Fry

Lumpia Shanghai

October  6, 2021
5 Stars
Photo by Rocky Luten
Author Notes

Lumpia is a Filipino-style spring roll filled with beef, pork, and vegetables rolled in a thin crepe wrapper. You can find these wrappers at specialty Filipino stores; they are thinner than a traditional spring roll wrapper resulting in a crispier texture. If you can't find Filipino-style wrappers, you could use regular spring or egg roll wrappers, but the end result will be a little different in appearance and texture. —Amelia Rampe

Test Kitchen Notes

Amelia Rampe, who developed this lumpia recipe, goes on to explain more about her personal history with the dish and its significance:

"One of the first jobs my mom assigned me in the kitchen was separating lumpia spring roll wrappers. She’d hand me a stack and, one by one, I’d peel back the layers, careful not to rip them (but secretly hoping I would so I could nibble on the unusable ones).

"When it came time to fry the lumpia, my mother and aunties would shoo us kids away. They feared the oil splatter, of course, but it was as if, as well, we just hadn’t earned the right yet to be there for that final transformation. It was a sight to behold: The white wrapper would sizzle to a crisp, deep golden brown. I still remember the day I graduated from wrapper-separator to filling-maker. But when I was finally old enough to be in charge of the frying, that’s when I knew I had become one of the aunties.

"At parties, lumpia was always the first thing to go. I’m sure I was partly to blame because I’d sneak to the platter every chance and restock my plate. I never wanted to wait for them to cool down and would burn my mouth every time. But it was worth it.

"The magic of lumpia is that every hand makes it differently. My mom and grandma make totally different styles of lumpia. My mom’s were long, thin, and crisp and my grandma’s were shorter, fatter, and never quite as crisp as Mom's. Grandma always wrapped them the night before, which made them lose their crispy texture. My step-mom makes a completely different lumpia than both of them. Where my mom rolls the meat and vegetables while it’s raw, my step-mom cooks the meat and vegetables first and then rolls them and fries again.

"All versions of lumpia are delicious, but my mom’s version reigns supreme in my heart." —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Lumpia Shanghai
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves A crowd
Ingredients
  • Lumpia
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 4 scallions, white and light green parts, very finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 cup cabbage, very thinly sliced
  • 2 large eggs (1 whole, 1 white and yolk separated)
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 (11-ounce) packages lumpia wrapper or spring roll shells
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • Vinegar-Soy Dipping Sauce
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or finely chopped
  • 1 Thai chile, thinly sliced
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Lumpia
  2. In a large bowl, combine the onion, carrots, scallions, garlic, cabbage, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, salt, and pepper until well blended. Add the beef and pork and mix with your hands until is evenly distributed.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk a splash of water into the remaining egg white. Working one at a time, on a work surface, place a lumpia wrapper with 1 corner facing you. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of the filling in the center of the wrapper and shape into a thin horizontal 5-inch-long log. Dip your fingers in the remaining egg white mixture and lightly brush the edges of the wrapper. Roll the bottom corner up and snugly over the filling, then tuck under the filling. Fold the left and right corners tightly over the filling to enclose. Crease the wrapper with your fingers, then continue to roll the bundle away from you. Both sides should be as close to sealed as possible; use a little egg wash to seal, as necessary.
  4. In a large nonstick pan, fill with oil to a depth of 1 inch. It should cover the lumpia at least halfway when frying; adjust the amount if needed. Heat the pan over medium-high heat. You’ll know the oil is hot enough if you place the tip of lumpia into the oil and it bubbles immediately. Cook the lumpia for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until deep golden brown and crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined wire rack. You can serve whole or cut in half. Serve with the sauce alongside.
  1. Vinegar-Soy Dipping Sauce
  2. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, chile, and scallion. Decant into a small dish.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Carolyn T
    Carolyn T
  • Jen Wu
    Jen Wu
  • Liz D
    Liz D
  • Amelia Rampe
    Amelia Rampe

7 Reviews

Carolyn T. October 23, 2021
Decades ago I spent about a month in the Philippines, living on a U.S. Navy base there while I waited for my (then) husband to come into port on an aircraft carrier. There were 3 of us officer's wives waiting there for our hubs to come in. During the interim we had lunch every day at the officer's club (the menu contained some Filipino dishes that I enjoyed) and the Filipino chefs there made the most amazing lumpia. I've loved them ever since. I've made them a few times, but as you mention, they are very labor intensive, and probably not all that healthy. They made a dipping sauce of similar ingredients but they also added what I think was maraschino cherry juice (probably from all the cherries they used in the bar). I have a recipe for BAKING the lumpia, not deep frying them - have yet to try them. Certainly not authentic, but perhaps healthier. Thanks for the fun story and so enjoyed reading about the aunties, and you're now one.
 
Jen W. May 22, 2019
How far in advance can I prepare the lumpia before frying?
 
Author Comment
Amelia R. May 24, 2019
I wouldn't wait more than a day to make. You can also make and freeze them then you can have them anytime. :)
 
Liz D. May 14, 2019
Beef & pork not listed in ingredient list?
 
tia May 14, 2019
I was just coming here to ask about that!
 
Author Comment
Amelia R. May 14, 2019
ahhh my fault, updated.
 
Author Comment
Amelia R. May 14, 2019
updated! thanks for letting me know. :)