Are Egg Rolls Vegan?

Cindy Wilson Thumb by Cindy Wilson
BS, Nutrition & Food Science

There are tons of dishes in Chinese cuisine and rolls are one of the most popular dishes among them.

As we know, there are different types of rolls, like:

  • Egg Rolls
  • Veg Rolls
  • Sushi Rolls
  • Chicken Rolls etc

In this article, we will discuss Egg Rolls and we will put some highlights on their vegan status.

What are egg rolls?

Egg rolls are deep-fried rolls that are prepared with thin wheat flour wrappers and their fillings comprised of different kinds of vegetables and sometimes meat (non-vegan) also.

Egg rolls nutrition facts

Egg rolls vary widely from a nutritional point of view: a standard restaurant egg roll contains 250 calories, 8 grams of protein, and around 12 grams of fat, two of which are saturated, and also contains traces of trans fat, which are the most harmful to health.

Do egg rolls have eggs in them?

Whenever you hear the term “Egg Roll”, the first thought that might hit your head would be of a roll that contains egg in it.

Interestingly, despite the name, it’s not really that an egg roll will contain any egg.

Egg rolls usually don’t contain eggs in their fillings, although the wrapper may contain eggs.

Mexican Vegan Egg Rolls

If egg rolls usually don’t contain eggs why they are called egg rolls?

It is not clear that from where the term “EGG” in EGG ROLL came from.

According to an old 1979 Washington post article, the Chinese word for “spring” sounds similar to the Chinese word for “egg” and the Americans must have got confused between the two terms.

Although this explanation wasn’t widely accepted.

If an egg is not common in the fillings then what is?

Generally, cabbages are the main ingredient. It’s hard to find an egg roll without the leafy green cabbages.

You would be surprised to know that cabbage wasn’t the main ingredient of an eggroll.

According to a 1938 book, Cook at Home in Chinese the recipe of eggroll included bamboo shoots, scallion, roast pork, shrimp, water chestnuts, salt, MSG, palm oil, sugar, and pepper.

There was no mention of Cabbages at that time but for some reason, cabbages have become the main ingredients in egg rolls these days.

Are egg rolls vegan?

Is it correct to say that they are vegan or vegetarian?  Eggrolls can be vegetarian or vegan, but at the same time, they can be neither. Some of them contain meat in a certain structure. By the way, most of them do not contain an egg.

What we’re going to do here is go over the various non-vegan/vegan ingredients that are regularly featured on the treat so you can see what to look out for. Keep it in your mind that all eggrolls are not vegan.

Eggrolls may contain some non-vegan elements inside them. So if you are a vegan you must check the ingredients thoroughly before consuming them.

Are vegetable egg rolls vegan?

Vegetable egg rolls are vegan only if they don’t contain eggs or some other non-vegan ingredient in their structure. Eggs are the most common problematic ingredient in vegetable egg rolls, and many get confused when they figure that fact out. So always watch for the ingredients to be 100% sure.

Are avocado egg rolls vegan?

Avocado egg rolls are vegan depending if they contain the eggs or not inside their wrapper. Again, the problematic ingredients are eggs which usually get forgotten by many vegans who get easily tricked while shopping for vegetable egg rolls. Always be sure to check for

Some common non-vegan elements present inside the egg rolls

  • MEAT FILLINGS – These are common in some egg rolls and they completely exclude them from attaining a vegan as well as vegetarian status.
    Meat Fillings
  • CHICKEN FILLINGS – Just like meat fillings, some egg rolls are filled with chicken.
  • EGGS – Eggrolls usually don’t contain eggs in their fillings but some of them may contain eggs in their wrappers.
  • SAUSAGES – Sausage is a meat product, usually made from ground beef, pork, or poultry, along with salt, spices, and other condiments.
    Meat Sausages
    So eggrolls containing sausages are definitely not Vegan.
  • MEAT-BASED SAUCES – You should never ignore the sauces as some of them are derived from animals.
    Different Types Of Sauces

Generally, most of  the egg rolls are served with sauces like

  • Tomato Sauce
  • Soya Sause
  • Mustard Sauce and
  • Plum Sauce

These are all vegan sauces and you can go with them. But some restaurants can also serve you egg rolls with sauces that are derived from animals and of course, these are non-vegan.

Some of the sauces that you have to stay away from include *Duck Sause and *Hot and Sour Sause (may contain chicken broth).

Are egg rolls healthy?

Vietnamese Inspired Egg Roll

Egg rolls are not exactly “health food” but they can fit in an overall healthy diet regardless of your fitness and wellness goals.

Like most foods, egg rolls can be harmful to your health. Soy sauce and oil (when fried) are the main culprits.

Soy sauce

Soy sauce is used in most spring roll recipes, vegan or not. Sure, it gives you the umami taste that vegan food might not have, but is it worth it?

