Carnitas Egg Rolls: A Fusion You Need to Try
Carnitas Egg Rolls are a Mexican-Chinese fusion that’s meaty, cheesy, and so satisfying! It’s filled with tender slow cooked pork carnitas and melty Oaxaca cheese all wrapped inside a super crispy egg roll!
What Are Carnitas Egg Rolls?
Carnitas Egg Rolls are a fusion of Mexican and Chinese cuisines.
Egg rolls are an American-Chinese dish that are related to Chinese fried spring rolls.
Egg rolls are fried and typically filled with a ground meat mixture like chicken or pork and shredded vegetables.
The skin on egg rolls are thick and bubbly compared to spring roll skins which are thin and smooth.
Instead of the traditional egg roll filling, the recipe I’m sharing uses carnitas as the filling.
Carnitas is a Mexican dish that translates to “little meats” in Spanish.
It is typically made by slow cooking and braising pork in fat and various seasonings for hours.
As a result of this low-and-slow cooking, the pork becomes super tender yet juicy.
The carnitas can be used in other dishes like tacos or served on its own with tortillas, salsa, guacamole, cilantro and onions.
The best of both worlds are combined into these Carnitas Egg Rolls – a fusion you definitely need to try!
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Ingredients for Carnitas Egg Rolls
Before you begin making this carnitas egg rolls recipe, you’ll need to gather the following ingredients:
- Carnitas: Carnitas is a Mexican dish made by slow cooking pork for hours until it is super tender yet juicy. You can make your own or purchase from your favorite restaurant or grocery store.
- If you’re in Austin, Texas, you can get carnitas by the pound from El Tacorrido ($20/lb) or Carnitas El Güero ($20/lb). Both spots make delicious carnitas.
- For an easy grocery option, I recommend HERDEZ carnitas. It is ready-to-eat slow cooked pork that’s marinated in citrus and garlic. Each package is just under 1 lb (15 oz) for $10.
- Cheese: For this recipe use shredded Oaxaca cheese. It’s a soft, creamy, and mild Mexican cheese that melts really nicely to create that satisfying cheese pull. Use mozzarella cheese as a substitute.
- Wrapper: You can use either egg roll or spring roll wrappers. You can find these in the freezer aisle at your local Asian grocery store like 99 Ranch Market or H Mart. I prefer spring roll wrappers because they are thinner and gets so crispy when fried.
- Aromatics: Yellow onion and garlic just makes everything smell and taste better!
- Cilantro: Cilantro adds a fresh, herby flavor to balance out the richness of the carnitas and cheese.
- Egg Wash: An egg wash is a whisked egg with a splash of water. Use this to seal the egg rolls.
- Oil: Since we are deep frying, use a neutral oil with a high smoke point. Some examples are vegetable, canola, corn, and avocado oil.
How to Make Carnitas Egg Rolls
These carnitas egg rolls are pretty easy to make and ready to eat in about 30 minutes!
They are cheesy, meaty, and crispy. It’s such a satisfying combination.
Let’s walk through this carnitas egg roll recipe step-by-step together so you can recreate this perfectly at home!
As always a recipe card is at the end that you can print out, pin to Pinterest, or save for later.
Step 1: Create Carnitas Mixture
Firstly, shred the carnitas.
Then in a mixing bowl, combine carnitas, onions, garlic, and cilantro.
Mix well to ensure the even distribution of ingredients.
These ingredients are inspired by the traditional toppings on tacos.
Step 2: How to Roll Egg Rolls
To roll an egg roll, start by placing an egg roll wrapper in a diamond shape on a clean surface.
Cover the remaining wrappers with a damp towel to keep them from drying out while you’re rolling.
Then add a big pinch of shredded Oaxaca cheese to the bottom third of the wrapper.
Afterwards add a big scoop of the carnitas mixture.
Once the filling has been added, pull the bottom corner of the wrapper over the filling, tuck it around the filling, and roll tightly up halfway.
Then fold the outer corners in towards the middle.
Brush the egg wash (whisked egg + a splash of water) on the upper third corner and roll tightly up to seal the egg roll.
Repeat these steps for the remaining egg rolls.
