Peranakan style spring rolls filled with bamboo shoots, dried shrimps, and shrimps wrapped in thin spring roll sheets and then fried or baked. Served with an addicting spicy and sweet sauce.
Lumpia means spring roll in Indonesian language. This particular lumpia Semarang comes from the city of Semarang located in Central Java. Brought in by the Chinese immigrants who then resided in that area (we call it Peranakan). The lumpia is adapted and modified to suit the local taste. The lumpia is filled with bamboo shoots (rebung), dried shrimp, and shrimp. The city of Semarang is well-known for this lumpia.
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INGREDIENTS FOR LUMPIA SEMARANG
1. LUMPIA WRAPPERS (SPRING ROLL WRAPPERS)
Get thin lumpia wrappers. They are widely available at the frozen section of Asian store. Some major grocery stores that carries ethnic food may have this too. Simply thaw them in the fridge before using
2. CANNED BAMBOO SHOOTS
Canned bamboo shoots may come soaked in water or brine. Get the canned bamboo shoots in water and choose the strips shape so you don’t have to cut them any longer.
Sugar is used as a seasoning and also to boil the bamboo shoots to help eliminate the odor of bamboo shoots.
4. DRIED SHRIMP
Get small to medium size dried shrimp (ebi) from Asian store.
Get the raw shrimp from the store instead of the cooked ones. The cooked shrimp simply doesn’t taste as good as the raw. Fresh or frozen is fine.
6. OYSTER SAUCE
Oyster sauce adds nice umami to the filling. This is also available at Asian grocery store and some major grocery store that carries ethnic ingredients.
7. SWEET SOY SAUCE (KECAP MANIS)
Kecap manis is thick and sweet, if you don’t have one, you can use regular dark soy sauce, which is also thick and add some brown sugar to your taste.
8. COCONUT SUGAR
Most of Indonesian recipes call for coconut sugar/palm sugar/gula Jawa because that’s what abundance there. I personally love it a lot for its amazing aroma. You can use brown sugar if you don’t have one.
Cornstarch is used in this recipe to thicken the dipping sauce slightly and also to seal the lumpia while wrapping.
10. THAI CHILI
You can omit the chili if you don’t want it spicy. You can also use other types of chilis such as jalepeno, or serrano, etc.
HOW TO PREPARE THE LUMPIA FILLING
I recommend to prepare the filling the day before. It makes your life easier and the filling has time to cool down and chill. It’s easier to wrap.
1. BOIL BAMBOO SHOOTS (TO GET RID OF SMELL): Boil bamboo shoot with enough water and 1 tbsp sugar until soft and discard the boiling water
2. SAUTE AROMATICS: The aromatics here would be garlic and dried shrimp. Heat some oil in a wok/skillet. Saute garlic for about 10 seconds. Add dried shrimp and saute until fragrant.
3. ADD SHRIMP: Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink.
Then add bamboo shoots, water, and seasonings. Stir fry until the liquid evaporates and the filling is dry. You don’t want a wet filling.
4. STIR IN GREEN ONIONS
Now that we have the filling, all we need to do is wrap these babies up!
HOW TO WRAP SPRING ROLLS (LUMPIA)
Mix the cornstarch with water to make a cornstarch slurry. This is used to seal the wrappers so they won’t open up when you cook them, especially if you deep fry them.
1. Place one sheet of spring roll wrapper on your work surface, like a diamond shape.
2. Place 1-2 tbsp of filling (not too much) on the lower end of the wrapper, the side near you.
3. Fold the bottom over to cover the filling and gently tuck it in so it’s tight as you roll it up later.
4. Fold the two sides over.
5. Roll up once and tuck in a bit.
6. Brush the edge of the wrapper with cornstarch slurry.
7. Continue to roll all the way up to secure. Continue with the rest of the wrappers and filling.
Now you can bake them in the oven or air fryer or deep fry them. Details on those are in the recipe card below.
RELATED READING: Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls (