My recipe for Chinese Vegetarian Spring Rolls is a perfect finger food for any of your Game Day celebrations. Crispy and golden on the outside, filled with a tantalizing mix of vegetables and served with a savory dipping sauce, this is one starter that is sure to satisfy everyone!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Crisp on the outside, stuffed to the gills with a spicy vegetable filling, and served with your favorite dipping sauce, these spring rolls are downright delicious.
Even better? They're very simple to make at home and are much healthier than what you would get from your favorite takeout restaurant. Feel free to adjust the filling with your favorite veggies to make these entirely your own.
They also just happen to be naturally vegan and gluten free, meaning they are a perfect addition to any party spread. Omnivores and plant based dieters alike will love this savory snack!
Ingredients & Possible Substitutions
This easy recipe for homemade Spring Rolls doesn't require a ton of ingredients, making it quite accessible to all home cooks. Here is everything you need.
Spring rolls require a wrapper, and while I love using my homemade spring roll sheet, there is zero shame in purchasing pre-made wrappers from the store. Just be sure to grab rice wrappers that are both gluten free and vegan if you have any dietary limitations.
The base of any traditional Chinese spring roll always includes shredded cabbage. To that I have added some of my favorite veggies including carrots, green beans, green bell pepper and a trio of alliums - garlic, spring onions and onions.
Feel free to experiment with your own favorite veggies here! Anything you would use in a stir fry would be appropriate here. That includes (but is not limited to) mushrooms for extra umami flavors, other colors of bell peppers, zucchini or summer squash for sweetness and crunch.
As someone who loves spice, I add red chili sauce to my veggie mixture. If heat isn't your favorite flavor, you can dial it back or omit it altogether. Green chili sauce can also be used here, depending on what you have on hand. You can also feel free to add fresh chilis for extra heat.
To add some good umami flavor, this homemade spring roll recipe also calls for soy sauce. If you are gluten free, swap in Tamari or coconut aminos instead. A touch of toasted sesame oil rounds out the delicious Chinese flavors.
The filling also calls for rice wine vinegar as the acidic component. While I love the light, almost sweet flavor of rice wine vinegar, you can easily sub in either plain white vinegar or apple cider vinegar depending on what you have in the pantry.
Since Chinese spring rolls are fried, we should talk about oil. I recommend using a neutral oil with a high smoke point. I used a refined vegetable oil, but grapeseed, peanut, or corn oil would all work as well.
To seal the spring roll, we use a slurry of either maida (an Indian wheat flour that resembles cake flour) or cornflour (also known as cornstarch). A slurry is just a mix of water and whatever ingredient you choose.
So, what are you waiting for dear folks?? Gather these ingredients and rush to your kitchen. Believe me, you will love this simple recipe for homemade spring rolls! 🙂
How to Make Spring Rolls
This recipe has three steps. First, make your filling. Second, wrap the rolls. Finally, cook the spring rolls by deep frying or air frying. Read on to learn how to do each step.
Step 1 - Make Veggie Filling
In a pan or a wok, heat vegetable oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and fry until *just* golden, being careful not to burn it.
TIP: If you are ever sautéing something and the heat is getting away from you, you can stop the process of frying by adding a few drips of water. The act of adding onions and spring onions to the pan achieves the same effect by bringing their natural moisture to the party.
Add sliced onions and spring onion whites to the pan. Sauté until soft and translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
Increase the heat to high. Add cabbage and sauté until the water evaporates from the bottom of the pan, roughly 4-5 minutes.
TIP: Using other veggies for your homemade spring roll mix? If they are julienned, this is the time to add them.
Now add carrot, capsicum (green bell pepper), beans, salt and pepper and sauté on high heat for 2 minutes.
TIP: If you are using other veggies in your mix, now is the time to add the chopped ingredients.
Add chili sauce, soy sauce and rice vinegar, sautéing for another minute.
Finally, add your spring onion greens and sesame oil. Continue to sauté on high for approximately another 30 seconds, ensuring all liquid has evaporated.
Remove the veggie mixture from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before proceeding to assemble the rolls.
Step 2 - Fold Spring Rolls
Working with just one wrapper at a time, keep your remaining wrappers covered with a damp cloth or plastic wrap to ensure that they don't dry out and become brittle.
Place your wrapper in the shape of a diamond on a work surface in front of you. Place one hefty spoonful of your filling about a quarter of the way up from the bottom corner.
Tuck the bottom corner over the filling, then roll it once to secure the mixture inside.
Wrap the side corners over the first roll, leaving you with a wrapper that resembles an open envelope. Wet the exposed edges of the top of the wrapper with slurry.
Tuck your fingers into the crease and tightly roll the wrapper almost to the end, leaving the top corner exposed. Using a finger, rub on some of the slurry mix to the edges of the exposed corner.
Securely seal the spring roll by attaching the last corner to the roll. Move the completed roll to the side and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap to prevent drying out. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers.
Step 3 - Deep Fry, Air Fry or Bake Rolls
Deep Frying : Now, heat enough oil in a wok pan to cover your spring rolls. Make sure your oil is between 175C-190C (350F-375F) before proceeding.
When the oil is hot, work in batches and gently slide in a few rolls. Fry them until golden and crisp, approximately 4-5 minutes.
