Lumpia Shanghai filled with ground chicken, water chestnuts, carrots, and green onions are a hearty and tasty appetizer or main dish that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Golden, crunchy, and in fun bite-size, these Filipino-style meat spring rolls are addictive!
Lumpiang Shanghai are one of my favorite make-ahead meals. Every other weekend or so, I roll up my sleeves and roll up a few dozen, 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 are Filipino-style spring rolls made of ground pork, chicken, or beef filling wrapped in thin crepes called lumpia wrappers. The meat-stuffed wrappers are rolled into thin cylindrical shapes, cut into bite-size lengths, and deep-fried to golden perfection.
This recipe yields roughly 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 addictive that you’d be hard-pressed to eat just one. Plus, they can be frozen for any time lumpia fix!
How to store
- Store in resealable bags and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To freeze, arrange the lumpia in a single layer with some space in between on a baking sheet. Wrap tightly with cling wrap and freeze for about 1 to 2 hours or until firm. This step will prevent them from sticking together. Transfer in resealable bags and freeze for up to 3 months.
- To fry, do not thaw. Heat about 2-inch deep of oil to 350 F and carefully add the rolls. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until golden, crispy, and fully cooked.
- I like to use ground chicken with chopped water chestnuts, shredded carrots, green onions, and garlic for extra flavor and crunch. Feel free to substitute ground pork or beef and add minced shrimp if you like. You can also use 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 harder they are to roll.
- While rolling, cover the rest of the wrappers with a damp cloth to prove them from drying out.
- Do not overfill wrappers to ensure quick cooking. Roll the logs as tight as possible to prevent grease from seeping in.
- Lumpia are best deep-fried. Use enough frying oil to cover the rolls fully. Watch your temperatures! If too low, the lumpia will absorb more grease. If too high, the wrappers will burn before fully cooked.
- Cook in batches to prevent the oil from plummeting, and bring the oil back up to the optimal 350F to 375 F range before adding the next round. Skim the oil in between batches to remove any burnt bits.
- 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 lumpia 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.