Egg rolls and spring rolls are probably my favorite appetizers whenever I go out for Asian food.
Their fillings usually consist of a savory combination of meat and vegetables.
There are also meat-only and vegetable-only varieties of these.
Among the meats, pork is most popular.
Some cooks use beef, mixed beef and pork, shrimp, and sausages as well.
The meats are usually minced or finely chopped.
As far as vegetables go, carrots, cabbage, bamboo shoots, peppers, bean sprouts, and scallions are popular choices.
A dipping sauce is often served with egg rolls and spring rolls.
A variety of sauces are usually available.
You’ll find duck sauce, soy sauce, and sweet chili sauce, among others.
Considering all these similarities, it can be difficult to distinguish between an egg roll and a spring roll.
However, there are some distinct distinguishing characteristics between these tasty appetizers.
How do they differ? The main thing that differs between egg rolls and spring rolls is their wrappers.
Let’s look at the egg roll wrapper – it is made of thick wheat flour and may or may not contain eggs.
In contrast, a spring roll uses a thin, translucent wrapper made from flour or rice.
Other Differences Between Egg Rolls and Spring Rolls
Egg rolls and spring rolls differ in other ways as well.
For one thing, the size and appearance of each is different.
Due to the wrapper used, egg rolls are thicker than spring rolls.
Furthermore, spring rolls are shorter than egg rolls.
Also, fried egg rolls are often bubbly and crispy, while fried spring roll wrappers tend to be smooth.
The second difference is the preparation.
Egg rolls are usually deep fried. In addition to deep frying, spring rolls are often served fresh or uncooked.
Egg rolls and spring rolls can also be baked.
The third difference is the filling.
A spring roll and an egg roll both have no fixed rules for what they should be filled with.
In the US, egg roll fillings tend to be a mixture of meats and vegetables with cabbage, while spring rolls are mostly filled with vegetables.
Egg rolls and spring rolls can even be made with the same filling.
The fourth difference is that they have different origins.
Egg rolls are a common Chinese menu item in the United States.
Some people believe egg rolls originated in America.
Egg rolls like the ones we eat today are unlike the traditional egg rolls found in earlier Chinese recipes.
They looked more like omelet rolls or Gyen-Mari rolls.
The fillings were meat and vegetables wrapped in an omelet with eggs.
After frying, they were sliced and served.
Back then, the Chinese served what was called chūn juǎn, which is Chinese spring rolls.
Traditionally, this dish was served during the Spring season in China.
Thus, the name Spring Rolls.
As a final note, egg rolls are typically savory, but spring rolls can be made sweet by filling them with sweet red beans.
Does The Egg Roll Taste Like The Spring Roll?
Yes, both the egg roll and the spring rolls have a similar taste.
Their wrappers even taste similar.
So, enclosing exactly the same filling in both egg roll and spring roll wrappers will likely result in the same taste.
Can You Make Homemade Egg Rolls and Spring Rolls At Home?
Yes, of course, you can definitely make your own homemade egg rolls and spring rolls.
Below are the steps:
- Pick a wrapper. Do you want long, thick egg rolls or short, thin spring rolls?
- Decide on the meat filling. Add spices to taste. Pre-cook it. Ensure your meat filling is at least 75% cooked.
- Select your vegetable filling. Finely chop, mince, or grate your vegetables. If you’ve got a good food processor or chopper, you can use it. If desired, lightly season it.
- Tuck the wrapper tightly around your filling, ensuring it is packed and tucked tightly. You may need to wet the edges of the wrapper with egg white or water to prevent them from tearing.
- Pan fry at medium high heat until light to golden brown. Before dropping the pieces into the oil, make sure it is hot and at the right temperature. To prevent them from absorbing too much oil, you should fry your egg rolls or spring rolls quickly.
- Place them on a rack to drip or on paper towels to dry.
- They can be served with or without dipping sauce. (I prefer sweet Thai chili sauce with mine!)
It may also be possible to air fry them at around 390 °F, depending on the performance of your air fryer.
Flip them once they are light to golden brown.
Let them air fry for a few more minutes until the other side is also light to golden brown.
Alternatively, you can bake them at 390°F for 20 to 30 minutes, turning them over after 10 or 15 minutes.
Before baking, you might need to lightly brush the egg rolls or spring rolls with oil.
You can freeze rolls prepared the day before so you can fry them another day.
Freeze them in an airtight container.
Take them out of the freezer when you’re ready to cook and then deep fry them right away.
Thawing is not necessary.
Here’s a quick summary of the main differences between spring rolls and egg rolls.
- Spring rolls are thinner and shorter than egg rolls.
- Wheat flour wrappers, which may or may not contain eggs, are used to make egg rolls.
- Thin rice or flour wrappers are used to make spring rolls.
- Spring rolls can be fried, baked, steamed, or fried, but egg rolls are usually fried or baked.
- In egg rolls, there is always a savory filling, while in spring rolls there can be a sweet filling.
- Traditionally, deep-fried egg rolls are crispy and bubbly in texture. On the other hand, deep-fried spring rolls are generally smooth.