Mom’s Pork Egg Rolls

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Learning how to make homemade egg rolls is so much easier than you'd expect! My mom’s Pork Egg Rolls are a total staple for our family's dim sum parties. Simply fold a veggie-loaded pork filling made with cabbage, carrots, & onions into egg roll wrappers & shallow fry until they're golden & crispy. Served alongside a tangy-sweet duck sauce for dipping, everyone loves Mom's pork egg rolls!

A tried & true Chinese-American family recipe, with step-by-step photos & video included!

A woman's hand holds half of a pork egg roll as it gets dipped inside of a small bowl of duck sauce that sits inside of a blue and white floral patterned bowl filled with more finished egg rolls. The bowl sits atop a creamy white textured surface.

Mom’s Homemade Egg Rolls Are a Dim Sum Staple – Pure Love & Celebration!

Any special gathering with my family always involves dim sum. Whether it’s a birthday, holiday, or simple summer evening at the cabin, you’ll find us sitting around the table, nibbling for hours as we catch up, laugh, & enjoy each other’s company.

This is the true spirit of dim sum – a traditional spread of many small-sized Chinese dishes worth sharing with others. As a Chinese-Hawaiian transplant in rural Wisconsin, my mom worked hard to preserve this tradition for our family & I’m so grateful she did.

Dim sum nights at our house always involves a spread of the most delicious Chinese-inspired bites like char siu pork, shumai, sesame wings, & stir-fried noodles. But no special occasion is complete without homemade egg rolls – the ultimate Chinese snack!

Mom’s egg rolls are stuffed with a seriously veggie-loaded pork filling, so each hearty bite is loaded with all kinds of flavors & textures. They’re so tasty, beautifully crispy, & way easier to make than you’d ever guess. Simply wrap the pork egg roll filling in store-bought wrappers & fry in a shallow pot of oil – easy, simple, & perfect!

Pork Egg Roll Recipe Highlights

Mom’s recipe is the BEST because it is…

A TRIED & TRUE CROWD-PLEASER. We make this treasured family recipe over & over, all year round, for nearly every get-together & celebration at our house. Homemade egg rolls are a must-have for any dim sum gathering & Mom’s are truly the best!

HEAVY ON THE VEGGIES. Mom’s pork egg rolls are filled with tons of cabbage, carrots, & onion for even more flavor & delicious crunch. Each bite is well-balanced & veggie-loaded!

GOLDEN & CRISPY. Shallow frying the egg rolls in a skillet on the stovetop is a simple way to create the crispy, golden-brown finish that’s signature to a good egg roll. They’re just as good as your favorite Chinese takeout & no deep frying is required! 🙌🏼

Homemade is always best! ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make Mom’s Egg Rolls, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!

A close up and macro shot of pork egg rolls served inside of a blue and white floral patterned bowl that sits atop a creamy white textured surface. A small white bowl filled with duck sauce rests inside of the bowl. The homemade egg rolls are garnished with sliced green onions and a white linen napkin rests alongside the bowl.

What Is An Egg Roll?

You’ve probably seen egg rolls on a lot of take-out menus, but what are they exactly? Egg rolls are stuffed & fried cylindrical appetizers commonly served with a dipping sauce. They’ve become a staple in Chinese-American cuisine & are one of my absolute favorite comfort foods!

What’s in an egg roll? ⇢ Egg rolls are typically made by filling a crispy, thick flour wrapper with pork, shredded cabbage, & other seasonings. The wrapped egg rolls are then fried in hot oil & served warm with duck sauce or soy sauce.

Why are egg rolls called egg rolls? This pork egg roll recipe doesn’t use any eggs, so why the name then?! There’s a lot of speculation about why we call them egg rolls. The biggest theory is that this dish was inspired by a recipe for “Dan Gun” in a Chinese American Cookbook from 1917. The recipe wrapped chicken, ham, sprouts, & mushrooms in a thin egg omelet, aka a literal “egg roll.”

Egg roll vs. spring roll – what’s the difference? ⇢ Egg rolls & spring rolls are both fried appetizers, so they’re easy to mix up. The biggest difference is that spring rolls are made with a thin, smooth wrapper whereas an egg roll uses a thick wrapper that gets big bubbles as it fries. Spring rolls originate from mainland China where they’re stuffed with seasoning spring veggies to celebrate the Spring Festival.

While you can fill & prepare egg rolls in many ways, this recipe is my family’s version that we love & cherish. Mom’s pork egg roll recipe uses ingredients that were easily accessible to our Chinese-American family in rural Wisconsin. It means so much to me that she kept special foods like this a part of my life growing up. The love & memories I taste with every bite makes Mom’s egg rolls extra special. 🥰 I’m so excited to share them with you!

