In this post, learn the main differences between egg rolls and summer rolls including a comparison of their ingredients and how they are normally served.
If you have ever been at an Asian restaurant, chances are you've been served an egg roll or a summer roll as an appetizer or as part of your meal. If you are wondering what the difference is between egg rolls and summer rolls, this post will go through the differences as well as similarities around these two culinary delights.
Main Difference Between Egg Rolls and Summer Rolls
Egg rolls are made with a crispy, thick flour wrapper while summer rolls are wrapped in a thin, vellum rice sheet wrapper. There are additional distinguishing differences between egg rolls and summer rolls including the preparation and filling. Egg rolls are generally made using glass noodles and ground meat that is then fried with chopped vegetableas whereas summer rolls are made with cooked vermicelli nooodes, fresh herbs and vegetables (mint, basil, cilantro), sliced cooked pork, and boiled shrimp.
What are egg rolls?
Egg rolls are made of a thick flour wrapper. Egg rolls have cooked fillings and most always include meat like ground pork or ground chicken. The other fillings include soaked glass noodles, carrots, and jimeca. The filling of egg rolls can vary between each region or country's interpretation. When the egg rolls are fried, you may find varieties that have bubbles on the wrapper and ones that also have a smooth wrapper.
The smooth wrapper variety can also referred to as "spring rolls". While some egg roll varieties can be spring rolls, not all spring rolls are egg rolls.
What are summer rolls?
Summer rolls are made using a thin sheet of rice paper that is soaked before wrapping. The rolls generally use vermicelli noodles, mint, cilantro, green onion, sliced boiled pork, and sliced shrimp. It is often served with peanut sauce dipping and nuoc mam Vietnamese dipping sauce.
Summer rolls are often interchanged with spring rolls. While spring rolls can be both of fried and fresh varieties, summer rolls are always the fresh variety made using rice paper. Summer rolls are often referred to as Vietnamese spring rolls.
Wrapper for Summer Rolls
Summer roll wrappers come in a package of circular or square wrappers that are dehydrated and dry. To prepare it for wrapping, it's dipped in warm water for a few seconds, and then laid on a cutting board for wrapping. Once the rice paper is plyable and moldable, fresh ingredients can be added on top for rolling. As the ingredients are rolled, the wrappers are sticky and allow the ingredients to stay in place and the ends to wrap to adhere the roll.
Are egg rolls or summer rolls healthier?
Summer rolls often have less calories because they are a low-calorie and healthy choice. Summer rolls are not fried, and actually provides the nutritional benefits of consuming fresh, raw vegetables.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there eggs in egg rolls?
While a lot of people think that the egg roll wrapper contains egg, this is actually not true. The misnomer of the name dates back to an actual roll recipe made from an egg, which is an omlette with bean sprouts, poultry, and ham - nothing like the egg roll we know today.
Are summer rolls only made in the summer?
Summer rolls can be made any time during the year. The reason why it's known as summer rolls is likely due to the freshness of the ingredients used in the recipe, which is often found in abundance during the summer months.
Summary Comparison of Egg Rolls and Summer Rolls
In conclusion, egg rolls and summer rolls are different because egg rolls are generally fried with wheat wrappers and summer rolls are made with fresh rice papers.
Recipes for Egg Rolls and Summer Rolls
- Vietnamese Spring Roll (non-fried) Recipe
- Vietnamese Egg Roll (fried) Recipe
- Vietnamese Peanut Sauce Recipe
- Vietnamese Nuoc Mam Fish Sauce Recipe