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! 🙂
Here’s a quick photo tutorial on how to make the spring rolls. Details of the method can be found on the recipe below.
Don’t forget to serve with some chili sauce or even ketchup will do.
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Lumpiang Shanghai (Filipino Spring Rolls)
By: Manila Spoon
November 28, 2012
That these are the best spring rolls is no exaggeration. Whenever I serve these Lumpiang Shanghai, they’re gone in seconds. True crunchy deliciousness in every bite. Serve with a sweet chili sauce!
- 1 kilo / 2 pounds ground pork
- 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 small Onions, minced
- 1 big or 2 medium size Carrots, finely chopped
- 5-6 tablespoons Soy sauce or to taste
- 1 Jicama (Singkamas) or a small tub of Water Chestnut, finely chopped (optional – but I do love the extra crunch and flavor either brings!!!)
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Oil for frying (enough to cover the rolls)
- 2 packs of paper thin Spring Roll wrappers (can be found in Asian stores), thawed
- 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 a little flavor so go easy with the salt). Stir the meat to prevent clumping.
- When the meat has changed its color add the onions. Cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the chopped onions have 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 completely to remove any excess liquid. I use a strainer to do this. It should be dry and not dripping with sauce.
- Prepare the spring roll wrappers and have a small bowl filled water near you. 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 when frying.
- Before you heat the oil, take the spring rolls out of the fridge so it will be a little warmer when you fry it. (Others have fried it from frozen, I heard). 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 350 F). To make sure the oil is hot enough, test one roll and see if it browns quickly. Fry the lumpia in batches until they turn golden brown. This shouldn’t take too long if the oil is hot enough and because they have been previously cooked. 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!
Yield: 60-80 pieces depending on the size
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour