Curry Basil Egg Rolls

Curry Basil Egg Rolls + Peanut Sauce

Here’s a recipe, published in the Times Union January, 2020. You can read it here, with the story included.

Egg rolls are fun to make and so good to eat.

The key to good egg rolls is creating a flavorful filling, and this one’s got lots of crunchy vegetables, a bit of curry spice and basil and lime, for bright and fresh flavor.

Cook the vegetables long enough so that they are crisp-tender (meaning not soggy but cooked enough to not be hard). This is easiest to achieve by cutting the veggies to the same size, so they cook evenly. And be sure to cut the peppers, onion and carrots into thin strips and not chopped squares, as they won’t roll up in the wrapper unless they’re strips. I always think of egg rolls as being super greasy and not very healthy, but these are cooked in only a small amount of oil and drained well. They’re also packed with veggies.

So while not exactly what you’d call health food, they aren’t on the junk food list, either. Plus, these egg rolls are excellent lunch box ingredients. If you’re anything like me, something other than the same old salad or sandwich is a welcome change at lunchtime. The peanut dipping sauce is made from finely ground peanuts with a hint of soy, sugar and chile. After you make the sauce, taste it and make it your own by adding more, a little bit at a time, of the salty, sweet or spicy ingredients.

Curry Basil Egg Rolls + Peanut Sauce

Recipe by Caroline BarrettCourse: Appetizers, Main, SnacksCuisine: Asian, Fusion, American



Crunchy, bright, veggie-filled egg rolls that are fun to eat and easy to make.


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 3 green onions, tops trimmed and cut into 3” lengths

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon good quality curry powder

  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned

  • 1/2 red pepper, cored and julienned

  • 1 cup bean sprouts

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, julienned

  • Juice of ½ lime

  • Egg roll wrappers

  • Water, for sealing

  • Canola oil, for frying

  • Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce (recipe follows)


  • Slice the onion sections lengthwise into thin strips. Heat the canola oil in a wok or large frying pan set over medium heat. Cook the onions for a minute or two, then add the salt and curry powder and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring. Add the cabbage, carrots and red pepper and stir well to mix so the curry oil coats all of the vegetables. Cook, stirring, for five minutes. Turn the heat off and stir in the bean sprouts, basil and lime juice. Taste and add a pinch more salt, if you like. Allow to cool completely.
  • To assemble an egg roll, place a wrapper on a work surface with a corner pointing at you. Pile ⅓ cup filling into the center of the wrapper. Bring the corner closest to you up and over the filling, then fold in the sides. Roll from the bottom up, and use a little water to seal the edge. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and keep the finished rolls under a towel until ready to fry. Be careful to keep space between the wrappers, as they will stick to each other.
  • Pour ¼” oil in a frying pan and set over medium heat. When the oil is hot (it will ripple), carefully add the egg rolls, working batches so the pan is not crowded. Turn the rolls after a minute or two, and brown on all sides. Place on paper towels to drain. Keep warm in the oven set at 190°. Serve hot with the dipping sauce.
  • Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce – Optional but so good!
    Makes about 1 cup

    1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
    2 tablespoons sambal oelek (see note)
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
    1 tablespoon rice vinegar
    ½ cup boiling water

    In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the peanuts until very finely chopped. Add the sambal, soy sauce, sugar and vinegar and puree again. With the motor running, pour in the boiling water and allow to process for another 30 seconds or so, until smooth and creamy. Stop the processor, scrape the bowl down, and puree again to combine all. Can be made ahead. Keeps refrigerated for one week. 
    Note: sambal oelek is a sauce made from chiles and can easily be found in the Aisian section of the grocery.

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