Corned Beef Egg Rolls are the tastiest combination of corned beef, Swiss cheese and cabbage with a creamy mustard dipping sauce. Use leftover corned beef or deli meat for this Detroit speciality!

A plate of corned beef egg rolls with creamy mustard dipping sauce. One egg roll is cut in half, showing the inside filling.

As I mentioned last week when I shared my colcannon soup, I’m trying to build up the St. Patrick’s Day recipe selection on this website a little bit more.

While I can make a whole meal out of mini shepherds pies and Baileys brownies, I wanted to share something that will be perfect for leftover corned beef you might have after St. Patrick’s Day. You can also buy some corned beef from a deli specifically to make these for the holiday itself (or anytime), though!

And, as I’ll explain below, these corned beef egg rolls are also a uniquely Detroit creation. But no matter where you hail from, I think you’ll find them fun to make and decadently delicious.

A half of a reuben egg roll being dipped into a creamy mustard sauce.

Why are corned beef egg rolls a thing in Detroit?

Serious Eats has a detailed article about Detroit corned beef and how corn beef egg rolls came to be, and it’s a great read.

TLDR, Detroit used to be (and in some ways, still is) a mecca of Jewish delis and corned beef shops. When they sliced up corned beef for sandwiches, the delis were left with a lot of scraps (the pieces of beef too small to really use for sandwiches).

Food waste is like throwing money down the drain at any restaurant, so one Detroit deli started wrapping the scraps into egg rolls. They were so popular that many other delis followed suit.

Now, corned beef egg rolls and “Asian corned beef” are becoming almost as much of a regional speciality as chicken shawarma, coney dogs and Detroit style pizza!

Egg roll wrappers laid out on a wooden cutting board, topped with small pies of corned beef and shredded cheese.

What you’ll need for this corned beef egg rolls recipe:

  • corned beef brisket – you can use left over corned beef from St. Patrick’s Day, or you can buy sliced corned beef from the deli counter. Both ways are delicious.
  • Swiss cheese – some Detroit delis use cheese in their egg rolls, some do not, but I prefer the ones with cheese. It kind of binds everything together! Mozzarella works, too (save the fresh stuff for chicken pizza and use the part-skim kind for egg rolls).
  • coleslaw mix – I like to use a bag of coleslaw mix here because it gives me both cabbage and a little bit of carrot for color. But I discuss other options below.
  • cider vinegar – I briefly heat the coleslaw mix in the microwave with some vinegar and water to give it a sour flavor reminsicent of sauerkraut. We’ll also be adding a splash of vinegar to the dipping sauce for acidity.
  • sugar – just a little bit of sweetness makes these salty reuben egg rolls even more craveable.
  • salt and pepper – seasoning the coleslaw mix is key.
  • egg roll wrappers – these are usually found in the grocery store refrigerated produce section near the bean sprouts.
  • vegetable oil – for frying the corned beef egg rolls. You can also use canola oil or any other type of oil suitable for deep frying.
  • mayonnaise – the backbone of our creamy dipping sauce for these corned beef and cabbage egg rolls. Also the workhorse of roasted garlic dip.
  • Dijon mustard – for a sharp kick of heat in the sauce to balance the richness of the egg rolls. I also love the heat of Dijon in chicken stroganoff.
  • yellow mustard – for even more mustard flavor and color in the sauce.
Corned beef egg rolls being rolled up on a wooden cutting board.

How to make corned beef egg rolls:

First, we’ll be briefly microwaving the coleslaw mix to soften it up a little before rolling it into the egg rolls. Place the coleslaw mix in a microwave safe bowl and add a bit of cider vinegar and water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and cook it for 90 seconds.

After microwaving, drain off any extra liquid hanging around the bowl, and use a paper towel to pat everything dry. Stir some sugar, salt and pepper into the coleslaw mix.

This is when you’ll want to start heating your oil up. You’ll want to bring it up to 375 degrees F for deep frying.

While the oil is heating, roll your egg rolls. Just like making the dumplings for shrimp wonton soup, it’s easier than it seems, so don’t be intimidated!

