Thu-Ha Nguyen's Vietnamese Egg Rolls


These crisp, golden egg rolls are full of savory flavor and are fun to assemble and fry with family or friends.

Thu-Ha Nguyen’s Vietnamese Egg Rolls
Photo: Peter Frank Edwards
Active Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins

"Janice Nguyen Hudgins owns a popular Vietnamese restaurant outside Charleston, South Carolina, and it all started with a beloved egg roll recipe," writes Betsy Cribb for Southern Living. Hudgins grew up making fried egg rolls with her mother, Thu-Ha Nguyen; only recently did she discover that a more traditional Vietnamese rendition would use rice paper wrappers, not the wheat-based wrappers her mother had preferred. "Rice paper is really, really sticky and fickle. When my mom and aunts moved to the States, they came across the wheat ones. Everybody was using those instead. It's a lot easier, and you can freeze them, so those are what we grew up on," says Hudgins.

While you'll find a rice-paper wrapped version at Little Miss Ha, Hudgins' Vietnamese restaurant in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, this version of fried Vietnamese egg rolls is the one that started it all. These crisp, golden egg rolls are full of savory flavor and are fun to assemble and fry with family or friends. If you can't find unseasoned, freshly ground pork at the supermarket, ask your butcher to grind a pork tenderloin.

This recipe yields 60 egg rolls, so you'll want to invite a crowd (or freeze half for later). When it comes to mastering this recipe, all it takes is some practice. "Once you roll a couple thousand, you'll get it!" Hudgins says.


  • 1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion (from 1 small onion)

  • 1 cup chopped scallions (from 1 bunch scallions)

  • 1 cup shredded carrots (from 2 medium carrots)

  • 3 ounces cellophane noodles (mung bean threads), prepared according to pkg. directions, drained, and coarsely chopped (1 cup)

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar, divided

  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 6 ounces fresh ground pork (not sausage) 

  • 6 ounces peeled, deveined raw shrimp, finely chopped 

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons fish sauce (such as Red Boat) 

  • 60 spring roll shells (such as Wei-Chuan)

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • Dipping sauce of choice 


  1. Place yellow onion, scallions, carrots, cellophane noodles, salt, ¾ teaspoon of the sugar, and ½ teaspoon of the pepper in a large bowl; toss together until thoroughly combined.

  2. Place pork, shrimp, fish sauce, and remaining ¾ teaspoon sugar and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Stir using your hands or a fork until well combined. Add pork mixture to onion mixture; stir again until combined.

  3. Fill a small bowl with cold water. Lay 1 spring roll shell on a cutting board or a clean work surface positioned in a diamond shape (with corners pointing north, south, east, and west). If wrappers seem dry when you take them out of the package, drape a warm, damp paper towel or kitchen towel over them to keep them from drying out as you work. Fold the corner closest to you (pointing south) in toward center. Place about 1 tablespoon filling in the center of the folded corner, and shape it into a 3-inch log running crosswise on wrapper. Fold left and right corners of the wrapper in toward center (A). Dip fingertips in cold water, and brush water onto the top edges of the wrapper (B). Using too much water will cause the wrapper to break, but using too little will not seal the wrapper. Starting from the bottom of the spring roll shell, roll wrapper over the filling tightly without tearing the wrapper; roll up around the filling 2 times (C). Press damp tip of wrapper down to seal roll (D). Place assembled egg roll on a baking sheet; cover with a damp paper towel. Repeat process with remaining spring roll shells and filling.

  4. Fill a 12-inch skillet with oil to a depth of ½ inch. Heat over high until oil reaches 350°F. Working in batches, add about 10 egg rolls to hot oil. Cook, turning occasionally, until rolls are golden brown and a thermometer inserted into centers registers 165°F, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer egg rolls to a large baking sheet lined with several layers of paper towels to drain. Repeat process with remaining egg rolls, adjusting heat as needed to maintain oil temperature of 350°F. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

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