This vegan “egg” rolls recipe is fun to make, loaded with tasty ingredients and baked to create deliciously crispy vegetable spring rolls!
While there is a bit of prep involved (shredding the veggies and wrapping the rolls) this delicious appetizer is well worth the time. Vegan spring rolls are a great addition to any meal or bring a batch to your next gathering!
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Are Egg Rolls Vegan?
Since eggs are not vegan, traditional egg rolls are not vegan-friendly.
Egg rolls may contain egg in the filling and/or the egg roll wrapper and eggs may also be used to brush on the wrappers and help them stay closed.
Luckily there are plenty of vegan ways to recreate a tasty egg roll without using animal products. For this recipe, egg is replaced with tofu in the filling and the wraps are held together with water.
Are Spring Rolls Vegan?
The term spring roll is often used to describe a vegetable-based egg roll. It’s also used to describe fresh spring rolls made with a rice paper wrapper.
Often the filling of spring rolls is made up of vegetables however, non-vegan ingredients may be used therefore not all spring rolls are necessarily vegan.
Meat or eggs may be included in a spring roll filling and the wrapper or wrapping process may also include egg. If at a restaurant, it’s best to ask your server for clarification whether this menu option is vegan or not! While at the grocery store, take a moment to carefully read the ingredient label.
If there’s a vegan certification label on the package, you can most likely trust the product is vegan.
Are Vegetable Spring Rolls Vegan?
Sadly, even if a menu item or package specifies vegetable spring rolls, there still may be hidden animal products, most often eggs.
Read ingredient labels carefully or ask questions at a restaurant if finding vegan spring rolls is a concern for you!
Ingredients for Vegan “Egg” Roll Filling
This recipe for vegan egg rolls uses plenty of tasty vegetables to make up the base of the filling. I like to use carrot, cabbage, mushrooms, onion and tofu for a simple and delicious mix.
You’ll also need vegan spring roll/ egg roll wrappers (see below for details).
Adding Tofu to Spring Rolls
We’re using crumbled tofu to replace the meat and eggs often found in a non-vegan spring roll.
Since the meat or eggs used in typical spring roll or egg roll recipes is ground or scrambled, using crumbled tofu is a simple replacement for that type of texture.
Tofu is a great choice because it’s relatively inexpensive, easy to use and is a good source of nutrition for vegans as it’s high in protein, healthy fats, calcium, iron and zinc!
Finding Vegan Egg Rolls Wrappers
I’m very fortunate that there are vegan egg roll wrappers in the freezer section of my local grocery store. The ingredients are simply wheat flour, water, salt and coconut oil. The wraps are easy to use and bake perfectly for crispy spring rolls.
The only other egg roll wrappers I regularly see are in a refrigerated section of the grocery store and they contain egg (therefore not vegan). Another popular brand contains sodium caseinate (a milk derivative).
Update: The brand of apparently vegan spring roll wrappers I’ve bought many times were recalled (Feb 2020) due to undeclared milk. This was not a cross contamination or “may contain” recall but rather the product had actual milk ingredients in it that were not labeled. This is extremely disappointing (and quite scary for anyone with a milk allergy like a family member of mine who I’m quite glad never ate my egg rolls).
I’m now on the hunt for a good vegan egg roll wrapper and will keep this post updated when I find some and test them out!
How to Wrap a Baked Spring Roll
Wrapping a spring roll takes practice but luckily this recipe makes over 20 large rolls (or up to 40 small ones) so you’ll have a good chance to get into the swing of things!
The first step is to carefully pull apart the wrappers. You’ll want to keep these covered either in the packaging or with a very lightly dampened towel. Spring roll wraps dry out quickly so we want to avoid this.
I like to set up my spring roll wrapper so there is one corner pointing towards me. Then I scoop the filling in a row that is centered left-to-right but closer to the bottom edge (closest to me).
Next, I fold the left and right sides of the wrap toward the center so the corners are slightly overlapped. Then, grab the bottom corner (closest to you) and fold it up and over the filling (away from you). Wrap this corner tightly around the filling then keep rolling away from you until there’s just the top corner left.
