My Mother’s Famous Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe

Mothers Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe

Things you’ll learn:

  • The best way to make non-soggy egg rolls.
  • The right size and kind of wrapper to use.
  • The do’s and don’t’s of egg roll wrapping.


This is one of those recipes that is a little more time consuming to make, but one that’s my favorite because 1) it’s my Mom’s recipe 2) everyone who has tried them instantly declare they are the best they’ve ever had 3) you can make a big batch of them and freeze them. I usually call a couple of my girlfriends over and we have an eggrollin’ party where we’ll make a massive batch of them, enjoy them fresh that night and have enough for all to take home and freeze. If you are making these with friends, I’d suggest doubling the recipe so each person has some to take home to freeze. I promise you they will taste just as good fried after frozen and you will never taste better egg rolls than these. BUT – you must follow my Mama’s rules.


Mama Ruthie’s Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Rules

Mama’s Rule #1: Your egg roll filling ingredients must be drained of excess moisture and cooled before rolling. Soggy, hot filling makes soggy egg rolls.

Mama’s Rule #2: Use the right kind of wrapper. The size I get is 8 x 8 inches (20 x 20 cm) around and come 25 wrappers to a package. These wrappers are light, paper-thin and fry up to a shatteringly crisp crunch.  Oh yes, before I forget – “spring roll” and “egg roll” are interchangeable and mean the same thing. Sometimes my regular American grocery store will have “spring roll pasta sheets” that are in the refrigerated produce section. Do not use those – they are way too thick! Let’s just say that if it has Italian writing on the package, it probably ain’t the good stuff for Chinese egg rolls.

Rule#2A. Treat the wrapper right. You also want to keep the wrappers covered with a damp towel at all times to prevent the edges from drying and cracking.

Mama’s Rule #3: Roll small and tight! Sloppy and loosely rolled egg rolls will break apart and allow oil to seep into the inside of the roll. Mama says baaaad. One time I was watching a celebrity chef on television making monster egg rolls the size of a cola can. Who in the heck can wrap their mouths around that thing? It looked hideous. Mama’s egg rolls are elegant and skinny. Don’t be too greedy and overstuff them!  And roll them tight so that the filling doesn’t fall out while frying! Remember the days when you were younger and rolled your own…um…cigarette? Channel those rolling skills back.

Mama’s Rule #4: Lay the rolled egg rolls neatly with a piece of parchment, foil or wax paper in between each layer if you are stacking them on top of each other. Keep them covered with plastic wrap or a towel to prevent drying. If you are freezing, freeze them in like this first. Once frozen, you can gather them up and transfer them to a plastic freezer bag. If you roll them out and jumble them all together in a big pile, they’ll eventually stick to each other and you’ll tear the delicate skin trying to pry them apart.

How to make my Mother’s Famous Chinese Egg Rolls

The printable recipe is below, but here are step by step photos on how to wrap. This Chinese egg rolls recipe is for ground pork as the filling, but as you can see in these photos, the filling is very flexible. I’ve used chopped shrimp, ground chicken, ground beef, ground turkey, very thinly sliced pork (almost like matchstick sized). In these photos, I used crawfish and diced Chinese sausage!

These photos are just a guideline to teach you how to wrap (and the wrong way to wrap Chinese Egg Rolls!)

After you fry the filling, you’ll want to spread it out to cool on a baking sheet. Tilt the baking sheet and prop it up so that all the juices accumulate. You’ll discard this juice. Too much juice in filling makes soggy eggrolls.

Mothers Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Filling

Lay the wrapper on a clean, dry surface as shown. Spoon just a heaping tablespoon of filling near the bottom corner. Resist the urge to over stuff with too much filling!

Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Wrapping Step 1

Lift the bottom corner up and begin rolling until you reach halfway up.

Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Wrapping Step 2

Fold over the left side, and then the right side towards the center.

Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Wrapping Step 3

Continue folding up with a tuck-roll-tuck-roll motion. Dip your fingers into the cornstarch slurry and brush all over the final top corner. Finish up the roll, seal and place seam side down.

Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Wrapping Step 4

See how tightly the egg roll wrapped? Any holes or large air pockets will allow oil to seep in, resulting in a greasy egg roll! The width or diameter of the egg roll should ONLY be 1.25-inches. If you make them any larger (i.e. too much filling) you’ll end up with less egg rolls.

Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Wrapping Step 5

The wrong way:

Common mistake is to not fold over and tuck good enough. See that big space? Oil seeps in and will make your egg roll greasy.

Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Wrapping Mistake #1

Big holes = your egg roll will fall apart while frying.

Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Wrapping Mistake #2

See the difference between the above photo and this one?

Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Wrapping Mistake #1


Mother's Famous Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe

Servings: Makes 50 egg rolls Prep Time: 60 hours Cook Time:
Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe

Once you make these egg rolls, you'll never make them any other way! Make sure you get the correct egg roll wrappers. They should be FROZEN and very thin, almost paper thin. Do not use egg roll wrapper found in the refrigerated section (usually near tofu) in Western supermarket - they make starchy, thick, gooey egg rolls with big bubbles on outside when you fry. It's important to make sure you keep your wrapper and rolled egg rolls under plastic wrap so that they do not dry out!


50 Spring/Egg Roll Wrappers (about 2 packages), defrosted unopened at room temperature for 45 minutes or in the refrigerator overnight
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with ¼ cup of cool water to seal egg roll
Cooking oil, for frying
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 pound ground pork
½ head of cabbage (about 11 ounces)
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded
1 cup julienned carrots
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper


1. To make the filling, in a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, cornstarch and pork. Marinate at least 10 minutes. In the meantime, shred the cabbage and the carrots using your food processor or by hand. Slice the mushrooms into very thin strips (or you could use your food processor and pulse a few times to get a fine dice.

2. Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. Add the cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the marinated pork and stir-fry until no longer pink, about 2-3 minutes. Turn heat to medium-low, push the meat to one side of the pan. Add the garlic, cabbage, carrots, ginger and the mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 minute, until the vegetables are softened. Add the rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and black pepper. Continue to stir-fry for another minute. Scoop out the filling to a baking sheet and spread out to cool. Prop up one end of the baking sheet so that it tilts and will allow all the moisture to drain to one end. Let cool for 15 minutes.

3. Discard all of the accumulated juices. Use paper towels to blot the filling to rid of extra oil or juice. Now, you're ready to wrap (see photos for instructions on how to wrap).

IMPORTANT: Only use 1 heaping tablespoon of filling for each egg roll. These are slender egg rolls, the width of the egg roll should only be 1.25" diameter.

Keep the rolled egg rolls in neat, single layer and covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying. If you want to stack the egg rolls, make sure you have layer of parchment paper in between the layers to prevent sticking. Keep wrappers also covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Refrigerate up to 4 hours until ready to fry or freeze.

4. To fry the egg rolls, fill a wok or pot with 2 inches of high-heat cooking oil. Heat the oil to 350°F (175°C) or until a cube of bread will fry to golden brown within 10 seconds. Gently slide in or lower the egg rolls, frying 4 to 6 at a time, turning occasionally until golden brown about 1½ minutes. Place on wire rack to drain and cool.

NOTE: To fry frozen egg rolls, do not defrost the egg rolls – just add them to the oil frozen, frying 4 to 6 at a time. Add an additional 1½ minutes to the frying time since they are frozen.

More recipes to explore

Red Lantern Vietnamese Spring Roll Recipe Cha Gio (Steamy Kitchen)

Vegetable Spring Rolls Recipe (Egg Rolls) (Steamy Kitchen)

Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce (Steamy Kitchen)

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken (Steamy Kitchen)

Egg Roll Recipe (Rasa Malaysia)

Vietnamese Curried Tofu Spring Roll (not fried!) (White On Rice Couple)

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Comments 307

  1. Tara

    These were amazing! One of my favorite egg roll recipes so far. I doubled the recipe so I had a decent stash in the freezer.

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  3. Nazish K

    Hi. I make spring rolls quite similar to this every year before Ramadan, the Islamic calenders month of fasting. We are brown and love deep fried goodies to end the fast!!! My friends sister in law, who is chinese, shared her version so i thought i would share that with you too. whatever the meat filling you want to use.. i prepare mine the same way… minus the wine but (here is the time saver) i absolutely do not cook the vegetables.i let the meat cool, mix with all the shredded vegetables, season with salt pepper sugar and soy sauce, toss well and fill immediately… then freeze!!! and its crisp and delightful to eat. I urge you to try it this way!

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  5. PAUL

    I agree that all the vegetables should NOT be cooked before stuffing egg rolls. I get a much better esilt this way ands am assured of a dry filling

    1. Yuri

      FOr me when im making rolls, I prefer not cooking it and especially when there are vegetables added. I like the taste better when the filling is not cook. Because when i deep fry it, it is cook all the way through. To avoid it from being oily, i use 3 layes of tissue ina bowl and place the cooked rolls vertically

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  8. Michele S.

    I made these for a family gathering and everyone loved them. My mom froze the leftover rolls that were uncooked. They were still great cooked as needed. Planning on making them again today. Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe.

