Light and crispy fried vegetarian spring rolls with a perfectly crisp and crunchy skin, a tender vegan filling made with stir-fried cabbage, mushroom and carrot, and a homemade vinegar dipping sauce, tastes so much better than takeout. Make this authentic recipe at home and satisfy even your strongest dim sum cravings.
When you are craving a fresh spring roll, you make Vietnamese spring rolls (rice paper summer rolls), but when you are craving crispy, fried Asian comfort food, you make crispy fried vegetarian spring rolls. They really hit the spot. Plus, you can make a big batch and freeze them for a rainy day because you can cook them right out of the freezer, no thawing required!
What is in Vegetarian Spring Rolls?
- vegetable oil - for stir frying the vegetarian filling.
- shiitake mushrooms - you can use fresh or fried. If using dried, soak it in a bowl of water for 30 minutes first to rehydrate.
- green onions
- ginger and garlic
- seasonings - soy sauce, sesame oil, vegetable stock powder (optional), white pepper, and sugar.
- cornstarch - helps thicken the filling.
- spring roll wrappers
- cooking oil - 2 cups for deep frying.
- dipping sauce - made with black vinegar, sriracha (optional), and finely sliced green onions.
You can easily use different vegetables such as beans sprouts or add in your favourite protein such as shredded chicken or beef. The key is to keep the filling thick like a paste, not too soupy or runny. If you find it too runny, drain the extra liquid or add cornstarch to thicken it up.
How to Make the Best Crispy Fried Vegetarian Spring Rolls
First, make the vegetarian filling. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add ginger, garlic and mushrooms. Stir well for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add cabbage, carrots and green onions. Increase the heat to high and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
Add seasoning (soy sauce, sesame oil, stock powder (optional), white pepper, and sugar). Stir well to combine, cover, and cook for 1 minute. Remove the lid and turn the heat down to medium. Add cornstarch and stir well to combine. Allow filling to cool down completely before wrapping, about 10-15 minutes.
How to Wrap Spring Rolls
- Place one spring roll wrapper diagonally (diamond shape) on a dry, clean flat surface. Keep the rest of the wrappers inside the package to prevent them from drying out.
- Place up to 1 and ½ tablespoons of vegetable filling in a horizontal line, ½-inch thick, placed approximately ¼ of the way up from the bottom. Leaving about 2-inches uncovered on the side corners.
- Fold up the bottom so that it covered the filling. The bottom corner should approximately touch the centre of the wrapper. Fold in the two side corners into the centre, folding over top.
- Tightly roll the wrapper with your fingers until 1-2 inches remains on top. Lightly brush the remaining corner on top with water (or dip your finger into a bowl of water an apply it on the top corner). Roll up tightly to seal like a burrito. Make sure all corners are tightly sealed.
- Place the top edge side down, and cover with a tea towel to prevent them from drying out.
- Repeat steps with remaining wrappers.
How to Deep Fry Spring Rolls
Next, let's deep fry. Deep frying give the spring rolls their authentic crispiness. In a medium medium sized pot, heat oil over high heat for 3 minutes, or until the oil starts shimmering and sizzling. The oil should be about ½-inch deep to just submerge the spring rolls.
Add in a batch of 4 spring rolls and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn them over a few times so that both sides turn golden brown and cook evenly. Make sure they are deep fried with some space in between each other.
Transfer the spring rolls onto a wire rack with a strainer and let it cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. Repeat steps with remaining spring rolls.
How to Air Fry Spring Rolls
Brush or spray some oil on the spring rolls and place into the air fryer basket in a single layer (about 6-8 pieces per batch). Cook in the air fryer at 350 F until brown and crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Brush some more oil on them halfway through if you want to get that golden color. It still won't turn out as golden as it does when you deep fry, but it will be healthier, as you will be using a lot less oil.
Tips for Making Spring Rolls
- How to cook spring rolls in the air fryer. Brush some oil on them and cook in the air fryer at 350 F for 7-8 minutes. Brush more oil on them halfway through. This is to help get that golden colour. It won't turn out as golden as it does when you deep fry, but it will be healthier, as you will be using a lot less oil.
- How to bake spring rolls. Brush oil all over them and bake in a preheated 425 F oven for 15 minutes. Flip them over and continue to bake for another 10 minutes until crisp and golden.
- How to pan fry spring rolls. You can also pan fry these using a couple tablespoons of oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side.
- How to serve spring rolls. Serve with a vinegar dipping sauce. To make your own, combine black vinegar, sriracha (for a spicy kick), and green onions in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
- How to store uncooked spring rolls. These freeze beautifully. To store, place the uncooked spring rolls on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and freeze for one hour. Then, transfer them into freezer bags or an airtight container, and use as desired.
- How to cook frozen spring rolls. You can cook them directly from the freezer, without thawing.
More Dim Sum Recipes
- Egg and Chive Vegetarian Dumplings
- Shanghai Style Vegan Steamed Buns
- Spicy Chili Oil Wontons
- Savoury Chive Pancakes with Sourdough Starter
- Chicken and Cilantro Wontons
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.