. Can’t wait.

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  39. Dan from Green Bay — 11/11/11 @ 10:08 am

    I love these egg rolls and when I have company they tell me these are the best I ever had. I add some fresh shrimp with them.

    Anyway – the reason Im emailing is that I went to make these again and lost my recipe that I printed when you first put this out. I checked your website and noticed you had lost the original. I checked my files again and you know what, I have the original posting with the photos saved in a word document. If you would like it back just give me an email address to send it to.

    Regards

    Dan From Green Bay

  40. Tyler — 11/21/11 @ 1:19 pm

    I believe your comment about egg roll and spring roll being interchangeable is incorrect. An egg roll includes a blend of BBQ pork, bean sprouts and a dash of curry with a thick layered (egg based) enclosure. Spring roll is a Vietnamese appetizer with pork, black fungus, glass noodles, carrot in a smaller lighter wrapper.

  41. Barbarainnc — 12/1/11 @ 4:30 pm

    I love egg rolls and lumpia. I got a recipe from a Filipino restaurant for their Lumpia dipping sauce. It is equal parts of Banana Ketchup, sugar and vinegar. Just stir to dissolve the sugar. No cooking. It is sooo gooood to dip the egg rolls or lumpia in. Enjoy!!! :) :) :)

  42. SweetWoman — 12/6/11 @ 5:03 am

    Thank you Thank you Thank you..I have been praying for a original egg roll recipe for years. Our neighborhood family owned Chinese Rest has been closed for over 20 yrs now and I have not had a good egg roll since..Ive tried many many recipes and they were no where near good. This one does look very good!
    So Happppppppy!
    Peace

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  44. Patti — 12/10/11 @ 5:53 pm

    Just had to let you know that I made these, and they came out perfectly. I made a batch of 50 for Thanksgiving with my husband’s family, and my brother-in-law (who’s a professional chef) deemed them “excellent,” and he’s not easy to impress with food. And they really weren’t that time-consuming to make. I managed to roll all 50 by myself in less than an hour with a toddler underfoot. My family has requested these again for Christmas! Thanks for the great recipe.

  45. cindy — 12/11/11 @ 11:45 pm

    I do not like cooking with wine or sherry or any alcohol. could that be left out or use something else that is not alcohol based?

  46. Corey — 12/17/11 @ 6:57 am

    Need your advice on how to keep the rolls crispy for a few hrs before the party.will be making them at home first and driving a good hour to the venue.thanks

    • SteamyKitchen — 12/17/11 @ 1:56 pm

      You can recrisp them in the oven – put a baking rack on top of a baking sheet. Put the egg rolls on top of the rack and crisp them in a preheated 375F oven for 10 minutes or so.

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  49. I found some spring roll wrappers in the Asian food section of our grocery store this week but they are round. Is the wrapping instructions the same for round?

  50. Mey — 1/9/12 @ 9:48 pm

    Is it better to deep-fry a newly made (fresh) spring roll or a frozen spring roll? Will they be equally crispy? Thank you! :)

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