Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lumpia Shanghai

This post is for Kimberly over at Framboise Manor who has requested this countless times in various subtle threats. Anyone else is welcome to it if they have never had one of these things. These 'stick things' as my American friends sometime refer to them are called lumpia shanghai which is similar to the more familiar spring roll except these are mostly made from meat. The picture above are some that I was frying up for consumption.

The recipe varies from batch to batch but loosely I follow this one:

1 lb of ground pork
1 egg yolk (save whites for later)
1 cup of chopped carrots (in food processor)
1 bulb garlic minced
1 half yellow onion minced
1 bag of shrimp, peeled, deveined and minced
1 dollop of soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
25 spring roll wrappers

Mix all the ingredients together except for the egg whites and let it rest for a bit on the counter to let the flavor mingle.  Lately I have been experimenting with using other spices to create a spicier version with good results.

I included a picture of the brand of spring roll wrappers I like to use because I have found that most spring roll wrappers stink. They are hard to work with, don't freeze well if you stock up on them like we do whenever we are in the urban jungle, don't brown properly when fried and just aren't as crisp. After several months of experimenting with side by side batches, this brand is clearly the best I have found on all fronts. I pull a bag out from the freezer about a half hour before I need them. For best results, I start at one corner and work the edge of each sheet all the way around and then gently separate it from rest. Sometimes it is hard to get them separated into individual sheets so I will pull two off together and then separate them using the above method. Because they are flimsier than when on a whole stack of sheets, they seem to separate easier. It is just not something I can describe well but with experimentation, I recon anyone can figure out a way that works best for them.

The first step once you have separated a sheet it to lay it like a diamond on your work surface. I use a dinner plate.

Get some of your mixture and put it about where shown on the wrapper in a line about the size of  your little finger. Sometimes I replace the center meat mixture with a whole shrimp instead of mincing it and incorporating it throughout so that you get a shrimp surprise in the middle. Most of the time however it is just easier to toss all the veggies and shrimp in the food processor and mince them all together before adding to the ground pork.

Tuck over the flap and roll making sure to keep it as tight as possible without air pockets. This is the mistake I see most often when others make it and you end up with lumpia that are loose and don't stay together well when frying. This then leads to greasy lumpia. So I make sure to work out any air pockets and keep it tightly rolled.

Fold in the sides like an envelope.

Continue rolling while keeping it as tight as possible. Brush the last exposed flap of spring roll wrapper with your egg white.

Finish rolling.

I usually make a double or triple batch of the recipe above and freeze the rest for later consumption. They freeze well and if you thaw them out a day in advance, the fry up well and I can't tell the difference between them and freshly made ones. With the extras that I plan to freeze, I stick them on a cookie sheet and arrange them so they aren't touching and put the pan in the freezer.

After a half hour or an hour when they are firm to the touch, I gather up a dozen and stick them in a ziplock freezer bag and them put them back in the freezer. This works well since they are so labor intensive to make and I can just make a big batch of them once and have them to eat for several months afterwards. Currently I have about six dozen of them in the freezer just waiting to be fried up.

I just put about half an inch of vegetable oil in the bottom of a skillet and get it hot. Don't get it too hot or they wrappers will blacken before the insides are done. I just fry them for two or three minutes on each side until the shells are nicely browned. The bubbles in the oil start making a different noise when the lumpia are properly cooked. This takes experience to know but I sometimes stick an instant read thermometer in the end of one of the first batch just to make sure that everything reached a safe temperature.

So there you have it, lumpia shanghai made the way my Filipino relatives taught me.


kymber said...

Ed - much thanks to your Filipino relatives for teaching you this recipe...and even more thanks to you for sharing it here. oh yummeh. i am soooo looking forward to making this recipe.

do you use a dipping sauce with them? i am thinking a plain soya/rice vinegar/sesame oil would be nice but also a spicey chilis/lime/sugar/red pepper flakes sauce might be nice too. let me know what sauce you use.

again, thanks for sharing. i'm glad i didn't have to actually come all the way down there to beat the recipe out of you - bahahahah! jes' teasin' buddy! your friend,

warren said...

Oh wow! I love spring rolls and this looks wonderful. We go once a week or so to a local Vietnamese place that makes wonderful ones...would be cooler to make them at home!

Ron said...

Those look very good. I like the freezing option. I've made similar in the past, but it was a lot of labor for one meal.

Ed said...

Kymber - We prefer to use a sweet chili sauce that you can find at most asian food stores but either of those two dipping sauces you mentioned sound good as well.

Warren - I've never tried making spring rolls which are pretty much a vegetarian version of these but I'm guessing they would work well too.

Ron - It is a lot of labor which is why I generally make a double or triple batch. We probably only have these once a month or so I only make them three or four times a year which isn't too bad.

My aunt who showed me how to make them came for a visit last year and tried some and proclaimed that I was now better than she was. I think it was my use of Old Bay canjun seasonings.

malor said...

Thanks for sharing. I am not a good lumpia maker. I will try your recipe. I love the addition of shrimp.