For anyone familiar with East Asian cuisine, you’ve likely indulged in a spring roll before. These fried or steamed appetizers are the perfect intro to your dinner — delicious, but not too filling. What if you could make them at home to dine and delight your family and friends? The recipe is surprisingly simple and gloriously adaptable, meaning you have plenty of opportunities to experiment and really make these spring rolls your own!
First, we should establish what spring rolls are exactly. If you haven’t had a spring roll before, you’re in luck, because you get to try something new today! And it’s going to be a real treat. Spring rolls are a type of rolled appetizer that originated in Chinese cuisine but have spread to many of China’s neighbors. One prominent adaptation of the spring roll is the Vietnamese summer roll. Spring rolls get their names by traditionally being served at Chinese Spring Festival banquets.
The only set ingredient for spring rolls is that they are contained in a thin wrapper made of water and flour, usually rice or wheat flour.
The ingredients of a spring roll would traditionally vary based on the economic standing of the family making them. For the less fortunate in society, a spring roll may only have included shredded carrots and celery, while those who were better off may have included more luxurious ingredients like meat, egg, bean sprouts, and spinach. Another way spring rolls can differ is by how they’re cooked. Spring rolls can be fried, baked, or steamed. The only set ingredient for spring rolls is that they are contained in a thin wrapper made of water and flour, usually rice or wheat flour.
It’s not uncommon for people to mix up spring rolls and egg rolls, and it makes a lot of sense if you’re unfamiliar with both. They are quite similar. Both rolls are folded inside of a wrap and can have an assortment of ingredients. Both can be fried for an unmistakable crunch. Both tend to be tube shaped. Both are common at Chinese-American restaurants.
First and foremost, spring rolls are a traditional Chinese dish, while egg rolls are a Chinese-American creation (though no less delicious).
Beyond that, however, there are noticeable differences that help you tell them apart immediately. First and foremost, spring rolls are a traditional Chinese dish, while egg rolls are a Chinese-American creation (though no less delicious). Another difference is in the egg roll wrapper itself, which may either include egg in the batter mixture or be dipped in egg. This gives an egg roll its crunchier, thicker texture. Egg rolls also tend to be larger than the standard spring roll, and are only fried, unlike spring rolls which can also be baked and steamed.