My Mother’s Famous Chinese Egg Rolls

Mothers Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe

These are my Mom’s Famous Crispy Chinese Egg Rolls and a recipe that I published way back in 2007 but somehow got lost in the Internet void. Thank goodness that this recipe was part of my cookbook so I still had the text and photos. ~Jaden

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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.

Ready?

Mama Ruthie’s Egg Roll 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. The 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

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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!

Ingredients:

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 fryingFOR THE PORK
1 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarchFOR THE VEGETABLES
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
½ head of cabbage (about 11 ounces)
3 carrots
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
10 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded
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 pepper1. To make the filling, combine the ingredients for the ground pork together. Marinate at least 10 minutes. 2. To a food processor, add the shiitake mushrooms. Pulse a few times until the mushrooms are finely chopped. Insert shredder disk (large holes) and shred the cabbage and carrots. 3. Heat a wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add just 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add in the garlic and ginger and quickly stir-fry until fragrant. Add in the contents of the food processor (cabbage, carrots and shiitake). Turn heat to high and stir-fry for 1 minute until the vegetables are beginning to soften. 4. Use your tongs to make a large, empty spot in the middle of the pan (push the vegetables aside), swirl in an additional 1 teaspoon of cooking oil. When hot, add in the ground pork. Cook the ground pork in the middle of the pan until beginning to turn brown. Now use your tongs to mix the pork with the vegetables.5. Add the rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and black pepper. Continue to stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes until the pork is cooked through. 6. Scoop out the filling to a baking sheet and spread out to cool. Prop up one end of the baking sheet slightly to allow excess the moisture to drain to one end. Let cool for 15 minutes and then discard all of the accumulated juices. 7. 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.8. 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.

Directions:

1. To make the filling, combine the ingredients for the ground pork together. 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 processer 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 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.

***

Other Egg Roll/Spring Roll Recipes

Red Lantern Vietnamese Spring Roll Recipe Cha Gio

Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

Egg Roll Recipe on RasaMalaysia

White on Rice has a vegetarian Vietnamese Curried Tofu Spring Roll (not fried!)

Comments 257

  1. RP

    These are fantastic!! This time I did not have all the ingredients but tried a couple of variations: chicken & shrimp in one and pulled pork in the other. Thank you so much for sharing. I love to try authentic recipes and this is truly so. Cheers.

  2. Jen

    I just finished the first batch and I want to say thank you for this recipe and tutorial. They are perfect. Of course I made mine bigger, but they were the same size as they serve in my favorite Vietnamese restaurant. I made two batches together and even with to much filling tasting, I got 47 eggrolls. I fried up two odd lenght ones so I know they are really good.
    I had to go across town to a oriental market to be sure to get the right wrappers. I wish I’d gotten my ground pork there because when I went to my regular maket it was over a dollar more per pound. I wish I’d been a bit braver and done all the shopping for the project at the oriental market. But it was close to closing and I felt out of place. I couldn’t find rice cooking wine at my regular market so I substituted white cooking wine. It took a bit of practice and a little template for me to get them all the same length. I’m sure with a bit of practice, it will go a lot faster.
    I’m glad I got enough supplies for three more recipes. I’ll make these up and freeze them and take them to my next local food swap. I know they’ll go over well. This is a keeper recipe.

  3. Jen

    I just finished the first batch and I want to say thank you for this recipe and tutorial. They are perfect. Of course I made mine bigger, but they were the same size as they serve in my favorite Vietnamese restaurant. I made two batches together and even with to much filling tasting, I got 47 eggrolls. I fried up two odd lenght ones so I know they are really good.

  4. Paul

    I did not any mention of how you seal the egg rolls… water, egg white, other…? Egg roll wrappers do not seal themselves, so the egg roll will unravel in two inches of oil, and quicker in a deep fryer.

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  6. Bob Fairlane

    Great point about the 2 types of egg roll wrappers! I like the “western” ones, too, but whose idea was it to sell burrito wrappers for egg rolls! I have to find the crispy ones. So right, they are way better with the flaky crust. Try using pizza cheese and toppings as filling. Schwanns Food Service sells “pizza wonton rolls” that are very tasty, but expensive. I’m sure you can simulate them with the crispy egg roll wrappers by substituting the pizza ingredients.

