Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls are a super light, crispy and tender vegetarian appetizer cousin of traditional egg rolls. Make ahead and freeze before frying!

Spring Rolls are the perfect Chinese Food appetizer alongside Crab Rangoon, Shrimp Tempura, and Potstickers. Skip the Chinese restaurant and make your own at home!

Spring Rolls and dipping sauce on serving platter

Spring Rolls are so much more than just vegetarian egg rolls. They have a super thin, crispy wrapper that basically shatters when you bite into it. Inside are tender, seasoned cooked vegetables seasoned with soy sauce, mirin, and sesame oil. They are perfect for dipping into sweet chili sauce.

You can fill the spring roll wrappers with anything you’d like. This recipe uses a traditional vegetarian filling but chicken, pork or even a shrimp filling would be amazing! Especially shrimp, because the light tender seafood goes great with the other flavors and textures in Spring Rolls.

Serve these as an appetizer with Sweet and Sour Sauce and Chinese Hot Mustard for dipping. A wonderful recipe to serve this alongside is actually General Tso’s Chicken because the sauce from the recipe is the PERFECT dipping sauce!

What is the difference between Spring Roll and Egg Rolls?

The main difference between spring rolls and egg rolls are the wrappers. Egg rolls have a chewy, thicker wrapper made from flour and egg that is almost similar to a pasta dough. When fried, they have bubbly, crunchy exterior that tends to be more oily and rich. Spring rolls use thin flour or rice wrappers that are smooth and crispier than egg rolls. Traditionally, egg rolls contain a mixture of cooked vegetables and pork, and are larger and heartier, while spring rolls contain only vegetables and are smaller and lighter.

What is Mirin?

Mirin is a Japanese sweet rice wine that is often used in cooking Asian cuisine. It is similar to sake, but has more sugar and less alcohol. It is perfect for adding an acidic balance to Asian foods because it is slightly sweet, but also tangy. When combined with the soy sauce and sesame oil in this homemade spring roll recipe, it helps to give the vegetable filling a delicious umami flavor.

Spring Rolls Collage of filling cooking steps

How to Make Homemade Spring Rolls

  • Cook Filling: Add 2 tablespoons canola oil to a large heavy skillet on medium heat, and add in thinly sliced nappa cabbage, cooking 8-10 minutes while stirring until almost all the liquid has cooked off. Add in minced garlic cloves, thinly sliced carrots and bamboo shoots. Cook for 1 minute then stir in the mirin, soy sauce, and sesame oil and let filling cool completely.
  • Wrap: Mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water and set aside. Lay out spring roll wrappers one at a time, keeping the rest covered. Brush cornstarch slurry around the edges to moisten, and add about 2 tablespoons of filling in a long rectangle shape, folding in from the sides and rolling the wrappers closed tightly.
  • Fry: Heat 3 inches of oil in a dutch oven to 325 degrees and fry the spring rolls until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.

More Asian Appetizers

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prepare Spring Roll Filling?

For the best authentic Spring Rolls, cut the vegetables thinly, the more tender the vegetables are the more crisp and light the spring rolls are. Cook the filling until it is as dry as you can make it. A wet filling will make for a soggy spring roll.

How do you cook Spring Rolls?

Spring Rolls are easy to make since your filling is already fully cooked, so you only have to fry them long enough to cook the spring roll wrappers to a perfect golden brown. Do not overfill the rolls. Use just about two tablespoons of filling, and this keeps them thin enough to fry well even from frozen.

How do I keep Spring Rolls from bursting open when cooking?

Keep the spring roll wrappers covered before using. If they dry out they will become brittle and break. When rolling, eliminate as much air as you can, or it will burst during frying and make a mess. Do not add hot filling to the spring roll wrapper. The wrapper is so thin it will become soggy quickly. Wrap the spring rolls tightly and add a bit of water to the edges to seal them after wrapping. 

Can I freeze Spring Rolls before frying?

Absolutely! Prepare the spring rolls according to the recipe instructions until the step before frying. Freeze the filled rolls in a single layer until frozen so they don’t stick together. This will prevent the seal from breaking when you try to fry them individually. When you are ready to fry them, simply heat your oil and you can fry them straight from the freezer. Just be careful to use long tongs, as any frozen crystals on them may cause the oil to splatter.