While you are rolling the remaining, also cover the completed egg rolls with a damp towel to keep them from drying out.
Step 3: Cook Carnitas Egg Rolls
In a pot or fryer, add enough oil to fully cover the carnitas egg rolls.
Do not add it into the oil until the oil is hot.
The egg rolls should start bubbling upon contact with the hot oil. If it does not, the oil is not hot enough.
Deep fry the egg rolls at 350℉ for about 4 minutes or until they are golden and crispy.
Fry about 6 at a time but do not overcrowd.
The amount of egg rolls you can fry at a time depends on the size of your pot or fryer.
Rotate halfway so that it cooks evenly.
Once it is done, remove from the oil and place on a plate with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
Step 4: Make Avocado Salsa & Serve
Lastly, plate the carnitas egg rolls and serve hot.
There will be no cheese pull if these are not served hot.
Also you can’t eat egg rolls without a dipping sauce!
My recipe for avocado salsa is the perfect pairing for carnitas egg rolls just like it is for carnitas tacos.
It’s creamy, spicy, and tangy.
To make the avocado salsa, simply place these ingredients into a food processor:
- 1 avocado
- 1 jalapeño (remove seeds if you don’t want it to be too spicy)
- 1/8 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- handful cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
- salt and pepper to taste
Then blend until smooth, taste test, and adjust it to your liking.
The avocado salsa adds a burst of flavor and brightness to balance out the richness of the carnitas and cheese.
You can also pair these carnitas egg rolls with other types of salsas.
Leftovers & Reheating
Store any leftover carnitas egg rolls for up to 3-4 days in a sealed container in the fridge.
In order to get it to be crispy again, you need to reheat in an air fryer or toaster oven.
Air fry or bake at 400℉ for about 5 minutes or until it is crispy to your liking. Rotate halfway to ensure even reheating.
Spray a little bit of oil on it as needed.
Time may vary depending on your air fyer or toaster oven.
If you are using a full size oven, it may also take more time to reheat.
What to Serve with Carnitas Egg Rolls
You can serve carnitas egg rolls on its own as a snack, appetizer, or side.
It goes perfectly as part of a spread with other Mexican-inspired dishes like the following:
Save This Carnitas Egg Rolls Recipe
I hope this step-by-step tutorial for how to make carnitas egg rolls is helpful and that you try to recreate this delicious fusion at home!
Be sure to save this so you can make it whenever you’re in the mood for something different and share this recipe with your family and friends!
If you try it, then please leave a rating and comment below. I’d love to know what you think!
Did you make this recipe? I would love to see! Tag me on IG @feedmi_ or TikTok @feedmi
Carnitas Egg Rolls
Carnitas Egg Rolls
- 1 lb carnitas
- 10 oz Oaxaca cheese, shredded
- 12 egg roll or spring roll wrappers
- ¼ onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- handful cilantro
- 1 egg, whisked
- splash of water
- neutral oil for frying
- 1 avocado
- 1 jalapeño (deseed if you don't want it too spicy)
- ⅛ onion
- 1 garlic cloves
- handful cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
- In a mixing bowl, combine carnitas, onions, garlic, and cilantro.
- Place an egg roll wrapper in a diamond shape on a clean surface. Cover the remaining wrappers with a damp towel to keep them from drying out while you're rolling.
- Add a big pinch of shredded Oaxaca cheese to the bottom third of the wrapper. Then add a big scoop of the carnitas mixture.
- Pull the bottom corner of the wrapper over the filling, tuck, and roll up halfway. Then fold the outer corners in towards the middle. Brush the egg wash (egg + splash of water) on the upper corner and roll tightly up to seal the egg rolls.
- Cover the egg rolls with a damp towel to keep them from drying out. Repeat steps 2-4 for the remaining egg rolls.
- In a pot or fryer, deep fry the egg rolls at 350℉ for about 4 minutes or until golden and crispy. Fry about 6 egg rolls at a time, depending on the size of your pot or fryer. Do not overcrowd. Rotate halfway so that it cooks evenly. Place the cooked egg rolls onto a plate with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
- To make the avocado salsa, place all the avocado salsa ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste test and adjust it to your liking.
- Serve the carnitas egg rolls with avocado salsa and enjoy!