Remove them from the oil and allow to drain on a plate lined with an absorbent paper towel. Deep fry the remaining rolls in the same manner.
Air Fryer : To air fry your spring rolls, brush or spray with a touch of neutral oil. Cook in a pre-heated fryer at 200C (390F) for 5-6 minutes.
Oven Baked : To bake them, place a single layer onto a parchment lined sheet tray. Spray or brush with oil and bake them in a pre-heated oven at 200C (390F) degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Serve these crispy spring rolls hot from the fryer or oven with dipping sauce of choice. Enjoy!
FAQs and Storage Suggestions
As the recipe is written, yes! That said, not all spring rolls are vegan (or even vegetarian!). Feel free to adjust the recipe as needed.
Yes! Once the rolls are assembled (but not yet cooked) place them on a tray or a plate without allowing any to touch. Freeze for 2 hours, or until frozen through. Transfer them to a a zip top freezer bag and label them. They should keep for up to 4 months.
Before frying frozen spring rolls, defrost them on the counter for 5-7 minutes and then proceed to fry as needed.
While both are delicious fried Chinese appetizers that can be eaten with your hands, spring rolls and egg rolls are different because of their wrappers.
Spring rolls are typically made with a thin, delicate wrapper made from rice flour, whereas egg rolls are made using a thicker, wheat based wrapper that is dipped in egg for additional crispiness.
- Many store bought spring roll wrappers come frozen. Be sure to thaw them on the countertop for about an hour, or until they are pliable.
- Keep both the stack of wrappers that you are not using and the assembled spring roll covered with either a damp cloth or plastic wrap until you are ready to fry or bake them. When they are exposed to air, they become dry and brittle.
- Before filling the spring rolls, be sure that stuffing is completely cool.
- Always be sure to heat the oil well before frying anything, as the subject will take on excess oil if it isn't hot enough. Aim for between 175-190C (350-375F) for frying to prevent soggy spring rolls. I recommend a deep fry/candy thermometer for this purpose.
- While this recipe for homemade spring roll is vegetarian (vegan, in fact!), not all traditional rolls are. Feel free to add in meat to your liking, like cooked ground meat or chopped shrimp.
- If you are not vegan, a shake or two of fish sauce adds a nice umami flavor to the filling.
- Feel free to experiment with the vegetables in the filling. Cabbage is very traditional, but everything from peppers to squash, beans sprouts and noodles, broccoli to cauliflower could all be quite tasty. Get creative! Just be sure to cut your veggies into thin slices or small dices for best results.
Need more appetizer inspiration? Check out some of my other favorite recipes
If you tried this recipe for homemade Vegetarian Spring Rolls, please comment below to let me know how they turned out!
You can also tag me in your Instagram pictures to show me your creations. 🙂
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Spring Rolls Recipe
- 18 Spring Roll Wrappers (I have used mini roll wrappers)
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 4 Garlic (chopped)
- 1 Onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 tablespoon Spring Onion Whites (chopped)
- 2.5 cups Cabbage (shredded)
- ⅓ cup Carrot (finely chopped or thinly sliced)
- ⅓ cup Capsicum (finely chopped or thinly sliced)
- ¼ cup Beans (finely chopped)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Sauce
- ½ tablespoon Soy Sauce or Tamari
- 1 teaspoon Rice Vinegar
- ¼ cup Spring Onion Greens (chopped)
- ½ tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 5 tablespoons Cornstarch mixed with 4 tablespoons of water
- Oil for Deep Frying
- In a pan or a wok, heat vegetable oil and add garlic and fry until just golden.
- Add garlic and fry until just golden. Do not over brown or burn it.
- Add sliced onions, and spring onion whites and fry until soft and translucent.
- Add cabbage and sauté on high heat until water dries up.
- Then, add carrot, capsicum, beans, salt and pepper and sauté on high heat for 2 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper, sauté for another 30 seconds.
- Add chilli sauce, soy sauce and rice vinegar, sauté on for a minute.
- Lastly, add spring onion greens and sesame oil. Toss on high for another 30 seconds. Please be sure to keep the mixture dry. Take it off the heat and cool.
To fold spring roll (please refer to step by step picture in the post above)
- Spread one wrapper on plate or cutting board.
- Place a spoonful of stuffing at the one end.
- Gently roll the edge cover and secure the filling.
- Apply some slurry on both the sides and bring it to the center.
- Again, apply the slurry on the edges and seal the rolls. Make sure that rolls are covered throughout to prevent from drying.
- Now, heat enough oil in a wok pan or kadhai. When the oil is hot, gently slide in the rolls and fry them until golden and crisp.
- Take them off and place it on to a absorbent paper towel. Deep fry the remaining rolls in the same manner.
- Serve these crisp rolls with dipping sauce of choice.
To cook the rolls in Air Fryer
- To air fry the spring roll, brush or spray with a touch of neutral oil. Cook in a pre-heated fryer at 200°C (390°F) for 5-6 minutes.
To bake the rolls
- To bake them, place a single layer onto a parchment lined sheet tray. Spray or brush with oil and bake them in a pre-heated oven at 200°C (390°F) degrees for 20-25 minutes.