Szechuan Paneer Spring Rolls

szechuan paneer spring roll filling

These Szechuan paneer spring rolls are stuffed with vermicelli, paneer, and vegetables. All seasoned with chilli oil and ground Szechuan peppercorns.

I genuinely don’t think you’ve ever had a good spring roll until you’ve made one yourself.

Homemade spring rolls are far superior to anything shop bought. They’re so versatile and you can truly fill them with absolutely anything you desire. All of that flavourful filling is then encased within a thin pastry and fried till perfectly golden.

We’ve all had a spring roll before, and we’re pretty familiar with the normal vegetable rolls that are sold in the supermarkets or from local Chinese take-outs. They’re all reasonably similar in terms of their filling and seasoning. It’s quite rare to find a spring roll that particularly stands out and is memorable.

Szechuan Paneer Spring Rolls

These Szechuan paneer spring rolls are totally different. They’re definitely up there with some of the best rolls that I’ve ever had or made. The crisp shell is filled with crumbled paneer, vermicelli noodles, sliced cabbage and carrots.

All of this is then seasoned with aromatics along with a handful of sauces to give you a spring roll packing with flavour and texture.

szechuan paneer spring rolls

What are Szechuan/Sichuan peppercorns?

Szechuan peppercorns originate from China, more specifically the Szechuan province in Northern China (also spelt as Sichuan). The spice itself comes from the Szechuan pepper, also known as Chinese prickly ash and is well known for it’s tongue numbing sensation.

These peppercorns can be found in your local East Asian supermarket or purchased online. They are a red/brown colour and often sold as whole peppercorns. I purchase mine whole and I grind half the batch into a fine powder for seasoning.

Szechuan peppercorns/Sichuan peppercorns

Szechuan peppercorns are also great for chilli oil

I keep the other half as whole peppercorns which are great for seasoning oils or chilli oil. You can find my go-to Chili oil recipe here.

The peppercorns provide a tongue numbing, spicy pepperiness that’s quite crucial for the traditional Szechuan flavour. However if you haven’t got any Szechuan peppercorns, I’d recommend substituting it for black or white pepper. It will still be delicious!

What’s the best pastry for spring rolls?

The pastry itself is an essential part of the Szechuan paneer spring rolls and it does make a huge difference to use the right one.

I always use these ‘Tyj Spring Roll’ pastry sheets which I find in my local supermarket. It’s normally stored in the freezer aisle. You can also use filo pastry sheets if you struggle to find specific spring roll sheets.

spring roll pastry

The main thing to be aware of when using spring roll pastry or filo is that it can dry out very easily. Firstly let the pastry thaw out in the fridge if you purchased the frozen one like myself. Then leave the pastry wrapped in a lightly damp towel to prevent them from drying out and work with a few sheets at a time.

If the sheets start to dry out they will crack when rolling and you won’t get a smooth finish on the spring rolls, you may even struggle to roll these out completely.

Let’s talk about some of the ingredients

I’ll cover the main ones below but the full recipe can be found at the end

  • Aromatics – like garlic and ginger
  • Vegetables – we’re using carrots and cabbage
  • Paneer – an Indian cottage cheese that can be purchased in supermarkets or made at home (plenty of recipes online)
  • Vermicelli noodles – long, thin noodles made from rice flour, also available in most supermarkets
  • Soy sauces – we’re using both dark and light soy sauce for colour and seasoning
  • Rice vinegar – a little bit of acidity to balance out the heat
  • Chilli sauce – use your favourite one, sriracha or gochujang works great. I’ve always got a stash of my Szechuan sauce on hand so I use tend to use this a lot
  • Ground Szechuan peppercorns – crucial for that traditional Szechuan flavour, however if you don’t have this you can omit or substitute with black or white pepper
  • Chinese 5 spice – a spice mix (I’ll cover this more below)
  • Chilli oil – optional but adds a good amount of heat. I use my own homemade chilli oil but you can use any of your preference. This can also be purchased from your local East Asian supermarket
szechuan paneer spring roll filling

What is Chinese 5 spice?

