Better than takeout, these shrimp egg rolls are delicious, flavourful and so easy to make at home. They are well seasoned and packed with shrimp (or prawns) and vegetables, and have the crispiest golden brown skin. The best part? They can be deep fried, baked or air fried AND they are freezer-friendly. So make a big batch of these appetizers and save the extras for an easy dinner another day.
What are Egg Rolls?
Egg rolls as a classic Chinese-American dish that developed from Chinese spring rolls years ago. They are fried rolls stuffed with delicious savoury filling inside including meat and vegetables. Egg rolls are traditionally served as an appetizer alongside some dipping sauce, but there is no reason why you can't eat a big batch for dinner.
Both egg rolls and spring rolls are made from wrappers made out of wheat flour, but the main difference is that egg roll wrappers are fortified with eggs, which results in a chewy and bubbly skin when deep frying.
To make shrimp egg rolls, you will need the following ingredients:
- egg roll wrappers - You need one (25 piece) package of egg roll wrappers. Spring roll wrappers work as well but are less bubbly on the coating when deep fried.
- shrimp or prawns - 1 lb. of shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed. To prepare the shrimp, cut through the shell along the back with kitchen scissors. Remove the shells and tails, and rinse to remove the veins. Pat dry each shrimp completely with a paper towel.
- vegetables - cabbage, carrots, shiitake and mushrooms. 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.
- fresh ginger
- all-purpose flour - or you can use cornstarch.
- seasoning - chicken bouillon powder, brown sugar, ground black pepper, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
- cornstarch water - mix water with cornstarch and use for sealing the egg roll wrappers.
- vegetable oil - for deep frying.
- egg - optional for egg wash.
- vinegar dipping sauce - rice vinegar, fish sauce, brown sugar, Thai chili pepper, ground black pepper, and cilantro.
How to Make the Best Shrimp Egg Rolls
First, make the filling. Coarsely cut peeled and deveined shrimp into small pieces on a clean chopping board (about ¼-inch thick).
Then combine the shrimp in a large mixing bowl, along with almost everything else -- cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, ginger, flour, chicken bouillon powder, brown sugar, pepper, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Stir well to mix evenly, and drain off any excess liquid from the bowl. The filling should not be too wet as this can make the spring rolls soggy.
How to Wrap Egg Rolls
- Place one egg 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 1.5 tablespoons of filling in a horizontal line near the centre of the wrapper placed approximately a quarter of the way up from the bottom, leaving about 2-inches uncovered on the side corners.
- Fold up the bottom so that it covers 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 cornstarch water (mix water with cornstarch in a small bowl) or dip your finger into the bowl and apply it to the top corner.
- Roll up the egg roll 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 the egg rolls from drying out.
- Repeat steps with remaining egg rolls. Brush egg wash over each roll if desired.
How to Cook Eggs Rolls
- Add cooking oil into a shallow saucepan and heat over high heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the oil starts shimmering and sizzling. The oil should be about ½-inch deep or enough to almost submerge the egg rolls.
- Add in a batch of 5-6 egg rolls and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Turn them over a few times so that both sides turn golden brown and cook evenly. Make sure to leave some space in between the egg rolls when deep frying.
- Transfer the egg rolls onto a paper towel lined plate (to help soak in the extra oil) and let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Repeat steps with remaining egg rolls.
Brush or spray some oil over the shrimp egg rolls 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 might not 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.
Brush or spray cooking oil over the shrimp egg rolls 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 Serve Shrimp Egg Rolls with Vinegar Dipping Sauce
To make the vinegar dipping sauce, combine vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, pepper, chili and cilantro in a small bowl. Stir well with a spoon to combine.
Storing and Freezing Instructions
- How to store store egg rolls: Transfer cooled egg rolls into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, heat in a 350 F preheated oven or air fryer for 5-10 minutes until warmed through.
- How to freeze egg rolls: These freeze beautifully. I prefer to freeze the egg rolls after they have been cooked. Although you can freeze before cooking as well. To store, place the spring rolls on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and freeze for one hour. Then, transfer them into a freezer bag or an airtight container, and use as desired.
- How to cook frozen egg rolls. You can reheat or cook them directly from the freezer, without thawing. To reheat cooked frozen egg rolls, heat in a 350 F preheated oven or air fryer for 10-15 minutes until warmed through. To reheat uncooked frozen egg rolls, follow recipe instructions but add 5 minutes extra time.
More Asian Appetizers
- Fried Vegetarian Spring Rolls
- Shanghai Style Vegan Steamed Buns
- Spicy Chili Oil Wontons
- Savoury Chive Pancakes with Sourdough Starter
- Egg and Chive Vegetarian Dumplings
- Chicken and Cilantro Wontons
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