Whether you fry them, bake them or cook them in the Air Fryer, you’ll be smitten with these authentic Chinese Spring Rolls. They’re filled with pork, veggies, noodles and more for a hearty appetizer that beats takeout every time.
Authentic Chinese Spring Rolls With Pork
Passed down in my family for generations, this classic Chinese recipe is near and dear to my heart. I always looked forward to enjoying my mom’s spring rolls at our annual Chinese New Year feast as a kid, and I’ve loved sharing that experience with my own children in recent times. No one can resist the savory combination of pork, carrots, onions, jicama and bean thread noodles stuffed into a crispy coating!
In Chinese culture, spring rolls represent wealth and prosperity, as they bear resemblance to gold bars. This is why they’re traditionally served on Chinese New Year. Even though they’re heavily associated with the holiday, they make a wonderful snack or appetizer for any occasion.
Because these spring rolls can be baked or Air Fried, it’s super easy to lighten them up! This recipe guarantees that you’ll get the same great munchie you know and love no matter which cooking method you choose.
What Is the Difference Between Egg Rolls and Spring Rolls?
I personally use the terms spring rolls and egg rolls interchangeably. Some people say one or the other based on the filling and wrappers used, but in China, this isn’t the case. Whatever you choose to call them, you’re going to be obsessed!
Gather up the following items and get ready to make some top-notch spring rolls. You’ll find the full amounts for everything in the recipe card toward the end of this post.
- Spring Roll/Egg Roll Wrappers: These can be found in the Asian section at your local supermarket or in the freezer section of an Asian grocery store.
- Avocado Oil: Or another high-heat cooking oil such as rice bran oil – this is only necessary if you’re deep frying your spring rolls.
- Extra Lean Ground Pork
- Carrot: Grated.
- Onion: Finely chopped.
- Bean Thread Noodles: Soak your noodles in warm water, then cut them into 1-inch pieces.
- Fish Sauce
- Salt & Pepper: I like to use sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Large Egg: Beaten.
- Jicama: Peeled and grated. If you can’t find this crunchy root vegetable, leave it out or use Chinese white radish instead.
- Cornstarch: Or flour, to form a slurry with the water that will help you seal the spring rolls.
- Warm Water
How to Make Spring Rolls
Let’s start with the classic deep frying method, then move on to the baking and air frying instructions. Your spring rolls will be done before you know it!
Make Filling: Combine the prepared pork, carrot, onion, noodles, fish sauce, salt, pepper, egg and jicama in a large bowl.
Chill: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the filling marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare Wrappers: Separate the spring roll wrappers into single sheets as they are usually stuck together.
Make Slurry: Combine the cornstarch and warm water in a small bowl. Keep the slurry near the area you’ll use to wrap the spring rolls.
Add Filling to Wrapper: Place one of the wrappers onto a clean, flat surface. Brush the top corner of the wrapper with some of the slurry. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the ground pork filling onto the middle of the bottom edge of the wrapper, being careful not to overfill it.
Roll: Lift up the bottom corner of the wrapper, covering the filling, then fold the left and right sides toward the center. Continue folding up with a tight tuck-roll-tuck-roll motion. Finish up the roll, seal it well, then place it seam-side down.
Repeat: Repeat the process of filling and rolling the egg rolls until you have used up all of your filling.
Fry: Fill a dutch oven, pot or wok with rice bran oil and preheat the oil to 350°F. Gently slide in or lower the egg rolls, frying 4-6 at a time, rotating and turning them carefully until they’re golden brown. This should take about 11 minutes.
Drain & Cool: Place the cooked spring rolls onto a wire rack so they can drain and cool.
Enjoy! Serve the egg rolls warm or at room temperature with your favorite dipping sauce.
Heat Oven & Prepare Pan: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil, then place a wire rack on top of it and grease it with cooking spray. (If you don’t have a wire rack, you can bake the spring rolls directly on the lined pan after lightly coating it with cooking spray).
Bake: Place the prepared spring rolls onto the rack and brush them with a light coating of olive oil. Bake them in the oven for 10 minutes, then flip the rolls over and bake them for an additional 10 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and crispy.
Let Rest: Remove your spring rolls from the oven and let them rest for at least 5 minutes.
Enjoy! Serve the spring rolls with your desired dipping sauce.
Air Fryer Method
Preheat Air Fryer: Preheat your Air Fryer to 350°F.
Add Spring Rolls: Brush the tops of the spring rolls with vegetable oil, then arrange them in a single layer in the basket of the Air Fryer. You will have to cook them in batches.
Cook: Cook the spring rolls for 4 minutes, then flip them over. Cook them for an additional 4-5 minutes, or until they’re nice and crispy.
Repeat: Repeat the cooking process until all of the spring rolls are done.
Enjoy! Serve your egg rolls with the dipping sauce of your choice.
Can I Make Them In Advance?
Yes – you actually have a couple different options when it comes to making these spring rolls ahead of time. The filling can be refrigerated in an airtight container overnight, and the egg roll wrappers can also be prepped a day ahead of time. Simply separate the wrappers into single sheets, wrap them in a damp cloth and store them in a zip-top bag.
Alternatively, you can freeze the prepared spring rolls before you cook them. First, you’ll have to flash-freeze them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet until they’re frozen solid (about 2 hours). Next, transfer them to a heavy-duty freezer bag and store them for up to 3 months. Cook the egg rolls directly from frozen, adding an extra minute or two to the cook time.
