A staple at every Filipino gathering, this food is not just for Christmas but for all kinds of occasions. Spring roll wrappers filled with pork, shrimp, and vegetables are deep-fried to crispy perfection and served with a sweet and tangy dipping sauce. What’s not to love?
For the Lumpiang Shanghai
- 2 lbs ground pork
- 1 1/2 lbs 21/30 shrimp peeled, de-veined and minced (cut lengthwise, then cross-wise, thin)
- 1/2 cup minced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup Chinese celery or the heart of regular celery, cut into thin lengths then finely minced
- 1/2 cup carrot minced
- 6-7 tablespoons soy sauce I like Silver Swan brand soy sauce in this
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 125 5″ square spring roll wrappers I like Spring Home wrappers from TYJ Food in Singapore; they come in 50 count packs
- Peanut oil for frying
For the Sauce
- 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 cups + 6 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons banana ketchup Jufran brand, found in most Asian markets
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons heaping cornstarch
- In a large bowl, mix the ground pork, minced shrimp, onion, celery, carrot, soy sauce, egg and a little salt and pepper by hand. If necessary, chop on a cutting board to ensure that it everything is fine and well incorporated. Heat a little peanut oil in a small frying pan, and cook a teaspoon of the filling to check for taste. Adjust seasoning as necessary. The filling can be prepared up to a day in advance and chilled in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container.
- To roll the lumpia, I find that it helps to separate the wrappers in advance; cover with a damp paper towel to prevent from drying out. Take the wrapper and place on your work surface on a diagonal so one point is facing you. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling towards the bottom of the egg roll. Turn up the bottom corner and roll upwards. Fold in the left and right corners, making sure the filling is nicely packed, with no air pockets. Continue rolling. Dip you finger in water, pat it on the remaining corner and finish rolling the lumpia, sealing the edge. The lumpia should be about 1/2 inch in diameter. See the GIF in the post illustrating how to roll lumpia for reference. Continue rolling until your lumpias are done, there should be enough filling for about 125 lumpia.
- Keep the lumpia covered in a single layer in the refrigerator with a damp paper towel over top until ready to fry, or freeze in an air tight container for later.
- Make the dipping sauce by combining the vinegar, water, sugar, banana ketchup and salt in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and stir. Lower the heat to a simmer, and cook until it becomes thin and clear, about 5 minutes. Take a few tablespoons of the liquid and create a slurry with the cornstarch, whisking until smooth. Stir in the slurry into the sauce, whisking constantly, to thicken the sauce. Set aside.
- To fry the lumpia, heat the peanut oil in a deep fryer or deep sided skillet to 350 degrees. Working in batches, add the lumpia about 4-6 at a time, and fry until golden brown. You will know the the lumpia are ready when they are golden brown, and the filling is fully cooked; this should take about 4 minutes for freshly rolled lumpia, or about 6 minutes for frozen. Let the lumpia drain on a rimmed platter lined with paper towels – my Tito Alex recommends placing the lumpia standing up (like soldiers) so they do not get soggy.
- Serve immediately with the sauce (it’s also wonderful with Jufran Hot Banana Sauce).