Key Ingredients

Homemade egg rolls are much easier to make than you might guess! This recipe comes together with 12 simple ingredients that you can easily find in any conventional grocery store — though a quick stop at your local Asian grocery store is always a great idea!

Pork egg rolls ingredients arranged on a creamy white textured surface: ground pork, sesame oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce, kosher salt, white pepper, garlic powder, green cabbage, carrot, yellow onion, green onions, and egg roll wrappers.

Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.

You need…

  • Ground pork – My family loves pork egg rolls but you can feel free to use ground chicken or turkey if you prefer. Pork egg rolls are totally classic though!
  • Veggies – & plenty of them! Mom takes advantage of the produce section & loads up her egg rolls with green cabbage, carrots, yellow onion, & green onion for lots of flavor & texture. Thinly slicing & shredding the veggies is important for the balance of the egg rolls – they should melt into the pork, not add a big out-of-nowhere crunch!
  • Filling seasoning – For this egg roll recipe, you’ll season the pork & veggies with sesame oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce, & garlic powder, plus salt & white pepper. White pepper is an aesthetic choice – it seasons the meat without leaving black peppery flecks!
  • Egg roll wrappers – We use store-bought egg roll wrappers at our house for ease, so definitely feel free to do the same. You can find them in the freezer section of most Asian grocery stores. Mix it up! Sometimes Mom uses spring roll wrappers – she swears they’re easier to fry & get extra-crispy! This blurs the line between egg rolls vs. spring rolls a bit, but I can assure you that they’ll be delicious either way!
  • Dipping sauce – Egg rolls always call for dipping! We always serve pork egg rolls with Mom’s homemade duck sauce. It’s a simple mix of apricot jam, sweet chili sauce, & soy sauce, & it’s perfectly tangy-sweet!

Pork Egg Roll Filling

Making the pork egg roll filling is as simple as cooking the meat & stir-frying the veggies – only one pan required!

Pork egg roll filling fills a large clear glass bowl that sits atop a creamy white textured surface.

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

1

Cook the pork. Heat sesame oil in a large pot or skillet & add the ground pork, cooking until browned. Why? ⇢ Browning meat gives it a much more complex flavor & the sesame oil adds a nutty, earthy taste to the pork that we love.

2

Season the pork. Add oyster sauce, soy sauce, salt, pepper, & garlic powder to the skillet to infuse the meat with tons of savory flavor. As the pork continues to cook, use a wooden spoon to help break it apart into fine pieces.

3

Stir-fry the veggies. There’s tons of awesome flavor in the skillet right now – you can use it to season the veggies too! Add shredded cabbage, carrots, & sliced yellow & green onions, then stir-fry until they start to soften.

4

Cool! Transfer the pork & veggie filling to a large paper towel-lined bowl to drain & cool. Why? ⇢ It’s much easier to handle & fill the egg rolls once the filling has cooled down. If you try to wrap a hot filling, the steam impacts the texture of the egg roll wrappers, making them soggy instead of crispy – no good!

More Egg Roll Filling Ideas

While we love making pork egg rolls here at the PWWB House, this homemade egg roll recipe can be used to make whatever egg rolls you love most – feel free to adjust & make them your own! Use another protein like chicken or beef, play with the ratio of veggies to protein (or skip the meat altogether!), add some bean sprouts or mushrooms, or grate some fresh ginger into the filling for a little warmth. There are tons of ways to make egg rolls & all of them are delicious! 😋

How to Roll Egg Rolls

Wrapping pork egg rolls is a fun kitchen project & gets easier the more you practice (just like pork shumai!). Roll up your sleeves & have fun with it – it’s ok if your first few aren’t perfect! Since wrapping egg rolls can be a little time-consuming, it’s also a great project to work on with others. I have lots of fond memories of wrapping egg rolls in the kitchen with Mom. 🥰

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

1

Prepare your workstation. This simple step is all about setting yourself up for success! Place the pork egg roll filling, egg roll wrappers, & a small bowl of water within arm’s reach. Then line a baking sheet with parchment paper to place the fully wrapped egg rolls. You’re good to wrap & roll!

2

Position the egg roll wrapper. Take one egg roll wrapper & lay it flat on your workstation with one corner pointing towards you. It should look like a diamond – this shape is crucial to the perfect egg roll wrap.

3

Add the pork filling. Spoon about ⅓ cup of the pork egg roll filling into the middle of the wrapper. Resist the temptation to overstuff your egg rolls! Less is more here. Why? ⇢ If they’re too full, the egg rolls run the risk of bursting open as they fry – no good!

