Fried Spring Roll (Crispy Filipino Lumpia Shanghai)

Crispy Filipino Lumpia Shanghai
shanghai lumpia

Fried Spring Roll or the Filipino Lumpia Shanghai, made of seasoned ground pork is crispy and tasty with layers of texture and flavour in every crunchy bite.

Filipino Lumpia Shanghai

crispy fried spring rolls

Fried Spring Roll is a Filipino iconic dish and a staple in parties and celebrations. Lumpia Shanghai, as the Filipino’s call their fried spring roll, is a party favorite and the food table is not complete without them. Very much like the Leche Flan, the party guests flock to them first. Often, the host brings them out in batches, else there will be nothing on the serving plate except tiny bits of crispy lumpia wrappers. Oh I still pick up those crumbs, they are crispy! Plus it is best eaten hot and fresh to savour the crunch in every bite thus they are fried in batches as well.

Different types of Spring Rolls

If you have been around different Asian dishes, the different kinds of Spring Rolls are confusing. I am confused too, so so confused :o! Especially now that I live in a multi-cultural city where many restaurants serve fusion – Viet-Thai cuisine or Chinese-Thai etc. I sometimes look at the menu and wonder what kind of spring rolls I am getting. So I stick to one question to make things simple – meat or vegetables filling? At least I have a basic idea of what I am getting. Nevertheless, IMHO, all and I mean ALL spring rolls recipes are delish!

Oh if you want to get confused further, do you know the difference between Spring Rolls and Egg Rolls? And because of global cuisine fusion, there is probably more spring rolls combinations out there that you will discover. That is aside from the Chicken spring rolls or maybe Shrimp. And of course, the Chinese and the Viet or the Thai, etc. Then you also have the Korean and Lebanese beef fried spring rolls as well!!!

fried spring roll dipped

What is Fried Spring Roll?

From the name itself, a Fried Spring Roll is a spring roll fried in oil, either deep-fried or pan fried (I didn’t mean to sound flippant :)). In contrast, you have the Fresh Spring Rolls or what I call a fresh salad rolled in a rice paper.

If you have a filling that you wrap in a spring roll wrapper and then you fry it, then it is a fried spring roll. The filling can differ depending on the cuisine (and even personal preference). There are chicken fried spring rolls and shrimp and beef. The flavour profile of the filling will depend on where you are in the world or what cuisine. There are Chinese fried spring rolls and Korean and Lebanese. The Thai and Vietnamese have their versions too. Fried Lumpia in the Philippine cuisine has actually vegetable filling (and the ground meat one is called Lumpia Shanghai).

Spring roll is probably one of those dishes that transcended cultural boundaries. I actually feel that Spring Rolls are cousins to Tacos and Burritos and distant cousins to Pita and Wraps. Then maybe even a very distant relative of Pizza. I think they have the same ancestors, what do you think? It is all about putting together ingredients (that make sense of course) then having a pastry to put them in or on!

How to make Lumpia Shanghai, the Filipino Fried Spring Roll

lumpia shanghai in platter

Different Lumpia Shanghai recipes, like the many different kinds of Spring Rolls from all over the world, have varied ingredients – depending on what people prefer in their rolls. Lumpia Shanghai is in the meat category. Although it has vegetables in it like Carrots and Onions, the main ingredient is Ground or Minced Pork. Of course the distinct characteristic of this Spring Roll is frying the rolls – either deep-fried or pan-fried.

The different ingredients will be with the vegetables that are included plus the seasoning used. My family, and especially my brother, gets turned off when the aroma and the taste is really strong (the litmus test is if the smell permeates and remains in the air for a very long time). So for this fried spring roll recipe, I tried to find the combination of ingredients that don’t have that very strong or even offensive aroma without sacrificing the taste and flavour. I even chose a more subtle sweet onion variety as they have that mild onion flavor with a touch of sweetness.

 This is my version of the Filipino Lumpia Shanghai – sublime but very tasty and not to mention very crispy and crunchy!

Filipino Fried Spring Roll Ingredients

fried spring roll ingredients

Ground Pork

I am using ground or minced pork in this Lumpia Shanghai recipe. Some people combine minced shrimp to make it more tasty, while others use ground beef. I have seen other recipes with ground chicken (or maybe even ground turkey, if you are in North America).

Although adding minced Shrimp will make it more tasty (shrimp always does make everything tastier I think), I am cognizant of food allergies. I am allergic to seafood, as some other members of my family. Plus this dish is actually a potluck favorite so again, I want to ensure it will not endanger someone’s life.

