Lumpia shanghai (Filipino spring rolls)

There are different ways to make lumpia, but my favorite is lumpia shanghai. Many people serve it as an appetizer, but you can serve it as an entrée, paired with steamed or stir-fried veggies and steamed jasmine rice. Traditionally, you use ground pork, but I usually use ground turkey breast & ground chicken breast to make it slightly healthier. (Not that deep fried spring rolls are healthy, but I try to lessen cholesterol and calories when indulging in these.)

Lumpia shanghai (Filipino spring rolls)
Modified from the family recipe
Makes 40 spring rolls
Prep time: about 30 minutes (depending on how fast you chop vegetables)
Freezing time: 30 minutes to an hour
Cook time: about 45 minutes

Lumpia shanghai.

Lumpia shanghai.

Ingredients & supplies:

  • 1 package of spring roll wrappers (don’t accidentally buy egg roll wrappers — those are much thicker and take longer to fry.  Don’t get the translucent wrappers, as those aren’t made for frying. The brand I use is Spring Home TYJ spring roll pastry)
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1 pound ground chicken breast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tbsps. of low sodium soy sauce
  • juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • black pepper (I use a lot of black pepper)
  • a couple pinches of sea salt (you can omit this if you use regular soy sauce, as it has a lot of salt)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • several cloves of garlic, minced (I use four or five, because I’m a big fan of garlic. Adjust the amount to your tastebuds)
  • several scallions, diced (see above)
  • 5 oz. can of water chestnuts, drained & minced
  • 1 carrot, grated (I omit this, as I’m allergic)
  • 1 oz. dried shitake/black mushrooms, reconstituted, squeezed of water, then minced
  • a plate where you wrap your lumpia wrappers in a damp paper towel, so they don’t dry up
  • a plate to roll the lumpia
  • a small dish with beaten a egg white, to seal the lumpia
  • a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, where you will place the lumpia in the freezer
  • tongs to handle lumpia
  • canola oil for frying
  • colander lined with paper towels to dry the lumpia
  • large platter to serve

Sauces to serve with lumpia:

  • duck sauce
  • soy sauce with lemon
  • apple cider vinegar with black pepper & minced garlic

Sides to serve with lumpia, if serving as an entrée:

  • steamed or stir-fried veggies
  • steamed jasmine rice or brown rice


  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix ground turkey breast, ground chicken, beaten egg, soy sauce, black pepper, sea salt, onion, garlic, scallions, water chestnuts, carrot,  and shitake mushrooms thoroughly. You can either use a spoon or your hands to mix the ingredients (I use my hands).
  2. Cut the spring roll wrappers diagonally across, so the wrappers are now triangles. Place on the plate, wrapped in the damp paper towel, so the wrappers won’t dry up.
  3. Take a wrapper and place flat on the plate where you’ll roll the lumpia, with the two points of the triangle pointing up. Put a teaspoon of the filling toward the bottom of the wrapper. Fold each corner over, then roll tightly. Seal the lumpia with a little of your egg white. (If you need some instructions with photos for how to roll them, this recipe is great.)
  4. Place each lumpia on the cookie sheet spaced apart by an inch. If you run out of room, place another piece of parchment paper on top and make another layer of lumpia.
  5. Repeat until you’ve used all of your wrappers & filling.
  6. Cover the cookie sheet with foil & put in freezer for 30 minutes to an hour, until lumpia are frozen solid. Put in large Ziploc bags, until you fry each batch.
  7. Heat a medium sized pot with a couple of inches of canola oil until oil starts to bubble (but not boil) at 350 degrees. Then, carefully drop four or five of the lumpia in the pot. Make sure not to crowd them, so they can properly fry. Fry for 3-4 minutes on one side, then flip and fry for 3-4 minutes on the other side, until brown.
  8. Let lumpia dry in the paper towel-lined colander. After each batch dries, transfer to a large platter. Enjoy!