Egg roll bowls provide all the yummy, comforting flavors of your favorite egg rolls in a low carb, protein rich, veggie packed bowl. This easy dinner bowl recipe is a universal people pleaser!
egg roll bowls are fast, colorful, healthy, and fun!
Let’s face it, commercially produced egg rolls are a universal disappointment, am I right? I can’t remember the last time I had a really wonderful egg roll, even in my favorite Chinese restaurant ~ they’re pretty generic, no matter where you go. The filling is bland and limp. The crust is just meh, and don’t even get me started on that gloppy orange sauce. We’ve all been there. And to add insult to injury, WebMD names them one of the worst Chinese foods you can eat. I think we can agree the egg roll is due for a makeover, and this easy weeknight egg roll bowl is just the ticket. It’s fast, colorful, healthy, and fun to eat. And don’t worry, we’ll make crispy wontons so you won’t miss out on that satisfying deep fried crunch, either.
what you’ll need to make quick egg roll bowls
All of your ingredients are optional, so go with what you like. Make these as simple or as loaded up as you want, but do try to create a
- ground meat ~ I used pork but you can use beef, chicken, or turkey. I patterned the spices in my pork after my favorite Dan Dan Noodles recipe.
- cabbage ~ I use Savoy and red cabbage.
- carrots ~ I shredded mine on a box grater, but if you have knife skills you can slice them into a julienne and they’ll stay crisper.
- celery ~ thinly sliced on the diagonal.
- green onions
- bean sprouts ~ if you are worried about the food safety of bean sprouts, they become safe to eat when cooked.
- pea pods or snap peas ~ or use frozen peas instead
- fresh ginger and garlic ~ If you have trouble keeping fresh garlic and ginger around, buy them in convenient paste form.
- neutral vegetable oil
- egg roll or wonton wrappers ~ these are optional, but when you slice them up and fry them for just a minute in some hot oil, they’re the perfect crunchy topper to these bowls.
a simple Asian inspired sauce
These are all must have pantry staples for anyone who loves Chinese food.
- soy sauce ~ I love tamari, but you can substitute your favorite soy sauce.
- sesame oil ~ this is a secret flavor weapon in my kitchen, it deep, toasty, and wonderful.
- rice wine vinegar ~ it’s mild and tangy.
- hoisin sauce ~ this sweet sauce counters the rich pork beautifully.
- chili paste (optional for spicy) ~ if you’re cooking for kids, leave it out (and add more hoisin!)
how to serve your egg roll bowls
Your egg roll bowls can be served as is, for a light healthy dinner option. But if you’ve got extra hungry peeps around your table, you might want to serve it over a layer of carbs…
- Asian style noodles are another great choice. I love to use rice noodles, or bean thread noodles, because they’re often an ingredient in egg rolls, and they’re a good option if you need to go gluten free.
- Rice makes a good base for these bowls. Brown is the healthiest choice because it’s a whole grain, full of vitamins and fiber. But jasmine or sushi rice would be delicious, too.
- To make a super low carb egg roll salad bowl, just serve over a bed of shredded lettuce.
egg roll bowl variations and faqs
Leave out the meat and substitute small cubes of tofu, or just go wild with the veggies.
You can add hot pepper flakes, or more hot chili sauce. You can also use Tien Tsin chile peppers which are Chinese red peppers. Look for them in the dried chile section of your supermarket.
Ground beef, chicken, or turkey will all work well.
You can use shredded chicken, slivers of roast pork, or diced shrimp. I also love to add scrambled eggs to my egg roll bowls.
Honestly, this recipe won’t be as good when it’s reheated, you’re going to lose some of the color and crispness that you get fresh off the stove. But you can reheat either in a pan or in the microwave and it will still be delicious and satisfying.
Yes, I’m planning to do just that.
Yes, but for a keto diet you would leave out the hoisin sauce, which contains sugar.
chef’s tips for an egg roll bowl
This is a simple, homey dish, and doesn’t take any special skills to make, but there are some things to keep in mind for the best results.
- The best tip I can give for a dish like this is not to over cook it. Everything is shredded or sliced very thinly, and barely needs any time at all to become perfectly crisp-tender. Cook this for less time than you think. (Over do it and you’ll have a limp colorless dish.)
- High heat is key. Stir-frying is an art, with a delicate balance between high heat, movement, and time. Get your pan hot, toss everything vigorously, and you’re done.
- I like to add my sauce at the last minute, and just heat long enough to get everything hot. This isn’t supposed to be super ‘saucy’, so don’t drown it. But you can make extra sauce and let people drizzle it on themselves.
Egg Roll Bowls
- Wok or large skillet
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp chili paste (or more to taste)
egg roll bowl
- peanut oil or other neutral vegetable oil
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1/2 tsp 5 spice powder
- 2 tsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tsp soy sauce (I love Tamari)
- 1 tsp mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
- 1 medium onion, peeled, halved, and finely sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp grated ginger (or more to taste)
- 3 cups finely shredded Savoy or green cabbage
- 2 cups finely shredded red cabbage
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 1 cup (heaping) snap peas or pea pods, sliced lengthwise.
- 1 cup (heaping) bean sprouts
- 1 cup sliced green onion
- 1 large carrot, shredded
fried wonton sprips (optional)
- egg roll or wonton wrappers (they are the same thing, just in different sizes.)
- vegetable oil for frying
- Stir the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
- Add a little oil to a wok or large skillet and heat until hot. Add the pork, and brown it, while breaking it apart into small crumbles as it cooks.
- When there is no more pink left, add the 5 spice powder, hoisin and soy sauces, mirin, and a dash of salt. Continue to cook, stirring almost continuously, until the pork is nice and browned and cripsy, about 8 minutes. Remove to a plate. Note: if you're cooking for kids or you just like things less spicy, you can brown the pork without anything added.
- Add a bit more oil to the pan and add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Stir fry until the onion has softened a bit.
- Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you stir fry. Add a splash of water if necessary to deglaze the pan better.
- Add the cabbages and celery to the pan and stir fry over medium high heat just until the cabbage has started to wilt and reduce. Just a minute or two.
- Add the pea pods, sprouts, green onion and carrots and toss for a minute or so more until everything is hot and brightly colored.
- Drizzle the sauce over the pan and toss to combine and heat through. Add the browned pork, and any accumulated juices, to the pan and toss. Heat everything through.
- Serve in bowls, either alone, or on top of rice or bean thread noodles.
- Garnish with fried wonton strips, if desired. Directions below.
fried wonton strips
- Slice your egg roll or wonton wrappers into small strips, about 1/2 inch wide by 3 inches long.
- Heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a skillet to hot but not smoking (about 340F) and fry the wonton strips, in batches, just until golden. This will happen very quickly so watch carefully. Remove to paper towels to drain. Note: if the strips burn, lower the heat and try again.