How To Wrap Egg Rolls: An Easy, Quick Guide
Egg rolls are one of the most delicious foods out there. They’re crispy and crunchy on the outside and full of rich, delicious veggies on the inside that warm your entire body with fantastic flavor.
This delicious finger food is great to make at home, but wrapping egg rolls can be a bit of an enigma if you haven't been taught before. The wrapper is thin and delicate, and the correct wrapping method is not necessarily common sense.
That’s why we’re going to give you a complete guide on how to wrap egg rolls with your own two hands. We promise it’s easier than you think, and along the way, we’ll give you some other great tips about making egg rolls at home. With that, let’s jump in.
Unwrapping the Origins of the Egg Roll
Let’s start with a quick history lesson! Egg rolls were actually not invented in China. They were invented in New York! It may seem crazy, but this dish commonly associated with Chinese cuisine was actually made in America.
The egg roll is a simple adaptation from the classic, historic Chinese food – the spring roll. Spring rolls have a thin wrapper, and when fried, the wrapper stays flat and gets golden brown.
With egg rolls, however, the dough for the wrapper is much thicker and bubbles up when fried, making for a delightfully crunchy exterior. In addition, egg rolls tend to be filled with more meat, whereas spring rolls are typically filled with vegetables like cabbage and carrots.
There are actually two chefs who claim to have invented the egg roll, but it seems that there is more evidence for one over the other – Henry Low and Lum Fong are the two competing chefs. Low worked at a restaurant in Chinatown, and his primary evidence for his claim is his cookbook, which references egg rolls in 1938.
Lum Fong owned a Chinese restaurant in New York that opened in 1925. In 1934, a newspaper article referenced the egg roll at Fong’s restaurant. The dish became a massive hit at his restaurant, so it seems that he was likely the inventor.
There are also some fun cultural meanings behind egg rolls and spring rolls. The shape and color of these delicious fried foods resemble a gold bar, so they’re a common food eaten to celebrate the new year.
What better way to celebrate a new year with a delicious, savory, fried symbol of wealth and prosperity?
What Kind of Wrappers Should Be Used for Egg Rolls?
Egg roll wrappers are very specific, and they’re very different from the wrappers of their spring roll cousins.
Spring roll wrappers are made with a paste from rice flour and water which is then flattened out and dried. This makes the wrappers thinner and very delicate, but they are delightfully crispy when fried.
Egg roll wrappers, on the other hand, are quite different. They’re made with wheat flour, eggs, water, salt, and sometimes a bit of cornstarch. This makes for a thicker wrapper that becomes crunchy on the outside but chewy on the inside.
But there are even two types of egg roll wrappers. One is made by rolling out a simple dough. The other is made with a batter that you then cook to resemble crepes. Let’s go through each one.
Uncooked Egg Roll Wrappers
In this method, you just need to make a simple dough and then roll it out into squares. It requires only a few simple ingredients.
Mix Ingredients To Form a Dough
You’ll need about two cups of flour, a quarter cup of cold water, an egg, a pinch of salt, and two tablespoons of cornstarch. Mix your ingredients in a bowl until you have a slightly sticky dough, add more water if necessary.
Knead Into a Ball
Put your dough out on a floured surface and begin to knead it. You should knead it by hand for about five minutes until your dough is a nice, smooth ball with a springy surface.
Let It Rest
Next, wrap your ball up in some plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This is an important step, so don’t skip it!
Roll Out Your Dough and Cut
Split your dough in half. Take one half and roll it out on a floured surface. You should roll it out until it’s about an eighth of an inch thick. It’s best to roll it out into one big square to make it easier to cut.
Once it’s thin enough, cut it into 5-inch squares on each side. With this batch of dough, you should get about eight wrappers.
Dust and Stack
Once you’ve got your wrappers, give them a light dusting of flour or cornstarch to prevent them from sticking together. Now you’re ready to add your filling!
Cooked Egg Roll Wrappers
This process is a little different. Although the first method will allow you to get the crispiest exterior, this method is quicker and a bit easier, so take your pick and choose whichever suits your needs.
Mix Flour, Cold Water, Egg, and Salt
First, you’ll need to make your batter. Get about one and two-thirds cups of flour, a cup of cold water, an egg, and a pinch of salt. Mix that all together in a big bowl until the flour is incorporated. You don’t want any clumps. Otherwise, the wrapper will fall apart!
Cook Mixture in an Oiled Skillet
Heat up a skillet to low heat. Put a little bit of cooking oil, so your wrapper doesn’t stick. Once your skillet is hot, slowly pour about a quarter cup of your batter into the skillet. Quickly grab your skillet and swirl the batter around to coat the bottom of the pan.
Flip When Edges Lift and Color Is Golden
Let it cook until the edges of the wrapper start to lift up off the pan and turn golden. It should take about four or five minutes. At that point, flip the wrapper over and cook the other side, but only for about thirty seconds.
Remove and Repeat
Now gently take the wrapper off and repeat until the batter is gone. And there you have it, quick, easy egg roll wraps.
Square wrappers make for easier wrapping, but they’re not necessary. If you want squares with this method, you’ll have to cut them or use a square pan.
How To Wrap Egg Rolls Step-by-Step
Wrapping your egg rolls is easy once you get the hang of it. After developing a proper rhythm, you’ll be pumping out egg rolls like a pro. Here’s a step-by-step process on how to do it.
