Christmas dinner and Noche Buena is not quite complete without lumpiang shanghai. Certainly not the case for our family. That is to say, the crunch of that first bite into the juicy goodness of lumpia makes it difficult to resist reaching out for one more roll.

Lumpia is probably not originally Filipino. I daresay it’s a Chinese specialty (spring/egg rolls) but as can be expected of Filipinos, we’ve given it a unique Pinoy twist. This classic comes in different forms: lumpiang shanghai, lumpiang ubod, lumpiang sariwa and lumpiang hubad, to name a few. In the West, no Filipino gathering is ever without a tray of these crunchy goodies, ready to be dipped in sweet and sour sauce or ketchup as one sings a round of karaoke.

Preparing lumpia is quite easy but the rolling part requires time or a lot of hands. I hope you enjoy this recipe for lumpiang shanghai I copied from my Mom who doesn’t tire of cooking lumpia every time there’s a celebration and even when there’s none.


For the Lumpia:

1 kilo ground pork
½ cup chopped spring onions
1 cup finely chopped/grated carrots
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 raw egg
2 tsp soy sauce
1 cup minced onions
Spring roll skin/lumpia wrapper
Some cornstarch or flour

For the sweet and sour sauce:

2 ½ tbsp tomato ketchup
4 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
½ tsp soy sauce
2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 5 tsp water


To make the lumpia:

1. Combine all the ingredients for the lumpia except the wrapper. Mix well and make sure everything is incorporated.
2. Roll a tablespoon-full of the mixture into a wrapper, making sure that the filling is secured.
3. Cut each roll in half and dip each end of the rolls in flour or cornstarch.
4. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the rolls until golden.
5. Place the fried rolls on paper towels to absorb the excess oil before serving. Tip: Put them in an upright position to drain the oil better and avoid the wrapper from getting soggy.

To make the sweet and sour sauce:

6. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except the cornstarch mixture. Mix well.
7. Heat pan and pour in the mixture. Continuously stir while bringing it to a boil.
8. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir until you achieve your desired consistency.
9. Transfer to a small bowl and serve with the lumpia.