Almost every country in Asia has its own interpretation of spring rolls, otherwise known as egg rolls in the United States. In the Philippines, spring rolls are called lumpia. When I thought of featuring lumpia recipe on Rasa Malaysia, I immediately thought Marvin, the author of the popular Filipino food blog Burnt Lumpia (no pun intended). In this guest post, Marvin explains the different types of lumpia and share his Lumpiang Shanghai recipe with us. Please welcome Burnt Lumpia.
Guest Writer: Burnt Lumpia
I couldn’t help but to giggle a bit when Rasa Malaysia asked me to be a guest writer for her blog–especially because she specifically requested that I write about the Filipino spring rolls known as Lumpia. Quite apropos, I thought, considering the name of my own blog “Burnt Lumpia.” Though I tried vigilantly to avoid any charring of any spring rolls for this post, the last one or two in my frying pan did set off the old smoke alarm, sometimes I can’t help myself.
Generally speaking, lumpia is derived from the Chinese spring roll and can be a mixture of veggies (like cabbage and carrots), meats (usually pork), and/or seafood (sometimes shrimp) rolled into a thin wrapper. More specifically though, lumpia can be found throughout the Philippines in a variety of forms.
Lumpiang Sariwa refers to “fresh,” or un-fried lumpia that are filled with sauteed veggies and meat and wrapped in a thin, homemade crepe–as opposed to store-bought spring roll wrappers.
—Lumpiang Hubad, or naked lumpia, does not mean that you are to eat the spring roll buck-naked without your clothes on (although you can if you want), but instead refers to the lumpia filling being served without the wrapper.
—Lumpiang Prito is perhaps the most recognizable type of Filipino spring roll as it is the fried version most often seen on Filipino tables. Many types of fried lumpia are filled with ground meat and utilize a variety of vegetables to further extend the filling.
For all you Rasa Malaysia readers, I figured I’d provide a recipe for a type of fried lumpia called Lumpiang Shanghai. What makes Lumpiang Shanghai unique from other fried lumpias is that it is typically filled with few vegetables, if any at all, and comprised mostly of seasoned ground pork and served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce (hence the Shanghai in the name).
In addition, Lumpiang Shanghai are also usually thinner and smaller than its other fried counterparts. And because no fancy folding of the lumpia wrapper is required, Lumpiang Shanghai are also relatively easy to prepare–perfect finger foods for parties, I say!
My version of Lumpiang Shanghai features a filling of ground pork studded with garlic and ginger. And although my recipe makes about 50 lumpia, don’t feel like you have to fry all of them at once as they freeze very well for future use.
Makes about 50 lumpia/spring rolls
1 package Lumpia wrappers (25 sheets); Chinese or Vietnamese spring roll wrappers meant for frying can be substituted.
2 pounds ground pork
5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Using a serrated knife, cut the square lumpia wrappers in half so that you have two stacks of rectangular wrappers. Place a damp paper towel over the wrappers to keep them from drying out as you work.
Combine the pork, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, eggs, and black pepper in a large bowl. Using your hands, or a rubber spatula, mix the filling well so that the seasonings are evenly distributed.
Place one of the rectangular wrappers vertically on your work surface with the short edge facing you. Place a heaping teaspoon of the filling on the wrapper about half an inch from the edge closest to you. Grasp the bottom edge of the wrapper and roll it up and over the filling, continuing to roll until 2 inches of wrapper remain.
Dip two fingers into a bowl of water, then moisten the last 2 inches of wrapper with your fingers. Finish rolling the lumpia, then rest it on its seam. Continue rolling with the rest of the filling and lumpia wrappers.
At this point, you can freeze your rolled lumpia if you wish by placing them in freezer bags and then into your freezer.
To cook the lumpia, fill a large frying pan with about 1/2-inch of vegetable oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Gently place the lumpia into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes total (if frying frozen lumpia, it will take 1 to 2 minutes longer).
Place the fried lumpia on paper towels and serve immediately with sweet and sour sauce (bottled from the store is fine).
You can also add finely minced raw shrimp to the pork mixture if you’d like. Also, instead of ground pork, you can use ground beef, or even ground turkey if you’re watching your girlish figure.
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