Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe

Chinese Spring Roll Recipe with Chicken

How authentic Chinese Spring Rolls* should be: smooth, light, crisp-crackly skin and small enough to enjoy in 4 bites. The filling is also light, full of tender-crisp vegetables and you should be able to taste and distinguish every single ingredient in the filling.

Unfortunately, the only time you can find really awesome Chinese spring rolls are when you make them at home, Chinatown restaurants or at my Mom’s house :-)

*Spring Rolls or Egg Rolls? Well, either one is fine. Some people call these crispy fried rolls “Spring Rolls” and others, like my Mom, refer to them as “Egg Rolls.” I use both terms. There is no official English term. What are summer rolls? I refer to the uncooked Vietnamese rolls wrapped in rice paper as Summer Rolls, but Diane and Todd call these Spring Rolls! So confusing, right?  

I’ve seen too many Chinese-American takeout joints feature massive spring rolls the size of a soda can, a thick, chewy, bubbly textured skin and wet, soggy filling. That’s not good eats.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe

My Mom’s Chinese Spring/Egg rolls are absolutely on the list of top 5 favorite foods of all time. It’s not something I make often, the deep frying and the time it takes makes it an indulgence. But when I do make spring rolls, I try to make a TON of them because they freeze perfectly and go direct from freezer to fryer.

We’ve made many variations of egg/spring rolls, from pork, shrimp, crawfish, seafood, beef, vegetarian and even with tofu (yum!) I’m sharing my Chinese spring rolls with chicken recipe version with you, which is my boys’ filling of choice.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe

I’ve got lots of technique tips and step by step photos to help you master the very best spring roll that my Mom would be proud of!

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe

How to make Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken

The vegetables I’ve chosen to use for this Chinese Spring Roll with Chicken recipe are cabbage and carrots.

TIP: Do not use a box grater to grate the vegetables, grating releases too much liquid/water. Use either a food processor with thin slicing attachment, a mandoline like I’ve used here (I LOVE this one by Oxo for $15) or shred by knife.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Shred Cabbage

You can julienne cut carrots by hand or use mandoline like this to first get thin slices.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Julienne cut carrots

After slicing thin with a mandoline, use knife to thinly slice further into very thin matchsticks. Notice how many times I’ve purposely used the word, “thin.”

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Julienne cut carrots

Whisk together marinade ingredients for the ground chicken.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Whisk marinade ingredients

Mix with ground chicken.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Mix marinade with ground chicken

Saute the ground chicken with just a bit of oil. Then, remove chicken to a bowl and set aside.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Saute ground chicken

Next wipe the wok clean and stir fry the vegetables along with ginger, garlic and green onion.

TIP: Meat and vegetables are cooked separately. This ensures that the meat browns well – and prevents everything from being an overcooked, soggy clump. Meat will taste like meat, and the vegetables will have a crisp, clean flavor.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Stir fry veggies

Add the meat back into the wok.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Mix chicken with veggies

Add in oyster sauce.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Add oyster sauce to filling

Toss! Toss! Toss!

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Toss filling

Let cool on a baking sheet.

TIP: Let the filling cool. Hot filling = steam = makes wrapper wet = not good

TIP: Tilt the baking pan on one side. This lets any extra liquid/juice dribble down, away from the filling, Discard the liquid. Liquid = makes wrapper wet = not good. The drier the filling, the better. You can also blot the filling with a wad of paper towels to get rid of any excess oil.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Let the filling cool

Spring Roll Recipe WrappersHere’s my favorite brand of wrapper. It comes frozen, so you’ll have to defrost.

TIP: The best 2 ways to defrost spring roll wrappers: 1-overnight in the refrigerator 2-on the counter for 30 minutes. Once the wrapper are defrosted, open the package and immediately cover with a barely damp towel or paper towel to keep moist. The wrappers will dry out and crack quickly if left uncovered.

TIP: If the wrappers dry out and are stiff, you can put a few wrappers on a plate, cover with a damp towel and microwave on medium for 10 seconds. The wrappers will soften up.

TIP: Good spring roll wrappers are found in Asian markets. These are thin, fry up to a shatteringly thin crispy spring roll. Do not buy spring roll wrappers that you find in regular supermarkets near the produce section (usually refrigerated, next to the tofu). Those “pasta sheets” are way too thick and fry up to a chewy, thick, bubbly, hot mess.