Vegetables

In my opinion, many easily choose carrots and onions for the vegetable component of Lumpia Shanghai. But then I could be wrong. I know that other people’s recipe include cabbage or celery or even jicama (singkamas). I honestly think though that you can include any vegetable you like in the filling. They are also more of extenders, especially for vegetables that add volume but doesn’t affect the over-all taste. Although of course, you also want the nutritional value. The taste and even aroma will change if you add vegetables that have stronger flavour but again it is a personal preference.

For my version of this Fried Spring Roll, I only added Carrots, for its nutritional value and as extender, and onion for the flavour. And because Onions tend to be pungent and offensive for others (I am looking at you my brother, LOL), I use the kind that is sweet and less pungent (and doesn’t even sting the eyes – this is for me, LOL). Yes, there are different kinds of onions, each with different uses depending on their flavours. Read more about the different types of onions and uses here.

lumpia filling

Seasoning

Oh if you noticed I only did onions. The garlic flavour is in the form of Garlic Salt (or Garlic Powder – you have to adjust salt if you are using garlic powder). I am not a fan of raw garlic. I love fried or roasted and even baked Garlic but not raw. But because the minced garlic is mixed in with the meat, they sometimes remain on the raw side. I can taste them when I chew on the Lumpia Shanghai, and that’s a hard no for me.

If you are alright with it, you can add 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced them and add to the mixture. Then you can decide if you want to drop the garlic salt or garlic powder all together. Remember that if you choose not to use the garlic salt, you have to adjust the salt. See below under Pro-Tips on how to adjust and check the flavour before wrapping the Lumpia filling.

Step by Step Guide to make Fried Spring Roll

Defrost the spring roll wrappers. Peel them carefully one by one starting from one corner (see picture below). Pro-Tip: . The spring roll wrappers easily dries out and becomes cardboard-like when left out. Spraying with water can help ‘resuscitate’ the wrapper because if it dries out, it will be impossible to roll them – they will tear everywhere.

spring roll wrapper

In a large bowl, combine Ground Pork, grated Carrots, grated or minced Onions, sliced Spring Onions, Egg (and minced Parsley). Mix together. Add in the Salt, Garlic Salt and ground Black Pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Pro-Tip Take a teaspoon of the mixture and microwave for about 15 seconds to check if it is seasoned perfectly. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Get a wrapper (one at a time) and lay on a flat surface. Put three tablespoons of the mixture on one end of the square and spread them out about an inch wide and from end to end of the wrapper. See pictures below for your visual guide.

how to make lumpia shanghai

Using either your hand or a spatula (I actually use a dough scraper), carefully flip the end with mixture over forming a log. Then start to roll the spring roll wrapper carefully and tightly (or as tight as possible). See below in Expert Tips the crazy detail on how to roll lumpia shanghai as tight as possible.

About two inches at the other end, brush from end to end with egg wash (make sure to cover especially the edges so they will seal tightly). Then continue to complete the roll. To seal the roll tightly (and ensure that the ends of the spring roll wrapper wont open), roll the log a few more time forward) like rolling a bread rolling pin.

how to cook shanghai lumpia

Using scissors or a sharp knife, cut the roll into three pieces, with each having about 3 to 3 1/3 inches long each.

In a heavy bottomed pot, add about two inches of oil and heat to 350°F (or heat a deep fryer to 350°F).

Carefully add the spring rolls into the oil and cook for about four to five minutes each batch. They should come out with a light golden brown colour and the wrappers are crispy. Internal temperature should be at least 165°F.

Remove them from the oil and place on a rack or paper towel to remove excess oil. Serve right away with a sweet chili dipping sauce.

spring roll
frying spring roll

Looking for other Filipino Favorites? Check these out: Ground Pork “Giniling” recipe

FAQ’s and Expert Tips for the best Filipino Lumpia Shanghai

How do you eat Fried Spring Rolls?

Lumpia Shanghai is usually one of the party foods in a potluck or any celebration and thus can be eaten as finger-food or with noodles or rice. It is best dipped in a sweet chili sauce (in North America, they may come in bottles labeled chicken sauce as well). Others prefer to dip their fried spring roll in ketchup.

crispy lumpia shanghai
Fried Spring Roll dipped in sweet chili sauce! Yumminess overload!

How do you make Fried Spring Roll stay crispy?

Fried Lumpia is best when the wrapper is crispy. Once the wraper becomes soft and soggy, your lumpia meter goes down to 1 or even -1!

