Vegetarian Fried Spring Rolls

I previously mentioned my confusion between spring rolls and summer rolls. So, here’s another source of confusion – spring rolls (fried) or egg rolls?  I’ve seen these also described as both.  Here’s my understanding of the two:

Spring rolls and egg rolls are both wrapped and fried.  The difference is in the wrapper.  Egg roll wrappers are somewhat thick and have egg in them.  Spring roll wrappers do not have egg and are much thinner.  And a little bigger.  I give spring roll wrappers the slight edge because their thinness means more flaky layers encasing the filling.

I found that these rolls fry better at a higher temperature.  You don’t need to wait for the filling to cook, so they just need to fry enough to brown the outsides.  It takes just a few minutes for all sides to crisp.

I can’t stress enough the importance of wrapping the rolls tightly.  If not, the filling gets soggy, and the whole thing could possibly open up and fall apart (see above picture.)

original recipe

Vegetarian Fried Spring Rolls

Vegetarian Fried Spring Rolls


7 oz. tofu (half a block)
2 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c chopped mushrooms (about 4 large)
½ c chopped, cooked glass noodles (can substitute with vermicelli)
¼ c shredded carrot
1 ¼ c shredded cabbage
2 Tbs hoisin sauce
1 Tbs chili sauce (like sambal oelek)
2 Tbs cornstarch
2 Tbs water
15-20 spring roll wrappers
Oil for frying
For Dipping
Sweet chili sauce


  1. Fold a clean towel in fourths and place on a plate. Put tofu on top of towel. Place a paper towel on top of the tofu. Weigh tofu down using a casserole dish (or another plate) with three or four unopened cans (soda cans, soup cans, etc...) set inside. Let sit for 30 minutes, while you prep the other ingredients. Once tofu has been pressed, dice into small cubes.
  2. Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, and tofu, and cook until mushrooms have softened and released most of their liquid. Add noodles and carrot and saute another minute. Remove pan from heat and stir in cabbage, hoisin sauce, and chili sauce. Mix until well combined.
  3. Make a paste by stirring together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Peel one spring roll wrapper off the stack. Cover remaining with a damp paper towel. Lay wrapper so it looks like a diamond on a flat surface. Place a rounded 2 Tbs of filling in corner closest to you. Fold the close corner over the filling. Begin to tightly roll, folding the sides in as you go, burrito style. Make sure to tightly roll during all stages.Before rolling the final flap, paint the cornstarch glue along the edges of the far corner, then finish rolling the spring roll (see above picture). Place spring roll seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.
  4. Pour oil to fill fryer (or Dutch oven) to a 3-inch depth. Heat oil to 370-375°F. Fry spring rolls, 3 or 4 at a time, rolling them to brown on all sides. Remove spring rolls with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined wire rack. Serve with sweet chili sauce for dipping.

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