We can never deny that no celebration in the Philippines will be complete without Lumpia, whether fried or the fresh spring roll version. Its significance and relevance are deeply ingrained in our culture and tradition. You can name any celebration, a wedding, a birthday, or a fiesta, and this dish will always be there. Alongside Pancit, it can be seen being served from roadside eateries up to high-end hotels and restaurants.
Being more commonly referred to as Lumpiang Shanghai, this dish is our take on an authentic Chinese egg roll. Our version uses ground pork instead of the traditional vegetables. This adaptation is an invincible proof of our ability to learn and recreate things and make it into one of our own. It can be easily inferred that most of them, though foreign in form or name, are still very Filipino at its core. And our featured recipe is undeniable proof of that statement.
With all this information in mind, we highlighted some of the many variations that you can try to make at home to make them even more appealing for your family. We have also included several ways of cooking them, considering the ever-changing lifestyle of modern Filipinos and their fast-paced life. We have high hopes that by the end of this article, you will be able to recreate and probably come up with your very own twist of this featured fried dish.
What Is This Party-favorite Dish
Lumpia, in the broadest sense of the word, is simply an egg roll. An appetizer of ground meat and chopped veggies wrapped using crepe-like wrappers made of flour, eggs, and water, then deep-fried to perfection. One cannot merely resist its culinary charm, and one bite of it makes you crave for more.
Lumpiang Shanghai, on the other hand, is not a Chinese dish but instead Chinese inspired. Our history with Chinese people predates even the colonial period, having traded with them even before our country was named the Philippines. That is why our culture, ideas, principles, and most especially food has some Chinese hint to it. Our ancestors loved most of their dishes; that is why we even came up with our very own recipes and variations to take on some of these culinary masterpieces.
Lumpia is one of those dishes created because of our love for Chinese recipes and cuisines. However, our version is somehow different from that of the Chinese. Our adaptation has ground pork and shrimp added to the list of ingredients; proof of our yearnings for meat recipes. We also deep fry our version while the Chinese love to eat theirs fresh. Since their variant does not have pork in it, their choice of filling is purely vegetables. What adds the Chinese flavor to our adaptation is our sweet and sour dip, a technique we have learned from them.
Ways To Make The Best Lumpiang Giniling Recipes
We are all familiar with how this particular dish is made, right? You have to heat oil in a pan, make sure they are plenty enough for the lumpia to be fried deep, dunk them in, and after a minute or two, you have got yourself some crunchy foods to munch on. But with the advancement of technology comes the development of new kitchenware that can be used as an alternative to making our crunchy recipe. We listed down a few of these kitchenwares that you can use if you have them at home.
Through Air Fryer
Probably one of the most innovative kitchen appliances invented, which gives you the ability to fry foods without using too much oil but still have that crisp you are looking for; how cool is that, right? And this kitchen wonder does just that. Instead of cooking food and making it crunchy via liquid heat, the circulating hot air inside the fryer replaces the traditional frying method’s job.
So for our beloved featured dish, please only make sure to preheat the fryer before putting in the rolls in the basket provided. Air fry them in batches for about four minutes, turning them to their side to make sure both sides are evenly fried. This method is an excellent alternative if you are looking to switch to a healthier option without sacrificing this dish’s taste and crispness.
Through Microwave Oven
Sure, preparing and finishing this dish takes a reasonable amount of time before it can be served. You have to fry all of it by batch to ensure that it will have that crispy exterior and the filling is edible already. But if you do not have that much patience needed to prepare this dish, we might have the ideal method. If you have a microwave oven or an oven toaster at home, then your problem is solved.
For recipes that use an oven toaster, preheating is not necessary. Just make sure to line up the metal tray with foil and brush some oil to it. Let your dish be there for about eight to ten minutes, or until the wrappers turn golden brown. When using the microwave oven, preheat the oven to 425 degrees, then bake the lumpia for 10 minutes on each side.
This method uses less to no oil at all, so you can enjoy munching on your finished dish with less guilt.
