Learn how to make harumaki: light and crispy Japanese spring rolls filled with meat and chopped vegetables. Ready in minutes, they make a fun and delicious appetizer!
The Best Harumaki Recipe
Want to make an easy Japanese appetizers at home? You must try Harumaki, aka Japanese spring rolls.
Its a popular dish served at Izakayas (Japanese pubs) and Japanese restaurants around the world.
While they may look complicated, they are actually ridiculously easy to make and even easier to polish them all off!
What is Harumaki?
Harumaki is a Japanese word that translates to “Spring Rolls.” Spring rolls are popular in every culture, so Japanese cuisine has their own version with a unique spin.
These Japanese spring rolls differ from other spring rolls thanks to their filling: a combination of meat and vegetables rolled in egg roll wrappers and fried until they are crispy and golden.
Some areas of Japan also include noodles in their filling, known as harusami.
Why this recipe works
It’s full of flavor. The filling combines meat, vegetables, soy sauce, etc., with a crunchy texture that adds flavor to each bite.
Quick and easy. Japanese spring rolls may look complicated, but they are so easy to make and use simple ingredients.
Easy to customize. Add your favorite veggies, swap meat or completely omit it; they will still taste delicious.
Ingredients for Harumaki
To make the best harumaki, you only need a few ingredients. Here is what you need:
- Pork. Lean or standard pork works.
- Soy sauce. To add flavor to the filling.
- Sake. The secret ingredient that adds flavor and a unique touch.
- Sesame oil. A mainstream in Asian cooking, a little goes a long way.
- Vegetables. Cabbage and green onion.
- Egg roll wraps. Easily found in Asian grocery stores or the chilled section of your local supermarket.
- Oil. When frying, always choose oils with a high smoke point.
How to make Japanese spring rolls?
You can make Japanese spring rolls with the following simple steps:
Make the filling
Take a bowl and mix pork, sugar, sake, pepper, soy sauce, sesame oil, cabbage and green onions to make the filling.
Prepare the wrapper
Depending on which brand of wrappers you use, you may need to soak them in water to make them pliable. If not, you can let them sit at room temperature for several minutes.
Make spring rolls
Make a ball of the pork mixture, place it in the wrapper and fold it lengthways first, then the sides, and pinch each corner so they are closed. Repeat the process until all the filling is used up.
Fry the rolls
Take a non-stick pan, add oil, and heat it on medium heat. Fry the spring rolls until they become crispy and get a golden texture.
Serve them warm with a dipping sauce.
Dipping sauce for Harumaki
Like any good spring roll, there are usually tons of dipping sauces and/or condiments to pair with it.
Popular options include Kewpie Mayo (Japanese mayonnaise) or a simple sweet chili sauce.
A more traditional sauce combined soy, rice vinegar, and Japanese mustard, known as Karashi.
Wondering what’s the best way to store Harumaki? Here are best practices for spring roll storage:
- To store: Place leftovers in the sealable container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To freeze: Place the cooked and cooled spring rolls in a ziplock bag and store it in the freezer for up to two months.
- Reheating: never microwave spring rolls: always reheat them in a non-stick pan or oven.
Make ahead tips
You can prepare the uncooked Harumaki in advance and cook them at a later time.
Once you’ve prepared the rolls, gently place them in a shallow container, adding parchment paper between each layer to prevent sticking. Store them in the freezer for up to two months.
When ready to cook, let them thaw to room temperature.
Dietary swaps and substitutions
Some dietary swaps and substitutions that you can try while making Japanese spring rolls are are below:
Ground chicken or beef instead of pork. Chicken and beef deliver the same nutritional value as pork and thanks to their texture, can seamlessly be substituted.
Add your favorite vegetables. Add finely shredded carrots, diced potatoes, or peas.
Use spices. If you like the spicy flavor of spring rolls, you can add a bit of paprika or red pepper flakes to the recipe.
FAQS about haru maki
What is the difference between a spring roll and an egg roll?
Egg rolls usually have a thick wrap that is dipped in eggs before frying. In contrast, spring rolls have a thinner, crisper wrapper that isn’t egg dipped.
Do spring rolls have meat?
Yes, spring rolls usually have meat, but you can also find plenty of meatless variations.
Are Harumaki vegan?
No, harumaki aren’t vegan. The filling contains meat, and the wrappers used contain animal products (eggs and/or shortening).
More Japanese recipes to try
Harumaki (Japanese Spring Rolls)
- Mix the pork, soy sauce, pepper, sugar, sake, egg, sesame oil, cabbage and green onions in a bowl.
- Read the egg roll wrapper instructions and prepare them accordingly. If they require soaking, do so.
- Using lightly wet hands, scoop out golf ball sized portions of the pork mixture.
- Place each portion onto an egg roll wrapper and fold it lengthways then close it up on either end. Repeat this process until you have 25 egg rolls.
- Add oil to a non-stick pan. Once hot, fry the spring rolls until they are golden and crispy on both sides.
- Place the cooked harumaki on a paper towel to soak up excess oil. Serve immediately.
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