Step 1: Lay Out Your Wrapper Flat in a Diamond Shape
First, get your square wrapper out on your working surface and put it in a diamond shape. The corners should be pointing up and down. This orientation is key, so make sure you don’t skip this step!
Step 2. Add a Horizontal Line of Filling
Grab your filling and scoop it into the center of your egg roll wrapper. You’re going to want to put the filling in a horizontal line. Begin to make the egg roll shape with your filling. It will help you visualize the finished product and guide you through the process.
Step 3. Fold in the Corner Closest to You
Next, take the bottom corner and fold it over the mound of filling you just created, making sure to roll gently but tightly so that no air bubbles begin to form.
Step 4. Condense the Mixture Under the Fold
You’re probably going to have to do some adjusting at this step. If you fold too hard, your filling will start to squeeze out the sides. Feel when the filling is about to squeeze out and then guide it back into the center as you bring that corner over.
Make sure you keep the filling in that long shape. Always keep the end goal in mind, so you don’t end up with a square. You should start to see that long cylinder start to form.
Step 5. Fold the Left Corner
After you’ve done the first fold, gently fold over the left corner, sealing in the filling on that side. Again, you’ll need to be gentle to make sure you don’t squeeze the filling out the other side.
Don’t worry about binding the wrapper together just yet. As long as you have a pretty good shape beginning to form, you’re on the right track.
Step 6. Fold the Right Corner
Next, fold the right corner, just like you did the left. The end is in sight! Continue to fold gently, and make sure that there aren’t any holes where your filling could escape.
Step 7. Roll Towards the Last Corner
You should have a pretty clear shape of the egg roll now. Next, take your egg role and begin to roll it forward, moving the roll into that final corner.
By rolling it this way, you’ll make sure the shape stays nice and round and that the filling gets sealed in quickly and doesn’t escape.
Step 8. Stop Rolling When All Edges Are Sealed
Keep rolling until that final top corner has been folded over. Double-check to make sure that there are no holes in the ends of the egg roll. If there are, you may need to start over.
If you accidentally ripped a hole in your wrapper, there’s no need to throw it out. You can simply take a wrapper, cover it in some egg wash, and cover the hole.
Step 9. Use Egg Mixture To Seal Edges as Needed
Next, make a simple egg wash by whisking an egg in a bowl and using the egg mixture like glue to seal your egg roll shut. You will probably only need to use the egg mixture on that final edge.
That should leave you with a nicely sealed egg roll that won’t break open during frying.
Step 10. Plate or Store Until Ready To Fry
Now that your egg rolls are all wrapped, you can keep them on a plate or in the fridge until you’re ready to fry them up. Congratulations! You have successfully wrapped some delicious egg rolls!
Can I Make Egg Rolls Without Meat?
Egg rolls are commonly made with ground pork, ground chicken, or ground shrimp, but you can make egg rolls without meat! Egg rolls are super flexible. You can make them with whatever fillings your heart desires.
Maybe you want a nice spring roll style filling with shredded cabbage, carrots, green onions, garlic, ginger, or mushrooms with a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil. You can also add some tofu if you want some extra protein. Feel free to make your egg rolls your own.
Can I Freeze Egg Rolls?
Once you’ve wrapped your egg rolls, they work great in the freezer. It makes for a super easy snack or meal if you’re in a rush. You can pull them out of the freezer and fry them straight from frozen without having to thaw them.
Egg rolls can keep in the freezer for several months, so it’s great to make a massive batch and keep some in the freezer for later.
How Do I Store Leftover Egg Rolls?
If you have leftover egg rolls, no problem! Simply store them in the fridge in an airtight container and keep them around for eating another time. They should keep in the refrigerator for a few days.
But heating up leftover egg rolls poses a bit of a problem. The microwave will leave them soggy and definitely lacking compared to when they were freshly cooked.
Refrying them could pose some problems with the moisture from the fridge, and it’s a lot of effort to get all that oil heated up and then disposed of when you’re done.
Another alternative to get your leftover egg rolls hot and crispy again is in the air fryer. The hot convection of the air fryer will get it hot and delicious in no time.
If you don’t have an air fryer, you can reheat them in the oven at 350 degrees for five minutes.
How Do I Cook Egg Rolls?
Most of the time, egg rolls are deep-fried in oil. Frying it gives the egg rolls that delicious crunchy outside with a chewy inside that we all know and love so much.
But there are plenty of other ways to cook egg rolls too.
If you want a healthier option with less fat, try steaming them. Steaming is a great way to quickly cook your egg rolls all the way through without any oil at all. Although this method won’t make the outside crispy, it is still delicious and effective.
You can also bake them. Baking them will get them crispy and cooked as well. Spray your egg rolls with a little cooking oil or brush with egg wash and cook them at about 425 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
You can even air fry your egg rolls. This will definitely get them hot and crispy in a healthy way. Just like baking, cook at 425 for about 10 or 15 minutes, and you’ll have delicious egg rolls ready to go.
Once you’ve cooked them, dip them in a sweet chili sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or whatever dipping sauce you like.
The Bottom Line
Egg rolls are delicious and fun to make in your own home, and now you know everything you need to know about wrapping them and even some additional knowledge on top of that.
So get to your kitchen and make some delicious egg rolls that you and your family will love!
And if you need to make a grocery run to make egg rolls or any other Asian dish, don’t grab the keys yet. Try Umamicart instead! We deliver high-quality Asian groceries right to your door. That way, you can get your favorite ingredients quickly and easily without the hassle.
Egg roll night has never been easier!