Through Pressure Cooker
This conducive kitchen electrical appliance is typically used for cooking big chunks of meat that will require hours to tenderize in a conventional pot. The pressure builds up inside this appliance and softens the pork three times faster than the regular simmering. But newer versions of this kitchen tool released in the market for quite some time now have a crisping function that allows you to fry foods in them. If yours has that function, then you are quite lucky.
So this method takes advantage of that new function of this appliance. Before putting the pieces in the frying basket, make sure to coat them in oil. Set the fryer to crisping function, and fry them for about 10-12 minutes: less fat but the same old favored crunch.
Variations Of Filipino Lumpiang Shanghai Recipes
This dish is a variation of a Chinese egg roll; the significant difference is meat instead of just various vegetables, the original lumpia. So if you are craving a different flavor for your egg roll, we have listed some variations you can try on.
The salty and creamy taste of cheese makes recipes even better, making it a suitable addition to the traditional lumpia we have all grown to love. Preparing it is going to be the same; the addition of cheese is the only difference. Scoop the mixture into the wrappers and flatten it a bit before adding a slice of cheese. Then proceed with the rest of the steps in cooking as indicated in the recipe. The melted cheese that will coat every inch of the filling will give it a more delectable taste.
With Coconut Recipe
The use of coconut is typical in Philippine recipes. Coconut milk is used for savory and sweet dishes, and the coconut meat, when grated, serves as a topping for many of our kakanin or native cakes. But did you know that you can use coconut meat as an extender for lumpia? Shave the coconut meat into strips, mix them in with the filling, and then proceed with the remaining procedures. The tender and sweet flesh of the coconut highlights the salty and savory goodness of the pork filling.
Chicken Lumpia Recipe
If you are not much of a pork fan, then the ground chicken is also a suitable replacement. The process is practically the same, although adjustments should be made on the seasonings since chicken meat is blander in contrast to the ground pork’s meatier flavor.
Just saute the ground chicken lightly with the other ingredients and proceed with the remaining steps.
Vegan Lumpia Recipe
This variation is highly recommended for people who are switching to meatless recipes. In place of the usual ground pork or shrimp, this dish uses mushrooms as the main meat. Finely chopped carrots and potatoes can also be added as extenders to give more body to the filling. Saute the vegetables and mushrooms until they are tender and remove them from heat, then roll them and fry using your desired frying method. Firm tofu can also be used if you are not a fan of mushrooms.
If you want to go all-out vegan, we suggest using an air fryer if you have one at home. If not, then baking them is another recommendation. These two recommendations are healthier options than the traditional deep frying.
Fish Lumpia Recipe
If you are tired of eating meat but still want to enjoy lumpia recipes, do not worry because we got your back. You will have to use fish instead of pork, beef, or chicken for recipes with this variation. You have to fillet your chosen fish. It can be milkfish, galunggong, cream dory, or any other fish species.
Mix your fish flakes with onions, black pepper, minced celery, carrots, and egg in a medium bowl. Wrap it carefully and securely so it will not disintegrate while being fried. Fry it until golden brown, then serve while still hot. Additionally, if you want to have an additional flavoring and texture to this version, use tomato or banana ketchup as its dipping sauce, and you will surely not regret it.
Lumpiang Labong Recipe
It is another great vegetable-based variation of our featured dish. Bamboo shoots have been widely used in many Asian recipes due to their texture and mildly sweet flavor. They are also rich in fibers and contain less amount of fat.
Boil the bamboo shoots first for about 10 to 15 minutes to remove the bitter taste, then chop them up into small strips. Saute it with the rest of the ingredients. Replace the pork and shrimp in the process, and use the shoots instead. Once cooled, scoop the mixture onto the wrappers and fry them until golden brown on both sides. Ensure to serve it while it is still hot and crispy.
Dynamite Shanghai Version
If you are fond of spicy and hot food, well, this shanghai version is the perfect variation for you. The Dynamite version is very famous to Filipinos, especially during fiestas, Christmas, and other celebrations. But some people also sell dynamites at local eateries, making it available even when there are no festivities.
This dish’s dynamite variation is made with long, green chilis, ground pork, spices and seasonings, eggs, and wrappers. Preparing this variant is almost the same except that the seasoned ground pork is stuffed inside the long, green chili. But before you can fill the pork inside the chili, you have to slice it lengthwise on a side first, then remove the seeds for a more refined texture of your dish. Some people also include cheese in dynamite shanghai recipes to enhance the taste and flavor. On the plus side, the look of the melted cheese inside your dynamite is undoubtedly mouth-watering.
