December 19, 2009

Kulinarya Cooking Club: Lumpiang Shanghai

I would like to introduce you to a cooking group I joined: Kulinarya Cooking Club. Kulinarya Cooking Club (KCC) was started by Trish, Kath and Trissa -- Filipino foodies who are passionate about the Filipino culture and its colorful cuisine. Each month KCC will showcase a dish along with our family recipes. By sharing these recipes, we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino Food as we do.

One of the reason I started this blog was to share recipes I've learned while growing up in Manila. But lately it seems I have been posting plenty on desserts and not enough on Filipino dishes that I cook and serve to my family today. Mind you, there are also plenty of Filipino desserts and sweets but today I will showcase something savory: Lumpiang Shanghai.

KCC is doing something a little different this month. Instead of presenting a specific dish, we get to showcase a dish our family serves during Noche Buena, or Christmas Eve Dinner. Growing up, my family would spend the whole day preparing all kinds of food to have for Noche Buena, from Arroz Valenciana to Relyenong Bangus to Embutido. There's always ham with pineapple rings on top (even though some years the ham came in a can) and pancit. And of course, there's always Lumpiang Shanghai.

Lumpiang Shanghai are little spring rolls filled with ground meat and vegetables. They are the kind of food that everyone likes. I have never met any one, not just Filipinos, who says they don't like them. And they are the easiest ones to swipe from the dinner table while waiting for the rest of the Noche Buena meal! :)

It is also very time-consuming to prepare. At least that's how I remembered growing up but that's just because we didn't have the modern conveniences we now have like a food processor. Can you imagine mincing up your vegetables really fine to make hundreds (yes hundreds, because no matter how much you make, they always seem to run out first) of these lumpias. Today, I just place all the vegetables in the food processor and pulse until they are all finely minced. Also, I remember complaining about my knuckles being sore from pinching the filling onto the lumpia. Now I avoid that by filling a pastry bag (or a plastic storage bag with the corner cut off) with the filling and just squeeze away and roll. Adapting these steps made Lumpiang Shanghai easy for me to prepare that I don't have to wait for Noche Buena to enjoy them.

Lumpiang Shanghai
Makes about 50 pieces

1 package lumpia wrappers (usually 25 pieces in a package)
1 pound ground pork (ground chicken can be substituted)
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 carrots, peeled and finely minced
3 scallions, finely minced
3 oz. (about 10) water chestnuts, finely minced
1 egg, slightly beaten
water (for sealing seams)
oil (for frying)

1. Prepare lumpia wrappers by peeling away and cutting them in half. Cover with a damp towel to avoid drying out.

2. If using a food processor, chop all the vegetables in uniform size and pulse until they are finely minced. Put in bowl and combine with the ground meat and shrimp. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (You can test the filling before rolling them by pan-frying in a little oil.)

3. Place lumpia filling in a pastry bag without a tip (or a food storage bag with the corner snipped off) and squeeze filling onto the lumpia wrapper. Alternatively, place a tablespoon-ful of filling on the wrapper and form a log about the width of your finger from end to end). Roll tightly and seal end with water (you may use your finger or a pastry brush to wet the edge). Lay it on the seam to seal. Cover with damp towel to avoid drying out until all filling is used.

4. Heat oil on medium-high heat until oil reaches 350F degrees. Fry lumpia for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on rack. Serve with dipping sauce of ketchup or sweet and sour sauce.

Maligayang Pasko! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


A cupcake or two said...

Wow Caroline they look so good. I absolutely love Lumpia. Especially the super crunchy ones. It is very Christmassy. We never have a noche buena without Lumpia. Thanks for joining the club.

Anonymous said...

Hi Caroline - thank you for joining the KCC! I am so glad you came to share your lumpia tips. I love lumpiang shanghai but never really made them because I always thought it was too much work (as you said all the dicing!) but a great tip to process the vegetables and use a pastry bag! Yours looks delicious!

♥peachkins♥ said...

Hindi talaga nawawala ang Lumpiang Shanghai kapag nagse-celebrate tayong mga Pinoy. Your Lumpiang Shanghai looks yummy and I love your plate!

Trisha said...

Welcome to KCC and wow! The lumpia looks soooooo good! Great idea to use a piping bag for this... I usually just use spoon and sort of "mold" it into the wrapper. Again, welcome and well done!

Olive said...

Hi Caroline :)

I love lumpiang shanghai too of course, it's a magic food, it quickly disappears from the table ;)it is a staple in every handaan in the Philippines, very tedious to make but well worth it. Thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas to you and your family! :)

Tangled Noodle said...

I didn't have time between end of the semester and our holiday to join Kulinarya but I hope that I'll get to join in the fun next time! Lumpia shanghai is the best and these look scrumptious.

sheryl said...

I'd love to do KCC. What a great idea -- in fact, my New Year's resolution was to cook more Filipino food. :)
These look great!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting your recipe. I, too, pipe the filling. I agree, with the food processor, making lumpia can be not too labor intensive.

♡u8mypinkc00kies♡ said...

I like this with sweet & sour sauce! :D


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