Tips for Success
These helpful hints will have you making spring rolls like an expert on your very first try.
- Use the Right Wrappers: Although rice paper wrappers may look similar to thin spring roll wrappers, they will not work for this recipe. Rice paper wrappers aren’t meant to be cooked, so be sure to use either spring roll or egg roll wrappers.
- Don’t Overfill the Rolls: Make sure you don’t over-stuff your wrappers with filling. This will make them harder to roll and easier to break.
- Let the Oil Get Hot: If you’re deep frying your egg rolls, it’s important to let the oil heat up before you add them to the pot. Otherwise, they will soak up too much oil and could come out soggy.
- Enjoy The Spring Rolls Fresh: It’s best to enjoy your spring rolls shortly after they’re cooked. You can let them reach room temperature if you’d like, but I personally prefer to enjoy them while they’re still warm.
Want to change something about this crispy Chinese appetizer? Be my guest!
- Use Another Kind of Meat: If you’re not the biggest fan of pork, feel free to go with ground chicken or turkey instead. You really can’t go wrong!
- Add More Veggies: From shredded cabbage to chopped scallions, you can toss all sorts of extra veggies into your egg roll filling. As long as you don’t overfill any of the wrappers, you’ll be good to go.
- Make Them Vegetarian: Need a meatless version of these classic spring rolls? Dice up some extra-firm tofu and use it in place of the ground meat. Just be sure to press and drain the tofu before you begin.
Egg rolls pair well with all sorts of dipping sauces – teriyaki, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce – the options are endless! Other appetizers that taste great alongside spring rolls include egg drop soup, Stir-Fried Bok Choy and Cabbage Salad. If you want to follow them up with another Chinese classic for your main course, I highly recommend choosing Chicken Chow Mein or Sesame Tofu.
Storage and Reheating
It’s best to enjoy your spring rolls when they’re fresh, but cooled leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days if necessary. Keep them in an airtight container lined with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Separate layers with parchment paper or additional paper towels if you have to stack the egg rolls on top of each other.
Do not re-fry leftover spring rolls – either warm them up in the oven or the Air Fryer. Cook them at 350°F in the oven or 325°F in the Air Fryer until they’re warmed through.
More Classic Chinese Dishes to Try
Whether you fry them, bake them or cook them in the Air Fryer, you'll be smitten with these authentic Chinese Spring Rolls. They're filled with pork, veggies, noodles and more for a hearty appetizer that beats takeout every time.
- 27 spring roll or egg roll wrappers can be found in the freezer section of an Asian Grocery store or the Asian section in your supermarket
- high heat cooking oil if frying I use Rice Bran Oil
- your favorite chili dipping sauce for spring rolls
- 0.6 lb extra lean ground pork
- 1 large carrot grated
- 1 yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 pack bean thread noodles soaked in warm water, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2-1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1/4-1/2 jicama grated - leave out or substitute with Chinese white radish if you can't find this)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoon warm water
- In a small bowl, soak the bean thread noodles in warm water for 20 minutes. Drain and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the ground pork filling along with the prepared noodles. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Separate the spring roll wrappers into single sheets as they are usually stuck together.
- In a small bowl, combine the corn starch and warm water together. Keep it close by where you will be wrapping the spring rolls.
- Place a piece of wrapper on a clean and flat surface. Brush the top corner of the wrapper with some corn starch slurry. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the ground pork filling onto the middle of the bottom edge of the wrapper, being careful not to over fill the wrapper
- Lift the bottom corner up covering the filling. Then fold the left and right side towards the center. Continue folding up with a tight tuck-roll-tuck-roll motion. Finish up the roll, seal and place seam side down. Repeat until you have used up all your filling.
Fill a dutch oven, pot or wok with high heat cooking oil. I used rice bran oil. Preheat the oil to 350°F (175°C). Gently slide in or lower the egg rolls, frying 4 to 6 at a time, rotating and turning carefully until golden brown about 11 minutes.
- Place cooked spring rolls on wire rack to drain and cool.
Best served on the same day with your favorite dipping sauce.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil, then place a wire rack on top of it and grease it with cooking spray. (If you don't have a wire rack, you can bake the spring rolls directly on the lightly sprayed foil).
- Place the spring rolls on the rack and brush with a light coating of olive oil. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then flip the rolls over and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the rolls are a crispy golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
Preheat air fryer to 350°F.
Brush the tops of the spring rolls with vegetable oil. Arrange spring rolls in a single layer into the basket of the air fryer. You will have to cook in batches. Cook for 4 minutes then flip over. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes or until crispy. Repeat until all are cooked.
Best served on the same day with your favorite dipping sauce.
- To Make Ahead: Make filling the night before and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Separate spring roll wrappers into single sheets, wrap in a damp cloth and store in a zip-top bag the night before. Alternatively, pre-roll spring rolls and freeze in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Once firm, freeze in a large zip-top bag for up to 3 months. Cook from frozen, adding a couple minutes to the cook time.
- To Store & Reheat: It's best to enjoy spring rolls when they're fresh, but cooled leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days if necessary. Keep them in an airtight container lined with a paper towel and separate layers with parchment paper or additional paper towels if stacking. Do not re-fry leftover spring rolls – either warm them up in a 350°F oven or a 325°F Air Fryer until warmed through.