My best advice to keep fried spring rolls crispier and crunchier longer – choice of the lumpia wrapper size. I used to buy the smaller wrapper to keep my rolls tidy. I roll it in a diagonal way and fold over the two corners to cover the ends. However it doesn’t have enough wrapper to stay crispy. So now I use the 10″x10″ lumpia wrapper and just cut it in 3’s (so still about 3 inches each spring roll). I don’t mind if the ends are not covered as nothing falls out anyway during frying. Because there are more than 2 layers of lumpia wrapper, they stay crispier longer.

When I was cooking this batch I used for pictures, I left some for my hubby who was at work. He ate them a good 4 hours or so after they were deep-fried. The wrapper stayed crispy and crunchy.

Another best practice is to leave the fried spring rolls air to breathe. It is the steam from the filling settling on the skin that makes the lumpia wrapper soggy. So after draining the oil as much as you can, lay them out in a rack with plenty of spaces between each. If you don’t have a rack, use a container with tall sides. Make them rest almost vertically with the least part of lumpia shanghai touching the container.

lumpia filling

How do you keep Lumpia crispy for a potluck?

Much as Lumpia Shanghai is one of the best potluck and finger food item, it is tricky to keep them crispy. See above for tips on how they can stay crispy.

If you are packing Lumpia, instead of being tempted to take them when they are still hot, it is not the best idea. Unless you have a big enough container so that they have enough space in between as they cool off on your way to your potluck. Instead, allow them to cool first. Then pack them vertically and do not cover.

I didn’t think about this until I was trying to figure out how to keep fried spring rolls crispy. Then I remember that when I was a kid, lumpia vendors packed fried lumpia (both lumpia shanghai and vegetable lumpia) vertically. I didn’t think much of it as a kid – and if I did, I probably thought that it was to easily pick each piece with tongs. Now I can see the wisdom in it.

lumpia filling

Crazy detail on wrapping Spring Rolls

You want your wrapper as tight as possible if you want that perfect rolls. Plus rolling tight gives the crispy crunchy bite. But since the filling is not solid, it is not an easy feat. One technique that I employ is using a dough scraper to help rolling the spring rolls tighter.

So after you flattened the filling about one inch width and from end to end, carefully flip forward (wrapper and filling). So as to maintain the shape of the filling, I run the dough scraper at the bottom and with the help of the scraper, flip everything over.

Repeat the process of flipping for the second time. At this time, the filling is fully covered. Adjust the roll with your fingers if necessary). Then carefully, with the scraper, push the inside (or the farther side) of the roll towards you – see pic 3. Run the scraper again at the bottom and flip. Then with the scraper, push the inside again towards you. Do this alternately until you get to an inch or so from the edge at the other end of the wrapper.

Then after brushing with egg the edge to seal, roll the lumpia shanghai like a rolling pin for a few times. This accomplishes two things – it makes sure the edges are sealed and that the roll is perfect and even.

how to roll lumpia shanghai

Can you make Lumpia ahead of time?

You can make the lumpia filling up to 3-4 hours ahead; cover and refrigerate. For uncooked rolled Lumpia Shanghai, put a damp towel to cover (so the wrapper doesn’t dry out) and they can stay at room temperature for up to an hour.

Lumpia can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. See below the guide on freezing lumpia shanghai.

Do you need to thaw frozen Lumpia Shanghai before frying?

You do NOT need to thaw frozen lumpia before frying. It is actually best not to thaw as the wrapper itself will not hold. Plus, it’s so much better when you fry lumpia frozen straight from the freezer. They are crispier and the flavor is locked in.

fried spring roll recipes

How do you store Lumpia Shanghai in the freezer?

I have seen these in the packaging of frozen Turon (or fried wrapped banana) that we buy here at the Asian/Filipino store. It takes more work but this is the best tip if you want to freeze lumpia. This is the only way to separate the Spring Rolls cleanly and carefully. Otherwise, the wrapper would either fall apart or tear everywhere.

Long story short, it is tricky to freeze lumpia. I learned it the hard way :(. If you want to successfully freeze uncooked Spring Rolls, I suggest you do the extra effort. It pays off. Otherwise don’t freeze them and just prepare them right before you need to cook your fried spring rolls.

to freeze spring rolls
With parchment or wax paper separating each roll.
packing lumpia shanghai to freeze
Pack in single layer

What temperature do you fry frozen Spring Rolls?

Heat cooking oil to high or approximately 350°F (177°C). Fry frozen lumpia in batches of 6-10 (I fry mine in a deep fryer so I can do 10-12 at a time) for approximately 5-6 minutes, or until golden brown.

Can you bake frozen Lumpia (instead of frying)?

