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How to cook: Fried spring rolls with pork filling

Posted By Connie Veneracion On May 23, 2010 @ 12:32 pm In Asian Cooking,Chinese Recipes,Spring Rolls Recipes | 56 Comments

An updated version of an entry originally published in July 26, 2003.

When Speedy was first learning how to make spring rolls, he’d simply put some filling across the middle of the wrapper then roll. Then, he’d fry the rolls. And we’d complain that his spring rolls were too oily — with both ends of the wrappers open, the filling got soaked in oil during frying. Well, that was a long time ago. Speedy cooked lumpiang shanghai for lunch today and, my oh my, were they gorgeous. Non-greasy, crisp outside, juicy inside and very tasty.

The filling is a mixture of ground pork, chopped onion, garlic and carrots, seasoned with salt and pepper — a mixture different from what I use but which is just as delicious so that just proves that you can prepare the filling in many ways and still come up with delicious spring rolls.


  • 500 g. of ground pork (with a good amount of fat)
    1 large onion, chopped
    a few cloves of garlic, chopped
    1 medium-sized carrot, chopped or grated
    freshly ground pepper
    20 spring roll wrappers, separated


  1. Mix all the ingredients, except the wrappers, to make the filling. To determine if the seasoning is just right, take a small amount of the filling, form into a small patty or ball and fry. Taste and make the necessary adjustments, if needed.

    If the filling tastes right, make the spring rolls. For a step-by-step guide on making spring rolls, click here. [1]

    Heat two to three cups of cooking oil in a wok or frying pan until it emits fine wisps of smoke. The exact amount depends on the size of your pan but, as a guide, the oil should be at least two inches deep.

    Fry the spring rolls, a few at a time to avoid overcrowding and temperature drop, rolling them in the hot oil until golden brown. Scoop out and drain. Placing them vertically on a strainer is a good trick to force excess oil to drip out.

    Cut the fried spring rolls in halves or thirds. Serve at once with sweet-sour sauce or sweet-chili sauce.

Cooking time (duration): 20 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 4 to 5

Meal type: lunch / supper / snack

My original recipe for lumpiang shanghai, published in July 26, 2003, is on page 2.

My father used to bribe me with lumpiang shanghai to get me to the dentist. When I was seven, he had retainers placed on my upper teeth and I just hated it. Eating was difficult. Food was tasteless. He brought me to the dentist every Saturday to have the retainers adjusted. I always gave him a hard time. And I always gave the dentist and his assistant an even harder time. So, my father would bribe me…

“We’ll go to Chinatown afterwards and have lumpiang shanghai, sweet and sour pork and chicken with green peas…”

Of course, my brother enjoyed it more since food wasn’t too exciting for someone with wires inside the mouth. Urgh! But, for some reason, the promise of Chinatown almost always worked.

Lumpia is a spring roll. In the Philippines, Lumpiang Shanghai means spring rolls filled with ground or finely minced pork and served with sweet and sour sauce.

Ingredients :

1/2 k. of ground lean pork
1 tbsp. of finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp. of finely grated ginger
1 onion, finely chopped
1-1/2 tbsp. of finely chopped onion leaves (sibuyas na mura)
1/2 carrot, finely grated
1 tbsp. of light soy sauce
1 tsp. of salt
1/4 tsp. of pepper
1/2 tsp. of sesame seed oil
12-15 lumpia (spring roll) wrappers

How to :

Mix together all the ingredients, except the lumpia (spring roll) wrappers.

Place one tbsp. of pork filling at at the center of the wrapper. Take the side of the wrapper nearest you and roll toward the middle. When half-rolled, take the sides and fold them inward, then finish rolling away from you. Brush the edges with a little water to seal completely. Repeat until all the wrappers are filled.

Heat wok or skillet. Pour in the cooking oil. When the oil starts to smoke, carefully lower the lumpia one by one. Do not overcrowd the skillet. Cook only 4 to 5 pieces of rolls at a time. Roll them in oil to brown evenly. Remove once they turn golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Cut each lumpia into 2-3 pieces. Serve with sweet and sour sauce.

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[1] For a step-by-step guide on making spring rolls, click here.: http://feastasia.casaveneracion.com/how-to-wrap-lumpia-spring-rolls/

© Connie Veneracion.