4

Fold the egg rolls. A solid fold secures the pork egg roll filling & gives each egg roll that classic cylinder shape. How to roll egg rolls? ⇢ Start by folding the bottom corner (the one pointing towards you) over the filling. Then fold the points on the left & right into the center. Finish by rolling the filling away from you, towards the top point, until the filling is fully enclosed.

5

Seal. As you make the last fold of your egg roll, add a brush of water on the last point of the wrapper. Why? ⇢ Water helps the wrap seal so it doesn’t break apart as it fries!

Tip! ⇢ Feeling stuck? Watch how to roll an egg roll in the full step-by-step video below!

How to Make Pork Egg Rolls with the Shallow Frying Method

Making fried food at home easily feels super complicated & messy – but this method is simple, I promise! Our favorite way to make egg rolls is by shallow frying them in a small skillet. Just a few inches of oil is plenty to fry the egg rolls to golden-brown perfection!

Three pork egg rolls shallow fry inside of a large black skillet that sits atop a creamy white textured surface.

To shallow fry the pork egg rolls, simply heat a neutral frying oil (like canola oil) until it reaches 350-375 degrees F. Add the pork egg rolls one by one & cook until golden brown. Be sure to work in batches to avoid overcrowding the skillet. Once they’re cooked, place the fried egg rolls on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

Important! ⇢ The temperature of the oil is key for frying – it needs to be nice & hot! As you cook the pork egg rolls, they naturally bring the temperature of the oil down. Be sure to let the oil come back up to temperature between batches for consistently crispy results.

Alternate Cooking Method: Air Fried Egg Rolls

If you have an air fryer at home, feel free to use it for cooking egg rolls! While we prefer shallow frying for its perfectly golden-brown results, there’s no doubt that an air fryer is a bit of a time-saver, with much less clean up required.

How to cook egg rolls in air fryer? Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F & air fry the egg rolls for 10-12 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Tip! ⇢ Spritz the egg rolls with cooking spray to help give them a beautiful golden finish.

Step-by-Step Video

Fried pork egg rolls sit atop a small metal baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper. The sheet pan sits atop a creamy white textured surface.

The Best Egg Roll Dipping Sauce

If you’re wondering what to dip in pork egg rolls in (because dipping is a must, obviously!) then your answer is always Mom’s homemade duck sauce.

While packets of duck sauce are super convenient, this homemade version is also seriously easy. Mom makes homemade duck sauce with just 3 ingredients: apricot jam, sweet chili sauce, & soy sauce. It’s sweet & tangy, with a little bit of kick – the perfect balance to rich pork & fresh veggies. It’s also the perfect consistency for your dunking your egg rolls over & over! 😋

A woman's hand holds half of a pork egg roll as it gets dipped inside of a small bowl of duck sauce that sits inside of a blue and white floral patterned bowl filled with more finished egg rolls. The bowl sits atop a creamy white textured surface.

More Egg Roll FAQs

Do egg rolls always have pork?

Pork is the most common egg roll filling (& pork egg rolls are my family’s fave 😋). But feel free to make your homemade egg rolls with other lean proteins like chicken or turkey, or go all-in on the veggies! You really can’t go wrong!

What are egg roll wrappers made of?

Egg rolls are made with a thick, doughy wrapper made from wheat flour, eggs, & water. As they fry, the wrappers turn golden brown & often develop delightful oil-filled bubbles. They’re super crispy yet also a little chewy – the perfect texture! 

Where to buy egg roll wrappers?

You can find egg roll wrappers in the frozen aisle of most Asian grocery stores. We love using store-bought egg roll wrappers for ease, but sometimes Mom grabs spring roll wrappers instead – you’ll find them in the same place.

Are egg rolls gluten free?

Egg roll wrappers are typically made with wheat flour & are not gluten-free. Spring roll wrappers can be made with rice flour, so feel free to use them instead. To keep this pork egg roll recipe gluten-free, be sure to also use a gluten-free soy sauce like tamari.

What sauce goes with egg rolls?

Duck sauce is the ultimate pork egg roll dipping sauce! Mom’s homemade version is sweet, spicy, & so easy to make. See the Recipe Card, below, for more details!

How to reheat egg rolls?

You can keep leftover pork egg rolls for 3-4 days & reheat them in the microwave or air fryer. However, nothing compares to when they’re fresh! 

A side angle shot of pork egg rolls served inside of a blue and white floral patterned bowl that sits atop a creamy white textured surface. A small white bowl filled with duck sauce rests inside of the bowl. The homemade egg rolls are garnished with sliced green onions. A white linen napkin rests alongside the bowl.

