Look no further, this is the best Filipino Pork Lumpia Shanghai recipe you’ll ever find–really. Perfect for gatherings, lunch, dinner, midday snack, or make-ahead meal, these little super crispy, extra delicious spring rolls are a mainstay in our home and likely will be yours, too!
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Pork Lumpia Shanghai
When someone asks me to name a food that was always featured at family parties and at home, my first answer is always: Pork Lumpia Shanghai (also referred to as Lumpiang Shanghai or Spring Rolls).
As a kid, I remember gathering around the table, watching my mom spooning out the filling, forming it into a line across the lumpia skins and rolling up tight sticks that, to me, looked like little flutes. Watching the progression of making the meat mixture, to rolling, and finally frying meant that good eats were well on its way.
Whenever my mom would make lumpia, it was never in small batches; there were times where she and my sister would make so much that we would have a freezer filled with them, leaving little room in the freezer for anything else. This meant that whenever we had guests visiting, needed a quick snack or dinner, potluck contribution, or a parting gift, lumpia shanghai was always there waiting.
There are many variations of lumpia; made with pork, ground beef, chicken and shrimp, vegetables, and even fruit! This recipe serves as a wonderful baseline, you can add or reduce certain ingredients as you please.
What is Lumpia Shanghai?
Lumpia Shanghai is actually Chinese influenced during the arrival of Chinese traders and Spanish occupation that dates back to the ninth century. The blending of cultures had a significant impact on Filipino cuisine, and it is still seen in Filipino foods today.
These crispy, slender beauties are the Filipino version of spring rolls, filled with vegetables and ground meat. There are so many varieties of lumpia, and growing up, every Filipino Tita (Aunt) touted theirs as “the best!”. I’m partial to my momma’s recipe–and for good reason–as her recipe calls for a higher ratio of vegetables, which is excellent for adding the perfect amount of moisture to the filling.
Lumpia Shanghai Ingredients
Round up your ingredients! Here’s the lowdown:
- Ground pork
- White onion
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
How to Make Filipino Lumpia Shanghai
This recipe is straightforward and the reward is definitely worth the mixing, folding and rolling. To make things easy, I always use this vegetable chopper to get the perfect minced-sized vegetables, every time.
Let’s get down to the how-to:
- Chop the Ingredients: mince carrots, onion, celery, and add to a large mixing bowl
- Add ground pork, eggs, freshly ground pepper and kosher salt.
- Mix with one hand (using a spoon or spatula to mix ingredients simply won’t do). It’s essential to thoroughly combine the ingredients using your hand.
- Place in the refrigerator for one hour to allow flavors to marry.
- Place 2-3 heaping tablespoons of the filling onto the wrapper and use your fingers to even out the filling, creating a straight line. Reserve 1½ inches space on both ends.
- Fold in the sides and begin to roll the lumpia neatly. Be sure to keep the roll tight.
- Misten the edge with water to seal.
- Place lumpia shanghai under a towel to keep moist.
Lumpia Shanghai Wrapper
While there are a number of wrappers to choose from are Kimbo and Spring Form Spring Roll Pastry wrappers. I am not sponsored to share these brands, rather, sharing what I use as a guide in the event you find yourself overwhelmed with choosing lumpia shanghai wrappers at the Asian market.
How to Cook Lumpia Shanghai
Cooking pork lumpia shanghai is fairly simple; the trick is to make sure the temperature of the oil is 350°F. If the oil is too hot, it will cook the lumpia wrapper too fast, leaving the filling partially raw. If the oil is not hot enough, lumpia will absorb too much oil, causing a lumpy, oil-dense wrapper.
- Heat frying oil to 350°F. Once oil is hot enough, carefully add lumpia and rotate as the lumpia begins to brown.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes. Once the lumpia is golden brown on all sides, remove from oil.
- Drain excess oil. Place on a paper towel-lined bowl to drain excess oil.
How to Cook Frozen Lumpia Shanghai
When cooking frozen lumpia, no need to thaw. Simply remove from the freezer and follow the above cooking steps.
Lumpia Shanghai Sauce
Although typical to pair lumpia shanghai with banana ketchup, growing up, I’ve always used sweet chili sauce (recipe below!) or Sweet and Sour Sauce. Check out my recipes for these beloved sauces that are the perfect accompaniment to lumpia shanghai!
How to Freeze Lumpia Shanghai
What’s great about Lumpia Shanghai is that it freezes incredibly well and makes for the perfect eats when you’re in a time crunch. To store, simply:
- Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Place in the freezer for 1 hour. This step will keep lumpia from sticking together in the freezer bag.
- Transfer to a freezer bag, seal and freeze for up to 4 months.
- When ready to cook, no need to thaw, simply take ‘em straight to the fryer!
In the Mood for Filipino Eats?
Then check out my childhood favorites that are also beloved by many:
This Recipe Will Always be our Favorite!
Pork Lumpia Shanghai
- 2½ pounds ground pork
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups carrots, finely chopped
- 1½ cups celery, finely chopped
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 5 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, I use Diamond Crystal brand
- 50 lumpia wrappers
- 1 egg cracked into a bowl, set aside
- Oil for frying
Red Chili Sauce
- ¾ cup red chilis, not spicy
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ cup cane sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch (cornstarch works, too)
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix with your hands (bare hands is better). Mix thoroughly until the vegetables are well incorporated into the meat.
- Place the filling in the refrigerator for 1 hour, to allow flavors to marry.
- 30 mins before you begin wrapping the lumpia, take the wrappers out of the package and separate each wrapper from the pressed stack. Place under a towel to keep the wrappers moist.
- Place 2-3 heaping tablespoons of the filling onto the wrapper and use your fingers to even out the filling, creating a straight line.
- Reserve 1½ inches of space on both ends.
- Fold the sides in, and begin to roll the lumpia neatly. Be sure to keep the roll tight.
- Moisten the edge with raw egg to seal. Place under a towel to keep the lumpia moist. Repeat until you finish through the filling!
- Heat a skillet over medium heat, add oil (about 3 inches in depth) and heat the oil until it reaches 350°F.
- Use an instant read thermometer to get an accurate reading).
- Gently slide 4-5 lumpia into the oil and fry until all sides are golden brown.
- Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.
Sweet Chili Sauce
- Add all ingredients except tapioca starch and hot water to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
- Cook for 4 minutes maintaining heat level at a simmer.
- Mix tapioca starch and hot water in a small bowl, then slowly add to the sweet chili mixture.
- Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute.
- Remove saucepan from heat and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
- Serve in a ramekin with lumpia shanghai. Store leftover sweet chili sauce in a sterile air-tight container. Keep refrigerated. Sauce is good for 1 week.