Soy sauce contains high levels of sodium and according to the New England Journal of Medicine, High Sodium Intake Is Linked To Cardiovascular Disease.

Studies also show that soy sauce can contain some substances that cause cancer. One of these substances, 3-MCPD, which is found in the acid-hydrolyzed vegetable protein found in the chemical production of soy sauce, is believed to be carcinogenic.

Peanut oil

Some spring roll recipes, while not as popular as soy sauce, do contain peanut oil, which is also a risk.

Peanut oil contains a large amount of omega-6 fatty acids. Unlike its relative omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 tends to increase inflammation in the body, which can lead to a number of diseases.

Peanut oil is also easily oxidized and the resulting free radicals can cause serious damage to the body, leading to accelerated aging or certain types of cancer.

If you have high cholesterol or heart disease risk factors then you must avoid restaurant-made egg rolls instead you can prepare your own healthier egg rolls using nutritious ingredients and good cooking.

If you like egg rolls, please in moderation in a nutritious meal. You can eat tofu and fried vegetables on cooked brown rice and dipped in low-sodium soy sauce. You can also spread egg rolls on leafy greens and other vegetables to enjoy a hearty salad.

If you make frozen egg rolls at home, bake them instead of frying them. They’ll be just as crispy, but without as much unhealthy fat. You can also make baked egg rolls from scratch so that you have full control over the ingredients.

Every food item has a good and bad aspect

A vegan egg roll provides essential nutrients like:

  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats
  • Fibers
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals and
  • Antioxidants

The more veggies your egg rolls contain, the more essential nutrients they will provide.

Some vegan egg rolls available online

Let’s inspect some of the most favourite egg rolls in the market at this moment:

Pf Changs Egg Rolls

Are PF Chang’s egg rolls vegan?

Unfortunately, the PF Chang’s egg rolls are not vegan as they contain dried whole eggs inside the wrapper. Although they are vegetable and don’t have meat inside, they are still not fully vegan.

Are Feel Good Foods egg rolls vegan?

No, vegetable egg rolls by Feel Good are NOT vegan. They contain eggs in their ingredient list.

Barnley Egg Rolls – The Vegan Vegatable Egg Rolls + Recipe

Ingredients

The egg roll wrapper includes the following ingredients:

  • Bleached wheat flour, water, and vital wheat gluten.
  • Soybean oil and Potassium Sorbate a preservative.
  • Ascorbic Acid and Citric Acid as Anti-oxidant.
  • Salt and modified food starch
  • Yellows #5 and #6.

The filling contains the following ingredients:

  • Cabbage and Napa Cabbage
  • Water chestnuts, celery, and onions.
  • Teriyaki Glaze Sauce – (Soy Sauce which includes [Water, Wheat, Soybean, Salt], Water, Sugar, Modified Food Starch, Vinegar, Dehydrated Ginger, Onion Juice Concentrate, Garlic Powder, Natural Flavors, Malic Acid, Yeast Extracts, Fermented Wheat Protein, Sodium Benzoate as a preservative.)
  • Sesame oil and sesame seeds
  • Corn starch and modified food starch.
  • Dehydrated onions, salt, ginger, and pepper.

Instructions

  • Keep it frozen until it’s ready to use.
  • Do not refreeze.
  • Do not microwave or bake them in plastic trays.
  • Remove them from the box and defrost for about 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.
  • Remove from plastic trays and place on baking pan 1/2 inch apart.
  • Baking Time: Bake approximately 10-15 minutes on the upper shelf until golden brown.

Conclusion

Egg rolls are delicious and a snack that many vegans rely on, but keep in mind that the way they are prepared varies. For health reasons, be aware of soy sauce and peanut oil in spring rolls. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different fillings as well. Who knows, you might come across a new vegan spring roll recipe!

So this was all on this topic. I hope you guys have enjoyed reading it.

You may also check the following related articles:

References

  1. Original Egg Rolls, Accessed from https://www.hungrybrowser.com/phaedrus/m0406M15.htm, Retrieved 4th April March 2021
  2. Easy Vegan Egg Rolls, Accessed from https://fullofplants.com/easy-vegan-egg-rolls/, Retrieved 4th April March 2021
  3. Are Egg Rolls Good for Diet, Accessed from https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/egg-rolls-good-diet-3810.html, Retrieved 4th April March 2021
  4. Sausage, Accessed from Wikipedia, Retrieved 4th April March 2021

About Author

Cindy Wilson Thumb
BS, Nutrition & Food Science
Cindy Wilson

Hello, I am Cindy, and this a website where I inspect everything related to nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. I have a BS in Nutrition and Food Science (Colorado State University) and have completed a dozen specialty courses related to nutrition, biochemistry, and food science. I am open to learning more, but foremost I would like to share all my knowledge with you.

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