I can’t wait for you to try Mom’s Egg Rolls! This special family recipe is loaded with love & memories, so it means a lot to share with you. I hope these homemade egg rolls inspire you to host a delicious dim sum celebration too – there’s nothing better!

If you do give them a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. We LOVE seeing your PWWB creations!

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An overhead shot of finished homemade egg rolls served inside of a blue and white floral patterned bowl that sits atop a creamy white textured surface. A small white bowl filled with duck sauce rests inside of the bowl. The pork egg rolls are garnished with sliced green onions. A white linen napkin rests alongside the bowl.

Mom’s Pork Egg Rolls

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  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 15 egg rolls, serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Appetizer Recipes, Main Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop, Shallow Fried
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Description

Every special gathering with my family always involves dim sum. Whether it’s a birthday, holiday, or even just a summer evening at the cabin, you’ll always find us sitting around the table & nibbling for hours as we enjoy each other’s company.

At our house, our dim sum spreads always include pork shumaichar siu pork, & some sort of stir fried noodles, but the star of the table is always the platter of Mom’s Pork Egg Rolls. They’re golden, crispy, & absolutely perfect!

There are 3 things that set Mom’s recipe apart from the rest. They’re…

  1. Seriously veggie-loaded! The pork filling is seriously juicy & succulent, but it’s also loaded with veggies like cabbage, carrots, & onions, each adding different layers of aromatic flavor & texture that makes the filling super satisfying & feel-good all at once.
  2. Shallow-fried to perfection! Rather than deep frying, which can be messy & a little overwhelming, Mom shallow fries her egg rolls, which is quick & always yields perfectly golden & crispy results. 
  3. Perfect for dipping! A golden & crispy egg roll practically begs to be dipped in a tangy-sweet sauce, & Mom’s homemade duck sauce is our absolute favorite. It’s made with 3 pantry staple ingredients & has the perfect balance of flavor.

We’re thrilled to share this special family recipe with you, & it’s our hope that you enjoy it just as much as we do at our house. Be sure to check out the blog post, above, for more tips, tricks, & secrets to success, & watch the Youtube video below for step-by-step guidance. ♡ Happy cooking!


Ingredients

Scale
  • ¾ pound ground pork
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • head green cabbage, shredded (approx. 10 ounces or 4 ½ cups)
  • 1 carrot, julienned (approx. 3 ½ ounces or 1 cup)
  • ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced (approx. 2 ounces or 1 cup)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers (approx. 15 wrappers, see Recipe Notes)
  • 3 cups frying oil

for Mom’s duck sauce (our favorite egg roll sauce for dipping):

  • ½ cup apricot jam
  • ½ cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

Instructions

  1. Prepare the pork egg roll filling: Add the sesame oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot & shimmering, add the ground pork & brown for 5-6 minutes. As the pork cooks, season with oyster sauce, soy sauce, salt, white pepper, & garlic powder, & use a wooden spoon to break it apart into fine pieces.How to make pork egg rolls, step 1: Prepare the pork egg roll filling. Browned ground pork for a pork egg roll recipe fills a large dark blue Staub wok that sits atop a creamy white textured surface.
  2. Stir fry the vegetables: Once the pork is cooked through, add in all the vegetables. Stir to combine with the pork, then stir fry 3-4 minutes, until softened slightly. Remove the skillet from the heat & transfer the pork egg roll filling to a large bowl lined with paper towel. Set aside to cool.Pork egg roll filling fills a large clear glass bowl that sits atop a creamy white textured surface.
  3. Egg roll assembly prep: Line a quarter sheet pan with wax paper or parchment paper & set aside. Fill a small bowl with water. Place the pork egg roll filling, egg roll wrappers, & water within arm’s reach of where you plan to assemble the egg rolls.How to make homemade egg rolls, step 3: assemble the egg rolls. A yellow ceramic bowl filled with prepared pork egg roll filling sits atop a creamy white textured surface. A stack of egg roll wrappers and a small white bowl filled with water rest alongside the bowl of egg roll filling.
  4. Assemble the egg rolls: Once the filling is cooled, place an egg roll wrapper on a work surface in front of you such that one of its points is pointing toward you, orienting it in a diamond shape. Spoon about ⅓ cup of the cooled pork egg roll filling on the center of the wrapper. Fold the point closest to you away, such that it folds over the egg roll filling. Fold the points to the left & right of the filling to the center. Roll the filling away from you towards the last point, creating an egg roll. Use your fingertips to brush a little water over the last point, then press it against the egg roll to seal. Be sure to fold & wrap as tight as you can – this is key to beautiful, restaurant-worthy homemade egg rolls! Transfer the egg roll to the prepared baking sheet & repeat until you’ve used all of the remaining pork mixture. Set the assembled egg rolls aside as you heat the frying oil, or transfer to a parchment lined airtight container & store in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. (You may have some leftover egg roll wrappers, which can wrap well & freeze for the next time you make egg rolls).
  5. Shallow fry the egg rolls: Add frying oil to a 10-inch skillet, filling it about halfway full. Preheat over medium-high heat, until the oil is hot (approx. 350-375 degrees F). Working in batches to avoid overcrowding the skillet, carefully place the egg rolls in the oil. Cook 1 minute – 1 minute and 30 seconds, until the bottom of the egg roll is golden, then flip & cook 1 minute longer, until the entire egg roll is golden & crisp. Carefully transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat frying until all egg rolls are cooked, allowing the oil to come back up to temperature between batches.Three pork egg rolls shallow fry inside of a large black skillet that sits atop a creamy white textured surface.
  6. Serving: Enjoy your egg rolls straight off of the stove while they’re still warm with Mom’s duck sauce as desired (combine all listed ingredients & season to taste). At our house, we most often enjoy egg rolls alongside an entire spread of other pupus & dim sum, like Mom’s pork siu mai dumplings, sesame chicken wings, char siu bao, & stir fried noodles. Enjoy!An overhead shot of finished homemade egg rolls served inside of a blue and white floral patterned bowl that sits atop a creamy white textured surface. A small white bowl filled with duck sauce rests inside of the bowl. The pork egg rolls are garnished with sliced green onions. A white linen napkin rests alongside the bowl.

