The difference between a spring roll and an egg roll


The final challenge for a recent "Master Chef" was to make spring rolls. It seemed to me that they were really making egg rolls, like I've seen at any restaurant I've ever been to — Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, etc.

What is the difference between a spring roll and an egg roll?

Best Answer

春卷 (Chūnjuǎn, Spring rolls) are julienned vegetables, sometimes with a bit of noodles, sometimes with a bit of minced meat, wrapped with a flour dough skin and pan- or deep-fried. They are a filled roll.

You can see the different varieties by country here:

Spring roll: Spring roll

鸡蛋卷 (Jīdàn juǎn, Egg rolls) are many different things around the world. In Chinese communities, these typically refer to a sweet biscuit type roll, of hollow flaky egg pastry (not filled.) However, there is also another variety (common in American Chinese cuisine) where a flour dough wrap is filled with "pork, shrimp, or chicken, adding cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts and other vegetables, and then deep fried." In the American Chinese respect, I believe it is very similar to a Spring roll really, although the flour dough looks thicker and of a different composition than a typical Spring roll (the dough bubbles when deep-fried, with Spring roll skin it does not.)

Sweet egg roll: Sweet egg roll

American Chinese egg roll: Egg roll