Spring Rolls vs Egg Rolls: What’s the Difference?

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Spring Rolls vs Egg Rolls: What’s the Difference?

Spring rolls have a long history in China. They are traditionally eaten on Li Chun Day, which marks the beginning of spring on the Chinese calendar, as part of a custom known as “biting the spring” (yao chun). Now, however, they’re commonly enjoyed year-round, both in China and abroad.  
Egg rolls, their American cousins, have a much shorter history: they are believed to have been invented in New York City in the 1930s, by a Chinese chef. Since then, they’ve become a Chinese-American takeout staple.

So how can you tell the difference?

While both are similarly filled, rolled, and deep-fried, the visuals are the easiest tip-off: spring rolls have smooth surfaces, while egg rolls are blistered and bumpy. 
Spring roll wrappers are made with flour and water, and are super thin and crisp once deep-fried, prone to shattering into delicate flakes at first bite. Egg roll wrappers, meanwhile, include egg in their dough, and are noticeably thicker, sturdier, and satisfyingly crunchy. 
Don’t confuse either of these with Vietnamese summer rolls (gỏi cuốn), also sometimes called fresh spring rolls, which are unfried rolls made with chewy, translucent rice paper wrappers and filled with raw veggies, often along with cooked meats such as pork belly or shrimp. 
And beyond these, there’s a huge family tree of similar stuffed rolls, fried and unfried, savory and sweet, extending across Asia, from Thai popia thot to Filipino lumpia.
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