The Lazy Cook’s Guide to Making Egg Rolls

Growing up my dad was the chef in our house and he was a darn good one. Now that I’m an adult, there are a few recipes that I crave during certain seasons, and egg rolls are something scream holiday season to me. My dad typically made a huge batch for the holidays and took them to our family gatherings.

There’s just no comparing a homemade egg roll to the kind you find in the frozen foods section at the supermarket. And likewise, I’ve never had one from a restaurant that can hold a candle to the homemade type (no shade, just my preference).

Even though they’re so yummy, I don’t make them often. Like once every few years. The main reasons for that is, number one they’re fried and I try not to eat much fried food these days. But also, they’re a lot of work…like it’s a several hour affair.

First you have to chop the veggies used for the filling (or use the food processor), then you have to cook and season it, then it’s time to fill and roll them. But, the process isn’t nearly over after they’re filled. The crucial step after filling and cooking is the “resting” period where you let the egg rolls dry out on paper towels for a couple of hours. This helps them to hold up better when fried, as well as it allows the excess water in the veggies to drain so that it doesn’t come out during the frying process.

Despite all the work, I’ve been craving one of my dad’s egg rolls lately. The craving has been so strong that I’ve been thinking of setting aside half of a day to make the tasty snacks, especially since I own an air fryer now, so they would be pretty healthy. But then I had a brilliant idea.

I recently shared that I’ve been hanging around Pinterest more lately and I vaguely remembered seeing a pin for egg roll bowls. I didn’t bother trying to find the pin (it wasn’t one I saved). Instead, I just did what I almost always do when I’m in the kitchen, jump in without a clear recipe and just figured out how to make the dish as I cook it 😀

The meal was a huge hit at my house and one I’ll be working into my regular meal rotation. If this sounds like something you’d like to try, I actually have a recipe, since this dish is essentially my dad’s egg roll filling recipe cooked up and served over rice. I made it served over cooked white rice, but it would be great over brown rice, or even cauliflower rice if you’re following the keto diet.


3/4 small head of green cabbage

1 large carrot (or 2 small)

1/2 medium sized green bell pepper

1/2 large white onion

6 cloves of garlic

6 green onions

1 tbls. yellow mustard

1 tbls. soy sauce

2 tbls. Chinese five spice

1 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

2-3 tbls. olive oil or avocado oil


Place first four ingredients in the food processor and chop until fine. Mince garlic and slice green onions and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil then the first four ingredients. Cook until almost fully soft, stirring often, then add garlic and cook for 1 minute. After garlic has cooked and is fragrant, add green onions and stir, then add remaining ingredients and seasonings. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve over your choice of rice. You can also add cooked meat to each bowl (I cooked ground pork and added it to bowls because my dad usually made egg rolls with ground pork). Top with more soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or both!

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment or tag me on Instagram!