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  10. Marc

    I wouldn’t want to ruin a fine recipe, but I’m wondering… can these be baked instead of fried?

    Thanks so much…

    1. DD2

      My first time, I made some egg rolls using refrigerated wrappers. I cooked the meat (pork and shrimp) plus added and sauted the other ingredients. i like bean sprouts so it was added to the cabbage, carrot, onion, garlic, ginger, oyster sauce mixture.

      I decided to bake them in my toaster oven but first brushed olive oil on all over the outside (Peanut oil might have been a better choice) . They browned up nicely, but in hindsight frying them might have been better.

      One thing I might have done different is use less filling in each egg roll. Mine resembled fat cigars and prone to rip.

  11. Mandy

    Love love this recipe and the great tips. Awesomely authentic. I need to make rolls ahead of time. Can I half fry them and then fully fry/ brown them at serving time?
    If I fully cook/ fry them, how should I reheat the rolls at serving time to make sure they are crisp?

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  13. Richard

    I cannot find egg roll wraps. But I am in China! Nanning. People look at me as if I was nuts, even with pictures. I am thinking of buying dumpling wraps and pasting then together or making a big ball and rolling them out. Any suggestions?

    1. Dana

      No. Egg rolls are meant to be fried. Also the wrappers discussed are for spring rolls. My mother was taught to make these in 1967 by our Asian neighbor. Dump the carrots add bamboo shoots and water chestnuts for proper egg rolls. We always fried all of the egg rolls at once and put what was set for later into plastic bags in the freezer. Just heat them in a toaster oven later which is much easier than frying another batch.

      1. Karen

        Actually, Dottie, the wrappers in the grocery store are the type this article advises not to use, and she is right. They are thicker, chewy, and bubble up when fried.

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  16. gmm

    This may be covered somewhere in the comments, but there are too many to read through all of them. If using different meats, such as shrimp or chicken, are they also cooked like the ground pork, or are any mixed into the veggies raw?

    1. SteamyKitchen

      If using different meats, cook first like the pork. If using seafood, stir fry first until just barely cooked through, remove from wok. Cook vegetables, and when the vegetables are just about ready, add shrimp back in and mix well. This ensures you don’t overcook the seafood.

      1. gmm

        Thanks! I love the recipe as is, but I think I’d like to try adding a bit of shrimp next time.

  17. Cindi

    Steamy Kitchen is a great cookbook. Made the eggrolls and they are super delicious. Mixed in chopped shrimp with the pork and skipped the mushrooms. They cook so quickly that they really don’t need to be made ahead and reheated at time of serving. I fry eight at a time. Try these eggrolls; you will not be disappointed I guarantee. Thanks, Jaden, for some delicious recipes.

  18. Laura

    Is there a dipping sauce you prefer to use? If not store bought, I would LOVE your recipe!

  19. Mary Anne

    What a disappointment! Now given I used the wrappers from the refrigerated section, but they would have worked fine if I had put in around 3 tablespoons of filling, like I usually do. One tablespoon was lost in the thick, heavy wrapper that was rolled so small that it was just a hard tube. The filling itself was bland and flavorless. On top of it all, after making and cooling the filling to the recipe, I opened the egg roll wrappers and found basically the same recipe inside the package, but only 1/4 lb of pork so enough to make a normal sized batch. No special, super duper deal here. Since I made the filling according to the directions, I have enough left to do about 3-4 more rounds. The rest will be mixed with lots more seasoning and I might find the spring roll wrappers and try it with those. Should have read more recipes and opened the wrappers before making this one.

    1. Dana

      If you over cook the filling it will be bland. If you like zing then ginger or some other spice. I personally find that shrimp is a much better filling than pork. The egg roll wrappers are best spring roll wrappers are thinner but with a much different texture which for me does not work well.

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  21. Shanna

    Looks delicious ! Do you have a recipe for the egg roll dough? i would like to try this making myself 🙂

    1. Post
  22. Lee

    I love the filling of these and I can’t wait to fry some. It would be helpful for people to know that the Spring Roll Skin (which are round and not square) do not fry properly as they are very gummy and the dough bubbles and busts open and also causes the ingredients to burn. I wish I’d known that before I bought so many packs lol but you live and learn so I wanted to make sure people knew those are definitely not the ones you’re talking about. I thought you weren’t talking about the other ones because the only other ones I knew about were the ones that were refrigerated. You don’t happen to have a picture of the correct ones to use, do you?

    Thanks for the great recipe and the time you took to show the proper and improper ways to roll!

