This Lumpiang shanghai recipe is the epitome of goodness. Ground lean turkey meat with herbs and spices, then baked making it the ultimate recipe. Lumpia in general is a food identity for the Filipino people. Often served as an appetizer or snack. Made of thin paper-like pastry skin called “lumpia wrapper” filled with a sweet or savoury filling. Deep-fried, giving you that crispy outside and moist inside.
Originally, lumpiang shanghai is the most basic type of deep-fried lumpia in Filipino cuisine. Filled with ground pork, some vegetables and seasoning. They are smaller and thinner than any other kind of lumpia that are plump and fuller. Lumpiang shanghai, despite the name; Did not originate from Shanghai or China instead named after its resemblance to Chinese spring rolls.
When we were young, Lumpia was some kind of a special treat. Deep-fried lumpia was an ice breaker when we’re sick of eating boiled or sauteed vegetables and rice. The funny part, we filled our Lumpia with sauteed freakin’ same vegetables. I think our parents brought us up 80% vegan and 20% meat, fish or seafood. It’s not bad don’t you think? it was plump, full of vegetables, fried in a large amount of grease as it hisses and splatters towards us. We were very careful because they’re like a samurai, once it landed on you; it hurts and leaves you a nasty mark (I got so many). There was nothing more amazing than crispy and delicious vegetable lumpia with a touch of our spicy and tangy dip
The first time I learned about lumpiang shanghai was when I was at the University. There was a wedding that I was tasked to help prepare Lumpiang Shanghai, filling and rolling for hours. It feels like they ground 200 pounds of hog, it was endless. This is why the memory of making and its taste was embedded in my brain. Made of ground pork, grated carrots, grated potatoes, some seasoning and of course some magic of MSG (Monosodium Glutamate). Most Asians love MSG- and I like it too. Let me tell you a story of what I did when I was a kid, Some green mangoes were really, really sour. So I peeled, sliced and dusted them with a tiny amount of MSG, believe me! All you could see in my face was pure JOY, there was no pouting, no puckering. This is why MSG is so much loved in many Asian kitchens. It can turn unpleasant food addictive.
There were times and places where I longed for comfort and lumpiang shanghai is one of them. Deep-fried, baked or air fried it all sounds the same when you’re looking for something to feed the soul. Food becomes so important when we get separated from our mother culture. Only the most visible ones that we could change easily because we want to blend into a larger culture. But with food, it’s the hardest to give up; we’re engaging in three times or even more a day, giving us opportunities to connect to memory, family and place.
Introducing some healthy ingredients to something that was already good to make it even better- The ultimate was always my mission. This Lumpiang Shanghai with herbs and spices recipe was a collection of good memories. With a little variation to demonstrate a warm welcome boost to both our physical and emotional wellbeing. Herbs and spices are getting their popularity not only for culinary purposes but for better health and faster healing.
Rosemary is one of my favorites. I love it, that’s why I use it more often than any other plant. It has a long-standing reputation as a tonic, invigorating herb and imparts a zest for life with its distinctive aromatic taste. Science has recently taken an interest in rosemary to boost cognition and as an antioxidant1. Herbalists and others applauded rosemary for its warming and dispersing effects that gives benefits to the liver, digestion, heart and mood2.
Studies have shown that adding rosemary to any type of meat before grilling, frying, broiling or barbequing; significantly reduces its cancer-forming chemicals3. Including other herbs and spices as a marinade or rub4 like garlic, thyme, oregano, chilies, peppers and cumin.
To make lumpiang shanghai is not labour-intensive that needs to muscle it up. It is very easy to make but it also needs patience. Remember, the authentic shanghai lumpia should be thin and small. I made this lumpia slightly bigger with more filling as the main course, served with papaya and mango salad with ginger-lime vinaigrette. You don’t have all the herbs and spices mentioned in the ingredients list, just use what you have. They’re equally delicious but please! rosemary, garlic and pepper are great to have. I like to caramelize the onions before adding them to the rest of the filling to add a little sweetness. Grated potatoes and carrots add some creaminess and moisture keeping it away from drying out. Soy sauce is one signature of a Filipino dish, If your allergic to it; use salt. This is what cooking at home is all about.
Why bake the lumpiang shanghai?
First, Cooking all the lumpiang shanghai at once gives you the window to enjoy them while they’re still hot, especially since my family prefers a piping hot meal ( unless it is salad day).
Second, no messy splutters and burning. No funky smell that sticks to you like glue, especially if you have a small kitchen with no access to proper ventilation like me.
Lastly, baking with a thin coat of oil instead of letting it swim in a whole pot of grease means HEALTHIER. They also come out nice and crisp from the oven. To check for their doneness, just break one piece and it will tell you exactly what you’re looking for. unless you want to take all the trouble trying to be precise using your food thermometer just to stub a lifeless little lumpia, haha…go for it.
THE ULTIMATE LUMPIANG SHANGHAI WITH HERBS AND SPICES
- Spring roll pastry wrapper
- Bowl of water
- 2 tablespoon Cooking oil
- 1 large Cooking onion, diced + pinch of salt
- 2 pound Lean ground turkey (optional: chicken, pork snd or beef)
- 2 Egg + 1 yolk
- 1 large Carrots, grated using the large hole of a grater
- 1 medium Potatoes, grated
- 1 tablespoon Rosemary (Fresh) or 1 teaspoon dried and crumbled
- 1 tablespoon Thyme (fresh) or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon Fresh oregano or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 small Garlic cloves, minced or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon Ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon Gound black pepper
- 3 tablespoon Soy sauce
Apple Cider Vinegar dipping sauce
- ½ cup Apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon Water
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoon Red onion, finely diced
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- 1 Thai chili, thinly sliced
- 3 Mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Brown sugar
Suggested Dipping Sauce
- Thai sweet chili sauce
- Sweet and sour sauce
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a small saute pan over low heat, add the onion + salt and sweat until soft and starts to brown while stirring once in a while. About 5 minutes
- While you are sauteing the onions, put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, add the onions when ready. Using your clean hands, gently incorporate all the ingredients. Avoid over mixing, the meat should be visible not mushed. Cover the bowl and let it rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Combine all the ingredients in a lidded jar and shake to incorporate everything. Can be made in advance and shake before serving. Adjust seasoning according to your likeness
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Separate all the wrapper and cover with a damp paper towel.
- Fold the wrapper on top of the meat, roll once as you gently press the wrapper to tighten the meat. Give another roll then fold both sides and continue rolling to finish forming a nicely tight cylinder. Continue rolling with the rest of the meat mixture as you arranged it into the lined baking sheet leaving a space in between. Keep it covered with a damp paper towel while working the rest. Check the pictures for reference.
- Coat the lumpia with a thin brush of oil and bake for 10 minutes, turn the lumpia upside down and continue baking for another 10 minutes or until a little brown on top and cook inside.
- Arrange in a serving platter and serve with balsamic vinegar dipping sauce or a choice of your own. Enjoy!