You know they’re both delicious, but do you ever wonder what is the difference between spring rolls and egg rolls? As it turns out, these tasty Chinese foods have similar names and concepts, but they’re actually pretty distinct.
There are a couple of primary differences between spring rolls and egg rolls that can help you distinguish between the two (a helpful trick if you’re staring at a list of appetizers and just can’t decide which one you want to order):
- Wrapper. Spring rolls are wrapped in thin flour wrappers or rice wrappers, while egg rolls are wrapped in a thicker, noticeably crispier wrapper that’s been dipped in egg for richness.
- Preparation. Egg rolls are fried, which accounts for their bubbly, crispy exteriors. Meanwhile, spring rolls may be baked or fried, and are sometimes not cooked at all apart from the filling.
- Filling. Spring rolls are usually filled with a fresh vegetables, whereas egg rolls are filled with a combination of savory meat and vegetables.
Of course, there are really no rules when it comes to making great Chinese appetizers. Take the different types of spring rolls we make here at Chef One, which are similar to our egg rolls in many ways. Our flavor-packed Pork and Vegetable Spring Rolls have meat fillings and all of our spring rolls have crispy exteriors.
As for what spring rolls and egg rolls have in common—aside from being super tasty!—is that both are served with dipping sauces. Sweet sauces, spicy sauces, or a combination of the two are always a good way to go.
What Is In a Spring Roll?
What is in a spring roll comes down to the type of spring roll that it is. A garden spring roll, for example, will be filled with a variety of fresh veggies like carrots, bamboo shoots, bell pepper, and cabbage. And more savory spring rolls tend to be filled with meat in addition to vegetables—typically pork, chicken, and/or shrimp.
What Is In an Egg Roll?
Like spring rolls, the filling of an egg roll is largely up to the chef’s interpretation, but there are a few guidelines. Because egg rolls have a thicker wrapper, it’s important to fill them with something that can stand up to it in terms of both texture and flavor. That’s why, unlike spring rolls, egg rolls always have cooked fillings, and almost always include meat. Vegetable egg rolls can be equally hearty though, with a cooked combination of savory veggies like cabbage, celery and onion, plus plenty of seasoning.
History of Spring Rolls and Egg Rolls
The exact origins of springs rolls and egg rolls are a bit unclear, though both have their roots in Chinese cuisine. While the jury is still out on the specifics, many food experts believe that spring rolls came first, and that they were adapted to become what was later on deemed the egg roll. And while some also claim that egg rolls are more of a Chinese-American invention than more traditional Chinese foods, there’s no doubt about their strong Chinese influence.
Which Do You Prefer?
So which is your favorite: egg rolls or spring rolls? There is definitely a lot to love about both, and regardless of your top pick, you can find tasty variations of either kind through Chef One Foods! Check out our egg rolls and spring roll varieties, including vegetable, pork and vegetable, and chicken and vegetable, and find them at grocery retailers and restaurants near you. Visit our Where to Buy page for more information.