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Crispy, golden-brown and bursting with flavor, the fried Filipino spring roll, also known as lumpia shanghai doesn't really need an introduction. This lumpia recipe (dare I say it) doesn't need sauce! It's made with pork, beef, a lot of veggies, and seasonings that pack in so much flavor you'll forget about the sauce!
- What is Lumpiang Shanghai
- Why You'll Love This Lumpia Recipe
- Ingredients for Lumpia Shanghai
- How to Choose Your Lumpia Wrapper
- Recipe Tips
- Visual Guide on How to Roll Lumpia Shanghai
- How to Make Lumpia Shanghai
- How to Serve
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Lumpia Shanghai - Fried Filipino Spring Rolls
- Have You Tried This Recipe?
What is Lumpiang Shanghai
Lumpiang (or lumpia) shanghai is a specific name for the meat-filled and fried Filipino spring roll. Lumpia is a general moniker for spring rolls. But in the Philippines, there are many types of lumpia and each one has a special name. For example, banana lumpia is also called turon. Another fan favorite named lumpiang sariwa is made with a crepe-like wrapper filled with sautéed meat and vegetables.
Lumpiang shanghai takes inspiration from the Chinese fried spring rolls, but they differ in size and shape. The Filipino fried spring roll is always narrower and smaller than its Chinese counterpart. The vegetables and meat are minced, so the filling inside is tighter and doesn't spring out (pun intended) like the Chinese version.
Why You'll Love This Lumpia Recipe
As a Filipino myself, I grew up with aunties (related and unrelated) touting their version of lumpia is the best. Variations come with the Filipino territory because there are quite a bit of diversity and food influences throughout the country. But even more so when it comes to personal recipes.
Now that I've come of age, I can confidently say that the ingredients in this lumpia makes it a stand out recipe! The spring roll is loaded with so much flavor you won't need sauce! There, I said it. But please don't let it stop you from using lumpia dipping sauce if you want!
Ingredients for Lumpia Shanghai
Brace yourself, this recipe has a number of ingredients. But the good news is that you pulse most of them in a food processor.
- Lumpia Wrappers
- Ground Beef
- Ground Pork
- Soy Sauce
- Oyster Sauce
- Chicken Bouillon Powder
- Green onions
- Red & Green Bell Peppers
- Ground Meat: I use both beef and pork for this recipe to make a more complex flavor. But if you only have pork available, instead of half pork and half beef, you can use all pork. Alternatively, feel free to use any type of ground meat mix.
- Bell Peppers: You can use any color of bell pepper or choose not to use them in your recipe.
How to Choose Your Lumpia Wrapper
There are a variety of lumpia wrappers to choose from! Look at the ingredients list of any "spring roll" wrapper and check that it doesn't contain eggs. Egg roll wrappers are thicker than spring roll wrappers.
The one wrapper brand I highly recommend is Spring Home. A package of their spring roll wrappers will say "TYJ Spring Roll Pastry" across its front. Spring Home makes it easy for you to select different sizes and amounts by color-coding the bags. The pink bag is the 10-inch size, and the ingredients do not have egg in it - perfect for making lumpia shanghai. These are available in almost every asian grocery store, but you can also find them at grocery chains like Kroger or Safeway.
- Cool Vertically: This tip helps make crispy spring rolls. Drain the oil from freshly fried pieces by standing them up vertically. The oil will drain down to the other end of the spring roll, and the sides will have space to breathe and not soak up the oil.
- Use A Piping Bag: You will notice that I use a piping bag to spread the lumpia filling on the wrapper. This extra step makes the lumpia rolling procedure go faster and more efficiently.
- Seal With Cornstarch Slurry: I used a one to one ratio of cornstarch and water to paint the edges of the lumpia wrapper in order to seal them. The cornstarch with the water is a better adhesive than just water alone.
