Japanese style Egg Rolls with Pineapple Sweet & Sour Sauce

Joined Jun 7, 2021
Eating egg rolls at Chinese restaurants was, for me, disappointing. They had too much soggy Cabbage in the middle, making them mushy. And the red sweet & sour space tasted like vinegar, sugar, and red food coloring, thickened with cornstarch. It had no depth. So, as I I always do, I had to reinvent the wheel, so to speak.

The egg roll recipe I am sharing is the result, as is the Pineapple Sweet & sour Sauce. They are both my own creation, and are enjoyed by many. I served them to my Daughter-In-Law's Parents, and Grandparents when my son's first child was christened. after the meal, they asked me, tongue in cheek, of course, if I would consider moving from Michigan to Seattle.. They really loved them. So ,I'd like to share the recipe with you.

First, the Sauce. It has layers of flavor, and a great texture. It pairs well with the eggrolls, over pork, as a topping over Chow Mein, , and even as a glaze for bbq pork, or chicken.


2 cups chicken broth (water can be used if no broth is available)

1/4 tsp. ginger

1 tbs. onion powder or 1/4 onion finely chopped

2 cloves crushed garlic

16 oz. can crushed or chunk pineapple (substitute 1/2 cup lemon juice if used for seafood)

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar (substitute 1/2 cup white granulated sugar if lemon juice is used)

1/8 cup balsamic, or apple cider vinegar

1/4 chopped sweet pepper (optional but omit if lemon juice is used)

2 tbs. cornstarch mixed with 4 oz. water

Combine ingredients in order. After adding brown sugar, taste. Sauce should be fairly sweet with the ginger and chicken flavors tickling, not stomping the taste buds. Add vinegar and taste again. Add more brown sugar or vinegar as needed. But be careful. It is much easier to add just a bit more of something than it’s to try to remove it, or compensate for a too strong flavor.

Mix the cornstarch and water together, and pour into the gently boiling sauce. Stir rapidly to distribute until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and cover.

Chicken Egg Rolls
This recipe takes time. It works best when multiple people work on it. You can throw an Egg Roll party where you invite your friends and/or family to participate in the production. You’ll be amazed at how many people will take you up on the offer. And you’ll be the head chef of course.


2 lbs. cut up frying chicken

1/4 cup sliced and halved water chestnuts

1/4 cup coarsely chopped bamboo shoots

1/4 cup diced onion

2 stalks celery, sliced

½ green pepper, chopped (optional)

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. Ground ginger

2 tbs. Soy sauce

scant dash of Chinese 5 spice powder

2 cups fresh bean sprouts

1 package egg roll skins

1 cup peanut oil + 2 tbs.

Dice the chicken meat into 1/4 inch pieces. Heat 2 tbs. of the peanut oil in a steel wok, or large heavy skillet (I prefer seasoned cast iron if I’m not using my wok). Add the chicken and half of the salt. Cover with a lid and cook for about seven minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the cooked chicken to a large bowl.

Return the wok to the stove and reheat. Add the onion, garlic, peppers, bok choy, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots. Stir fry on highest heat setting for five minutes without lid. Remove the cooked vegetables to the bowl with the chicken. Add the spices and soy sauce to the bowl and mix well.

Place the bean sprouts into the wok. Add ½ cup water to the wok, and cover. Cook for seven to ten minutes until the bean sprouts turn white and loose there translucent quality. Add to the meat and vegetable mixture and toss thoroughly. Place bowl where you can easily reach into it and let cool for ten minutes.


Frying egg rolls is best done with an assistant, or partner. As the egg rolls are made, they should be immediately placed in hot oil. As the uncooked egg rolls sit, the water and vegetable fluids will cause the skins to become gooey and hard to work with. Working with a partner will also reduce the work load and total cooking time.

Put a finger bowl filled with water within easy reach. Place an egg roll skin onto a clean dry surface. Put one tbs. Of the chicken mixture onto the egg roll skin center. Dip your fingers into the water and use them to wet all four edges of the egg roll skin. Fold two opposite sides toward the center until they just begin to cover the filling. Grasp one of the unfolded edges and place over the filling. Continue rolling into a complete cylinder. Set aside, onto a cooling rack.

Make as many egg rolls as you desire. Experiment with the amount of filling you add. Deep fry in hot peanut oil immediately until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil. Serve with pineapple sweet and sour sauce and mustard sauce, and with fried or steamed brown rice.

i have made this filling with chicken, pork, shrimp, and scallops, all using the same veggies, Ans seasonings. Wien using the shrimp, or scallops as the protie, I changed the sauce by using white, instead of brown sugar, and lemon juice in place of the pineapple. They all came out great. I wish I had Pictures.

So, why do I call these Japanese Style Egg rolls?

Many Asian nations have their own style of egg rolls. Lumpia in the Philippines, spring rolls from Viet Nam. Egg Rolls from China and Japan, each varying in flavors, and textures. I was curious about Japanese Egg Rolls, as I had never had any. I have had, and made the others. So, I did some research. To my surprise, the Japanese Egg Roll recipes were very similar to my own egg roll recipe, full of crunchy veggies, with no soggy, cabbage in them. I smiled. And here I thought that I was original. The same thing has happened to me with other things I had never hear of, but had created for myself, such as panacotta.. O well. I guess I'm adept at re-inventing the wheel.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
Joined May 5, 2010
Thanks for your post.

I have handmade 1000's of egg rolls and spring rolls. The soggy skin and "wet cabbage" you refer to is all about the preparation and using the best ingredients.

My vegetable rolls contain, Napa cabbage, Bok choy, carrots, celery, green onion, ginger, soy, and crushed garlic.
This is all sautéed in sesame oil and allowed to drain in a colander before rolling. This extra process keeps your rolls from getting wet, yet still contain the flavors.

You do not have to fry them in hot oil right away. The freshly made rolls rolls can be dusted slightly with cornstarch, placed on a parchment lined pan and frozen solid. Once frozen you can slip the egg rolls into a container or Ziploc bag and freeze until needed.
Joined Jun 7, 2021
Your recipe is much like my own, but without the bean sprouts or proteins. I like your idea of placing the filling into a colander. The bowl with my filling has a considerable amount of juice in the bottom, which is added to the sweet and sour sauce. I feel like your egg rolls would be a bit crisper than mine. I'll have to give it a try. Thanks.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
Joined Jul 22, 2019
One day I was searching the chicken egg rolls with pine-apple recipe on the internet and saw your recipe. That was so superb, everything you suggested and I have started making chicken egg roll by following your recipe. Thank you so much for sharing this!
Joined Jun 7, 2021
I'm so happy you like the recipe. Have you made crab rangoons? They are so easy. Here's how.
8 oz. cream cheese
1 tbs. granulated sugar
4 oz. lump crab meat
Wonton skins
Cooking oil

Combine cream cheese, sugar, crab meat. Place wonton skins nearby. Place a small bowl of water within easy reach. Lay one skin flat on work surface. Wet edges with fingers. Place 1 tbsp. cream cheese mixture in the center of the wonton skin. Bring all corners up and together. Pinch lightly. Place onto a cooling rack until you have enough to fry. Fry in 3 inches of hot oil until lightly browned. Remove to paper towels to drain. Serve with sweet & sour,, or plumb sauce, or tomato sauce with powdered mustard mixed it. Also good with wasabi paste.

You can change tout he crab with minced shrimp, clams, or scallops. Lemon curd makes a great dipping sauce for rangoons too.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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