Brush a bit of water onto this top corner then finish rolling by lightly pressing the top corner down so it sticks to the rest of the wrap and holds the roll together. If baking, place this “open” edge down onto the baking tray to ensure the wrap holds and no filling comes out!
Spring Roll Wrapping Tips
Here are some tips for wrapping delicious spring rolls:
- Don’t overfill the wrap. It’s tempting to load up each roll to the max but this can easily lead to the wrap tearing. How much filling you can use in each roll depends on the size of the wrapper you use. You’ll want at least 2-3 layers of the wrap coating the entire roll.
- Go carefully. Move slowly and do your best to not tear the wraps. While the process takes a bit of time, try to enjoy the cooking experience! If you tend to have long fingernails, be extra careful J
- Seal the edge with some water. Typically, recipes call for egg to brush along the final edge and hold the wrap together but I’ve found water works well for a vegan option.
Get Crispy Spring Rolls without Frying
You can certainly deep fry (or pan fry) this vegan spring roll recipe however, I don’t own a deep fryer and find baking to be much easier.
You can get crispy spring rolls without frying simply by baking them in the oven. There are no special steps involved.
How crispy the spring rolls become does depend on the wrappers you use. The ones I use (see note above: these are no longer a vegan option) bake perfectly and get nice and crispy. You may have to try baking a couple rolls to see how your brand of wrappers bakes.
If the result is crispy, bake the rest of the rolls! If not, it would be helpful to brush or spray some oil onto the outside of the rolls to help them crisp up. I often keep some cooking spray on hand and that would work well for this recipe.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the egg rolls don’t necessarily have to get browned for them to be crispy. The wrappers I use (used to use) never brown but they are super crunchy when you bite into them. This is another thing you’ll have to test out with whatever vegan egg roll wrappers you use!
How to Serve Vegan Spring Rolls
Spring rolls are often served with a delicious plum sauce (at least where I live). Sweet and sour sauce or sweet chili sauces also work well.
This is a delicious vegan appetizer or side dish and makes a great choice for bringing to gatherings as most people seem to love spring rolls!
I’d love to hear how your spring rolls turn out and if you share your creations on social media, tag me @lettucevegout so I can see them! Also, if you’ve read through this update, I’m currently on the hunt for vegan spring roll wrappers so if you have any brand suggestions, I’d appreciate it.
Vegan "Egg" Rolls (Vegetable Spring Rolls)
- Box grater
- Food processor
- Baking tray
- Silicone baking mat
- Large bowl
- Large pan
- 2 medium onions thinly sliced or shredded
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 5 C cabbage , Napa or savoy, thinly sliced or shredded
- 3 C carrot shredded
- 3 C mushrooms diced or shredded
- 1 block (350 grams) extra firm tofu crumbled
- 2 tbsp oil (I use avocado oil)
- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
- ¾ tsp ground black pepper
- 6 tbsp soy sauce or tamari (divided)
- 4 tbsp sesame oil (divided)
- 1 tbsp mirin (optional)
- A package of spring roll wrappers (frozen) recipe makes enough filling for about 30 rolls.
- Take out spring roll wrappers if frozen to let thaw. Heat oven to 375 °F.
- Prepare the veggies (can use a box grater or the shredding attachment of a food processor) and crumble the tofu. Then heat a large wok or frying pan on high heat.
- Add the tofu to the pan with 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp sesame oil and 1 tbsp mirin. Cook for a few minutes to crisp up the tofu then remove it from the pan.
- Add 2 tbsp cooking oil to the pan then the onion and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and cook 4-5 minutes. Add cabbage and carrots, then cook another 8 minutes or until the veggies are cooked down and there is minimal water in the bottom of the pan. You may need to strain excess water away.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in 1 1/2 tbsp sugar, 3/4 tsp black pepper, 4 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp sesame oil and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the cooked crumbled tofu to the pan and mix together. Remove from heat after excess liquid has evaporated.
- Let your filling cool before rolling the spring rolls. To roll, place 3 tbsp of the veggies onto the bottom half of the wrapper, fold 2 opposite corners over the middle so they meet in the middle and cover the filling, then pick up the bottom corner of the wrapper (closest to you) and roll it over the filling until the roll is closed.
- Bake rolls on a parchment lined baking sheet for a total of 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through.
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This is an updated post: Original post date December 2016.