Egg rolls so packed with flavor you don’t need a dipping sauce- making them the perfect party snack. Fried or baked, these crispy egg rolls are jam-packed with green vegetables and, wait for it, here’s the genius part, a secret cream cheese layer that adds flavor and structure. Plus a prosciutto bonus round. Your guests won’t know exactly what makes these egg rolls so special, only that they want more.
Variations on the theme: crispy vegetable egg rolls, alternatives and ingredient contemplation
- Why am I calling these egg rolls instead of spring rolls? Because they are made up, named for their wrapper ( a wrapper that is advertised for use in Chinese egg roll, Filipino Lumpia, Vietnamese Chagio, or Mandarin Moc-Shu Pancake) but truth be told I keep slipping and calling them spring rolls instead. For a quick read about the difference between egg rolls and spring rolls see this mental floss article
- To prosciutto or not to prosciutto? I made every possible variation, one layer, two layers, cream cheese inside, cream cheese outside, no meat, no dairy, and all were good. The egg rolls pictured on the white plate are single sheet, fried, with no cream cheese or prosciutto- delicious and a variation I would absolutely throw into the mix if you have vegetarian or vegan guests but they do benefit from a dipping sauce.
- What sort of dipping sauce? Soy sauce with just a bit of rice wine vinegar and hot sauce of choice is nice or a creamy variety with labneh, lemon juice, and scallions would work wonderfully. The Mister (who only had the cream cheese prosciutto option) opted for straight up Sriracha declaring them “awesome”.
- Which wrapper? I used the summit brand wrapper “paper thin, non-stick” which are 8” square but I suspect that most egg roll wrappers are similar, though some have egg added and some don’t. Because of the double layer I would stay away from wonton wrappers, these are easy to cut into bite sized pieces (I actually use kitchen shears) if you want them smaller.
- Tapioca starch? I prefer tapioca starch over corn starch for most quick sauces, it’s glossier and if you were to freeze these it freezes better. This article from Spiceography gives an excellent overview of the differences, including those I just listed.
- To fry or not to fry? Frying is faster (for a small batch, but I use a small pan so I use less oil and only fry two egg rolls at a time) Frying does require more of your attention and makes a splatter but the result is crisper with a slightly more defined cream cheese layer. Baking is way less greasy and easier to do a large batch without standing over a hot stove frying things.
crispy baked vegetable egg rolls with asparagus, green beans, scallions, cream cheese, and (optional) prosciutto
- 1/4 cup sake
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Ponzu-not the sauce but the citrus vinegar marinade. No Ponzu on hand? A tablespoon of lemon or lime juice and a tablespoon of rice vinegar would also work.
- A squirt of sriracha or a pinch of hot pepper flakes
- 1 Tablespoon tapioca starch or substitute corn starch
- Approximately 5 scallions 15 asparagus stalks, and 30 green beans. I aim to have three green beans, three pieces of asparagus, and one piece of scallion (all about 5” long) in each egg roll so these amounts might vary depending on the size of things
- 20 egg roll wrappers
- 5 slices of prosciutto
- 5 ounces cream cheese regular of low fat softened at room temperature. Approximately 1 tablespoon per roll
- oil for brushing or frying
preheat the oven to 425 if baking or prepare the oil for frying
trim the veggies, cutting into 5 inch lengths as necessary
combine the sauce ingredients
preheat a large cast iron skillet or heavy bottomed frying pan over medium high heat
add the veggies and sear without oil until just softened and a teensy bit charred. Remove from heat and add a splash of oil to just coat. While the veggies are still hot but the pan has cooled a little bit (three minutes or so) add the sauce and toss to coat, the sauce will thicken as it heats. Set aside.
Lay out an egg roll wrapper (I usually do this part with three or four of the wrappers at a time, what ever comfortably fits on your counter) and smear it with a tablespoon of the softened cream cheese (enough to go from edge to edge in a thin layer, but don’t worry if you miss a few spots) Top with a second wrapper and then add the prosciutto and filling. The sauce on the veggies will be thick and a bit messy just make sure the veggies are coated but not dripping. Smear some of the excess sauce along the edges of the wrapper and then wrap.
bake them: brush or spray lightly with neutral oil of choice (like canola), place on a baking rack fit over a baking tray and cook until crispy (18-25 minutes depending on how brown you like them and whether or not you want to hold them in the oven)
fry them: heat about an inch of oil (enough to fry one side of the egg roll at a time) to 375F. fry in batches until golden brown, about two minutes a side.
serve hot. you can hold either the fried or baked egg rolls on a rack in the oven at 250F for 20-30 minutes if need be.