Vegetable Egg Rolls, Baked or Fried

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Forget the take out! These crispy, veggie filled egg rolls are simple to make and can be frozen for later.
Appetizer
Dinner
Freezer Friendly
Vegetarian

Egg rolls are a must have any time we order Chinese food. Nothing beats that golden, crispy shell filled with flavorful sautéed vegetables.

Making egg rolls at home is not as hard as you might think. You can use store-bought egg roll wrappers to wrap up your sautéed vegetables then either fry or bake them to golden perfection. The filling is also easily customizable and can be made with whatever vegetables and meat you have on hand.

Frying vs Baking Egg Rolls

There are two ways to cook egg rolls: frying and baking. Both methods have their pros and cons, and the result will be slightly different in taste and texture.

Frying egg rolls is the traditional way to cook them, and it gives them a golden and crispy exterior. Frying also seals the wrappers and prevents them from getting soggy. However, frying requires more oil and can make the egg rolls greasy and high in calories. Frying also takes more time and attention, as you have to fry the egg rolls in batches and keep an eye on them to prevent burning.

Baking egg rolls is a healthier and easier alternative to frying. Baking uses less oil and makes the egg rolls lighter and lower in fat. Baking also saves time and effort, as you can bake all the egg rolls at once and leave them in the oven until they are done. However, baking does not make the egg rolls as crispy and crunchy as frying, and they may dry out or crack if overbaked.

Substitutions

One of the best things about making egg rolls at home is that you can use whatever ingredients you like for the filling. The version here is vegetarian, made with green cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and broccoli, but you can easily swap out the mushrooms with some diced, cooked pork. I also like to use a mix of red and green cabbage when I have both for a more colorful filling. And, when kohlrabi is in season, it makes an excellent substitution for the broccoli. Other vegetables like bean sprout, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts make great additions that add a delightful crunch.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Before storing, let the egg rolls cool completely, then store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. To reheat, bake 375°F for 10 - 15 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Freezing and Reheating Egg Rolls

You can also freeze your leftover egg rolls for later. They can be frozen either before or after you cook them. I personal prefer freezing them before cooking because they come out much crispier that way.

To freeze them, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (let them cool completely if you cooked them first). Flash freeze for 2 - 3 hours, then transfer to a freezer bag.

To reheat frozen cooked egg rolls, bake from frozen at 375°F for 20 - 25 minutes, flipping halfway through. Don't defrost them first or they'll get soggy.

For the uncooked frozen egg rolls, it's best to fry them vs baking them. Just fry them using the frying instructions below, again not defrosting them before you fry them.

Vegetable Egg Rolls, Baked or Fried

Vegetable Egg Rolls, Baked or Fried

Prep Time:
10 min
Cook Time:
45 min
Total Time:
55 min
Serves:
20
Difficulty:
Easy
Equipment Needed
  • Candy or frying thermometer
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger root
  • 4 cups cabbage, shredded
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup of grated broccoli
  • 8 oz mushrooms,julienned
  • 20 egg roll wrappers
  • Neutral oil, for frying or baking
Instructions
  1. Mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp oil and sauté the green onions, garlic, and ginger for 1 minute. Stir in the cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and broccoli for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and wilted.
  3. Add the soy sauce mixture and mix well. Simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens and coats the filling. Transfer the filling to a bowl and let it cool slightly.
  4. Place an egg roll wrapper on a clean surface and spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling near one corner. Fold the corner over the filling, then fold the sides in. Roll up the wrapper, sealing the edge with some water. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
  5. To fry the egg rolls, heat some oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it reaches 375°F and fry them in batches for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towels and serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce.
  6. To bake the egg rolls, preheat the oven to 375°F and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the egg rolls on the prepared sheet and spray them lightly with cooking spray. Bake for about 15 minutes, flipping halfway, until golden and crisp. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce.
Recipe Tips
  • If you're deep frying anything, it's always worth it to have a candy/frying thermometer on hand. Without it, you could either end up with burned food (oil too hot) or greasy, soggy food (oil too cold)
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