Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lumpiang Shanghai (Filipino Pork Eggrolls)

One of my favorite appetizers of Filipino cuisine is lumpia. Lumpia is the Filipino version of eggrolls/spring rolls and it's a little different from eggrolls/spring rolls of China, Vietnamese, Thai, etc. This specific version is called Lumpiang Shanghai which is typically filled with ground pork, minced carrots, and spices.

In celebration of the Chinese New Year, I made my version of Lumpiang Shanghai filled with ground pork, minced carrots, minced water chestnuts, sliced scallions, garlic & onions. It's quite time consuming to make these as each lumpia is filled and rolled by hand, left to dry and packed to freeze for future use. Here's how I make my lumpiang shanghai...

Lumpiang Shanghai Filling
original Joelen recipe inspired from family

1 lb ground pork
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil for browning
1 cup minced carrot
1 cup thinly sliced scallions (white & green parts)
1/2 cup minced water chestnuts
1/2 cup minced garlic
1 large onion, minced
1-2 tablespoons sesame oil

- Heat your saute pan over medium high heat and add canola/olive oil when hot.
- Crumble the ground pork into the hot pan and season with salt & pepper to taste.
- Cook until browned and them drain any fat or liquid.
- Place the browned pork in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients.
- Toss all ingredients until evenly mixed through.
- Prepare your working surface with the lumpia wrappers to beging rolling.

I specifically recommend using the TYJ Spring Roll Pastry Wrappers. You can find this at most Asian markets and some national supermarket chains. The reason why I note this specific brand is because it has a great texture, nice thickness and is easy to work with, Many other brands are too delicate for this specific lumpia filling or they simply fall apart as it cooks. Once you get the wrappers, you'll notice they must be peeled apart from each other. Do this carefully so that you don't waste any wrappers!

When working with any type of lumpia/spring roll pastry wrapper, it's important to remember that they dry out quickly. Once dried out, the wrapper is difficult to work with and the results are not very good. To prevent dried out wrappers, place a damp tea towel or paper towel over the wrappers you've peeled apart while you work. Here's how to begin rolling lumpia...

Place the wrapper with one corner towards you and
put 1 heaping tablespoon in a line like so:

Fold the corner closest to you over the line of filling:

Roll the filling in the wrapper away from you once and
then fold the ends towards the middle like a burrito:

Continue rolling the filled wrapper away from you
until you get to the corner:

Brush the corner with eggwash to seal.

Finish rolling the filled wrapper away from you:

Continue doing this until all filling & wrappers are used up.

To store, carefully place in freezer bags and freeze.

To prepare, fry in hot oil from frozen, making sure no ice crystals
are coating the lumpia... because it will pop and make an oily mess!
They just need to brown on the outside since the pork is already cooked.