  23. Yvonne Hernandez

    My best friend is Asian and we (my husband and I) are invited to Chinese New year every year at her house where her dad cooks up a storm for everyone. I made this eggroll recipe last year and fried them up at her party. Her Dad, Mr. Wong, declared them the best eggrolls he’d ever tasted and said he would never roll another one. I have been appointed the official Eggroll Queen for Chinese New Year going forward. They really are amazing. The tipping of the pan for the juices to run out is ingenious and really makes the difference. THANK YOU so much for sharing your mom’s recipe.

    1. Post
  24. Tammi

    Oh dear. Looks like its time for a trip to one of my most dangerous places – our local Asian market. If you get a shiver later this week Jaden, that will be me muttering your name under my breath while I try to make room in my refrigerator and cupboards for all the items that I suddenly HAVE to have!

  25. lou

    Jaden, I have never made homemade egg rolls before. Your directions and advice were so clear that I decided to take a chance. I am so glad that I did because these are the best egg rolls that my husband and I have ever eaten! Thank you for sharing your mom’s recipe.

    1. Post
  26. Deborah

    Sorry if this questions has already been asked: Why is the preparation time 60 hours? Before embarking on this recipe, I want to make sure that’s a typo!

    1. Post
  27. Chris O.

    I believe Mary Anne was using the egg roll wrappers and not the spring roll wrappers that this recipe, and that the pictures indicate is intended for. Egg roll wrappers are a bit thicker and most definitely need more filling, but as far as the technique goes, everything is similar. A-1 recipe!

  28. Wendy DeBord

    Thank-you for sharing this recipe! I’ve made egg rolls many times in my life and used the wrappers in the product section of the grocery store. They never turned out great………..and my filling flavor was always a little off.

    Finally, at long last I can make incredible egg rolls at home, your recipe and directions are prefect! We’re so happy, thank-you!

    One question though, there were several different Asian cabbages at the store so we weren’t certain which one to buy (your recipe doesn’t specify). We went with the “Taiwan Cabbage”, is that correct?

    1. Post

      Hi Wendy – you can use any cabbage. I actually prefer regular cabbage because it has less water content than napa cabbage or Taiwan cabbage. Less water content in cabbage = more flavor and less water to drain after the stir fry. But use whatever you prefer!

  29. Mercedes

    WOW! Have made these twice now and I can’t get enough. Some work is involved but they are soo worth it! Made a double batch this time and froze them. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  30. VickiGene

    I love the detailed instructions — esp. about not buying the wrappers in the refrigerated case! You probably saved me from making a disaster. I was taught to make egg roll wrappers by my neighbor from the Philippines. It’s a little time consuming so for small batches of lumpia (Filipino egg rolls) I prefer store bought. Now I must return to the store for the frozen wrappers. Thank you!
    I noticed the DIRECTIONS for this recipe are repeated. I’m sure that was just an oversight. Thought you might want to correct it since it’s a little confusing — or daunting to anyone looking for a recipe with fewer steps.

  31. Mimimee

    Hi. What a wonderful blog! I appreciate the detailed instructions and the wonderful way with words! My family loves crispy egg rolls and I have tried many recipes, but this one here at Steamy Kitchen will be my next attempt.

    The problem is my confusion about exactly which wrappers to buy!

    I live in a very rural area so I must order from online sources. Please recommend some specific brands?

    There are some made of rice flour with water and tapioca starch, but the package instructions say they must be first softened by soaking in warm water. I don’t know if these are the kind that is needed for the Steamy Kitchen recipe. Other wrappers list wheat flour as the main ingredient.

    There are some that say “egg roll wrappers” on the label, and others that say “spring roll wrapper”.

    Please list some specific brands of wrappers that would work with this recipe? Or list the ingredients?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Post

      Hi Mimimee – Wheat will be the first ingredient in the wrappers. Sometimes it’s “egg roll wrappers” and sometimes it’s labelled “spring roll wrappers.” Confusing, I know! My favorite brand is Wei Chuan (red and yellow packaging) and Spring Home.

      The ones that are made of rice flour and need soaking are for Vietnamese spring rolls. Those wrappers can also be used for frying – it will have a different texture and taste. Vietnamese spring rolls are here.

      1. Pennie

        We too live in a rural area with one grocery store (next large one is 3 hours away), is there a link to buy the wrappers online? Thank you

        1. Post
  32. Bernice

    My only comment is when reading the directions the first thing it says to do is marinate the pork? Marinate in what? All the other ingredients are used further along in the recipe.
    Thank you

    1. Post

      Hi Bernice! The marinade ingredients are there – under “FOR THE PORK”
      Sorry for the formmating earlier – somehow the internet ate up my formatting and paragraph breaks in the recipe! It’s fixed now.

