Spring Rolls Shanghai Style

If you’re looking for an authentic Chinese appetizer that’s both crispy and savory, try making Spring Rolls Shanghai Style. This recipe is perfect for Chinese New Year celebrations and family gatherings, and it’s easy to make even for novice cooks.

A Food For Special Occassions

As a native Shanghaiite, I recall that these newborns were a strictly Lunar New Year phenomenon.

And they’re fantastic. This recipe yields healthier, lighter spring rolls than some other Shanghai Style spring roll recipes because a small amount of meat and shiitake mushrooms impart many flavors.

My brother once downed over twenty spring rolls at once. Even after my aunt told him to stop eating several times, he still couldn’t help himself.

You can believe he paid the price for it later that night. His ten-year-old frame wasn’t strong enough to keep them at bay. I won’t go into much detail, but I was responsible for ensuring everything was back in order afterward. Certain experiences always remain fresh in your mind. However, I’m okay with letting that go…

This is a fantastic recipe if I still need to gross you out. These spring rolls transport me to Shanghai and remind me of my favorite childhood memories there.

Can you pre-make spring rolls?

Yes, you can make spring rolls in advance for any get-together, holiday, or even just a quick snack.

Separate the spring rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper when ready to bake. Make sure the baking sheet is covered before placing the baked goods inside the freezer. For best results, freeze them for at least 8 hours (overnight is preferable) before using.

To freeze for up to three months, transfer to freezer bags. Never let them thaw before frying them. Thaw some frozen spring rolls, remove the wrapping and fry them in hot oil.


For the Pork and Marinade:

  • 2/3 cup of finely shredded lean pork
  • ¼ tsp. of salt
  • ½ tsp. of sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. of shaoxing wine
  • ½ tsp. of cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. of white pepper

Assembling the Filling:

  • 9 cups of finely shredded small napa cabbage
  • 8 pcs. of shiitake mushrooms (soak in water if dry)
  • 4 tbsp. of oil
  • Salt
  • White pepper
  • 2 tbsp. of shaoxing wine
  • ½ tsp. of soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. of cornstarch (mixed with one tablespoon of water)
  • 2 tsp. of sesame oil
  • 1 package of spring roll wrappers (this recipe will make about 24 spring rolls)
  • Oil (for frying)


  1. Marinate the pork for 20-30 minutes using the marinade’s ingredients. To prepare, shred the cabbage and slice the mushrooms.
  2. Put four tablespoons of oil in the wok and heat it over medium heat. Prepare the pork by browning it. After that, toss in the mushrooms and continue cooking until they release their aroma. Stir in the napa cabbage thoroughly. Mix in salt, white pepper, shaoxing wine, and soy sauce. Combine all ingredients, cover, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes over high heat or until the cabbage is wilted.
  3. Take off the lid and pour in the slurry made from cornstarch. Stir. The liquid will begin to thicken. The mixture should be smooth, so add more cornstarch and water if necessary. Lastly, drizzle in some sesame oil and give it a good mix. Remove the pot from the heat and cool it to room temperature.
  4. It’s important to remember not to overfill the wrappers when making spring rolls. A package’s corner should be facing you at all times. About 1.5 tablespoons of filling should be placed on each spring roll, starting about an inch and a half from the corner closest to you.
  5. After you’ve rolled it once, fold over the two sides to create a burrito shape. Keep rolling it until you have a cigar. You can seal the wrap by brushing a little water onto the corner where it will be folded closed. Arrange the rolls seam-side down on a tray. About 25 spring rolls can be made with this recipe (you can also prepare them ahead of time and freeze them).
  6. When frying the spring rolls, fill a shallow pot or pan with oil until it is about an inch deep; this is just deep enough to submerge the spring rolls. On low to medium heat, slowly warm the oil. I test the readiness of the oil by placing a bamboo chopstick into the hot oil and observing whether or not bubbles form around the stick. Fry the spring rolls in small batches at a slow pace. Fry in oil until golden brown, then set aside to drain on paper towels. To dip, we recommend some Chinese black vinegar.
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