Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Baked Vegetarian Egg Rolls with Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce

Egg rolls make good party appetizers, but they’re typically weighed down by deep-frying. Even if they seem light and crispy (and many don’t), there’s just no way to avoid the heaviness of deep-fried food. So instead: Bake them!

Egg rolls brushed lightly with olive oil turn brown and crisp in a hot oven in about 15 minutes. And remember: A crunchy outside texture is great, but you want the vegetables inside to have a little crunch as well. The filling here is quickly stir-fried just until the veggies are crisp-tender, then drained and spread on a baking sheet to cool and dry a bit. Draining any liquid is key—otherwise you’ll end up with soggy rolls.

Another key: the sauce. Give the crunchy rolls and vegetables something bold and flavorful to dip into. The dipping sauce here couldn’t be simpler or easier, but the few ingredients come together for a tasty combination of sweet, sour, spicy, and tangy—just what the egg rolls ordered.

Note: Egg rolls shouldn’t be the size of your beer can. The key to crispy, intact rolls (whether baked or fried) is to fill them with only about one-and-a-half tablespoons of the vegetable mixture so that you can roll and tuck the wrapper tightly around it. And if you add meat or seafood to the filling, be sure to mince it first.)

Makes 20 egg rolls

For the Dipping Sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp ground fresh chile paste (sambal oelek)
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
Sauce Ingredients
For the Egg Rolls
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 cups short, thin slices of green cabbage
  • 1 cup short, thin slices of peeled carrot
  • 1/2 cup bamboo shoots, very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 20 egg roll wrappers
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Filling Ingredients 
Prepared Ingredients

For the Dipping Sauce
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stirring well to dissolve the honey. (May be made a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce 
For the Egg Rolls
  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
  2. Heat a wok over medium-high heat and add the peanut oil. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry 30 seconds.
  3. Add the scallions, cabbage, carrot, and bamboo shoots, tossing to combine. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil and stir-fry until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables from the wok, draining well. Spread them on the prepared baking sheet and let cool completely, about 15 minutes. 
Garlic and Ginger
Cabbage Mixture Added
Crisp-Tender Vegetables 
Drain Vegetables Well
Cooled Filling
  1. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Lay a wrapper on a work surface with a corner facing you. Spoon about 1-1/2 tablespoons of the filling onto the bottom third of the wrapper.
  3. Fold the bottom of the wrapper over the filling, tucking it as much as possible around and beneath the filling to prevent air pockets. Fold in the sides of the wrapper (forming an envelope-like shape) and continue to fold and tuck until you near the top corner. Brush the corner lightly with egg white and fold over to seal the egg roll.
  4. Place the egg roll on the parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. (Keep the prepared rolls covered with the towel so they don’t become dry.)
Place filling on the wrapper 
Roll and tuck under tightly 
Fold sides over 
Brush top corner with egg 
Finish rolling 
Filled Egg Rolls
  1. Brush both sides of the rolls with olive oil and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes.
Ready to Bake
Baked Egg Rolls
To serve, stack the egg rolls on a platter and serve the sauce in small bowls alongside.

Baked Vegetarian Egg Rolls with Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce


  1. I love egg rolls, great idea to bake them, they look delicious! This is one of my favorites from What'd You Do This Weekend? and will be one of my features at tomorrow's party.

    1. Thanks so much, Joy --- really appreciate the feature!