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10 Healthy Ingredients to Incorporate into the Classic Lumpiang Shanghai

10 Healthy Ingredients to Incorporate into the Classic Lumpiang Shanghai

Adobo used to be the first Filipino dish foreigners would associate most with the country. Nowadays, it shares the spotlight with Lumping Shanghai. Spring rolls aren't exactly a new concept. In fact, they have been around for ages. Surprisingly however, it's the Pinoy lumpia that has managed to capture the palate of the Western market.

Bite sized pork filled treats, lumpia is best enjoyed while it is still a little hot. You want to get the crunchy mouth feel, along with the savory flavors of its meaty contents. Because you can’t have just one piece of Shanghai, the several handfuls you’ve been sneaking can add inches to the waistline. An easy way to balance this out is by including healthier ingredients to the basic recipe. Check out our top 10.

Create Healthier Lumpiang Shanghai with these Ingredients

Lumpiang Shanghai is a Pinoy appetizer or snack that uses ground meat, vegetables, and egg wrappers. These Lumpiang Shanghai ingredients make this finger food affordable and easy to put together – and very tasty!

Arguably, fried spring rolls aren’t the healthiest since it is often cooked in a lot of oil. In order to make it more nutritious, try adding some of these ingredients to produce a more wholesome and beneficial snack.

Water chestnuts

Also known as castañas, water chestnuts are grate antioxidants. They have a subtle sweetness coupled with a crunch that makes it a refreshing addition to the classic spring rolls. Introduce a smoky flavor to the Lumpia by roasting the chestnuts before including them in the Shanghai mix.


Recipes containing the pork and shrimp combo already exist but isn’t as widely used. If you want to make your fried rolls stand out, consider adding shrimps into the filling. These babies provide a relatively high amount of protein (about 20gms) but with a low-calorie count per serving.

Bell peppers

Bell peppers are good sources of vitamin C, potassium, folate, vitamin A, E, and K1. If you are into a low-carb diet, these ingredients are ideal because they only have 6gms total of carbs per serving. And might we add, it’s a great pop of color.

Green beans

Another way to give some crunch to your Lumpia, is go for an ingredient that’s readily available, such as green beans. An amazing source of calcium and vitamin K. To of prepare these, thinly slice them and combine with the rest of the ingredients.


We’re not talking about making cheese sticks. Rather, how about incorporating your fave dairy into the meat mixture. Do this by grating any cheese of your choosing. However, if you’re looking for a quick fix, run of the mill cheddar cheese will do the trick.

Minced garlic

Undeniably one of the most loved aromatics out there, garlic will always be a welcome addition to Shanghai spring rolls. Mince the garlic and mix it in raw with the other components of the dish. You can also opt to lightly sauté before combining with the rest of the filling for a boost in flavor.


Singkamas is a well-known and well-loved mainstay in fresh lumpia. Depending on the recipe you follow, there’s also a chance that jicama is already included in your friend Shanghai ingredient list. But if it isn’t, now’s your chance to add it.

Jicama adds a nice bite to the minced meat and is also a great natural extender. Aside from this, the veg also infuses a hint of sweetness to balance out the saltiness of the roll. To prepare, cut the root vegetable into julienne strips and place it alongside the filling just as you’re about to wrap the lumpia.

Bamboo shoots

Rich in carbohydrates, proteins, fibre, vitamins, and minerals while remaining low in fat, bamboo shoots can be found in Indonesian lumpia. B6, copper, phosphorous, and vitamin E are just some of the many other health benefits of this under appreciated ingredient.


Perfect alternative for red meat, tuna is easily accessible. Grab a can and easily whip out Lumpia in minutes. Cop the tuna pie experience by mixing drained canned tuna with mayo and some quick-melt cheese. You can use sweet chili sauce, ketchup, or even an aioli dip to accompany this tiny parcel of fried deliciousness.

Ground chicken

Getting tired of eating fried spring rolls with minced pork? Replace this with a healthier option. Substitute ground chicken for pork in traditional recipes. Chicken is leaner, cooks pretty fast, and contains a good amount of protein minus the fat.

DIY Sweet & Sour Dipping Sauce

Store bought sweet chili sauce is the go-to condiment to dip cooked fried rolls in.A few other options include vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, and even lechon sauce. Countless restaurant chains on the other hand, prefer serving fried spring rolls with their signature Lumpiang Shanghai sauce. Here’s how to make your own.

Sweet & sour sauce


  • 4tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 2 ½ tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp cornstarch 
  • 5 tbsp of water
  • chili flakes (optional)


  1. Begin by combining sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce in a bowl
  2. With a fork or whisk mix ingredients until well combined
  3. Transfer mixture to a saucepan and heat
  4. Stir occasionally
  5. Bring sauce to a boil
  6. Dilute cornstarch in 5 tbsp of water and pour into the pot
  7. Add chili flakes to taste
  8. Stir continuously until thickened
  9. Remove cooked sauce from heat
  10. Transfer to a bowl and serve with freshly fried Lumpiang Shanghai

Lumpiang Shanghai is bursting with so much umami flavors it's hard to stop once you start eating some. And like anything containing oil, saturated fats are quick to follow. Other than tweaking the ingredients to include healthier components, switching cooking methods can also be advantageous.

Instead of frying in oil, cook the pork rolls in an air fryer. Start by preheating the appliance to 198C. Add the lumpia into the basket making sure there's room in between each roll. Air fry for 4 minutes before flipping it to the other side for an even crispy brown skin for another 4 minutes. And just like that you can enjoy Shanghai with a little less guilt.

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