  7. Diane

    I had a heck of a time finding the frozen egg roll wrappers, but just as I thought I’d never find them a new Chinese/Vietnamese/Mexican grocery store opened up! They also had the rice wine, so I made the recipe exactly as you wrote it. OMG…..these are the absolute BEST egg rolls I’ve ever had! Apparently I had them wrapped tight enough because there was absolutely no grease on the inside….in fact they weren’t greasy on the outside, either! These things absolutely rock….they’re going to be my new go to appetizer. Made 2 batches so I have a bunch in the freezer just waiting to be fried. Thanks so much for this most excellent recipe!

  8. Beverly

    Excellent recipe!! Made this a few times and it’s ALWAYS a hit. We love serving this to our guests during Chinese New Year so being able to prepare and freeze them weeks ahead saves us much time (and sanity!) during one of the busiest times at home :)

  9. Heather

    These are soooo amazing! My sister and I make them all the time. I don’t like pork, so I use chicken and they come out really good. We always make a double batch and freeze half for later use. We also put them in containers and freeze them for easy lunches.

    The one thing is, I never have good luck frying. What kind of oil do you use? We tried to make them a little healthier by brushing them with oil and broiling them in the oven. They still came out fairly crispy and really good but was curious of the best type of oil to fry them in.

    Thanks so much for this awesome recipe (and pass the thanks along to your mother!)

  10. Cliff

    Why do i see crawfish tail meat in the photo of the filling but not in the list of ingredients?

  11. Kate

    Some notes for you:
    Spring rolls are not the same thing as egg rolls. At all. They are completely different; different wrappers, different fillings, and they even come from different countries.
    Traditional egg rolls are sealed by painting a light coat of beaten egg before rolling (not corn starch); hence the name, egg rolls.

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  15. Sistadavis

    Tonight I made this recipe for the hundredth time, mostly to freeze for the lazy nights! Okay, slight exaggeration in that number, but I love this recipe; thank you for sharing. I most appreciate the details that help you understand the recipe beyond the steps and measurements.

  16. jason peltz

    These were excellent, I followed the recipe with no variation. Why is this the best recipe of many I surveyed and have made before? The rules truly capture the nuance and techniques that must be abided by… so many recipes did not preach the rules. Thank you so much, this is a big contribution to anyone who wants to make their own egg rolls. BTW: not even top asian restaurants have egg rolls this good… I guess it’s the care that goes into it.

  17. jason peltz

    Freezing takes moisture out of fried food, and can enhance crispiness upon reheat–but reheat using a toaster or regular oven, not more oil, not saute–maybe like 375 for 10-15 minutes after slightly thawed.

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  19. Vanessa Piper

    I love cooking all sorts of cuisine and have attempted to make egg/spring rolls many times, unsuccessfully. My sister is an Asian food finatic and for her 21st birthday in oct. she requested egg rolls. I happened upon this recipe and decided to use it. IT WAS A BIG SUCCESS! So much so that my father asked me to make them for his birthday four months later. Thank you for the recipe and the rules of successful egg roll making!

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  21. Gary McNeff

    Just wanted to say a huge thank you!! This was something I had thought about making for a long time but simply never gotten around to it. I was looking for recipes a couple of weeks ago and stumbled across yours. I’ve made them twice now and everyone that has tried them absolutely loves them!!

    The first time I had to settle for the only wrappers I could find (in the local grocery store) since making them was somewhat of a last minute decision. They were great but they were even better today when I took your advice and visited our local Asian market on Sunday. We go there five or six times a year anyway but had never looked for these wrappers before. They have several different types so we tried a couple of them and they were both far better than our local ones. We also found that if we make the meat as you described (only add some garlic and ginger) and use it (uncooked) to fill dumpling wrappers, then boil (and pan fry if you choose) they are awesome as well.

    Again, thank you (and thank your mother!!).

