Pork and prawn spring rolls

Pork and prawn spring rolls

Lumpia Shanghai

7000 Islands
Jana Liebenstein

I cannot recall a fiesta without a platter of lumpia. As children, my brother and I would beeline from the entry hall to the familiar spring rolls. Our young palates and small hands preferred the small meaty lumpia Shanghai to the fresh vegetable lumpia sariwa. We would grab a pile, soak them in the accompanying sweet and sour sauce, then come back for more. Filipinos often make huge batches of lumpia, then freeze them for a party the next day or to wheel out as snacks throughout the week. Feel free to double the recipe; just increase the deep-frying time if the lumpia are frozen.


Quantity Ingredient
250g minced pork
250g raw prawn meat, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 onion, coarsely grated
40g tinned water chestnuts, finely chopped
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons salt flakes
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
20 spring roll wrappers
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Sweet and sour sauce, to serve


  1. To make the filling, place the pork, prawn meat, garlic, onion, water chestnuts, spring onion, egg yolks, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Use your hands to combine well.
  2. Cut the spring roll wrappers in half, then peel to separate the layers. Cover with a damp tea towel (dish towel) to prevent them drying out. Place a wrapper vertically in front of you on a work surface. Place a heaped teaspoon of filling in a line 2 cm from the shortest edge of each wrapper and leave a 1 cm border on both sides. Roll up to cover the filling, fold in the sides, then roll to enclose. Run a wet finger along the edge to seal. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling to make 40 lumpia. If preparing in advance, freeze now.
  3. Fill a large deep saucepan one-third full of vegetable oil and place over medium–high heat until the oil reaches 180ºC. Working in batches of five lumpia at a time, gently lower them into the oil and fry for 3–4 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
  4. Serve the lumpia immediately with sweet and sour sauce.

Where does it come from?

  • Lumpia, a Chinese inheritance, is a broad term for a large array of fresh and fried spring rolls. Despite its name, this version, known as lumpia Shanghai, did not originate in the Chinese city. Cookbook author, Amy Besa, believes its filling of pork, a common Chinese ingredient, could have inspired the title. Lumpia Shanghai are skinnier and smaller than fresh lumpia sariwa or fried lumpiang prito; typically, about the size of a pinkie finger.
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