Spring Rolls Collage of rolling and frying steps
Spring Rolls dipped in dipping sauce

Key Ingredients in Spring Rolls

  • Spring Roll Wrappers: These are thinner than traditional egg roll wrappers so please don’t substitute anything else for them. If you can’t find them at your local grocer try an ethnic grocery store instead. Do not buy rice paper. If you were to Google them you’ll see some of the images include a translucent white wrapping. These are for fresh spring rolls with fresh vegetable filling. Do not buy and fry these. Those are soaked in water before wrapping and are never fried.
  • Vegetable Filling: A mixture of cabbage, carrots, and bamboo shoots gives your filling a flavorful variety of color and crunch. When preparing your vegetables for cooking, slice them into thin matchstick sizes. This will help them cook quickly and make for a uniform filling that fits well inside the wrappers. Make sure to cook the filling until all the moisture from the vegetables has been cooked off and the pan is dry before adding the mirin, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
  • Dipping Sauce: Be sure to serve your spring rolls with a delicious sauce for dipping. Traditional options include duck sauce, which is a condiment served at American Chinese restaurants similar to a sweet and sour sauce. You can also serve them with chili garlic sauce, sweet chili sauce, peanut sauce, hoisin sauce or just plain soy sauce.

Air Fryer Spring Rolls

If you want to avoid extra oil and make non-fried spring rolls, the air fryer is your best bet! Prepare the as usual, and spray or brush them on both sides with a light amount of oil. Preheat your air fryer to 390, then add spring rolls to the basket in a single layer. Cook for about 8 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and crispy.

Baked Spring Rolls

Another way to avoid deep frying your homemade spring rolls is to bake them. Just like with the air fryer, prepare your rolls and spray or brush them lightly with oil. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment, and bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway throuhg.

Spring Rolls and dipping sauce with bite taken

Variations on Homemade Spring Rolls

  • Meat: Add cooked ground pork, chicken, or beef to the filling. Season the meat with the same combination of mirin, soy sauce, and sesame oil when cooking. Cooked chopped shrimp also makes a wonderful addition to spring roll filling.
  • Vegetables: Use a combination of your favorite veggies like bean sprouts, mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, bok choy, or broccoli. Just make sure they are all sliced thinly in a similar shape.
  • Glass noodles: Add another layer of texture inside the spring roll by including cooked glass noodles, broken into 2-3 inch pieces, to the rest of the vegetables in the filling.
  • Dessert Spring Rolls: Make Sweet Spring Rolls with your favorite fruit fillings, or even fruit mixed with cream cheese. Use butter to sauté bananas with cinnamon and sugar inside and top with chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, or whipped cream.

Chinese Food Recipes

How to Store Spring Rolls

  • Serve: Spring Rolls are best enjoyed hot and fresh. Do not leave Spring Rolls at room temperature longer than 2 hours.
  • Store: Keep cooked Spring Rolls in and airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days.
  • Freeze: It is best to freeze Spring Rolls before frying, and you can fry them fresh from frozen to enjoy any time. You can also freeze cooked Spring Rolls and reheat in a 375 degree oven for 10-14 minutes. Freeze in a single layer then transfer to an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Spring Rolls and dipping sauce on serving platter

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Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls are a super light, crispy and tender vegetarian appetizer cousin of traditional egg rolls. Make ahead and freeze before frying!
Yield 24 spring rolls
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer, dim sum
Cuisine Chinese
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 1/4 cup canola oil , divided
  • 8 cups napa cabbage , sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 carrots , sliced thinly
  • 8 ounces bamboo shoots , sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 24 8 inch square spring roll wrappers
  • canola oil , for frying

Instructions

  • Add half the canola oil to a large heavy skillet on medium high heat and add in the napa cabbage cooking 8-10 minutes while stirring until almost all the liquid it releases has cooked off.
  • Add in the garlic, carrots and bamboo shoots and cook for 1 minute while stirring before adding in the mirin, soy sauce and sesame oil and stirring again then let filling cool completely.
  • Mix cornstarch with two tablespoons of water.
  • Lay out the spring roll wrapper, brush cornstarch slurry around the edges to moisten and add about 2 tablespoons of filling in a long rectangle shape, folding in from the sides and rolling the wrappers closed tightly.
  • Heat 3 inches of oil in a dutch oven to 325 degrees and fry the spring rolls until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes).