  22. bradree

    The recipe above is more of a Vietnamese style fried spring roll, not a Cantonese style egg roll, which blister up when cooked and are slightly thicker than a spring roll wrapper.

    1. SteamyKitchen

      It’s both. The thick, bubbly wrapper is found in AMERICAN-Chinese restaurants.

      In China, Hong Kong, and actually all over SE Asia too, you’ll find these spring roll/egg rolls that are smooth, thin and extra crispy.

  23. Jen

    Oh Jaden! These look marvelous!
    I have made egg rolls using the rice wrapper typically used for spring rolls in the U.S. The question on my mind is: Are there any other gluten free wrapper options?
    Thanks in advance for your response.
    You are amazing, and you Mom obviously is too. ; )

    Jen

    1. SteamyKitchen

      Hi Jen! I think there is a Chinese wrapper that’s made of rice too. I can’t think of the name for it, but I’ve seen it at the store. It’s round, solid white, paper thin, and kind of reminds me of thick paper as it’s very flexible. The wrapper has frayed edges. You’ll have to check the ingredients list though, but I think it’s rice based.

  24. Hosea

    I have been looking for a good egg roll recipe, I plan on trying this next weekend. My best friend from my school days was born in Taiwan. His father was stationed there with the US military. His mother learned to make her eggrolls there. During my teen years in the 70’s, I spent more time at their house than my own, they were like my 2nd family.
    It was always an event when she made her egg rolls, they were amazing! She made hers with stir-fry oriental beef, which was very tender. For the past 35 to 40 years, I have never had egg rolls as good as those, nothing close to them. My buddy’s mom died many years ago & I’ve lost contact with the family, so I have no way to get her recipe. So getting & making an authentic Taiwanese egg roll recipe seems to be my solution to re-creating something from my youth that I remember so fondly. I’ll have to follow up when I make them to let you know how they turned out.

  25. Kathleen

    I really love your recipes! I stumbled across you blog looking for a Pho recipe. (it was amazing by the way) Since then I have bought your cookbooks and am on a “roll”. I had a hard time finding the frozen wrappers too but when I did, I bought a lot of them. These are just fabulous. I would also suggest the firecracker shrimp, I could eat 50 of those bad boys by myself. Thank you so much.

  26. Zana

    Kate – You have no idea what you are talking about!!

    Jaden – Thank you for the recipe! I want to make eggrolls for my daughter’s birthday party coming up, but I would be so lost doing it alone. My mom just has no time to teach me to make the filling. I am so glad you are here!

  27. Kate

    Hey Zana,
    I REALLY do know what I am talking about, haha. My entire family is from Korea, moved to America in the seventies. My best friend’s family moved here from China and owns a very popular chinese restaurant. Being surrounded by about the most authentically cooking group of asians you could meet, I am most definitely correct. I have also been on several trips back to different parts of China and Korea and you absolutely do not see these anywhere except Americanized restaurants here in the US. They may be delicious, but they’re not authentic.

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  29. kathy

    can you bake these in the oven? also if cook from frozen do you defrost at all or just fry frozen? thanks

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  31. M

    Another successful night! We use this recipe and do not stray on even 1 ingredient or measurement. LOVE THIS!

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  36. Moonze

    I have been wanting to make these for a while now, they sound so delicous! I finally have the time to get to work on them, but I am having trouble finding Chinese Rice Wine. Is it located in the cooking section or where the regular alcohol is. I cant seem to find it.

    1. BZ in BA

      You can use sherry. I have used port as well. Either of them are fine. They aren’t the exact same as Chinese wine, but they serve the same purpose, and I would be hard pressed to think that it will make a HUGE difference in the outcome.

