Shanghai Style Spring Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Shanghai Style Spring rolls always appear in the kitchen during Chinese New Year celebrations. These spring rolls pack a lot of flavor from a small bit of meat and shiitake mushrooms, so this recipe produces healthier, lighter Shanghai Style spring rolls than most recipes out there.
Recipe type: Appetizers and Snacks
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 25 spring rolls
  • ⅔ cup finely shredded lean pork
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon shaoxing wine
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • One small napa cabbage, finely shredded, about 9 cups
  • 6-8 thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms (Soak them for a couple hours in water until they’re soft. Fresh mushrooms don’t have as much flavor as dried, so try to find the dry ones at an Asian grocery near you.
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • White pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons shaoxing wine
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved with one tablespoon of water
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 package spring roll wrappers (this recipe will make about 25 spring rolls)
  • Oil, for frying
  1. Mix the pork with the marinade ingredients and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Shred the cabbage and slice your mushrooms.
  2. Over medium heat, add 4 tablespoons of oil to your wok. Brown the pork. Then add the mushrooms and cook for another couple of minutes until fragrant. Add the napa cabbage and stir well. Season with salt, white pepper, shaoxing wine, and soy sauce. Stir everything together, cover the lid and let it cook over high heat for 2 - 3 minutes, or until the cabbage is wilted.
  3. Uncover the lid and add the cornstarch slurry. Stir. The mixture will start to thicken. You don’t want there to be extra liquid in the mixture, so add more of the cornstarch/water mixture if need be. Lastly, add sesame oil and stir everything thoroughly. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool completely.
  4. The key to wrapping spring rolls is making sure that they’re really tight and not overstuffed. Place the wrapper in front of you so that a corner is facing toward you. Use about one and a half tablespoons of the mixture per spring roll, spoon it about an inch and a half from the corner closest to you. Roll it over once, and like you’re making a burrito, fold over both sides. Continue rolling it into a cigar shape. With your fingers, brush a bit of water to the closing corner of the wrap to seal it. Place each roll on a tray seam-side down. This recipe makes about 25 spring rolls (you can also prepare them ahead of time and freeze them).
  5. To fry the spring rolls, use a small pot or shallow pan (which requires less oil) and fill it with oil until it’s about 1-inch deep, just enough to submerge the spring rolls when frying. Heat oil slowly over medium heat. To tell if the oil is ready, I just dip a bamboo chopstick into the hot oil, and if some bubbles form around the chopstick, then the oil is ready. Slowly add the spring rolls one at a time, and fry them in small batches. Cook each side until golden brown and drain on a paper towel. We like to serve them with some Chinese black vinegar for dipping!
Fry the spring rolls immediately after assembling. You don’t want them to sit out for a long time, because the wrappers can become soggy from the moist filling. If you want to make them ahead of time, freeze them on a tray and then transfer to a freezer bag once they’ve hardened. You can fry them right after taking them out of the freezer…no need to thaw them.
Recipe by The Woks of Life at