In a conventional oven, preheat to 400°F. Brush with vegetable oil each lumpia (coating the lumpia wrapper carefully) to still achieve a crispy crunchy texture. Place the lumpia on a baking pan or cookie sheet. For better results, place lumpia shanghai on a pan with a wire mesh. Baking lumpia will not be the same as deep-fried though. The wrapper will have a tough exterior and the filling will be drier.

filipino lumpia shanghai

Can you cook Lumpia Shanghai in an air fryer?

Set the Air Fryer ar 370°F and air fry for 12 minutes. The cooking time can be extended depending on preference in doneness.

The same with baking, the crust will be on the tough side, and the filling will be drier. Unlike deep frying, which puffs up the layers of the wrapper to make a crispy texture, the air fryer will only char the outer wrapper while the inner ones stick together and tend to be soft.

How do you know when Fried Spring Roll is cooked?

Lumpia Shanghai is cooked when they turn golden brown (if measuring internal temp – should be 165°F).

How do you store cooked Lumpia Shanghai?

Cooked Fried Lumpia doesn’t keep well. But if you have leftovers or you plan to bring to a party or a potluck, see above tips on keeping Lumpia Rolls crispy and crunchy. Leave it at room temperature also and never store Fried Spring Rolls in the fridge. The wrapper will go tough.

fried spring roll recipe
Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 25 mins Cook Time 20 mins Total Time 45 mins
Servings: 6 Calories: 227
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year

Description

Fried Spring Roll or the Filipino Lumpia Shanghai, made of seasoned ground pork is crispy and tasty with layers of texture and flavour in every crunchy bite

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Defrost the spring roll wrappers. Peel them carefully one by one. Cover with a damp cloth or put in a zip lock and set aside the separated wrappers. The spring roll wrappers easily dries out and becomes cardboard-like when left out.

  2. In a large bowl, combine Ground Pork, grated Carrots, grated or minced Onions, sliced Spring Onions, Egg (and minced Parsley). Mix together. Add in the Salt, Garlic Salt and ground Black Pepper. Mix thoroughly.

    Take a teaspoon of the mixture and microwave for about 15 seconds to check if it is seasoned perfectly. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

  3. Get a wrapper (one at a time) and lay on a flat surface. Put three tablespoons of the mixture on one end of the square and spread them out about an inch wide and from end to end of the wrapper

    See pictures above for your visual guide.

  4. Using either your hand or a spatula (I actually use a dough scraper), carefully flip the end with mixture over forming a log. Then start to roll the spring roll wrapper carefully and tightly (or as tight as possible).

    See under Expert Tips the crazy detail on how to roll Lumpia Shanghai as tight as possible.

  5. About two inches at the other end, brush from end to end with egg wash (make sure to cover especially the edges so they will seal tightly). Then continue to complete the roll. To seal the roll tightly (and ensure that the ends of the spring roll wrapper wont open), roll the log a few more time forward) like rolling a bread rolling pin.

    Using scissors or a sharp knife, cut the roll into three pieces, with each having about 3 to 3 1/3 inches long each.

  6. In a heavy bottomed pot, add about two inches of oil and heat to 350°F (or heat a deep fryer to 350°F).

    Carefully add the spring rolls into the oil and cook for about four to five minutes each batch. They should come out with a light golden brown colour and the wrappers are crispy. Internal temperature should be at least 165°F.

  7. Remove them from the oil and place on a rack or paper towel to remove excess oil.

    Serve right away with a sweet and sour dipping sauce.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 6

Servings 6


Amount Per Serving
Calories 227kcal
Calories from Fat 153kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g27%
Saturated Fat 5.99g30%
Cholesterol 89.99mg30%
Sodium 839mg35%
Potassium 320mg10%
Total Carbohydrate 4g2%
Dietary Fiber 0.99g4%
Sugars 2g
Protein 14g29%

Vitamin A 42 IU
Vitamin C 11 mg
Calcium 3 mg
Iron 6 mg
Vitamin D 1 IU
Vitamin E 1 IU
Vitamin K 64 mcg
Thiamin 39 mg
Riboflavin 14 mg
Niacin 18 mg
Vitamin B6 19 mg
Folate 5 mcg
Vitamin B12 11 mcg
Pantothenic Acid 7 mg
Phosphorus 17 mg
Magnesium 6 mmol
Zinc 13 mcg
Selenium 31 mg
Copper 3 mg
Manganese 3 mg

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption. source: https://nutritiondata.self.com

Keywords: fried spring roll, shanghai lumpia, lumpia shanghai recipe, spring roll wrapper, lumpia wrappers

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