  37. Rebecca Johnson

    Can I say I made these a while back for new years and I somehow lost the recipe and was so delighted to find it, 2 years later. I think this is the best recipe and most informative I have ever found. Being an ol’ white American born girl I did not have anyone teach me how to do this and making the filling ahead of time and draining is the key for sure. Now I can make a mean batch of pork ribs and sauerkraut, being of German descent. HA HA HA

  38. Brianna Lytle

    This is the most amazing and accurate tutorial! I have attempted egg rolls in the past with the vague directions and recipes on the back of the wrapper package. Unfortunately, they all were meals quickly tossed in the trash and we had to go to the mess hall for dinner. My hubby was waiting to leave again for dinner last night, but we stayed at the table and we both filled up on these! This was a great recipe for someone with no Asian food cooking experience and it satisfied my picky husband who has lived in many Asian countries. I followed the recipe precisely, except i omitted the mushrooms for personal preferences. This recipe is definitely a keeper, has wonderful authentic flavor, was simple to follow, and offered thorough instructions. Thanks!

  39. Miki

    This receipe is definitely a keeper. I’ve made these egg rolls twice using Jaden’s tips and technique. It produces a nice, tasty egg roll with a crispy crunch. These egg rolls freeze very well and my squirt regularly asks for them in his lunch.

  40. Jennie

    Thank you for your mother’s tips! I bought some rice paper to use for my son who can’t have wheat or corn. I originally bought them for “Mexican”, i had no idea how to use them and would have broken many of Moma’s rules. We are enjoying many new creations, that’s a big deal to a child who can’t have wheat, soy or corn.

  41. Lolita

    This is a great recipe. I used shrimp and regular Egg roll wrappers, Spring roll wrappers are preferred. I will be prepared and make sure I find them first. Will definitely make again.

  42. Angie

    Jayden,—can you use other contents such as water chestnuts, bamboo shoots? What type of cabbage did you use? Regular green cabbage, Chinese, or red? Did you use peanut oil for frying, or vegetable?

  43. Sandy

    With soy sauce do you mean sweet or salt? I have the Indonesian thick sweet soy sauce, called ketjap and the Kikkoman salt soy sauce. Thank you.

  44. audra

    These came out very tasty but I was only able to find the thicker egg roll wraps which I was leary of but had all the other ingredients so decided to go ahead. I also attempted to make my own wrap as I will probably have to travel too far to find the kind of wrap desired. There are some tutorials out there but if you could included the how to for making wraps from scratch that would greatly help us out here in the boonies.

    1. BZ in BA

      I TOTALLy agree that it would be great if it were possible to make the wrappers at home, but i have tried numerous times, and while I won’t go so far as to say that all the results have been dismal, none of them have been great. And I have tried LOTS of different types of batter and flours as well as rolling techniques. The best results were probably with a very hard dough and taking it down to the thinnest setting on my pasta machine (which is a TON OF WORK), and they still weren’t very good – not at all crisp, and no where near as good as what we get at restaurants. Sorry to not be more helpful, but from what I can tell there is either a real “art” that is required to do it correctly (by hand pressing the mass of wet, sticky dough onto the surface of a hot dry pan), or some kind of high-pressure industrial process that is need to get them to come out right. That said, if you manage to figure out a good way to do this, PLEASE SHARE THE INFORMATION.

      Thanks and regards, BZ.

      1. audra

        The techniques I found basically call for making a sticky dough ball (couple various recipes) and taking that dough ball in hand and to simply put smearing it in the bottom of a non stick pan on medium heat so that it leaves behind a film of the dough. Cook for few seconds not browned & then set aside. I only got 3 usuable wrappers (only tried it once) so practice is a must and I think my dough was too runny. Search on youtube for some videos. Good luck.

  45. AmberT

    I made these last night and they were fabulous! My husband said they were the best he has ever had. The only snag I ran into is that we live in a small town of roughly 12,000 people in a rural community. We don’t have an Asian specialty store. The best I could get was the “international foods” aisle in Walmart that in all reality, is seriously lacking… The only option I had for egg roll wrappers were in the refrigerator section by tofu products. So of course, they were the gooey ones that bubble up when fried. It did all turn out great even with the restrictions we had to deal with. I just wish we had more options in our area.

  46. SandyM

    I made these back in July. They’re the best eggrolls I have ever made or eaten. Anywhere! So, I will be making them again for Superbowl! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

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