Difference Between Spring and Summer Rolls

Last Updated on December 1, 2022 by Lauren Beck

If you’re a fan of Chinese cuisine, you may be familiar with two popular types of rolls: spring and summer rolls. Both are delicious, but the difference between them is more than just their names.

Here are some of the key differences between spring rolls and summer rolls:

  • Ingredients: Spring rolls typically have an array of vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, bean sprouts, and other ingredients like shrimp or pork. Summer rolls, on the other hand, usually consist of just one type of filling like tofu or chicken.
  • Wrapper: Spring rolls are wrapped in a flour wrapper that is fried until crisp and golden. Summer rolls use thin rice paper wrappers which don’t need to be fried.
  • Texture: The difference between spring and summer rolls may be most noticeable in the texture. Since the spring rolls are fried, they have a crunchy exterior and a soft interior. Summer rolls, being uncooked, have a softer, more delicate exterior that can be slightly chewy.
  • Taste: Spring rolls usually have a bolder flavor due to the addition of seasonings like garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Summer rolls tend to have mild flavors as they are usually served with a dipping sauce.

Whether you choose spring rolls or summer rolls, you’ll be sure to enjoy a delicious treat! With such great difference between both types of rolls, it’s no wonder they are popular in Chinese cuisine.

What Is a Spring Roll?

A spring roll is a type of Chinese deep-fried snack made from thin flour wrappers filled with vegetables, meat, or seafood. It is believed to have originated in China and has since become popular around the world.

What Is a Summer Roll?

A summer roll is also a type of Chinese snack, but different from a spring roll. It is made with thin rice paper wrappers filled with vegetables and sometimes other ingredients like tofu or chicken. Unlike spring rolls, summer rolls are not fried, making them much lighter and healthier.

Variations of Spring Rolls and Summer Rolls

Though spring rolls and summer rolls are usually served plain, they can also be filled with other ingredients like cheese, nuts, or sweet potatoes. Some recipes even use different wrappers such as egg-roll wrappers or wonton wrappers. There are endless variations of spring and summer rolls that you can experiment with to find your favorite!

What Dipping Sauce Is Served With Spring Rolls Versus Summer Rolls?

Here is a difference between spring and summer rolls that may be overlooked: the dipping sauce. Spring rolls are usually served with a savory sauce such as soy sauce, hoisin sauce, or sweet and sour sauce. Summer rolls typically come with a lighter dipping sauce like peanut butter or chili-garlic paste.

Whether you choose to enjoy your rolls with a savory or sweet dipping sauce, you’ll be sure to love them both!

General Ingredients Used in Spring Rolls and Summer Rolls

  • Spring Rolls Ingredients: Vegetables (cabbage, carrots, mushrooms), meat (shrimp, pork), seasonings (garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil)
  • Summer Rolls Ingredients: Vegetables (lettuce, cucumbers, bean sprouts), proteins (tofu or chicken).

How to Make Spring Rolls?

freshly cooked spring rolls

Here is a simple recipe for making spring rolls.


  • ½ cup shredded cabbage
  • ½ cup grated carrots
  • ¼ cup mushrooms, diced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 6 to 8 pieces of spring roll wrappers


  1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, mushrooms and season with soy sauce and sesame oil.
  2. Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Place one wrapper on a flat surface and spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling in the middle of the wrapper.
  4. Fold two sides of the wrapper towards the center and then roll up tightly.
  5. Place the spring rolls in the hot oil, flipping them after a few minutes until all sides are golden brown.
  6. Remove from heat and serve with your favorite dipping sauce!

How to Make Summer Rolls?

Here is a simple recipe for making summer rolls.


  • 6 to 8 pieces of rice paper wrappers
  • 1 cup lettuce, shredded
  • ½ cup cucumber, julienned
  • ¼ cup bean sprouts


  1. Soak one wrapper in warm water for about 20-30 seconds. Remove and place on a flat surface.
  2. Place the lettuce, cucumber, and bean sprouts on the wrapper.
  3. Fold two sides of the wrapper towards the center and then roll up tightly.
  4. Repeat with remaining wrappers.
  5. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce!

Does a Spring Roll Have Meat?

Yes, a spring roll usually contains some type of meat such as shrimp, pork, or beef. The filling can vary depending on the recipe and region it is from.

Is Spring Rolls Healthier Than Summer Rolls?

It depends on the ingredients used, but generally speaking, spring rolls are usually deep-fried and summer rolls are not. This makes summer rolls a healthier option as they contain fewer calories and less fat than spring rolls [1].


Both spring rolls and summer rolls are delicious snacks that you can enjoy at home or while dining out. Though they share some similarities, there are some key differences between the two including their wrappers, ingredients, and dipping sauces. With a few simple recipes and ideas, you can easily make both types of rolls to enjoy with your family or friends!


Lauren Beck
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