      1. Tyler

        I was scrolling through the comments to find the answer to this exact question. It is still not clear to me. Would you please list what ingredients are used for marinating the pork?

        I am having the same problem understanding and wondering if I’m missing something?

        1. Post
  33. BZ

    OK, so it has probably taken me two years since I found this recipe to actually get to try it…. it was worth the wait, and these are definitely the best HOME MADE egg rolls I have ever tried. I have had some amazing ones in the past in restaurants, but this is the closest I have ever seen in something coming out of a normal kitchen. I think that the tips were definitely helpful – particularly about making sure that your filling is cool and (relatively) dry before rolling, and also about not over-stuffing them. I suspect that in order to get a “perfect” egg roll you have to deep fry it, and that is why I get a blistered, multi-colored finish. But they taste GREAT, and I was able to get both of my kids involved with the rolling, which suddenly turned it into a very successful family activity. I really appreciate all the time you put into your OUTSTANDING website. Thanks!

    1. Post
    1. Post

      If you want a sweet sauce, I like using Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (most stores will carry this). My parents use a dribble of Chinese black vinegar.

  34. Vivien

    Made egg rolls and tried my best to follow your Mom’s golden rules. My past attempts were not as successful as I overstuffed the rolls and they were not rolled as tightly as per your Mom’s rule.

    I used my own filling which consisted of thinly sliced onion, julienned jicama and carrots, shitake mushrooms, ground pork and shrimp.

    Thank you for the recipe.

    1. Post
  35. Caroline

    How do you think these would taste if I made with just the vegetables? I love your Vegetable Spring Rolls, they just aren’t as exciting as these. Maybe the s vegetable spring roll with this seasoning. These are the best I have found anywhere! YUM!!

    I would love your thoughts. Thank You!

    1. Post

      Hi Caroline – they’ll be just fine! Add any type of vegetable you want. We’ve done this with shredded brussels sprouts and green peas 🙂 jaden

  36. Chrissy

    I have made this recipe 3 times so far. Twice for myself and a very large batch for my friend to sell in her pub. They are awesome!! Making again today and my mouth is watering already. I find the Nasoya wrappers found in the produce section of my local grocery store work well.

  37. Rosemarie Tirelli

    Sorry, but there is a big difference between egg rolls and spring rolls…namely the wrap that is used. That is why you will find two types of wraps in the grocery store, eggroll wraps and spring roll wraps. The biggest difference is in the consistency of the wrap once fried. Eggroll wraps when fried are not smooth, spring roll wraps are smooth.

    1. Post
  38. Deb Endyke

    I made this today for a Marine Corps moms’ luncheon I attended. They went quickly. My favorite Asian specialty store recently re-opened and I picked up the frozen spring roll wrappers. Previously, I used the refrigerated ones in the grocery store. Big difference! Thank you for a fabulous recipe – it’s going in my binder of favorites.

    1. Post
  39. Clara King

    I made my second batch today. Wonderful recipe! I’m definitely going to pin this for future use. Everyone was waiting in the kitchen for them to cool down enough to eat. Thanks to your mom for sharing the recipe!

    1. Post
  40. Carol

    My daughter and I made these today and they are awesome!
    We followed the recipe exactly and read ALL of the instructions thoroughly.
    One person said that she was disappointed with the recipe and went on to slam almost everything about it.
    Why on earth would one complain about a recipe for which they didn’t follow the instructions?
    The instructions say specifically to not use egg roll wrappers from your supermarket’s refrigerated section, but rather to go to a specialty store and get the paper thin frozen wraps.
    I had no idea where to get these myself (this is the first time I have made any Asian food) , so I Googled “Asian food market” for my town/zip code. Turns out there was a market 5 miles from my home that I wasn’t aware existed.
    Use the 350 degree instruction for your electric wok as a guideline (she does state “or until a cube of bread will fry to golden brown within 10 seconds”). I ended up at 400 degrees (with no splattering or smoking of oil) and will go even higher with my next batch.
    This is due to variations in cooking appliances, and not a suggestion that the recipe is wrong.
    I have been looking for a recipe that would give me a crisp and yummy egg roll, and I’m so happy to have found this one!

    1. Post
  41. Francisco

    I use ground pork ,water chestnut ,carrots ,green beans ,celery and green onions in my filling…cabbage and bean sprouts seems to go sour in my filling

  42. Chad

    What do you mean by “to seal the egg roll” when Mixing the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of cold water? I dont even see in the recipie where you use this.

    1. Post

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