Notes

  • Ingredient & Equipment Notes:
    • Egg roll wrappers: At my house, we always make these pork egg rolls using store-bought wrappers, which are readily available in the freezer aisle of a well-stocked Asian grocery store. Instead of regular egg roll wrappers, my mom often uses spring roll wrappers (pictured) since they fry a little more evenly, resulting in extra-crispy egg rolls. Feel free to use whichever you prefer! You may have some leftover wrappers, which can wrap well & freeze for the next time you make egg rolls.
    • Easy frying set up for homemade egg rolls: Rather than fussing with deep frying, my mom always opts for a shallow fry set up for her homemade egg rolls. It requires less oil & results in much less mess! Any small, heavy-bottomed skillet works wonderfully. 
  • Storage, & Freezing: 
    • Storage & Reheating: Leftover steamed pork egg rolls will keep, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave until warmed through. Or for best crunchy quality, reheat in 400° F air fryer for 4 minutes, flip over and air fry for another 3 minutes.
    • Freezer Instructions: You can also freeze leftover egg rolls. Transfer the chilled fried pork egg rolls to a freezer bag & freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat in the microwave until warmed through.
  • Make-Ahead Pork Egg Rolls: While this pork egg rolls recipe is pretty straight-forward, preparing the pork filling & folding the egg rolls does take a little time – it’s kind of a kitchen project in that way! If you’d like to do a little prep in advance to cut down on active hands-on time when you fry your egg rolls, there are a few options:
    • Make-Ahead Option #1: Prep the pork egg roll filling in advance. Prepare the egg roll filling according to Steps 1-2 of Recipe Directions, above. Transfer to an airtight container & store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The day you’d like to prepare your egg rolls, simply fill & wrap dumplings according to Steps 3-4, above, then proceed with shallow frying.
    • Make-Ahead Option #2: Assemble the pork egg rolls in advance. Prepare the pork egg rolls according to Steps 1-4 of Recipe Directions, above. Transfer to a parchment or wax paper-lined airtight container & store in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. If cooking after storing in refrigerator, be sure that filling was well drained prior to assembly to avoid soggy egg rolls. Cook the egg rolls straight from the refrigerator according to Steps 5 of Recipe Directions, above, adjusting cook time by 30 seconds to 1 minute per side, as needed, to ensure golden, crispy results. 
    • Make-Ahead Option #3: Build a freezer stash! Prepare the pork egg rolls according to Steps 1-4 of Recipe Directions, above. Transfer to a parchment or wax paper-lined baking sheet & flash freeze the egg rolls solid (about 1 hour), then transfer to an airtight freezer container. Cook the egg rolls straight from the freezer (without thawing) according to Steps 5 of Recipe Directions, above, adjusting cook time by a few minutes per side to ensure golden, crispy results. 

Recipe and Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.

Follow along with Plays Well With Butter on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest for more unfussy recipes that pack a big punch of flavor!

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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