Soul Rolls with Asian BBQ Sauce

Shacafrica Simmons

Chef Shac LLC

The Soul Roll is a combination of Southern soul and a Chinese take-out classic, in which seasoned rice, black-eyed peas, aromatics, and collard greens are encased in an eggroll wrapper, deep-fried, and served with a sweet-and-smoky dipping sauce that couldn’t be easier to make.

This is a recipe from our digital cookbook, "A Place at the Table" featuring our Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership (WEL) program alum. Download the full cookbook.

Prep time: 25 minutes 
Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes


For the sauce:

1/2 cup prepared BBQ sauce, any variety

1/2 cup sweet chili sauce


For the soul roll:

Canola oil, for sautéing and frying   

1 small yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 garlic clove, finely chopped  

1 rib celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice

Kosher salt  

1 cup cooked white rice, room temperature  

8 ounces (1 cup) canned black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained  

1 large collard greens leaf, tough center rib removed, coarsely chopped, cooked in boiling salted water for 10 minutes, chilled and drained  

1 package egg roll wrappers


Make the sauce: in a small bowl, stir together the barbecue sauce and sweet chili sauce.

Make the rolls: in a large sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until it is shimmering. Add the onions, garlic, celery, peppers, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until the vegetables are soft and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and set them aside until cooled. Fold in the rice, black-eyed peas, and collard greens until well combined, and season the mixture to taste.

Place a small cup of water near your clean work surface. Lay out one egg roll wrapper at a time, with a corner pointed toward you, keeping the remaining wrappers under a clean, dampened kitchen towel to prevent drying. 

Place 2 tablespoons of the filling in the center of the egg roll wrapper. Fold the bottom corner up and over the top of the filling, and roll it away from you, about a half turn. Fold each side of the roll toward the center, one at a time. Use your (clean) fingers to lightly dampen the edges of the exposed top corner furthest away from you, and continue to roll until the wrapper is sealed around the filling. 

Transfer the egg roll to a rimmed sheet pan or tray, laying the seam side down. Repeat this procedure with the remaining wrappers and stuffing, covering the finished rolls with another damp kitchen towel until you’re ready to fry them. The rolls can be made in advance, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 hours. 

In a large pot fitted with a thermometer, heat about 3 inches of oil over medium-high heat, to 365°F. Carefully place 3 to 4 egg rolls, one at a time, into the hot oil and fry, turning them occasionally with a spider or a slotted spoon, until they are golden brown on all sides and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Watch the thermometer to maintain the oil temperature. Using a spider, remove the egg rolls from the oil, and lay them on a paper towel-lined tray. Repeat the process for the remaining egg rolls. Serve them warm, with the barbecue dipping sauce alongside.


Makes 15 egg rolls