5 spice is a Chinese spice mix that’s available in some large supermarkets and in most East Asian specialty supermarkets. It’s a mix of ground spices consisting of star anise, fennel, cloves, cinnamon and pepper (traditionally Szechuan or white pepper).

The star anise is the prominent flavour but it’s a very warming spice mix that adds a ton of depth and flavour to the filling. Some variations of 5 spice do exist which contain mandarin peel or sand ginger, either one of these mixes will be fine.

I purchase my 5 spice from my local East Asian supermarket but it’s routinely sold in the spices and seasoning aisles in regular supermarkets. If you can’t find this spice mix, feel free to leave it out. The spring rolls will sill taste delicious!

Fried vs Baked vs Air Fried spring rolls

Frying led to the most golden result with that traditional spring roll finish. Air fried was not too far off, but the pastry became slightly drier due to the longer cooking time. Baking was the driest of them all and didn’t develop much colour.

Having said that, I’d happily air fry these as the results were not too far off from fried. The instructions for air frying and baking will be in the notes section of the recipe.

fried, air fried and baked spring rolls
Fried (left), air fried (centre), baked (right)

How to make Szechuan Paneer Spring Rolls

First, making the Szechuan Paneer filling

1) Finely mince the garlic and ginger

2) Julienne or finely slice the carrots and green cabbage

3) Grate the paneer and break the noodles into smaller pieces

4) Soak the noodles in cold water for ~5mins until softened

5) Start to sauté the garlic and ginger

6) Add in the carrots and cabbage and continue to sauté

7) Add the paneer and noodles and continue to mix

8) Add in the seasonings and sauces (soy sauces, chilli sauce, rice vinegar, 5 spice and ground Szechuan peppercorns, sugar and salt). Also add in the water and the chilli oil (if using)

szechuan spring roll mix

9) Continue to mix the filling until dry, then allow to cool completely. Add in the spring onions once the mixture has cooled completely

How to roll spring rolls

1) Place your pastry sheet with one of the corners facing you

2) Place a good amount of filling in the corner that faces you, leaving around an inch gap from the corner itself

3) Fold the corner over the filling

4) Roll over the pastry once to seal the filling inside

5) This is how it should look after the first roll

6) Now seal one end adjacent to the filling with your finger and fold that corner into the centre, as shown in 7)

7+8) Now repeat with the other side

9) Start rolling over the spring roll until it approaches the last corner

10) Using a paste made from plain flour and water, brush this on to the final corner and roll to seal the spring roll

szechuan paneer spring rolls

11) Completely sealed and no exposed filling. Fry these till golden!

Frequently asked questions

Can I make these vegan?

Absolutely, substitute the paneer for extra firm tofu and you’re good to go. These are delicious with tofu!

Where do I find Szechuan peppercorns? Can I leave them out?

You’ll find them in your local East Asian supermarkets. I then grind them in a dry grinder or pestle and mortar.

If you really can’t find them then omit them or substitute with black/white pepper. They won’t be Szechuan flavoured but will still be delicious. Otherwise try and find a Szechuan chilli sauce to add in for your chilli sauce.

Can I use filo pastry for these Szechuan Paneer Spring Rolls?

Yes, it’s not exactly the same but it’s pretty close.

What can I serve these with?

Because the filling itself still retains some moisture, you can actually serve these alone. I prefer these alone as they’re so flavourful. When I serve these with a sauce, I try to make sure it’s something that won’t overpower the flavour of the spring rolls themselves.

My recommendation would be to serve these with a simple chilli oil, sweet chilli sauce, or a Szechuan chilli sauce of choice.

Can I bake or air fry these Szechuan Paneer Spring Rolls?

Yes you certainly can. I’ll show you an image below comparing the results of fried, air fried and baked.

If you enjoyed this recipe

Please do let me know! Leave a review and a rating below, I’d love to know how you got on.