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 214mg | Potassium: 104mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 930IU | Vitamin C: 7.3mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Keyword: Chinese food, egg roll, spring roll, takeout
Spring Rolls Collage

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Spring Rolls
Chinese Spring Rolls
Spring Rolls
Vegetarian Spring Rolls

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. I would love to try this recipe but cannot find spring rolls 8×8 in any of the markets. I live in VictoriaBC. Perhaps someone might be able to help me. I have purchased all except rolls. Love to try. Thank you

  2. Hi Sabrina! I looked through the other comments and couldn’t find an answer to my question: do you think it would be okay if I substitute another type of cabbage for the napa? I truly dislike the texture of napa cabbage! Thank you in advance for your response!

    1. I am sure you could, but I haven’t used other cabbages so I am not precisely sure of cook times or changed to flavor. But experiment and enjoy!

  3. I loved the flavour of these, made them into mini spring rolls, which is more tedious but it was for an appetiser. I had to ditch the corn flour slurry because it wasn’t letting them stick at all! I brushed lightly with olive oil and baked. Great recipe?

  4. I make 100 at a time. I use a large head of Napa cabbage, then X-4 the rest of the ingredients and I add 1 1/2 lbs each of ground pork and chicken. I roll as my wife fries. When we are done the first ones are a little limp but I freeze them. Then when I want them I bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes turning half way through they come out crispy that way.

  5. Hey Sabrina,
    Full disclosure: I ranked the recipe before trying it, based upon two things: all of your other recipes I have tried have been GREAT, and the fact that this is exactly the type of spring roll I have been looking for: with a flaky, unblistered skin. It looks like I may have been purchasing the wrong kind of wrappers, so I will see if I can find the type you mention – that said, I do buy them at a very “authentic” Asian market here in the LA/OC area. Also, I would reinforce your comment about the filling being as DRY AS POSSIBLE, as well as fully cooled before rolling them. This is absolutely essential in my experience. Thanks for publishing such a great blog! I think you are AWESOME!!!!!

  6. Hi! I love this recipe, I was just wondering what the portion size is in g or mL for the spring rolls. Please let me know! thank you!

  7. Rice paper absolutely is fried in some recipes. Many fried Vietnamese spring rolls call for rice paper to be fried. It just isn’t commonly called for in Chinese recipes.

  8. Thanks for this recipe! Can you recommend a brand or do you have a link for wrappers? I have only been able to find banh trang (rice paper) at my local market and we don’t have any ethnic stores unfortunately! Thank you!

  9. Hi Sabrina,
    I would like to add meat to my spring rolls, how much would you recommend I add??
    Thank you

    1. You’ll want to add it in with the filling. You won’t need a lot for each spring roll as you don’t want to over stuff them.

      1. I take a piece of pork tenderloin, marinade overnight, and then panfry until very well cooked and cut into quite small bite sized pieces and set aside until cabbage/veg mixture is cooked and stir in well. The little pork surprises in every bite are a great addition to these wonderful spring rolls. Also sometimes fry half a dozen shrimp in butter and cut them into small pieces and throw in with the mix. Delicious!

  10. My husband just asked me yesterday if we could air fry the spring rolls and I said “no, spring rolls are raw” — so happy I was proven wrong; this recipe looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it!

  11. I’m looking forward to making these spring rolls; all your tips for making the best spring rolls I will use because I experienced all those mishaps; my question is, can I use a deep fryer for these ; I will be using peanut oil and will be making them the same day of the event; can I freeze them for 5-10 min , then deep fry..?

    1. I haven’t tested it but I would think that would work. I’d love to know how it turns out if you try.

  12. So glad I found this site. Can’t wait to start cooking some of these recipes that I just printed off. I love to learn about new ways of cooking and new ingredients so I can’t wait to see what will be in this website or blog.

  13. Sabrina
    thank you. i will try this one for sure. Can they be frozen? if so, do I fry first and leave fresh?
    thank you
    from Sandy in Michigan

  14. Hi Sabrina,

    I love these rolls. Can I fry a whole bunch 1 hour before serving. They will not be hot but room temperature when I serve them. Is that ok?

  15. Question… I tried using a fryer for my rolls and I couldn’t get the spring roll paper to brown like yours are in the pictures, they stayed white and bubbled up with tones of little bubbles all over them… what did I do wrong?

    1. Sounds like your oil might have been too hot. Try lower your heat next time and see if that helps. Good luck!

    2. Hi Brie,

      Did you use rice paper to roll them instead of pantry wraps? I made that mistake last time and didn’t learn about the difference until after. Hope that helps!