After stuffing the green chili, make sure to wrap it securely and tightly, especially on the ends. It is to ensure that the dish will not disintegrate while being deep-fried. We also suggest you deep fry it in vegetable oil to make sure that it is fried evenly. When it is already golden brown and looks crispy enough for your liking, you can remove it from the pan. Serve it while still hot and crunchy.
Beef Shanghai Version
If you prefer beef over fish, pork, and chicken, you do not have to worry because this dish can be made using ground beef, too. The beef variation of this dish tastes very delicious, given that this type of meat has a strong, distinct flavor.
To make this particular dish variation, follow the original pork version’s steps and procedures because it is entirely the same. Serve this immediately once you are done to enjoy the crispness of your meal.
With Shrimp Filling
If you have an extra budget and you can afford this quite expensive seafood, you can try this version of our highlighted dish. You only have to remove the shell of your shrimp and chop it finely. In a medium bowl, mix it with the other spices and condiments. Then proceed with the remaining steps.
To further enhance this version’s taste, other people add ground pork to the list of their ingredients. But however you make this version, rest assured that it will taste very delicious and will make you ask for another cup of rice.
Troubleshooting your Lumpiang Shanghai
As staple and as common as this specific dish is for Filipinos, making mistakes when preparing and cooking them are inevitable, thus, it is how we learn, and it makes us better in charge of the kitchen. In any unfortunate case you encountered kitchen mishaps, we noted some troubleshooting steps or remedies you may opt to follow should you have to settle your kitchen dilemma.
- Too Soggy
This problem could arise from frying them in oil that is not too hot, which resulted in the wrappers absorbing too much fat. If this happens, what you can do is drain the oil from the fried lumpia first. Then heat the oil until the bubble rises to the surface; that is the only time you fry the lumpia.
- Too Greasy
This dish is naturally greasy, given that it is a deep-fried delicacy. However, there is such a thing as too much. If that is the case, transfer the fried products to a container lined with a paper towel or kitchen tissue. The excess oil coming from the rolls is going to be absorbed by the paper towels.
Foods not just fill your stomach and satisfy your craving; at times, they can also be fun and knowledge enriching. We noted some of the fun facts and useful trivia about our highlighted dish, which will make you appreciate them even more.
- Lumpiang Shanghai did not come from the Chinese city, but rather an authentic Filipino dish inspired by traditional Chinese cuisines.
- Our featured dish is closely related to other Asian cuisine, the spring roll, which is fresh rather than fried.
- Whether served fresh or deep-fried, this dish is so famous in our country; it even predates the colonial period. It was also mentioned in one of Jose Rizal’s novels, El Filibusterismo.
Tips When Cooking Lumpiang Shanghai Recipes
We want you to be confident when you are in your kitchen, especially if you have your eyes set on trying our recipe for this great dish. So here are some tested tips that you can use as a guide for perfecting our featured dish.
- After purchasing the ground pork, use them immediately to avoid having a pungent smell coming from the meat. Ground meat tends to get stale faster than regular cuts.
- When purchasing lumpia wrappers, always choose the freshly made ones as they are softer and more pliable.
- Before frying, make sure that the oil temperature is hot. Test the temperature by sticking in a spoon or ladle; if tiny bubbles form around it, then you are good to go—Fry the egg rolls by batch to avoid lowering down the temperature.
- Avoid overcrowding your frying vessel when doing this dish—overcrowding your electrical appliances when deep-frying cause the oil temperature to go down. It might be the reason why your dish becomes too soggy and greasy.
Other Recipes Perfectly Served With
Lumpiang Shanghai is a very versatile dish that can be eaten on its own or paired with other foods. So we listed down some recipes you can match it with so you can enjoy them better.
Filipinos love rice, and a typical Philippine cuisine will always have a serving of it. And it is a perfect canvass for our crunchy and savory fried dish.
