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Shepherd's Purse Spring Rolls

Updated: May 5

Shepherd's purse spring rolls.

Happy Spring!

In another post, I introduced a few of my favorite food in Spring. You can read it via Spring Food in Eastern China. I want to share a spring roll recipe with shepherd's purse that my family and I enjoy very much.

Egg Rolls and Spring Rolls

First, let's talk a little about the difference between egg rolls and spring rolls.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

When we can't remember the names of similar food, we tend to group them and call them by one name. So the egg rolls, spring rolls, summer rolls, and lumpia are sometimes called "spring rolls" here in the US.

While traditional spring rolls are from China, lumpia and summer rolls originated from southeast Asia, and egg rolls were invented in the US by Chinese chefs in the early 1900s.


The ways people prepare these rolls are different. For example, the protein is cooked in the summer roll before wrapping. The summer roll wrappers are made with rice. And lumpia is inspired by the tradition in South China, and you will find onion and bean sprouts in the ingredients.

Egg rolls and traditional spring rolls are very similar. You can use any of your favorite meat and vegetables to make them. The most popular ingredients are ground pork, Chinese chives, Napa Cabbage, bok choy, carrot, shiitake mushrooms, glass noodles, spinach, dried tofu, and last but not least, shepherd's purse, which is widely loved in eastern China.

The egg roll wrappers available in the US are thicker and crunchier. When fried, there are small air bubbles on the surface.

Egg roll wrappers.

Spring roll wrappers.

Some brands like to confuse people by putting both the names egg rolls and spring rolls on their packages. Well, they are not entirely wrong. So when we shop, we have to look for the actual product, not only by the name or the brand.

Some brands like to confuse people by putting both the names egg rolls and spring rolls on their packages. Well, they are not entirely wrong. So when we shop, we have to look for the actual product, not only by the name or the brand.

Spring roll in China.

In China, the spring roll wrappers are always round and much smaller. Click here or the image above to see the video. Let me know if you want to learn more about the spring roll wrappers. I'm happy to give more information on this topic at a different time.

Shepherd's Purse Spring Roll Recipe


  • 1 pack spring roll wrappers, 20 to 25

  • 1 pack frozen shepherd's purse, 500g/17.6oz

  • 3 oz dried or baked tofu

  • 4 oz fresh or frozen bamboo shoots

  • Sesame oil

  • Light soy sauce

  • White pepper powder

  • Vegetable oil for frying (corn, peanut, canola, soybean)

  • Salt

  • Sugar


1. Thaw frozen shepherd's purse. If it's not pre-chopped, finely chop it and discard any liquid.

2. Pour 3 cups of boiling water into the chopped shepherd's purse while stirring to remove the grassiness. Soak for 10 seconds. Then drain and rinse under cold water.

3. Squeeze out the moisture and set the shepherd's purse aside.

4. Cut bamboo shoots into bite-size. Blanch bamboo in boiling water for one minute to pre-cook it, which will help remove the earthiness.

5. Then, finely chop dried tofu and blanched bamboo. And add them to the shepherd's purse.

6. Add 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/3 tsp white pepper powder, 2 tsp sesame oil, and 1/3 tsp sugar. Mix well.

Chinese seasonings.

7. Follow the instructions in the images below and wrap spring rolls. Add 2 tbsp of filling to each wrapper. Avoid overstuffing and breaking the wrapper when frying. Make sure there are 2 to 3 layers of wrappers around the filling. In image 5, spread some water at the corner before rolling it up.

8. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of vegetable oil to a pan, and heat oil over medium-high heat. The oil should cover 1/2 of the rolls. Dip a corner of a roll, and if the oil is sizzlingly nicely, not quite but not too splashy, add more rolls to the pan. Fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Fry spring rolls.

Spring rolls.

9. Enjoy as they are. I prefer to eat them with some black vinegar, aka Zhenjiang vinegar. The refreshing taste of the vinegar balances out the greasiness of the oil. If you can't get Chinese vinegar, enjoy it with balsamic vinegar or Worcestershire sauce.

Zhenjiang vinegar. Chinese Vinegar

Send your questions about the recipe or any feedback to If you like this recipe and think someone you know will enjoy it, please share this page with them.

Chinese spring rolls.






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