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Vegan Egg Roll Recipe (Yummy Plant-Based Rolls)

A plate of homemade vegan egg rolls with a dipping sauce on the side.

Check out this recipe on how to make mouthwatering egg rolls using all plant-based ingredients that are every bit as flavorful and droolworthy as the meaty variety.

I must admit, I’m really picky about egg rolls. But if you’d grown up in a traditional Vietnamese family and your mom happened to be the queen of homemade egg rolls, you would be too. Of course, I wasn’t able to appreciate having authentic egg rolls as a staple in my diet until much later in life.

Back then, there were many a lunch period when I would long for the PB & J sandwiches my friends pulled from their lunch boxes, only to resign myself to the leftover egg rolls my mom packed instead. And many a holiday potluck when I wished she would show up to school with a tray of frosted cupcakes, like the other moms, instead of more…you guessed it…egg rolls.

It wasn’t until my mom passed away that I realized how good I’d had it. Her egg rolls really were the best. They were a harmonious balance of pork and vegetables, flawlessly seasoned, each one neatly wrapped and fried to golden perfection. I told myself that I’d try making them one of these days, following the recipe she’d scribbled down on a notepad. The years went by and I never did. And then I became vegan.

So what’s a girl to do when the egg rolls of her childhood still haunt her dreams but she doesn’t eat meat anymore? She comes up with her own recipe. Having known both meaty egg rolls and meatless ones, I can tell you that my version made with plant-based ingredients is every bit as drool-worthy.

And I’m not just saying that because I’m vegan. Even without the meat, these egg rolls are full of flavor. My secret ingredient? Mushrooms. Mushrooms have an amazing level of savoriness and I depend on them with my vegan life. To round out the mushroom “meat” without detracting from its flavor, I use cooked, mashed mung bean.

While egg rolls are hard to resist on their own, pair them with the right condiment and they are downright addictive. Typically made with fish sauce, my vegan version of a condiment for egg rolls relies on soy sauce. For the most epic of egg roll experiences, eat them with a spread of lettuce greens and fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, and mints.

Table of Contents

A. Mushroom Filling

Yield: About ¾ cup, enough for 8-9 egg rolls

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 4 ounces cremini or white mushroom, chopped small
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoon vegan oyster sauce (available at most Asian grocery stores)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin sweet sake for cooking

The full set of ingredients.

Step 1. Add the sesame oil to a non-stick skillet.

Place over medium-low heat until oil shimmers.

Step 2. Add onion.

Cook while stirring frequently until onion just starts to become translucent, about 2 min.

Step 3. Add mushrooms, garlic, and pepper.

Cook while stirring frequently for an additional 2 min.

Step 4. Add oyster sauce, soy sauce, and mirin.

Cook while stirring frequently until most of the liquid evaporates, about 2 min.                                                                                                                The ingredients combined in a clear bowl.

Step 4. Remove from heat.

Let cool to room temperature and set aside.

B. Mung bean filling

Yield: Just over 3 cups

  • 1 cup mung bean, soaked overnight in a solution of 2 ½ cups water and ½ tablespoon salt, then drained
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Step 1. Fill a large stockpot with water up to an inch high.

Place a steamer tray inside.

Step 2. Transfer mung bean to a fine-mesh wire colander or to a steamer basket lined with cheesecloth.
The mung beans in a steamer.

Step 3. Place the colander or steamer basket containing the mung bean on top of the steamer tray inside the stockpot.
The steamer is then placed onto the boiling pot of water.

Step 4. Place stockpot over high heat until the water comes to a boil.

Step 5. Place lid over the stockpot.

Reduce heat to low.  Steam on low heat until beans are easily mashed with a fork, about 35 minutes.

Step 6. Remove from heat.

Remove colander or steamer basket from stockpot.  Transfer beans to a mixing bowl.

Step 7. Add salt and pepper.

Using a fork, stir to mix and mash the beans.

Step 8. Let beans cool to room temperature.  Set aside.
The steamed mung beans are set aside to cool down.

Step 9. Freeze any extra.

C. Dipping Condiment

  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Sambal Oelek ground chili paste (available at most Asian grocery stores)

Step 1. Add all ingredients to a small mixing bowl.

Stir to combine.

Step 2. Store unused portion in a closed container in the refrigerator.

D. Assembling And Cooking The Egg Rolls

  • Vegan Egg Roll Wrappers, thawed to room temperature (Available at most Asian grocery stores, usually frozen.  Thaw at room temperature about an hour)
  • Canola oil
  • Wire cooling rack lined with paper towels

Step 1. Peel off one egg roll wrapper and place on a flat surface so that the corners are oriented north, south, east, and west.An egg roll wrapper on a saucer.

Step 2. Imagining an east-west line running across the center of the wrapper, place 1 heaping tablespoon of mung bean filling just below this centerline, in the middle of east and west.

Spread the filling out to about 4 inches across.

Step 3. Place 1 tablespoon of mushroom mixture on top of the beans.

Spread the mushroom mixture evenly across the beans.
Place the right amount of filling onto the wrapper.

Step 4. Fold the east corner 2/3 of the way toward the west corner.
This is the first fold.

Step 5. Fold the west corner 2/3 of the way toward the east corner.
This is the second fold.

Step 6. Take the south corner and fold it up ½ of the way toward the north corner.

The crease of this fold should run right along the edge of the line of filling.
This is the third fold.

Step 7. Roll the portion with the filling up toward the north corner, until you get a tube-shaped egg roll.  Set aside.
Roll it from the bottom.
Roll it from the bottom.
A finished roll.

Step 8. Repeat steps 1 – 6.
A finished set of uncooked rolls.

Step 9. Add enough oil to a heavy-bottomed skillet so that oil depth is about ½ inch deep.

A cast-iron Dutch oven works well, too.  Place over medium-high heat until oil shimmers.

Step 10. Working carefully, transfer egg rolls to the oil, making sure to place them flap-side down to keep the rolls from opening up.

Add as many egg rolls as the skillet can hold without crowding.  You want some wiggle room to be able to get in there and turn them over.
The rolls placed in a pot with oil.

Step 11. Let egg rolls cook until the bottom side is deep golden brown, about one minute.

Using tongs, rotate them to allow the top sides to cook until deep golden brown, about one minute.

Step 12. Once all sides of egg rolls are golden brown, remove from skillet and place on a wire rack lined with paper towels.

Let cool for about 10 minutes.

Step 13. Enjoy either plain or with a spread of lettuce greens and herbs.
The finished vegan egg rolls placed on a plate with dipping sauce on the side.

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