- Taste Test: I will not stop repeating this tip! For any meat filling, always taste test the filling to check how it tastes cooked so that you can adjust according to your preference. Once the rolls are made, there's no going back!
Visual Guide on How to Roll Lumpia Shanghai
How to Make Lumpia Shanghai
This is a brief overview of the procedures for making lumpia shanghai. It sounds obvious, but seeing them in order will help you plan for how you'll use your time.
- Make the meat filling.
- Roll the lumpia pieces.
- Deep-fry the rolled lumpias.
- Drain and let it cool.
- Serve immediately for maximum crispiness.
If you're short on time, this recipe is flexible from Step 1 through Step 3. For example, you can make the meat filling ahead of time by a day and let it rest in the fridge overnight. Alternatively, you can make the filling and roll the lumpia in one day, freeze them, then fry them up the next day.
How to Serve
Fried Filipino spring rolls taste best freshly made. So once you finish draining the oil from them, serve them immediately. If you feel a lumpia sauce is still needed, the best type of sauce to serve alongside lumpia is either a sweet and sour or a sweet chili sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Filipino lumpia is made mostly filled with meat, unlike most spring rolls which are mostly filled with vegetables. The sizes between lumpia and other spring rolls also differ - Filipino spring rolls tend to be slightly smaller and thinner.
Yes and no. You can make raw lumpia ahead, but I don't recommend cooking them a day before serving them. Raw lumpia can be frozen! What I mean is that you can make a big batch of uncooked lumpia and freeze them in a ziplock bag. Then cook them less than two hours before serving.
Lumpia Shanghai - Fried Filipino Spring Rolls
The equipment and ingredients sections contain affiliate links to products I love to use as well as items that I personally believe make this recipe the best version of itself.
- 500 grams ground pork
- 500 grams ground beef
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 medium bell peppers red or green
- 1 medium onion white or yellow
- 50 grams green onions chopped
- 6 garlic cloves
- 5 cm ginger peeled
- 2 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 4 tablespoon soy sauce
- 4 tsp chicken bouillon powder
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1 package spring roll wrappers 50 count
- neutral oil for frying
Make Meat Filling
- Chop carrots, bell peppers, onion, and ginger to fit in processor. Add the chopped carrots, bell peppers, onion, garlic cloves, and ginger to a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are finely minced together. It will look bright orange.
- Add the minced vegetables to a large bowl along with the ground pork, ground beef, eggs, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, salt, and chicken bouillon powder.
- Using your hands, mix all of the ingredients until well combined. Tip: Take some of the meat filling and lightly fry until well-cooked. Taste test the cooked meat to adjust the ingredients to your preference.
Roll the Lumpia
- In a small bowl, add the 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water. Mix until no longer clumpy, set it aside.Tip: Fill a piping bag with a tip cut to ½ - 1 inch hole. Set aside.Take a piece of spring roll wrapper and lay it on a flat surface with one of the corners facing you. Add some filling horizontally about two inches above the corner facing you.
- Fold up the corner facing you over the filling and roll it up halfway. Then fold in the sides and continue rolling.
- Keep rolling until you get to the last corner with about 1 - 2 inch overhang left and line its edges with cornstarch slurry. Roll to seal the last corner.For a more specific follow-along, go the section of the article on how to roll lumpia.
- Repeat the lumpia rolling steps for all other pieces until you run out of the meat filling.
Fry the Lumpia
- Add some oil to a heavy-bottomed pot or pan about 1-2 inches deep. Heat the oil to 375°F (190°C). Add a few lumpia to fry one side, until lightly golden brown (about 4 mins) then turn over to cook the other side for about 3 mins. Tip: Cook only 4 or five pieces at a time if you are using a 10-inch diameter pan or pot. Avoid overcrowding the lumpia or it will not get crispy.
- Drain the cooked lumpia shanghai by standing it vertically in a container lined with paper towel. Let it cool for five minutes and serve while still warm.
Have You Tried This Recipe?
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