What is egg roll filling made of? Whatever you’d like! Egg roll recipes run the gamut from traditionally Chinese to unapologetically American, with the one defining feature being that if it tastes good rolled up in dough and fried, it probably tastes good in egg roll form.

While you’re free to get as creative as you want with your egg roll fillings, sometimes the best way to go is to stick with tried and true favorites. To that end, we’re sharing four basic egg roll recipes that feature authentic Chinese flavors and cooking techniques. (Though if you want to try out a hamburger egg roll or peanut butter and jelly egg roll, we’re sure you’d still end up with tasty results.) Let’s get rolling.

spring rolls
Source: Pixabay
Once you’ve got the basic technique down for your egg roll recipes, the sky’s the limit in terms of your filling. 

Egg Roll Recipes

Egg rolls are a Chinese appetizer, snack, or side dish that also happen to work well as an entrée when paired with rice and veggies. They’re similar to spring rolls but with an egg-based wrapper that offers a bit more chewiness to each bite. You can buy egg roll wrappers at most grocery stores, or you can make your own.

As for fillings, it’s all about finding that perfect balance of vegetables, protein, aromatics, and spices. Here are some of the easiest—and tastiest—egg roll recipes to try out at home.

1. Chicken Egg Rolls

Ground chicken makes for a classic egg roll filling. This recipe is as traditional as it gets, featuring all of the ingredients you would expect to find when you order chicken egg rolls for takeout.

Ingredients:

  • Egg roll wrappers
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup julienned carrot
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese five spice

Directions: Add vegetable oil to a large wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add ground chicken, ginger, and garlic, and cook until the chicken is no longer pink—about five to 10 minutes. Drain excess fat, and then add in cabbage, carrot, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and Chinese five spice. Cook until vegetables are tender, then remove from heat. Fill and roll your egg rolls, then place in a pot of vegetable oil heated to 375℉. Fry until golden brown.

2. Pork Egg Rolls

Pork egg rolls are another takeout staple that you can easily make in your own kitchen. Simply swap in ground pork for ground chicken in the recipe above, or mix it up slightly with this herby version featuring fresh cilantro and chives.

Ingredients:

  • Egg roll wrappers
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 3 cups coleslaw mix
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives

Directions: Add vegetable oil to a large wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add ground pork, ginger, and garlic, and cook until the pork is cooked through and no longer pink—about three to four minutes and when pork has reached 160℉. Drain excess fat, and then add in coleslaw mix, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and Chinese five spice. Cook until vegetables are tender, then remove from heat and stir in fresh chopped herbs. Fill and roll your egg rolls, then place in a pot of vegetable oil heated to 375℉. Fry until golden brown.

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3. Shrimp Egg Rolls

Try out shrimp egg rolls for a seafood twist. Dried chili flakes add a pop of heat to the filling, but you can reduce the amount you add or leave them out entirely if you would prefer your egg rolls to be less spicy.

Ingredients:

  • Egg roll wrappers
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, diced small
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • ½ cup julienned carrot
  • ½ cup diced water chestnuts
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon rice vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried chili flakes

Directions: Add vegetable oil to a large wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add ground shrimp, ginger, and garlic, and cook until the shrimp is still tender but no longer pink—about one to two minutes. Add in cabbage, carrot, water chestnuts, scallions, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chili flakes and cook until vegetables are tender, then remove from heat. Fill and roll your egg rolls, then place in a pot of vegetable oil heated to 375℉. Fry until golden brown.

4. Vegetable Egg Rolls

Make vegetable egg rolls for a meat-free version that’s still big on flavor. If you’re making egg rolls as a meal, consider adding in some crumbled tofu to bring in some added protein.

Ingredients:

  • Egg roll wrappers
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup mushroom, diced small
  • ½ cup julienned carrot
  • 1 can bamboo shoots, shredded
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese five spice

Directions: Add vegetable oil to a large wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant. Then add in your vegetables, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and Chinese five spice. Cook until vegetables are tender, then remove from heat. Fill and roll your egg rolls, then place in a pot of vegetable oil heated to 375℉. Fry until golden brown.

Note: You can use any vegetables that you’d like in your egg rolls. Use cabbage for body, then modify the filling as desired. Bok choy, water chestnuts, Chinese broccoli, and celery are all delicious in a vegetable egg roll.

What Goes Well with Egg Rolls?

As mentioned above, you can enjoy your egg rolls as an appetizer or side dish, or you can make them the star of the meal along with a few simple sides. To maintain the flavors of Chinese cuisine, try pairing your egg rolls with one or more of these other popular takeout dishes:

  • Steamed rice
  • Fried rice
  • Stir fry
  • Soup (hot and sour, wonton, egg drop)
  • Noodles (chow mein, lo mein)
  • Meat or veggie mains (sesame, kung pao, sweet and sour, Mongolian)

And of course, don’t forget your egg roll dipping sauce! Sweet and sour or duck sauce are a common choice, but peanut sauce, sweet soy sauce, and spicy chili sauce work great too. 

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Written By

Laura Mueller

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