Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lumpiang Shanghai (Filipino Spring Rolls)



Lumpiang Shanghai or Filipino Spring Rolls are traditionally made of ground meat (usually pork), minced onions, finely chopped carrots and seasoning all rolled up in a paper thin wrapper made with flour and water. It is sealed at the end either by using  a sticky beaten egg or plain water.

By the name it is given, you can almost guess that it has its origins in China though for some reason we haven't dropped the "Shanghai" at the end and continues to use it to this day. I suppose the reason for this is to differentiate this from the other kind of Lumpia which uses mostly vegetables (though occasionally with a little meat tucked in) as filling. So when you simply say Lumpia, people will tend to think you mean the plumper and bigger spring roll rather than the "Shanghai" which is a smaller and meatier one.

In the Philippines, perhaps next to Pancit, Lumpiang Shanghai has got to be the most common dish you will find in any kind of celebration - whether it be a wedding, birthday, reunion or a simple get-together. The reason is that it can be made in bulk and ahead of time! True, it takes a bit of effort to make it (fancy making spring rolls for an hour or 2?) but when you make a lot of it - you don't need to make other extra dishes because everyone goes for the spring rolls! Besides, since you can actually make this at least a day ahead or even weeks ahead if you freeze them, then it's actually a very practical dish to make. So despite some labor required it does save time in the end and less stress in thinking of what other dishes to prepare. So make a huge batch, freeze and serve it whenever you need it!

Of course Lumpiang Shanghai is best eaten with a sauce. I usually prefer the sweet chili sauce, the kind that you find in any Asian store. In the Philippines though, it is often served with our favorite ketchup - Jufran Banana Ketchup! Yes, such a ketchup exists and I love it!



I always pre-cook my meat fillings for lumpiang shanghai so I take the guess work out of the equation (did the meat cook properly? did I season the mixture enough?) and my mother always did, so I wanted to play safe too! It maybe a bit labor intensive this way, but at least you’ll be guaranteed the results and no need for the rolls to really soak up all the oil in the deep fryer. Nonetheless, there are lots of ways one can cook lumpiang shanghai and they can all turn out yummy, too. Here’s my version which has always worked for me (even my little tots love it). It’s easy enough to tweak to suit one’s palate. And yes, if you bring this to a party, you'll be the star, well - at least the dish will be! :-)


 

Ingredients

1 kilo / 2 lbs. ground pork
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
2 small onions, minced
1 big or 2 medium size carrots, finely chopped
5-6 Tbsp. soy sauce (adjust it to your taste) 
Ground black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste 
1 jicama* (singkamas) or a tub of water chestnut, finely chopped (optional – but I do love the extra crunch and flavor either brings!!!)
Cooking oil (enough to cover the lumpia when deep-frying)

Lumpia (spring roll) wrappers (the paper thin variety ) – look for the name “balat ng lumpia” or simply “lumpia” printed on the wrapper when you look for it in any Asian store.

*Jicama is a sweet, root vegetable that looks like a turnip. It can be eaten raw and that’s how we always eat it in the Phils.


Pre-cooking the Lumpia filling
Heat a little oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Saute the garlic just until aromatic (less than a minute). Brown the ground pork in the pan and season with a little salt and pepper (just to give the meat initial flavor). Stir the pork to separate.

When the meat has changed its color add the onions. Cook for a futher 3-4 minutes or until a little softened. Add the carrots and season with the soy sauce. Stir to mix. Lower the heat and simmer for about half an hour (to allow the meat to absorb the seasonings). At this point, I add the water chestnuts or jicama and just let it cook for another couple of minutes. Adjust seasoning to your taste.
Set aside to cool down. Drain the extra liquid if there is any. It should be dry.

Making the Spring Rolls
In a previous post (Lumpiang Pabo - Turkey Spring Rolls) I already explained in detail how to make the spring rolls. Please refer to that for the step-by-step photos. Here's a little summary though on how to do it.
Place about 1 heaping tablespoon of the cold pork mixture in one of the corners of the wrapper. Spread the filling into the wrapper horizontally. Roll the meat mixture towards the middle. Fold both sides inward to seal, then continue to roll until you have about an inch left of the wrapper. Using your finger, brush the edges with a little water to seal completely. Make sure it is tightly secured. Place the finished roll on a deep baking dish (casserole) with the sealed side downwards. Repeat until all the meat is gone.

To ensure that the seal does not open while you are frying it, I keep the rolls overnight in the refrigerator. This way they seal properly and won't open easily.

Cooking the Spring Rolls

Before you heat the oil, take the spring rolls out of the fridge so it will be a little warmer when you fry it.
Pour cooking oil (enough to cover the rolls) in a deep pan and turn heat to medium and let heat up for about 10-12 mins. (If you have a deep fryer, preheat to about 350F). To make sure the oil is hot enough, test one roll and see if it browns quickly.

