Tips for Cooking Chinese Egg Rolls

rinsing veggies

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The best egg rolls are those that are crunchy and not sodden with cooking oil. Use these tips for making egg rolls that are neither too dry or too soggy but turn out just right every time. Here are three easy recipes to start with.

  • 01 of 10

    Prepare the Vegetables for the Egg Rolls Ahead of Time

    You don't want the egg roll filling to be excessively wet, otherwise, the egg roll will be soggy instead of crisp. To avoid this, wash the vegetables earlier in the day and give them time to drain properly.

  • 02 of 10

    Don't Use Leftover Meat

    In most cases, don't use leftover meat. Egg rolls taste better with the fresh juice from the meat. (The one exception is barbecued pork).

  • 03 of 10

    Make Sure the Filling Isn't Too Soggy

    You don't need a great deal of liquid gravy in egg rolls. After stir-frying, if there seems to be too much liquid in the filling, drain some of it out.

    While wrapping the rolls, prop the bowl containing the filling in a tipped position so that the liquid is concentrated at the bottom of the bowl (and not in the filling).

  • 04 of 10

    Taste and Adjust the Seasoning

    Do a taste test both before adding gravy to the stir-fried filling and before wrapping the egg rolls. Adjust as desired.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Cool the Filling

    After stir-frying the filling, don't wrap the egg rolls immediately. Instead, allow the filling to cool so it can reabsorb any juices and so the heat won't "cook" the wrapper.

  • 06 of 10

    Deep-Fry the Wrapped Egg Rolls Quickly

    Deep-fry the egg rolls within 30 minutes of wrapping them. Otherwise, the juice will seep out and the egg rolls will be dry.

  • 07 of 10

    Carefully Deep-Fry the Egg Rolls

    Preheat the oil to 375 F (about 190 C). Slide each egg roll into the hot oil, one at a time. This helps prevent oil splatters. Don't overcrowd the wok or deep-fryer, as this will bring down the oil temperature.

    Deep-fry the egg rolls until they are golden brown on both sides.
    Drain the deep-fried egg rolls on a deep-frying rack, in a colander, or on a cooking sheet lined with paper towels.

  • 08 of 10

    Don't Stack the Cooked Egg Rolls

    Never stack the egg rolls on top of each other, before or after deep-frying. Stacking egg rolls on top of each other before they are cooked can cause the bottom layer to flatten out and lose their shape. Stacking egg rolls on top of each other after they are cooked can encourage excessive oiliness and loss of crispness.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Preparing Egg Rolls Ahead of Time

    Often you're preparing egg rolls several hours in advance to take to a picnic, shower, or another gathering. Bring the egg rolls on a tray lined with paper towels. If necessary, you can reheat the egg rolls before serving, in an oven on low heat for 10 minutes on each side. Reheating the egg rolls may dry them out a bit.

  • 10 of 10

    Freezing Egg Rolls

    You can freeze egg rolls, either before or after deep-frying. Wrap the egg rolls in aluminum foil and seal in a plastic bag in the freezer—this will keep them moist. If the egg rolls have already been deep-fried, wait until they have cooled before freezing.

    Store the wrapped egg rolls in a resealable bag in the freezer for up to four months. Thaw uncooked egg rolls in the bag in the refrigerator before deep-frying. Reheat cooked egg rolls briefly in the oven or deep-fry them again.