- Fried Rice and Egg (SiLog)
Local eateries usually serve sinangag at itlog or silog meals. It is also available in the breakfast menus like the hotsilog, porksilog, and other silog meals. Our dish paired with fried rice and eggs is superb as it will not only make you full, but the combination of the textures of runny egg yolks and crispy lumpia is really lip-smackingly delicious and will indeed start your day right.
A Chinese inspired combo meal; one can always see these meals paired with each other as they are stapled recipes for any Filipino gathering. These two delicacies are symbols of prosperity, abundance, and festivity.
Philippine recipes always have that mildly sweet undertone of flavors, especially in our savory and saucy recipes. One of which is our take on Spaghetti; our version of this will always have that trademark sweet and spicy taste of the sauce that kids greatly love. Pair it with our highlighted dish, and you will indeed be instantly reminded of birthday parties, weddings, and fiesta. Talk about food nostalgia.
- Pork Caldereta
The pork caldereta eaten with this dish is undoubtedly a perfect match made in heaven. Imagine its sauce poured on top of your steamed rice; you eat the tender meat, then after that, you have a bite of your crunchy dish. A perfect lunch, indeed!
Pancit Palabok is a Filipino dish made with bihon noodles. It is usually served with its sauce topped with shrimp, sliced boiled eggs, and pork chicharron. But who would disagree if it is made with lumpia toppings, too? The noodle sauce’s texture will blend perfectly with the crunchiness of our featured dish. Yum! Do not forget to try this when you have Pancit Palabok next time.
If you have been to Batangas already, a province in the Philippines, you probably had your lomi there. They are very famous for their incomparable taste of that noodle dish. Their lomi is usually topped with ground pork, eggs, chicharron, and lumpia. Its very thick sauce is complemented perfectly with the crispness of our dish—a must-try combination.
Anything that has sour soup will surely be a compliment to our featured dish. Our crispy and crunchy dish being munched with the sour broth of Sinigang na Baboy is indeed rich and mouth-watering. A cup of steamed rice will surely not be enough for you when you try this combo.
Atchara is a popular side dish and appetizer in the Philippines. It is made with grated unripe papaya fermented in vinegar, black pepper, food coloring powder, and other spices. Its sour taste will balance the quite salty taste of your fried dish.
- Pineapple Juice
After consuming this quite salty dish, you have to quench your thirst with something that complements it. Because of this delicious dish, you probably had a heavy meal. Pineapple juice is an ideal fluid to take in after eating, especially when it is ice cold. Its sweet and sour flavor will not only appease your thirst but will also remove the aftertaste of the foods you have eaten.
Having written all the beautiful and informative things about our featured dish by now, we are sure that you are all set in preparing our beloved dish. Follow the steps accordingly, and we are confident that you will be able to nail this dish hassle-free and efficiently, and you may even create your variant. Good luck, and enjoy your time in the kitchen!
For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!
Best Lumpiang Giniling Recipe
- 1 lb Ground Pork
- 1 pc Potato diced
- 1 pc Carrot diced
- 1 whole Cabbage small size, sliced thinly
- 1 pc Onion diced
- 1 whole Garlic crushed
- 6 pcs Baguio beans sliced
- 2 pcs Boiled eggs cut into strips
- 30 pcs Lumpia wrappper
- 3 cups Cooking oil
- 1/2 cup Water
- 1/2 tsp Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp Fish sauce
- 1 cup Vinegar
- 1 stalk Celery sliced thinly
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Saute garlic until brown, then add the onions and ground pork. Stir well.
- Then season with fish sauce and black pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Add water and bring it to boil.
- Put-in carrots and potatoes, cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking on the pan.
- Then lower the heat, add the celery, baguio beans and cabbage. Cook for about 3 minutes. Set aside.
- Remove all the ground pork from the pan and place on a plate. Let it cool and set aside.
- Wrap a tablespoon of the sauteed ingredients in each spring roll wrapper (lumpia wrapper) and put a boiled egg in each wrap. Set aside.
- Heat oil in another pan. Deep fry, a few pieces of wrapped lumpia at a time, until golden brown and cooked through, about 4-6 minutes. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
- Eat with dipping sauce. Share and enjoy!
- In a small bowl, combine vinegar, black pepper and garlic.