A plate with a tumble of spring rolls, a smaller plate with one whole spring roll and one cut in two with a smear of dipping sauce, and a small bowl of dipping sauce on a dark wooden background.

Fresh-made, these spring rolls with a shatteringly crisp skin with a light filling full of tender-crisp vegetables and sweet shredded crabsticks. Unliked the ones often found in restaurants, these ones from Yan Duan are small, moreish snacks that disappear in about three bites. To keep spring rolls crisp and stop them from softening,  you can do three easy tricks: 1) don’t overcook the filling, 2) let the steam escape from the lightly cooked filling by spreading it out on a tray, and 3) fill the wrappers when the mixture has totally cooled.

Yield/Servings 40-50 spring rolls

Spring rolls

45 minPrep Time

1 hrCook Time

1 hr, 45 Total Time

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  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2-3 large carrots, shredded (approximately 225 g/½ lb, total weight),
  • 450 g – 675 g (1-1 ½ lb) bean sprouts
  • 225 g (½ lb) crab sticks, shredded
  • 1 small bundle glass noodles, soaked in boiling water for about 30 minutes and then cut into small lengths
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 50-piece package spring roll wrappers, measuring 150mm x 150mm
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Serve with
  • Sweet chilli sauce:


  • Heat oil in a skillet or wok over high heat. Add carrots and bean sprouts and cook lightly (about 2 minutes) before transferring the vegetables to a bowl. Combine with crabsticks and glass noodles. Add salt to taste, mix and let cool.
  • Assembly
  • Squeeze out any excess water from the filling, if needed.
  • Place a spring roll wrapper, smooth side down on a clean, dry surface, so it looks like a diamond (not a square). Place a full tablespoon of filling in the lower half of the wrapper and roll the wrapper up half-way, squeezing out any air pocket that may appear. Then, fold the side points in and finish rolling, keeping everything tight and even. Before you get to the top point, brush the wrapper brush the edge with beaten egg and roll up and seal the seam.
  • Set rolls seam-side down on a tray. Cover them with plastic, to keep them from drying out, as you make the rest of the rolls.
  • Cooking
  • In a wok or high-sided pot, heat 5 - 8 cm of frying oil to 177C/350F or until a dropped grain of uncooked rice falls and rises and bubbles (or when an inserted wooden skewer or handle of a wooden spoon bubbles). Carefully slide in 7-8 spring rolls into the oil and cook, turning occasionally until they are deep golden colour (about 7-8 minutes per batch). Remove and drain on paper towels. Be sure to let the oil return to temperature before adding the next batch.
  • Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce.

What’s a spoon or a cup?

A version of this spring rolls recipe appeared in my profile of Yan Duan for my World of Food column for Grand Magazine (September-October 2021).