Craving egg rolls?
I’m here to let you in on a little secret – they’re shockingly simple to make at home!
When I was just out of graduate school and started to get back into cooking for myself again, I decided it would be fun to make egg rolls for the first time.
I’ve always loved these, and making them at home sounded like a smart way to get my fix and learn a new recipe.
So I set aside an entire day for the task. I figured it would take forever to pull together the whole recipe from start to finish, you know?
But boy, was I wrong!
Those golden fried rolls that I knew and loved so much from my favorite Chinese takeout spot seemed so complicated, with their perfectly balanced filling to wrapper ratio, and a tasty sauce for dipping.
I was incredibly surprised to realize just how easy it is to make this appetizer, and you will be too.
Now, admittedly, it took a moment to wrap my mind around the rolling process when I was first getting started. Detailed instructions are key, and I’ve provided mine here to guide you so you won’t feel lost.
Don’t worry if you waste a few wrappers at first. Following the method I’ve outlined here, assembling these yourself shouldn’t be a struggle!
I feel as though I’ve learned the secrets to making these perfectly every time, and now I am overjoyed to share them with you. If you’ve never made egg rolls before, you can feel confident that the instructions I’ve shared below will set you on the right path.
Just be sure to read through the instructions before you get started (which is my advice for every single new recipe you try, by the way).
That way, you can get a feel for the process before you dive in, and ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment you’ll need ready to go.
That means no last minute rushing to gather ingredients, or “oh, shoot!” moments when you are already up to your elbows in your cooking.
That type of stress isn’t fun for anyone! What we’re going for here is smooth sailing, with the delicious outcome that you were hoping for.
If you are hesitant about deep frying, trust me when I say that this doesn’t have to be as scary as you may have imagined. If you are careful and use the right equipment, it will be no problem at all.
First, make sure you have a cooking thermometer at the ready to check the temperature of your oil.
The biggest mistake I’ve encountered here is trying to fry in oil that is not the right temperature. Too hot, and it tends to spit all over the place and your food may burn before it’s cooked through. Too cold, and your wrappers will be soggy and soaked in oil. Eww!
Second, grab a spider strainer. This makes it so much easier to lower your egg rolls into the hot oil, and take them out as well.
I’ve tried using tongs or even two forks to do the job, but this tends to result in accidental burns, dropped utensils, or unwanted piercing of the wrappers as they cook.
When it comes to the dipping sauce, this recipe is soy sauce based, but you can use gluten-free tamari if you prefer, or a low-sodium version to cut down the salt content a bit. It’s a little different than the typical duck sauce you might get from your local Chinese restaurant, but it’s made with common staple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, and I love the way it complements the filling in this homemade version.
Serve these as a fun starter to a takeout-inspired main course like Mongolian Beef or Kung Pao Chicken. Dinner will be an impressive spread of homemade triumphs. Those takeout menus will be long forgotten!Print
You may think homemade egg rolls are difficult to prepare, but they are crazy easy to create with premade wrappers once you master the rolling process.
For the Dipping Sauce:
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
For the Egg Rolls:
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 cup finely chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (from a jar, or 1–2 cloves)
- 1 cup shredded napa cabbage
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots (about 2 medium)
- 1 cup finely chopped button or cremini mushroom caps
- 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 1 16-ounce package egg roll wrappers
- Canola oil, for frying
To Make the Dipping Sauce:
- Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. When mixture reaches a boil, cook for another minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
To Make the Filling:
- Add the sesame oil for the egg rolls to a wok or large frying pan and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, saute the celery, onion, garlic, shredded cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and green pepper for approximately 5 minutes, until vegetables are softened and onions are translucent.
- Add the bean sprouts and cooked chicken, then turn off the heat. If making ahead, transfer the mixture to a bowl, cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate.
- Lay an egg roll wrapper flat on a clean work surface, with a corner pointing towards you, like a diamond. Place 4 tablespoons of filling near the corner closest to you.
- Moisten each edge of the square with a finger dipped in water. Lift the bottom corner up and begin to roll away from yourself, making sure to tuck the corner under the filling as you roll.
- Once you have rolled up the wrapper about halfway, fold in the left side, and then the right side, towards the center. Continue rolling away from you until the final corner is rolled up.
- Dip your finger in water and brush it over the final corner, pressing the seam to ensure it is sealed.
- Proceed with the remaining egg roll wrappers and filling.
- In a large frying pan over medium-high heat or in a deep fryer, heat oil to 350˚F.
- Add egg rolls in batches of 3 to 4 at a time, to avoid overcrowding. Fry until golden and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- Serve immediately, with dipping sauce.
You can make these up to 4 hours ahead of time and keep them warm in a 175˚F oven for several hours before serving, if desired.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Frying
- Cuisine: Chinese
Keywords: egg roll, Chinese, appetizer, cabbage, chicken
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep Vegetables and Measure Remaining Ingredients
Finely chop enough celery (about 2 stalks) until you have 1 cup in total.
Peel and finely chop one small yellow onion. You should have about 1 cup in total.
Shred enough napa cabbage until you have 1 cup total. I used about 1/4 of a head of cabbage to achieve this. You can also use store-bought shredded cabbage if desired.
Shred enough peeled carrots (about 2 carrots) until you have 1/2 cup total.
Finely chop the mushroom caps until you have 1 cup total. I like to use white button mushrooms for this recipe.
Remove the stem and seeds and finely chop 1 green bell pepper. You will have about 1/2 cup total chopped.
Measure out all remaining ingredients as listed in the ingredients list.
Step 2 – Make Dipping Sauce
Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dipping sauce in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.
Once it’s boiling, continue to cook for another minute before removing from the heat. Set aside.
Step 3 – Cook Filling
Heat sesame oil for the egg rolls in a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add celery, onion, garlic, cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and green pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
Stir in sprouts and remove from heat. Stir in cooked chicken.
If you are making this mixture ahead of time, transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble the egg rolls.
Step 4 – Assemble
Place one egg roll wrapper on a clean flat surface, with a corner pointing towards you so it looks like a diamond. Add 4 tablespoons of the filling to the corner closest to you, then dip your finger in water and rub it around the edges of the wrapper.
Lift the bottom corner up and over the filling, rolling away from you and tucking the corner under as you roll it up.
When you’ve rolled it up halfway, fold in the left and right sides towards the center. Roll it the rest of the way and wet your finger again to brush it over the final corner. Be sure to press the seam to make sure it is sealed.
Repeat this process with the remaining wrappers and filling.
Step 5 – Fry
Add enough oil to a large frying pan so it is about 3 inches deep and place over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 350˚F. You could also fry these in your deep fryer, according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Working in batches of about 3 to 4, fry the egg rolls until they are golden brown and crispy, for about 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off any excess oil. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.
How Do I Reheat Leftovers?
All homemade appetizers that are fried to golden-brown perfection are best devoured right away. But if you happen to be left with some extras, you can still enjoy them.
The worst thing you could do is reheat them in the microwave, so please avoid that. Instead, preheat your oven to 350˚F. Place the egg rolls on a baking sheet lined with foil or a silicone mat and bake them for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are crispy on the outside again and heated through.
Want even more fun appetizers to try out at home? Check out these recipes from Foodal next:
- Grilled Chicken Yakitori
- Classic Sweet and Tangy Meatballs
- Black Bean and Poblano Pepper Baked Taquitos
What’s your favorite dipping sauce for egg rolls? Have you ever made them at home before? Tell us in the comments below. And be sure to come back and rate the recipe once you try it yourself!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on September 3, 2014. Last updated on February 13, 2021.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.