You can also tag me on Instagram at @dish_by_rish. Or follow me on FacebookPinterestYoutube, and TikTok to keep up with all my cooking and baking creations.

Until then, happy cooking!

szechuan paneer spring roll filling

Szechuan Paneer Spring Rolls

Yield: 16 spring rolls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

These Szechuan paneer spring rolls are stuffed with vermicelli, paneer, and vegetables. All seasoned with chilli oil and ground Szechuan peppercorns.


  • 2tbsp of neutral flavoured oil, sunflower/rapeseed/vegetable
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1" piece of ginger, minced
  • 75g carrots (~1 large), julienned or grated
  • 75g green cabbage, julienned or grated
  • 2 spring onion greens, finely sliced
  • 250g paneer, grated
  • 75g vermicelli noodles, soaked in cold water for 5 mins to soften
  • 1tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1tbsp rice vinegar or lemon juice
  • 3tbsp water
  • 1tbsp chilli sauce of choice
  • 2tsp ground Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 2tsp chilli oil, optional
  • 16 sheets of spring roll pastry
  • Oil for frying

To seal the spring rolls:

  • Water
  • Plain flour/all purpose flour


Making the filling:

  1. First, heat a frying pan or wok over a medium low heat. Add the 2tbsp of oil and sauté the minced garlic and ginger until fragrant. This will take around 1 minute
  2. Then add in the carrots and cabbage and continue to sauté until they begin to soften, stirring continuously
  3. Next, add the paneer as well as the softened noodles and cook for a further 2 minutes
  4. We're now going to season the spring roll filling, so add both of the soy sauces, the rice vinegar, water, and the chilli sauce, At the same time, also add in the Szechuan peppercorns, 5 spice, sugar, salt, and chilli oil (if using). Continue to mix and cook until all the sauces have been incorporated and the filling becomes visibly dry.
  5. Finally, finish with the spring onion greens and then allow the mixture to cool completely. If you didn't want to use chilli oil earlier, you could alternatively add 1tsp of toasted sesame oil at this stage

Preparing the spring rolls:

  1. To prepare your paste to seal the spring rolls, simply mix 1-2tbsp of plain flour with just enough water to form a thick but runny paste
  2. Then take a sheet of spring roll pastry. Note: keep the rest of the packet of pastry covered with a damp towel to prevent the sheets from drying out. Place 2 heaped tablespoons of filling in one corner of the pastry sheet, an inch away from the edge
  3. Fold the corner of the pastry sheet over the filling and then roll it over once
  4. Seal the edges of the filling with your finger and pull each corner of the pastry sheet (left and right) towards the centre
  5. Roll the spring roll till it's nearing the final corner
  6. Brush the paste over the remaining corner and continue to roll the spring roll until it's completely sealed
  7. Deep fry the spring rolls in 175-180'C/345-355'F oil, 3-4 at a time until golden. For air frying and baking methods, please see below

How to air fry or bake spring rolls:

  • Air frying: brush each spring roll with oil and air fry for 10-11 minutes at 195'C/380'F
  • Baking: brush each spring roll with oil and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 180'C fan/200'C conventional - 355'F/390'F
Nutrition Information
Yield 16 Serving Size 1 spring roll
Amount Per Serving Calories 328Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 25mgSodium 578mgCarbohydrates 39gFiber 3gSugar 3gProtein 10g

This is an automated calculation and hence may not be entirely accurate.

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1 Comment

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    Sweet Chilli Cauliflower - Dish by Rish
    April 20, 2022 at 4:04 pm

    […] Sugar normally allows for a sticky and syrupy sauce which is the texture that normal sweet chilli sauces have. However with the lower sugar amount in my recipe we’ll be adding in starch to thicken it up. I recommend using rice flour, however corn flour or tapioca flour will also work well. This will provide a similar texture without the overpowering sweetness. Keep extra sauce bottled away in the fridge, it’s perfect for dips and goes really well with my Szechuan paneer spring rolls. […]

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