Mama’s Egg Rolls

Years ago, my Nan started frequenting a nail salon near her house. She said it made her feel pretty to get her nails done every couple of weeks, and she always delighted in getting adorable little designs, especially when there was a holiday around the corner.

I vividly remember her glee at bright green nails with a glitter four leaf clover for St. Patrick’s Day one year. She loved being a big kid in a lot of ways.

And it wasn’t long before she was dragging Gaga along to the nail salon to get a pedicure. Sure enough, my burly, Army-Strong grandpa, he got a pedicure with my nan every couple of weeks because it made Nan happy.

Along the way, they became especially close with Dana, the owner of the salon, and her family. Eventually even sponsoring members of Dana’s family to come to the U.S.

Dana and her family referred to my Nan as “Mama”, and shared lots of wonderful things with her, including spring rolls.

When Nan passed away last year, Dana was as heartbroken as the rest of us. She and her family surrounded us with love, bringing food and staying to talk, and pampering us with spa treatments. They are true friends.

And as true friends do, Dana shared this recipe with my mom a while ago. Dana’s recipe is for Vietnamese Spring Rolls, but since I couldn’t find the smaller Spring Roll wrappers, I turned them into Egg Rolls. The filling is savory and slightly sweet, and delicious in all the ways an Egg Roll should be.


Serve them alongside some Sweet Thai Chili Sauce, and you’ve got one heck of a terrific party appetizer. Or have more than a few for a small dinner. That’s what James and I did the other night, and I don’t regret it for one minute!

If you’re loathe to deep fry, these Egg Rolls can be baked. Simply brush a little olive or canola oil over them and bake in the oven at 350° for 10 minutes. They’re delicious and still have some crunch.

My mom has also shallow fried them with success. But if you’re looking for that Chinese take-away texture and flavor, go the extra mile and deep fry them.


My extra special thanks to Mom and Dana for sharing this recipe with me, and allowing me to take poetic license with it.

Mama's Egg Rolls
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    • says

      Isn’t it just the sweetest thing, Shelly? I miss those two, but I’m so glad that I can share sweet stories like this about them. I hope you make the egg rolls. They really are scrumptious.

  1. says

    These sound just absolutely delightful. I can’t wait to try them myself, and I giggled at the thought of Gaga with Nan getting pedicures side by side. Such a sweet story!

    • says

      Pretty sure the kiddos would dig them too, Shaina. Just two more months til we get to hang out! Aimee said you called dibs on Clara. We’ll see about that, Auntie!

  2. says

    Dang, why do those things have to look so good? The last time I made egg rolls I said I wouldn’t do it again, but now I’m gonna have to.

    The noodles and the Jimmy Dean are interesting touches!

    • says

      Daniel, I know what you mean. It was a little time consuming, but I’m glad the recipe makes so much. We’ve got a good 40 egg rolls flash frozen for future consumption. And by future, I mean probably for lunch today. 😉

    • says

      Wendi, they were such a pair. Always ready for a party. Can’t wait to see you this weekend! We are going to stuff our faces with some fabulous barbecue!

    • says

      Thank you, Andrea! I hope you try them. While it’s a more time consuming recipe than I normally post, they are OH so worth it.

  3. says

    Aww..I love this story. I was used to get funky little designs myself at the nail salon, myself. What a sweet little tribute to a small part of your Nan. The egg rolls looks insane! Better than any egg rolls I’ve ever seen. All the cross section photos are food porn to the 1000th degree!

  4. says

    Umm..it was supposed to read’ – ‘I used to get funky little designs at the nail salon, myself’. Forgot to delete part of original sentence lol

    • says

      Haha, thanks Lisa! I’ve never really been one for the designs, unless it’s summer time. Then I’ll get a hibiscus flower on my big toe 😉

  5. says

    These look amazing and I would totally eat them for dinner. And what a wonderful memory of your Nan…I love recipes that bring back memories and make you feel all warm and fuzzy. :-)

  6. Sheila says

    I love these egg rolls! Whenever we get together, I always pray that your mom will either make them (if we are at her house) or bring them if we are somewhere else for the party! Is it bad to pray for egg rolls? Nope, Not if they are Nan’s Recipe made by Tammy!

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