Lumpia Shanghai filled with ground chicken, water chestnuts, carrots, and green onions. Golden, crunchy, and in fun bite-size, these Filipino meat spring rolls are addictive!
Lumpiang Shanghai is one of my favorite make-ahead meals. Every other weekend or so, I like to roll up my sleeves and roll up a few dozens, along with siomai, longganisa, and kikiam, to freeze for when I am too busy or too tired to spend more than thirty minutes in the kitchen.
With these food items already prepped in the freezer, a home-cooked dinner is just a matter of quick frying!
What is Lumpia Shanghai
Lumpiang Shanghai is a Filipino-style spring roll made of ground pork, chicken or beef filling wrapped in thin crepes called lumpia wrappers.
The meat-stuffed lumpia is rolled into a thin cylindrical shape, cut into bite-size lengths and deep-fried to golden perfection. It’s traditionally enjoyed with a choice of dipping sauces such as sweet and sour, lechon sarsa, banana ketchup, and sweet chili.
While it’s a popular mainstay in Filipino gatherings and celebrations alongside pancit guisado, spaghetti, and other party fares, it’s also commonly served with steamed or fried rice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner as well as a midday snack.
This recipe makes about five dozen 3-inch pieces depending on how thick you make the spring rolls. Although you can easily halve the amount, I suggest making the whole batch. They’re so tasty and addicting, you’d be hard-pressed to eat just one!
They’ll keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just store in resealable bags or airtight containers and fry when you need a quick lumpia fix.
Tips on How to Make Lumpiang Shanghai
- I like to use ground chicken for the meat along with chopped water chestnuts, shredded carrots, green onions, and garlic for extra flavor and crunch. Feel free to substitute ground pork or beef as well as add minced shrimp if you like. You can also use a mix of jicama (singkamas), diced bell peppers, celery, onions, and raisins.
- Do a taste test! Fry a small amount of the meat mixture and adjust seasonings as needed before wrapping.
- Use fresh spring roll wrappers. Check manufacturing dates on packages as the older the wrappers get, the less pliable and the harder they are to roll. While wrapping, cover the rest of the wrappers with a damp cloth to prevent from drying out.
- Do not overfill wrappers to ensure quick cooking. Roll the logs as tight as possible to prevent grease from seeping in.
- Lumpias are best deep-fried. Use enough frying oil to cover the rolls fully. Watch your temperatures! If the oil is too low, the lumpia will absorb a lot more grease. If too high, the wrappers will burn before fully cooked.
- Cook in batches to prevent the oil from plummeting and make sure to bring the oil back up to the optimal 350F to 375 F range before adding the next batch.
- Do not drain on paper towels or they’ll get soggy with the steam. Drain on a wire rack set over a baking sheet or in a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl to catch oil drips.
- If transporting them to a party, leave the container partially open to keep the lumpiang shanghai as crispy as long as possible.
- 1 pound ground chicken or pork
- 1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped
- 1 can (8 ounces) water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 20 pieces spring roll wrappers
- canola oil
- In a bowl, combine ground chicken, green onions, water chestnuts, carrots, garlic, soy sauce, salt, and pepper until well distributed.
- Separate wrappers into individual sheets and lay on a flat working surface.
- Spoon about 1 heaping tablespoon of meat mixture on the lower end of the wrapper, closest to you.
- Fold the bottom of wrapper over filling and continue to roll tightly into a thin log about 3/4-inch thick. Wet the remaining edge of the wrapper with a dab of water to completely seal.
- Repeat with the remaining mixture. Using scissors, cut each lumpia roll into about 3-inch lengths.
- In a pan over medium heat, heat about 2-inch deep of oil. Add lumpia in batches and cook turning on sides as needed, for about 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and crisp and meat is cooked through.
- Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove from the oil and drain on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Serve immediately with sweet and sour sauce or banana ketchup.