TIP: Keep the spring roll (or egg roll) sheets under barely damp cloth or paper towel. They dry out very easily. If they dry out, they break apart.

See how thin this is? Almost paper thin.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Super thin wrappers

TIP: For the truly fanatical, there are 2 sides to the spring roll wrapper – but you have to look very very carefully. One side is smoother than the other. The smoother side should be outward facing. It’s really not absolutely necessary to even pay attention to this tip unless you a) want to have the very best looking spring roll and b) have good eyesight because the difference is really minor. The smoother side fries up just a tiny bit nicer looking. It’s purely aesthetics. Something my Mom taught me, so I’m teaching you.

Place wrapper like diamond, as shown, on a clean, dry surface. Place 1 tablespoon of filling near corner. No more than that!

TIP: Less filling, the better. Overstuffed spring rolls break apart in the oil. 1 tablespoon is all you need!

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Less filling, the better

Fold over the corner. Roll tight.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Roll wrapper tightly

Fold over left side.

TIP: Leave no space or air pockets. Air pockets = oil seepage = oily egg roll.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Fold wrapper tightly

Fold over the other side. No air pockets!

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Fold wrapper tightly

Here are examples of the WRONG WAY TO WRAP.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Wrong way of wrapping

WRONG: See the right side of the wrapper, how it’s skewing out? See next picture to see how it rolls.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Wrong popped out corner

WRONG: That right side that skewed out rolls up like this – giant air pocket will let oil seep in, filling fall out.

The right way: Imagine if you were Martha Stewart folding up her bedsheets. Or a clerk at the Gap folding t-shirts. Or the abs of male Olympic swimmer. Nice, tight and even.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Ready to seal

Paint a little cornstarch slurry along the edge – just as if you were lickin’ an envelope. But don’t lick it. Finger paint.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Cornstarch Seals It

Close it up. See how nice and neat the egg roll is wrapped? No holes, no air pockets. Very Martha Stewart.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Neat and tidy

Place them seam side down (helps secure the corner so that the corner doesn’t pop out)

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Place rolls seam side down

Keep them all covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying out. They dry out easily.

TIP: Single layer only. If you put them on top of each other (without layer of plastic wrap between them, they will stick together. You can put another layer of spring rolls on TOP of the plastic wrap (but don’t’ forget to cover them too).

TIP: If you want to freeze spring rolls – freeze them just like this. If you don’t have a freezer this big, then line up the spring rolls on a plate, with plastic wrap between each layer. Freeze. Once frozen, gather up all the spring rolls and put them in a freezer safe plastic bag. They have to freeze in a single layer, not touching. Otherwise, they’ll all stick together. Once they are frozen, you can store them however you want.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Can be frozen

When you’re ready to fry, heat up 1 1/2″ of cooking oil (canola, vegetable, rice bran, corn, peanut) to 350F.

TIP: For deep frying, the wider the pot, the more oil you’ll need. But too small of a pot, you’ll only be able to fry a couple of egg rolls at a time. Woks are perfect – the round shape, concave shape means less oil is needed to fill wok.

TIP: Ancient Chinese secret: Stick a wooden chopstick straight down in the oil just like this. If the oil bubbles around the wood, it’s hot enough. If no little bubbles around the chopstick = not hot enough. Mom taught me that. But make sure it’s wood or bamboo chopsticks – plastic ones melt. If you don’t have a wood chopstick, use end of a wooden spatula.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Heat 1 1/2 cup cooking oil

Carefully SLIDE the spring rolls in. Inspect each spring roll for corners that have popped open. Fix with more cornstarch slurry if needed.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Carefully slide rolls in wok

Fry a few at a time.

TIP: Wide deep woks or skillets are good. Because of the shape of the wok, you’ll end up using less oil. Buy a wok. (wink!)