Work with 2 egg roll wrappers at a time, and place some coleslaw mixture, some Swiss cheese, and some corned beef on each one.

See the photos in the post for positioning of the filling and folding, but basically, you’ll want one corner of each wrapper pointed towards you.

To fold, fold the bottom corner up over the mixture. Fold the right and left corners of the wrapper toward the center and continue rolling everything up.

Use your finger to brush a small amount of water on the final corner of the wrapper to help seal each corned beef egg roll.

You’ll be deep frying the egg rolls in batches for 3 to 4 minutes or until they’re deep golden brown. Drain them on a paper-towel lined plate, grab a lemon shandy, and serve right away!

Small envelopes of egg roll wrappers on a wooden cutting board.

Options for the cabbage situation:

As I’ve mentioned, I used part of a bag of coleslaw mix for the cabbage element in this corned beef egg rolls recipe. You’ll have some left over, and there are ideas for how to use it up in the box right above the recipe card.

But if you don’t want to buy a bag of coleslaw mix for this recipe, I understand! You can use thinly sliced green or red cabbage here instead.

Or, you could even use sauerkraut. I would drain it and pat it dry with paper towels, and skip the microwaving step. You also wouldn’t need to add extra salt or sugar if you’re using sauerkraut.

Crispy fried wrappers filled with deli meat, cabbage and cheese.

Change the sauce to make these more like reuben egg rolls:

While some corned beef egg rolls are served with a really sharp, almost 100% mustard-based sauce, I mellowed mine out with some mayonnaise.

But, you could also serve these with Thousand Island dressing. I would probably call them reuben egg rolls, then!

Halved reuben egg rolls drizzled in creamy sauce on a serving platter.

What to serve with corned beef egg rolls:

Serve these reuben egg rolls on their own as an appetizer or snack (or even as part of a charcuterie board idea), or make a meal out of it by adding a soup. Sweet dumpling squash soup and old fashioned ham and bean soup are two of my favorites.

If you’d rather have a salad, the flavors in my Easter salad would work really well with this corned beef egg rolls recipe.

Corned beef egg rolls and creamy mustard dipping sauce on a gray speckled plate.
A plate of corned beef egg rolls. One egg roll is cut in half, showing the inside filling.

Corned Beef Egg Rolls

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 31 minutes

    Corned Beef Egg Rolls are the tastiest combination of corned beef, Swiss cheese and cabbage with a creamy mustard dipping sauce. Use leftover corned beef or deli meat for this Detroit speciality!


For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar

For the Egg Rolls:

  • 1-1/2 cups coleslaw mix
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • 4 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced or shredded cooked corned beef brisket
  • 8 egg roll wrappers


  1. Make the Sauce: In medium bowl, stir together mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, yellow mustard and vinegar.
  2. Make the Egg Rolls: Place coleslaw mix and vinegar in medium microwave safe bowl and toss to combine. Add 1 tablespoon water. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and microwave on HIGH 90 seconds. Carefully drain off any excess liquid and use paper towel to pat coleslaw mix dry.
  3. Add sugar, salt and pepper to coleslaw mix and toss until well combined.
  4. In large heavy pot, heat oil over medium heat to 375 degrees F. 
  5. While oil is heating, roll the egg rolls. Working with 2 egg roll wrappers at a time, place wrappers on clean work surface with one corner of each wrapper pointed toward you. Divide 1/4 of coleslaw mixture, 1/4 of cheese and 1/4 of corned beef between the two wrappers, placing filling in lower middle of each wrapper. To fold, fold bottom corner of wrapper up over the mixture. Fold right and left corners toward center and continue rolling. Use your finger to brush a small amount of water on final corner to help seal egg roll. Place egg rolls on a plate and cover with plastic wrap or damp towel so they do not dry out. Repeat process with remaining egg roll wrappers and filling ingredients.
  6. In two batches, transfer egg rolls to heated oil and fry 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown, turning occasionally. Remove from oil and transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve immediately with sauce for dipping.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2 egg rolls
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 790Total Fat: 57gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 40gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 942mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 28g

This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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