Spring Rolls are favorite Asian appetizers. They are crispy and flaky cylinders of goodness that can be filled solely with vegetables are have some kind of protein added. These pork and mushroom spring rolls are not heavy and are a great way to start your Chinese New Year feast. The shape and color of spring rolls are reminiscent of gold bars, so they symbolize wealth in the new year.
Spring Rolls Versus Egg Rolls
Think about the difference between crispy versus crunchy. Spring roll wrapper dough is made from flour, water, oil, and salt, but no eggs, this makes a flakier and crispier finish than the egg roll wrapper. They are found in the frozen section of an Asian market. Egg roll wrappers are made with flour and eggs. This produces a pasta-like texture. The wrapper dough is also rolled out a little thicker than a spring roll wrappers. Most grocery stores carry egg roll wrappers near the produce section.
The difference in how the two wrappers are made makes a flavor difference. Spring roll wrappers have a mild flavor and a distinct flaky texture. Egg roll wrappers produce bubbles when fried which makes a chewier roll (but still crunchy) and are usually larger in diameter. Rice paper is a whole different technique. They are for fresh rolls. Do not try to fry these. They are be soaked in water before wrapping and become translucent.
As far as the filling ingredients, since spring roll wrappers are thinner, the ingredients are usually filled with vegetables (and a small percentage of meat if using) cut into thin matchsticks so as not to poke through the wrapper. Egg rolls are usually made with meat and vegetables and contain more filling since they are usually larger.
How to Wrap Spring Rolls
Carefully peel a spring roll wrapper off the stack, (Keep the other wrappers covered with a barely damp towel until ready to use.)
Lay one wrapper on a clean, dry surface with one corner facing you so it forms a diamond on the counter.
Spoon 2 teaspoons of filling onto the wrapper, about 2 inches from the bottom corner.
Fold the bottom corner over the filling and pull back slightly to compress the filling. Push the corner of the wrapper enclosing the filling firmly down on the wrapper. It won’t stick firmly to the wrapper but should hold in place.
Fold the left and right corners toward the center making sure to tuck in any points sticking out around the filling.
Continue rolling the wrapper to tightly enclose the filling, then seal the roll with the top corner. You can use water or make an egg wash of 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water.Print
Spring rolls made from scratch are so much better than what you can buy in the frozen section. You can customize them with your favorite filling, either vegetarian or adding pork to the filling.
- 2 cups napa cabbage, shredded into thin strips
- 2 carrots, peeled and julienned into matchstick size pieces
- 10 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stem removed and thinly sliced or 6 dried shiitake mushrooms soaked in hot water to reconstitute.
- 1 cups fresh bean sprouts
- 3 green onions, julienned into thin pieces about 3” long
- 1/2 cup sliced bamboo shoots, cut into matchstick sized pieces, (about 1/2 a can)
- 4 ounces pork loin, sliced into matchstick size pieces 3” long, optional
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Pinch of white pepper
- Spring roll wrappers (about 8” square) thawed in the refrigerator overnight
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Prepare the cabbage, carrots, green onions and fresh mushrooms as directed. If using dried shiitake mushrooms, soak in hot water for 30 minutes until soft. Squeeze to remove moisture and discard the tough stem, thinly slice slice.
- If using pork in the filling, thinly slice the pork into slices 1/8” thick. This is easier if you freeze the meat for 30 minutes to help it firm up. After slicing the pork into slices, rotate the slices and cut the pork into matchstick-sized pieces about 3” long, set aside.
- Measure out the rest of the ingredients into small bowls so you are ready to stir-fry.
- Heat a wok high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the sides. Stir-fry the ginger and garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- If adding pork to the filling, add the meat to the wok and stir-fry until the meat starts to turn white, about 3 minutes, remove the cooked pork from the wok and set aside.
- Add the napa cabbage, carrots and shiitake mushrooms to the wok and stir-fry until the vegetables are softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Return the pork to the wok and add the bean sprouts, green onions and bamboo shoots. Drizzle the dark soy sauce, sesame oil and white pepper on the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes more until everything is cooked through and the vegetables have released their liquids into the wok.
- Remove the filling to a shallow bowl and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid.
- Carefully peel a spring roll wrapper off the stack, (Keep the other wrappers covered with a barely damp towel until ready to use.)
- Lay one wrapper on a clean, dry surface with one corner facing you so it forms a diamond on the counter.
- Spoon 2 teaspoons of filling onto the wrapper, about 2 inches from the bottom corner.
- Fold the bottom corner over the filling and pull back slightly to compress the filling. Push the corner of the wrapper enclosing the filling firmly down on the wrapper. It won’t stick firmly to the wrapper but should hold in place.
- Fold the left and right corners toward the center making sure to tuck in any points sticking out around the filling. Continue rolling the wrapper to tightly enclose the filling, then seal the roll with the top corner. You can use water or make an egg wash of 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water.
- Lay the finished roll seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Keep the finished spring rolls covered with plastic wrap while you repeat the process with the remaining spring rolls.
- To fry the spring rolls, fill a wok with 2 inches vegetable oil and heat the oil to 350°F. Carefully add 3-4 spring rolls into the oil, and turn occasionally with a slotted spoon until golden brown (about 3-5 minutes).
- Remove cooked spring roll to to a paper towels lined plate to drain and cool, as you fry the fry remaining spring rolls.
- Serve warm with Homemade Duck Sauce.
You can use many different vegetables as the filling for spring rolls, use prepare them into matchstick sized pieces and cook so as to remove the moisture so the filling is not wet.
You can freeze the wrapped spring rolls on a parchment lined tray in a single layer making sure the spring rolls are not touching until frozen and then transfer to a zip close bag.
- Serving Size: 2 spring rolls