TIP: Don’t over-crowd the sprng rolls in the pan. They won’t cook evenly.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Leave room in wok

Keep turning ’em to brown evenly. Once they are golden brown, they are done.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Cook til Golden Brown

Place them on a rack to drain.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Drain rolls on rack

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe

More Recipes to explore

Red Lantern Crisp Parcels (Cha Gio or Spring Rolls) (Steamy Kitchen)

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Orange-Almond Sauce (Steamy Kitchen)

My Mother’s Famous Chinese Egg Rolls (Steamy Kitchen)

Vegetable Spring Rolls (Egg Rolls) (Steamy Kitchen)


Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe

Servings: Makes 50 egg rolls Prep Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe


1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine (or white wine)
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 pound ground chicken
2 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 stalk green onion, chopped
1/2 head of small cabbage (about 8 ounces), shredded
2 carrots, thin julienne cut
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water
50 spring roll wrappers, defrosted
oil, for deep frying (about 1/2 liter to 1 liter)


1. In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, wine, pepper and cornstarch. Add in the chicken and mix well. Let marinate for 10 minutes (or up to overnight in the refrigerator).

2. Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. When hot, swirl in just 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil. Stir fry the ground chicken until browned. Remove browned ground chicken from wok to a bowl and set aside.

3. Wipe the wok clean and turn heat to medium. When just starting to get hot, swirl in the remaining cooking oil. Add in the green onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Take care not to burn these aromatics. Add in the carrots and cabbage. Stir well and turn the heat to medium-high. Stir fry the vegetables for 2 minutes, or until the carrots have softened. Add the cooked chicken back into the wok, stir well. Add in the oyster sauce and toss again. Spread the mixture out on a baking sheet to let cool. Prop up the baking sheet on one end so that any liquid collects on the other side. When the mixture is cool, discard the liquid.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. This is your slurry. Open the egg roll wrapper package, cover with barely damp towel to prevent drying out.

5. Add 1 tablespoon of filling to egg roll (see photos for instructions) and roll up. Secure with cornstarch slurry. Keep rolled egg rolls covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying.

6. When ready to fry, heat 1 1/2" of oil in a wok or deep, heavy skillet to 350F (see tip in photos if you don't have thermometer). Carefully slide in the egg rolls, a few at a time, to the oil to fry. Turn the egg rolls occassionally to brown evenly and fry for about 3 minutes. Let cool on rack. Repeat with remaining.


Comments 194

  1. Jessica Ford

    I made these last night and they were DELICIOUS!!! Thanks for the recipe and amazing tutorial/pictures!

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    1. Virginia

      It bubbled because of the wrappers you used. The first time I made them, they bubbled and then I switched brands of wrappers. I have pics of the ugly spring rolls and then updated pics of the pretty ones. lol

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  4. april scherb

    Reciep calls for rice wine… I have rice wine vinegar. Will that work? What is the difference? I’ve googled it and found mixed results. I also have a cheap sherry cooking wine I could use. Help please

  5. april scherb

    Edit to my previous comment… I have rice vinegar, white wine vinegar and sherry cooking wine. Will any of them work?

  6. fartman

    @april scherb

    any of those will work, I cook asian with my parents every week. Trust me, it shouldn’t make a large difference, if any. 😀

  7. Dana

    Just wondering if you thaw them first before putting them in to deep fry? If so, for how long to you thaw them?

    1. SteamyKitchen

      No, don’t thaw them – just very carefully slide them into the oil to fry while frozen. Add about 1 minute to the frying time.

      If you defrost first, you’ll just end up with a soggy mess!

  8. Jaci

    Thank you so much for the great tips. I have been making these every weekend for a while now but they never seem to turn out quiet as well as I would of liked. Reading this has helped me a lot & now I am very much looking forward cooking my next lot of spring rolls tonight..

  9. Bidita Mahmud

    This page is on my bookmark!!! Mine rolls turned out really tasty n crispy…..great help…thanx

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  11. Sharon Hebein

    Oh my goodness! Thank you for this most informative tutorial. I truly appreciate all the tips. I am going to make veggie ones tomorrow! Yum

  12. Emma

    I made a batch of 60 for a special event at my daughter’s kindergarten. I froze 50 and we ate 10 for dinner. My family loved them! Thank you for the recipe. I am just wondering about cooking the frozen ones in a few days time. Do I deep fry straight from the freezer or defrost over night? Thanks.

  13. Mehren

    I was looking for yummy spring rolls thank you so much for posting authentic spring rolls and great tips

  14. umara

    Hey dere…. Thanks for this great recipe…. And sspecially for pictures tutorial.I am going to try this today.but m confused abt white wine vinegar …whats it simple white vinegar or something different.coz here at PAkistan it isn’t commonly available.

  15. Alan

    The ones I buy from my local Chinese have, bean sprout, prawns and pork in,
    can I add these.

  16. Yia

    What would be a good alternative to using soy sauce in this recipe? My daughter is allergic. Thank you

  17. Mark

    Hi, I’m in Australia and haven’t been able to find that brand of wrapper. I tried something else from the local Asian grocery store, which at first was ok, bubbly but ok. But after about fifteen minutes out of the fryer they went soft, so soft you could bend them without breaking. The recipe was great, the filling tasted very authentic, but the wrappers made a mockery of the the whole thing. I now have twenty frozen spring rolls that I’m not in a hurry to eat, which is a real shame as we love our spring rolls in this household.

    1. SteamyKitchen

      Hi Mark- I hope you find the right type of wrappers! When you go to fry your frozen batch, you might get better results, since it will take a couple of minutes longer to fry (frozen rolls go directly into the oil), the longer and slower fry time will help the wrapper crisp up better.

  18. srilata

    i tried this recipe and it turned out good ,but after 2 hrs it became soggy can you please advice me how to keep it crispy for 4 to 5 hrs and
    can i make the rolls and keep it in fridge (not in freezer ) over night to fry them in the morning?
    thanks in advance

    1. SteamyKitchen

      Hi there –

      They probably won’t stay crispy for more than 4 hours. Here’s what I would suggest:
      1. Roll the day before, then freeze in single layer.
      2. The next day, fry them in oil (carefully drop in oil while frozen). Make sure you don’t fry too quickly. It should take about 4 minutes per batch. If they brown too quickly, turn the heat down just a bit.
      3. Once done, place them on a baking sheet with rack. Do not cover.
      4. When ready to serve, heat oven to 350F. Place the rolls in oven for 5 minutes and they will crisp right back up.

  19. Ashley

    Could you tell me how much/ the measurements for one serving? Cuz the recipie says its serves 50 and i want to know the recipie for one. I need it for my project. Its due by friday. hope you can reply ASAP THANK YOU

  20. Laurie

    Are the wrappers rice paper? I need gluten free. If they’re not , can I use rice papers? Are there any additional directions then?
    Thanx so much!

  21. pamela

    I have made this twice. And they have become a big hit at home. So much that my folks think i make it better than the restaurant, I do this with franks and used port wine once because I didn’t have rice wine, but the folding and everything -your instructions are great. This is saved in my folder Wow yum is all I can say

  22. Sherry

    I learned how to make springrolls years ago from my Vietnamese friend. You have a wonderful tutorial. I always serve them right away, but always wonder what the best way to reheat (if there are any left) the next day?? And best way to keep them warm without getting soggy when I make large amount? Thanks!

  23. nonhlanhla

    I love this recipe I’m gonna try it next month for my visitor I will serve them with sweet chilli sauce

    1. Post

      I use what my Dad taught me, Chinese black vinegar. Take a bite, then dribble 2 drops of Chinese black vinegar inside and let it run down the egg roll. You can substitute with young balsamic vinegar.

      Also, Sweet Chili Sauce or plum sauce is great too.

  24. Rashi Dewan

    Hi, I made these spring rolls once night before, froze them, then fried them dried (did not thaw) but the inside filling was cold however from the outside the rolls were well cooked. Please suggest :)

    1. Post

      Hi Rashi – try lowering the temperature of your oil by 25% – just enough to give the outside time to cook slower and allow inside to warm through.

  25. Labonita

    I’ve never made spring rolls before and they turned out amazing! All gone within minutes… Thank you for posting this recipe of yours x

    1. Post
  26. Jorshe

    If I am making the spring rolls the night before but not frying them till the next day, can I put the rolled spring rolls in the fridge for one day, and then fry them after I take them out of the fridge?

    1. Post

      Yes, I’ve done that too. Just make sure your filling is SUPER dry. Otherwise the wrapper gets soggy. Blot filling with paper towels to get rid of extra oil and liquid.

    1. Post
    1. Post

      Day 1: Fry, let cool, then refrigerate
      Day 2: Heat oven to 375F. Place spring rolls on a baking RACK (allows circulation), bake for 8-10 minutes until crisp.

      I’ve done this many, many times, it works very well! If I’m only reheating a few, I’ll use a toaster oven.