  16. What is considered a serving size for this recipe….one? Just looking at the nutritional info and I want to make sure I’m accurate.

  17. You can actually use rice paper. That’s the way they are supposed to be made. That’s why it’s a fried spring roll. You get the paper flexible, not soggy like you would making fresh spring rolls, it works great!

    1. You can reheat the leftovers, however they won’t be as crispy. If you want prep them ahead, I suggest assemble them and freeze until the day you want to eat them and then fry that day.

  18. Getting ready to make these, and it says to divide the 1/4 cup of canola oil but it never says what to do with the other half?? Just want to make sure I make these right. Thank you so much!

    1. The other half gets added when you add the other ingredients (garlic, carrots and bamboo shoots). Thanks for catching that.

  19. Your recipes make my mouth drool. So simple and inviting. Cannot wait to make your spring rolls. Yum,yum.

  20. I have the ingredients to make this recipe 2x for Mothers Day. Can I make the ingredients then refrigerate then put the filling on the skins the next day and bake them or fry them?
    thanks

  21. Do you fry the egg rolls before you freeze them or can they be frozen without frying g since mixture is cooked already, which is the best way

        1. Your best bet is to ensure any excess moisture from the filling ingredients is drained and cooled before rolling them.

  22. Can I Air-Fry these? Would I spritz them as I do the other things I want to Air-Fry? Thank you for the recipe!!! I’ve made many of your meals and desserts and we’ve enJOYed them all!!! I do try to tag you in them but owrhaps Im not doing it right, on Facebook donI do @DinnerthenDessert? Or use the hash tag#? I love your name it’s what drew me in…Dinner then Dessert! My favorite things!!!

    1. I’m so glad you’re loving the recipes. You can always tag me on Instagram with #dinnerthendessert. That’s the best way for me to see your photos. 🙂 I’ve never tested this recipe using an air fryer so I’m not sure how they’d do. If you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out.

    2. Yes, these can be air fried which a much healthier option. I use the convection oven setting. 16 rolls took about 25 minutes to get crispy.

        1. Hmmm, that’s always the brand I use. I would recommend Spring Home if you’re still not having any luck finding Dynasty. You usually can find them in Asian grocery store. I would not recommend using Nasoya. I’ve never had good luck with them.

    1. They won’t be as crispy but it’ll still work. Spray them lightly with cooking spray to help crisp up. Bake at 400 degrees for 7-12 minutes or until golden brown. Good luck!

  23. Eu vou experimentar a receita eu provei o rolinhos só não sabia como se prepara. Quero também aprender a fazer cochinhas e croquetes

  24. I have made these twice now and they are terrific…..I eat them as a meal.
    My question is this, I froze them, then I cooked them in the oil, the wrapper was crisp but the inside was still cold. How do I accomplish cooking these so both parts are equally heated?

    1. I’m so glad you enjoy them! It sounds like you may need to lower your heat if the outside is getting done before the inside. Also, make sure not to over fill them because too much filing takes longer to heat up as well. Adjusting those two items should solve that issue.

  25. Hi! Wanted to recreate this for Thanksgiving but can’t find bamboo shoots anywhere near me, do you recommend any replacements for it?

    1. You can’t find them in the canned variety? I’d say maybe replace with very very thinly julienned parnsips that are half cooked or maybe Amazon. It pains me to link you to this because in a grocery store it would cost half this price, but for the holidays I know I love things to be perfect too. Bamboo Shoots

  26. The recipe is very similar to Poh pia or Filipinos no Lumpia both the same origin and I have to disagree about the rice paper wrappers since Vietnamese spring rolls are classically and traditionally made with small rice paper wrappers like the summer rolls sorry google it wrong that there never used An da their quite delicious if done right! ????

    1. Hey, Kelena & Sabrina!

      I was so disappointed to read about using rice paper as I slowly came to the realization that that is exactly what I bought. So, I looked on the package instructions….laughed….said, “Well, Vietnamese fry them! I’ll give it a try.” I’ll let you ladies know how it turns out.

  27. This recipe looks great! I am just a teeny bit confused, though. What are we doing with the other half of the 1/4 cup of canola oil. I keep reading the directions and can’t figure it out. Am I missing something?

    1. So sorry about that! The other half of the oil is used when cooking the second half of the veggies. Hope this helps clear up any confusion.