When recently visiting Manila’s Chinatown one of many dishes I tried were lumpia Shanghai. It was my favourite dish, of many eaten on the food tour. The lumpia shanghai was a rather fat fried roll, similar to a spring roll, with a touch of sweetness. The Filipinos do love a touch of sweetness to their food.
Ever since returning to Sydney I ‘ve wanted to recreate (to the best of my abilities) that really scrumptious lumpia Shanghai I tried. Well at least I think it was Quik Snacks’ version of a lumpia Shanghai. There are quite a few varieties of lumpia in the Philippines, from fresh to fried.
What sets the lumpia apart from a spring roll is that a thin crepe wrapper is used. The crepes are used for both fresh and fried versions. I cheated and didn’t make crepes to use, instead I purchased some spring roll wrappers. But the filling I did try to recreate to the best of my ability.
By swapping the spring roll wrappers for crepes, it did alter the final lumpia. Though thoroughly delicious, they just weren’t quite the same as what we had at Quik Snack. The filling, again, isn’t 100% perfect, but it’s pretty close.
You can see my lumpia rolling and folding action here.
Filipino Lumpia Shanghai
Yield 12-15 lumpia
The Philippines answer to the spring roll, but way more tastier!
- 500g pork mince
- 225g tin water chestnuts
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 packet of spring roll wrappers
- vegetable oil for frying
- In a large non stick frying pan sauté onions and garlic until onion is soft and translucent.
- Add pork mince and cook until it browned.
- Once mince has browned add in water chestnuts and carrot. Stir through thoroughly and then mix in soy sauce, brown sugar and white pepper.
- Continue to stir over a medium heat until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove pan from the heat and leave the mixture to cool.
- Once cooled place ¼ cup of mixture on a spring roll wrapper, and roll the lumpia up, tucking in the sides as you go. Seal the lumpia closed with a small amount of beaten egg on the final edge of the wrapper.
- Continue with the remainder of the wrappers and filling.
- To fry, place enough vegetable oil in a wok, high enough to cover the lumpia. Heat oil until it reaches 180°C (350°F). Cook lumpia a few at a time until they are golden brown.
- Once golden, remove from wok and drain on kitchen paper towel. Serve immediately with sauce of choice.
My lumpia Shanghai aren’t quite as rotund as the ones I tried in Manila, and the wrappers also not quite the same. Taste wise, really close. There weren’t any complaints from the family while they were busily devouring them.
Now I need to try and perfect the crepe wrappers!
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