Update October 2020: This recipe has been updated with new photos, improved recipe and better instructions!
If you ever wondered how to make your own egg rolls, you came to the right place!
These Vietnamese-inspired egg rolls are filled with mushrooms, carrots, and taro, and come with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce. Tender on the inside, extra crispy on the outside, and very easy to make. Let’s do it!
WHAT ARE EGG ROLLS
Egg rolls are deep-fried rolls that are prepared with thin wheat flour wrappers and filled with many different vegetables and/or meat. Egg rolls are popular across many countries in Asia, here we are preparing a Vietnamese-inspired version.
I would say there are as many recipes as the people who makes them, so they are quite versatile and can be adapted to your taste. Here I’m sharing my favorite version that I tweaked many times until I was satisfied with it.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN EGG ROLLS
The base of the filling consists of taro and carrots. Taro is a root vegetable very popular in Viet Nam. You can find it fresh or frozen in Asian stores, or sometimes at the market. If you cannot find taro, feel free to use white sweet potato, it’s a great substitute.
To make things easier, we are not cooking the filling, which also saves a lot of time. Simply shred the vegetables, cook the noodles, and mix everything in a large bowl with the seasonings. The addition of glass noodles helps the filling stick together slightly, this way the filling doesn’t crumble when you bite into the rolls.
For the seasonings, I went with salt, sugar, ground black pepper, and a teaspoon of mushroom powder. Mushroom powder is an healthier alternative to glutamate, it increases the flavors. It’s totally optional though, and can be replaced with an extra 1/4 tsp of salt.
Choosing the right wrapper: This can be confusing as we often think rice paper is the one to use. It can be used, however it doesn’t yield the best results in term of flavor, texture, and look.
For smooth, golden brown, and super crunchy rolls, you want to use wheat flour wrappers. These can often be found in the frozen section of any Asian store. Those wrappers are usually square, but can be found in rounds as well. While most do not contain egg, make sure to check the ingredients just in case.
Quick Tip: I like to double wrap my egg rolls for a crunchier shell. Instead of using just one egg roll wrapper, lay two of them before adding your filling and rolling it. It is optional, but I found that using two wrappers instead of one not only gives the egg rolls a better texture, but it also gives them a better look as you can’t see the filling through the wrapper.
The sauce is almost as important as the egg rolls themselves, it definitely takes the egg rolls to another level and is, in my opinion, essential.
Egg rolls are often served with a nước mắm-based dipping sauce, or a sweet and spicy chili sauce. The most popular is the first one though.
For an authentic flavor, I recommend getting your hands on vegan nước mắm, it has a very pungent smell but once combined with some sugar, garlic, chili, and water to dilute, it makes the most amazing dipping sauce!
These vegan egg rolls (Chả giò chay) make a delicious appetizer, but can also be eaten as an entrée with some vegetables or greens on the side. Wrap your egg roll, some Thai basil, perilla leaves, and cilantro with a leave of lettuce. Dip into the sauce, and enjoy!
I hope you will all like these Vietnamese-approved vegan egg rolls, if you are looking for more Asian-inspired recipes, check out this Vegan Bun Bo Hue, Spicy Seaweed Tofu Rolls, or this Vietnamese Curry!
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Easy Vegan Egg Rolls
- 1 medium taro or one small white sweet potato
- 1 carrot
- 2 tbsp dry black mushrooms soaked in warm water for at least 15 minutes
- 2-3 cremini mushrooms
- 1/3 cup dry glass noodles
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- optional: 1 tsp vegan nước mắm and 1 tsp mushroom seasoning
- 14 egg roll wrappers
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1 tbsp vegan nước mắm (or use soy sauce)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp lime juice
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 small chili finely chopped
- Peel the taro and carrot and rinse them under cold water. Fin ely shred them using a box grater, or a food processor fitted with the grating attachment. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Drain the dry black mushrooms and finely mince them. Add to the bowl. Mince the fresh cremini mushrooms and add to the bowl as well.
- Place the glass noodles in a small bowl. Boil a small pot of water, once boiling, pour over the noodles and let it sit for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain the noodles, rinse under cold water and chop into 2-inch pieces. Add to the bowl.
- Next, add the seasonings: sugar, black pepper, salt, nước mắm, and mushroom seasoning if using. Mix until everything is well combined. I usually use my hands to mix. At this point, you can tweak the seasonings to your liking by adding spices like five-spice, ginger, or even a drizzle of sesame oil for extra flavor. Personally I didn’t add any extras as I prefer to keep it simple and more traditional.
- Lay one egg roll wrapper on a clean cutting board. Place about 1/4 cup of the filling in the center of the wrapper and shape it into a log. Fold the bottom corner of the wrapper over the filling. Next, fold the right and left corners to enclose it. Continue rolling up tightly until it is closed. Transfer to a clean plate and repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. You can wrap the plate with plastic film and keep in the refrigerator for up to two days, and fry just before serving.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a deep skillet (or large saucepan) over low-medium heat. Once hot, fry 4-5 egg rolls at a time, until golden brown on each side, 7-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper towel to remove excess oil. Serve hot or at room temperature with the spicy dipping sauce!
- In a small bowl, combine the vegan nước mắm (or soy sauce), water, lime juice, garlic, chili, and sugar. Mix to combine. Taste and adjust saltiness and sweetness to your liking.