Why is Lumpiang Shanghai a Filipino favorite?

Filipinos all over the world were in this situation: once Lumpiang Shanghai is served on the table, they’re gone in seconds. And that is not an exaggeration.

According to Chef Neil Syham of Lumpia Shack Snackbar, “All the families would cook a small dish, and we would always bring lumpia”.

Photo from istockphoto.com

Lumpiang Shanghai or Crispy Filipino Spring Rolls are regarded as the most basic type of lumpia and is one of the most commonly served dishes in Filipino gatherings. Traditionally, they are made of sautéed ground meat (usually pork, but there are fish and shrimp variants as well), minced onions, finely chopped carrots, and spices (commonly with salt and pepper) all rolled up in a paper-thin egg-based crepe made with flour and water. It is then deep-fried until golden brown.

It is commonly served with agre dulce (sweet and sour) dipping sauce (which accentuates its “Chinese-ness”). Popular alternative dipping sauces include tomato or banana ketchup, sweet chili sauce, garlic mayonnaise, or vinegar with labuyo peppers and calamansi.

Photo by Kusina Master Recipes

Although all lumpia are of Chinese origin, Lumpiang Shanghai really have nothing to do with the City of Shanghai itself. Per related literature, it was introduced by Hokkien migrants from Fujian in Southeastern China and had been, since then, nativized.

A dish that can be a finger food or paired with rice, Lumpiang Shanghai has such enduring popularity that one can see at least one variant in almost any set of Filipino celebration or festivity. Its distinct taste and ease of preparation have caused it to be one of the staple food products on the menus of many Filipino restaurants.

Photo by Gerry’s Grill

And here comes the holidays! And surely, Lumpiang Shanghai would not be missed on many Filipino tables as a perfect choice to get everyone at a party munching away! Brighten up your Noche Buena with this crunchy Pinoy favorite.

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