5 Roll-Shaped Asian Foods to Try Today

Mais oui, Brodard.
Mais oui, Brodard.
Photo by Edwin Goei

Every continent has its roll-shaped food, from the sweet and the savory, the canolli and the burrito. Asia is no different, but while the humble egg roll might be the continent's most well-known roll, it's spawned dozens of children because each Asian country literally went, "Why not take a spin on the thing?!"

Indonesia eats lumpia semarang, the Thai are cooking up po pia tod and the Malaysians are biting into popiah, and, all the while, the Chinese are grabbing flaky butter rolls for dessert.

Want some? You're in luck because lots of them can be found right in our own backyard.

Here are five different Asian rolls to try NOW.

5. Chả giò (rice paper egg rolls) Origin: Vietnam Where: Pho Lu (Garden Grove)

Note the thinner skin!
Note the thinner skin!
Photo by Calgary Reviews

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Chả giò are fried rolls made (usually) with thin, delicate rice paper wrappers used for spring rolls, instead of the thicker flour-based wrappers used for Chinese egg rolls. They're filled with ground pork (sometimes other proteins), carrots, jicama, onions, glass noodles, mushrooms, and are fried to high levels of flakiness and crunchiness.

The rolls don't stop at the wrapper, though. In Vietnam, chả giò are served with fish sauce to dip and a plate of fresh herbs and greens to cut the oil.

4. Lumpia shanghai (miniature egg rolls) Origin: The Philippines, by way of Shanghai Eat this at: Sawali Grill Filipino (Anaheim)

Photo by Helga Weber

If you have ever been to a Filipino-American celebration (what are the chances, but hey), then you've probably seen lumpia shanghai. They're the smaller Filipino egg rolls lightly stuffed with meat, shellfish, or vegetables tied together with a little bit of egg. More petite than most egg rolls, lumpia are a lot easier to pop in your mouth -- and a lot less guilt inducing.

An import from, you guessed it, Shanghai, these lumpia are also traditionally served with Chinese sweet and sour sauce. Next time you show up at a Filipino American party (seriously, go to one), don't hesitate to grab as many rolls as you can -- they are way too fun to eat.

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