Vegetable Harumaki: Japanese Spring Rolls

Vegetable harumaki Japanese spring rolls

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 18 to 20 servings
Yield: 18 to 20 spring rolls
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
148 Calories
8g Fat
17g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18 to 20
Amount per serving
Calories 148
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 126mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 4mg 22%
Calcium 21mg 2%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 123mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Every culture has its version of spring rolls, and the Japanese culture is no different. In Japanese, spring rolls are known as harumaki, which literally translates to haru (spring) and maki (roll).

Japanese spring rolls are similar to Chinese spring rolls in that they are filled with vegetables, or a combination of vegetables, meat, and glass noodles (bean threads) wrapped in a thin pastry shell and fried. They differ, however, in that traditional Japanese harumaki tends to omit the use of garlic. This might date back to the origins of Japanese cuisine and a tendency to omit garlic as an ingredient.

Another way in which Japanese spring rolls, or harumaki, tend to differ from Chinese spring rolls is that the filling for harumaki is slightly thickened with potato starch to create a vegetable filling with a texture that is similar to that of a thick gravy. Because the filling is wet, harumaki are best eaten immediately after they are fried.

Japanese harumaki are often enjoyed as a meal-in-itself—served with rice and soup—rather than as an appetizer or finger food. Although the filling and style of harumaki differ from family to family, it is not uncommon to make a fat spring roll with a hearty amount of filling. You might also notice that many Japanese families wrap their harumaki to make a flat, rectangular-shaped spring roll versus the traditional thin and cylindrical spring roll more common in Chinese cuisine.

Give Japanese harumaki a try, and experience for yourself how this differs from spring rolls or egg rolls from other cultures.


  • 6 small to medium dried shiitake mushrooms

  • 1 1/2 cups water, divided

  • 2 1/2 ounces dried glass noodles, also called mung bean threads, potato noodles, or cellophane noodles

  • 1 medium yellow onion

  • 2 green onions

  • 6 to 7 napa cabbage leaves

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 cup trimmed carrots, cut into matchsticks

  • 3 cups bean sprouts

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

  • 1 tablespoon potato starch

  • 1 package thin spring roll wrappers

  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, mixed with 2 tablespoons water

  • 2 to 3 cups canola oil, or coconut/canola oil mixture

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for vegetable harumaki
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  2. In a bowl, soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in water until they are reconstituted.

    Soak shiitake mushrooms in a bowl
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  3. Squeeze excess water from the mushrooms, remove the stems, and slice. Reserve the soaking liquid.

    Chopped mushrooms on a board with soaking liquid in a bowl
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  4. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, add the dried glass noodles and hot water and soak until the noodles are pliable and soft, about 15 minutes.

    Noodles soaking in hot water in a bowl
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  5. Drain and cut the noodles into pieces of about 3 inches in length. Set aside.

    Drained and cut noodles
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  6. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Slice the onions and green onions lengthwise to make thin slices.

    Sliced onions and green onions on a board
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  7. Finely chop napa cabbage leaves, including the white stem. If you prefer, the white stem may be omitted and substituted with additional leaves.

    Finely chopped napa cabbage
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  8. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add yellow onion and cook until translucent.

    Onion cooking in a pan
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  9. Add the shiitake, glass noodles, green onion, napa cabbage, carrots, and bean sprouts. Season with salt.

    Vegetables and noodles in a pan
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  10. Sauté for a few minutes then add soy sauce and black pepper. Cook until just tender. Add additional salt to taste.

    Vegetables with soy sauce cooking in pan
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  11. Mix the potato starch with reserved shiitake soaking liquid (for added flavor).

    Potato starch mixed into shiitake soaking liquid in a bowl
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  12. Pour the mixture over the vegetables and stir until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Let mixture cool.

    Vegetables with sauce in a pan
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  13. To create the spring rolls, gently separate the wrappers and place one of the edges in front of you, putting the filling near the edge.

    Wrapper with filling on top in the bottom righthand corner
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  14. Start rolling it up.

    Rolling the filling up in the wrapper towards the center diagonally
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  15. Once you have rolled about halfway, fold in the sides like an envelope so that the fillings don’t fall out.

    Folding in the sides over the rolled up filling
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  16. Use a bit of water and flour as adhesive to seal the edges together before you fry them.

    Wiping water and flour mixture onto edges to seal
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  17. Repeat until you have created all of the spring rolls.

    Sealing a spring roll
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  18. In a small pot, add the oil and heat over medium-high heat. Fry 2 to 3 harumaki at a time, about 30 to 40 seconds on each side, until golden brown. The filling is already cooked, so it's just a matter of frying the wrappers.

    Rolls frying in a hot oil
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  19. Repeat with the remaining rolls. Drain on a rack or paper towels.

    Rolls draining on rack
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  20. Serve immediately while hot. Enjoy!

    Serve vegetable harumaki
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  • The thinner the wrapper, the better. There are several brands of egg roll wrappers that are thick and these will tend to bubble up when fried. Frozen, thin spring roll shells often work best for this recipe. Try experimenting with different wrappers to see what suits your tastes the best.
  • These are best if served on the same day. Reheated harumaki tend to become soggy but are best if reheated in a dry frying pan over medium heat.
  • Make a mixture of soy sauce (shoyu) and hot mustard (karashi) as an optional dipping sauce.

Are Japanese spring rolls gluten free?

Some spring roll wrappers are made of rice paper, and are made using rice flour and water, making them gluten-free. Fried Japanese spring rolls tend to be made using wheat flour-based spring roll or egg roll wrappers, and are not gluten free.