What's The Difference Between A Spring Roll And An Egg Roll?

Here are the differences, starting with flaky and crispy and ending with crunchy and chewy.

The most significant difference between an egg roll and a spring roll begins with an essential visual distinction. Small bubbles cover an egg roll's surface, while a spring roll's surface is perfectly smooth.

And then there's the matter of the bite—at first chomp, an egg roll crunches and is a little chewy, while the outside of most spring rolls will shatter into several thin flecks of light and crispy dough as soon as your teeth crack the surface. Spring rolls are wrapped in flour or rice instead of dipped and fried in egg, which makes egg rolls crispier.

Pulled Pork Egg Rolls Southern Bite
Photo: Southern Bite

What Is An Egg Roll?

The dough for egg rolls is made (as the name suggests) of flour and eggs, giving it a sturdier texture and making it more like fried pasta. Egg roll dough is a little thicker than spring rolls, and the entire roll is deep-fried after it's filled and wrapped. The origin of the egg roll travels no further east than New York City. And no further back than the early 20th century. Even still, it's become a definitive staple of American Chinese cuisine. The spring roll, however, has a much more complex and longstanding history in Asia.

What Is A Spring Roll?

Spring roll dough contains no egg, making it lighter and crispier than the egg roll when fried. And since variations of the dish have been made across thousands of miles in Asia over centuries, numerous fillings and methods are used to create the ever-diverse spring roll. Many sold in America are still fried in a wok and have a lightly golden exterior, but be prepared to find some spring rolls with uncooked and see-through shells packed with cold fresh vegetables in the sushi section at your grocery store.

What's The Difference In Fillings?

As far as the difference in fillings, egg rolls are typically filled with cooked cabbage, some other vegetables, and pork, while spring rolls typically contain only cooked vegetables. But like any generalization for food so beloved worldwide, you're sure to find exceptions if you look hard enough.

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