Cook them until they turn golden brown. This shouldn’t take too long if the oil is hot enough. Do not overcrowd the rolls to allow them to brown evenly.
Place the cooked rolls in a strainer with paper towels to drain the oil while the other rolls are cooking. Transfer the cooked ones in a serving dish. You may again wrap them in paper towels to extract any remaining oil.

To double the amount, cut the rolls in half. Serve with sweet chili sauce, a yummy chutney or even plain old ketchup as dip! Yum!

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32 comments:

  1. Best party food ever - in my opinion! Love the banana sauce too! Pinned :)

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    1. I will have to heartily agree, Jamie, though of course admittedly, I am a little biased! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. There's something so delicious about fried food. I want to grab one out of the picture and eat it. Do you know if these would work with the rice wrappers one uses for fresh spring rolls - to make it gluten free?

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    1. Yes Margaret. I did try that before - just a little trickier to roll up but if you're used to doing it, it should be fine. Glad you came by!

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  3. Your post has made me soooo home sick for Hawaii! I have never ever made lumpiang shanghai from scratch, and now that we've moved away from Hawaii, I have to learn how to make it myself. I guess I was spoiled because if I ever wanted some, my mom and my grandma always had some stored in the freezer. Thanks for sharing! Now I have no excuse to start making them myself.

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    1. Hope you get the chance to try this, Lori! It's not that difficult once you'ved tried it! This is a tried and tested recipe so hopefully everything will work out well for you! Glad you stopped by!

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  4. What a healthy food that you shared to us. I would try cooking this one. Thanks for the share.


    http://www.ayalamalls.com.ph/style360/category/2%23.UMfyXZNevO4

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    1. We love Lumpiang Shanghai! Hope you enjoy this!

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  5. Just tried it with Venison. I had to learn to make it when my Navy friend got orders and moved away. She taught us to make pancit, lumpia and other dishes before she left. We have a lot of Filipino families in a Navy town but this is my favorite dish besides the Adobo.

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    1. Sounds great, Cheryl! This is quite a versatile dish and I use left-over turkey for this too. Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Willl try this. What I usually do is wrap the uncooked ingredients. This is a novel of making shanghai. Thanks

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    3. This is how my mom always made Shanghai to avoid any guesswork and make sure it tastes really good! Thanks!

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  6. If you make a big batch of these & want to freeze them, do you freeze them before or after you fry them?

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    1. You can freeze them before you fry them.

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  7. I once made this from a recipe printed on the wrapper package (the rice version) that used both pork and shrimp, and also green onions. Everyone loved it but I stopped because it took too much time to make. Now that I'm retired I got time so I'll try it again. I couldn't find the same rice wrapper though so I'll have to use the Chinese egg roll wrappers instead. I like your recipe because you seem to be the only one to include water chestnut to make it crunchy. Thanks and I'll let you know how it goes.

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    1. Thanks, hope you love it as much as we do. :-)

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  8. This seems like the recipe closest to the lumpia that I are at a restaurant near to the Stone Crow bar in Olongapo. The pancit canton was also very good. It was just a tiny place with nothing fancy, just goes to show you don't need fancy to get good food.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Ed. We love Lumpia and you're right, what matters more is whether the food is wonderful or not. Glad you like Filipino food.

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  9. Things brings back memories of my Mom showing me how to make lumpia shanghai.
    I actually have a couple batches of her lumpia in my freezer before she recently passed away. What is the best way to defrost them before frying?
    I don't want the eggroll skins to crack/break when separating apart or during cooking.
    Thanks.

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    1. Hi Michelle. Am so sorry to hear about your Mom. I have heard that you can fry the lumpia frozen but I haven't tried it personally. Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. I have fried them frozen. I have a friend that makes them for me all the time. She even made some for my wedding reception and they were the hit of the party

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  11. can I also use apple as the main ingredient instead of pork ?

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    1. I haven't thought of using apples at all, that would make this sweet --- if you wish to do a vegetarian one just remove the pork and retain the veggies.

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  12. I want to make these!!

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  13. Yes, you can fry frozen eggrolls just like frozen french fries.

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  14. I always fry them straight out of the freezer. They spatter a bit, but I always shield it with a pot lid until it settles down.

    For those of you who can't do pork, it works really well with ground beef too!

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  15. Hi...I certainly will be making this after, for my party tomorrow. Your recipe is straightforward and easy. Thank you!

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  16. I did your recipe and I.m so happy about the result, so good. Here the link http://www.cookingwithmarica.net/filipino-spring-roll-involtini-filippini-di-carne/
    Bye Marica from Italy

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your post with us. I am so delighted to know that you have enjoyed this. This is truly a very popular party food in the Philippines. Glad you stopped by Marica.

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  17. My aunt is from the Philippines and she makes these all the time for me and sends me home with a zip lock bag full of them. These are my fav

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  18. Is there a way to make the lumpia wrappers from scratch? Cant seem to find them around.

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