      1. Brianna

        Awesome thanx so much. I made them tonight and they were fabulous! I couldnt find the right size papers so i used smaller ones and they were bite size and super cute. They were a hit. I think my hubby ate about 25 lol!

  27. denice

    In did great using this I usually do vegetable spring rolls or shrimp but I did thisesnoit of fresh ground pork sooo good . no more grocery store or cheap restaurant rolls with one shrimp inside. For a quick helper angel hair shreded cabbage what a time saver.these where my new years fare .

  28. Karen

    If I use ground pork instead of chicken would i change any of the other ingredients?

    1. Post
  29. john friscia

    what about cooking rolls when made and freezing for re heat in micro wave to eat for work lunch and such?

    1. Post

      Stick them in a toaster oven 375 for 10 minutes – they’ll be as crispy as before. Microwave will make them soggy.

  30. Natalia

    Hi, thank you for a very detailed tutorial. I’ve tried to cook spring rolls using dried rice wrappers (you have to soak them in water for a minute to make them elastic) and the rolls turned out very oily, thick and chewy, nothing like the authentic crispy ones.

    Can it be that this kind of wrappers just aren’t suited to frying (what are they suited for, then?) Do you have to use the frozen wrappers only if you want them crispy?

    1. Post

      Hi Natalia – Those rice wrappers are also perfect for frying, but they are Vietnamese Spring Rolls, with a different texture. They should fry up fine, though. Try a hotter oil to get it to crisp up. It should only take 45 seconds or so to begin to crisp. Then let it cook a little longer until golden brown.

  31. Wayne

    Sorry about dumb question..kind of new to cooking. Your Chicken Spring roll recipe suggests about 8oz of cabbage. Is that 8 oz as in weight, or 8 oz as a measured cup.



    1. Post
      1. Wayne

        Thanks! It took a bit of time and hard work(my 1st time rolling), but worth it. Got many compliments!

  32. Curious 1

    Fantastic recipe. Tried them before with the hard wrappers you have to wet. That was an absolute mess. Normally shop at the international market so just bought frozen and thawed. Yummy! This is more authentic tasting than any I’ve had. Thank you for sharing.

  33. Nivedita

    Just made them and they tasted heavenly. I made the vegetarian version today. Will try with the chicken filling soon. Can’t wait to try them again. Thank you for sharing the recipe :)

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  34. Jill

    Hi, I’ve made spring rolls before I saw your recipe and I didn’t cook the meat first. I just made up all the ingredients and rolled them, then deep fried them. They were lovely, but I was wondering is it entirely necessary to cook the meat first.
    Thanks for your recipe.

    1. Post

      Hi Jill – It’s normally cooked first. If you don’t, you’ll run the risk of undercooking the meat or burning the skin trying to cook the meat and vegetables to perfection.

      I suppose if your rolls are very skinny, and you use ground chicken or beef, you could roll them raw.

      When you cook the meat and vegetables first, you know that they’ll be perfectly cooked. Your fry time will then only depend on getting the skin crispy.

  35. Mumeeba

    No white wine vinegar is made from wine which is not not halal as it’s made from wine so you can omit the ingredient or you can add rice vinegar instead

  36. James

    Well done. Tried making spring rolls for the first time. The first batch took a long time and I was caught by the dough taking over an hour to defrost, but they came out awesome!

    From there when I had the technique it was really quick and I have about 20 in the freezer ready to impress my next dinner guests.

    1. Post
  37. Marianna

    I was always greedy of spring rolls which I often eat in chinese restaurants here in Italy. Now with your instructions I can make them at home without major problems and also the ingredients seem readily available in local markets. I will try them this weekend!
    Many thanks Jaden 😉

  38. Dee

    I made these with those ugly egg roll wrappers you find in regular grocery stores, I went to Indian market but they didn’t have them, there is a huge Asian grocery store about 10 miles away but its in a bad ghetto area so I decided to be safe and go with the generic egg roll wrappers. :( I will have to find an Asian store in a better area so I can hoard spring roll wrappers.

  39. Ed

    I’ve made the chicken spring rolls and they were great! Now I want to try Shrimp rolls. Should I chop-up the shrimp before sautéing, or sauté whole and then chop? Thanks!

    1. Post

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