I would describe lumpia shanghai as one of the three Filipino dishes that make up the Holy Trinity of Filipino food. The other two Filipino dishes in this thing I coined holy trinity of Filipino food are sinigang and adobo. These three are the most popular and the most commonly cooked Filipino dish in the average Filipino household and each household has its own recipes for these dishes.
In this entry for delicious Filipino recipes, we’ll be focusing on the delicious, delectable, and crunchy lumpia shanghai. No feast is complete without a platter of this easy to cook Filipino dish on the table. It’s one of the favorites of children to eat and many parents would prepare this lumpia shanghai on a weekly basis to have a steady supply to feed their young.
The title says lumpia shanghai version because, for those unfamiliar with this dish, there are several other versions to cook lumpia in the Philippines and all of them are delicious. I won’t go into much detail on the different versions of cooking lumpia as depending on the recipe, there’s an endless amount of them out there.
One standout is lumpiang sariwa that’s made with or fresh lumpia rolls that’s basically a healthy vegetarian version of the dish but many Filipinos also include meat in this lumpia recipe.
The lumpia shanghai version is the most popular one to cook and consume in the entire country. Every household has a version of this to serve to the family and even karinderyas, fast-food chains, and restaurants serve lumpia shanghai to their customers. Filipinos just love this dish.
Lumpia shanghai is basically ground meat like beef or pork and finely chopped vegetables like carrots, onions, and garlic, all wrapped in a lumpia wrapper. The lumpia is then deep-fried or just fried in a pan to achieve that satisfying crunch. It’s commonly served as a meal with rice but can be consumed as finger food with a dip.
Growing up, we eat lumpia shanghai almost weekly and I have several friends of mine who always have a stock of lumpia shanghai in their freezer ready to cook anytime they have a craving or needed something to prepare quickly.
I think lumpia shanghai became so popular because it’s quite easy to prepare, cook, and the prepared pieces can last for a while in the freezer. Plus, people can easily bring a platter of lumpia shanghai anywhere to eat outdoors with their friends and family.
I will say though that the preparation process can be a little time consuming, especially if you’re preparing your stock of lumpia shanghai to last a week’s time. It’s like fast-food at home that needs preparation beforehand. I suggest having something to listen to or watch while going through the preparation process of this recipe to make the most out of your time.
Now, this lumpia shanghai recipe is the one that I’ve grown up eating with a few tweaks here and there. We need to head to the market and get 1 pound of grounded pork, 1 pound of grounded beef, and 1 package of 16 ounces of spring roll wrappers.
We’re also gonna need 1 medium-sized onion that we’ll finely chop, 1 grated carrot, ¼ cup of soy sauce, 2 ½ teaspoons of black pepper, 1 ½ tablespoon of garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of salt, and lastly, 1 ½ oil for frying.
We’re now ready to prepare our lumpia shanghai. First, in a large bowl, combine the ground pork and beef, onion, and carrot. Mix in everything. Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty and use your hands to really get everything blended. While mixing gradually add in the soy sauce, black pepper, garlic powder, and salt until all the ingredients are evenly blended distributed.
Once everything is done, lay out the lumpia wrapper a few at a time in a hard even surface and place 2 tablespoons of the mixture in a line at the middle of the wrapper. Make sure the filling is no thicker than your time or the wrapper will cooker faster than your filling. Fold the wrapper over the meat with the bottom and top edges first then the right and left sides towards the center.
To seal the lumpia wrapper, mix an egg white and rub it at the wrapper’s edges so it can stick to the rest of the wrapper. You can also just use water for this step.
Repeat until all the lumpia wrappers are filled and sealed. You can do this with kids or your partner for a nice bonding experience and to quicken the process. Once all the filling is wrapped, you can either store it or cook it.
To cook the prepared lumpia shanghai, in a deep fryer or heavy skillet, heat the oil 375℉ or 190℃. Place 2-4 lumpias in the deep fryer or heavy skillet at a time turning once for about 3-4 minutes. We’ll know that they’re ready when they float to the top and golden brown in color.
Remove the cooked lumpias out of the heat and let them rest in a strainer for a few minutes. Cut them in half or serve whole with rice or as is but we now have the delicious lumpia shanghai!
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 (16 ounce) package spring roll wrappers
- 1 1/2 quarts oil for frying
- In a Large bowl, combine ground pork, ground beef, onion, and carrot. Make sure to completely mix everything. I suggest getting down and dirty and use your hands. Knead the meat in the bowl if you must. Graduallyblend in the soy sauce , black pepper, garlic powder, and salt until allingredients are evenly distributed.
- Lay out a few wrappers at a time on a flat surface, and place about 2 tablespoons of the filling in a line down the center of the wrapper. Make sure the filling is no thicker than your thumb, or the wrapper will cook faster than the meat. Take the bottom and top edges of the wrapper and fold them towards the center. Take the left and right sides, and fold them towards the center. Moisten the last edge of the wrapper to seal. Now repeat using the rest of the wrappers, and have hubby or the kids help you out.
- Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or heavy skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Fry 3 or 4 lumpia at a time. Fry for about 3 or 4 minutes, turning once. Lumpia are cooked through when they float, and the wrapper is golden brown. Cut in half, or serve as is with dipping sauce. We like sweet and soursauce, soy sauce with lemon, or banana ketchup.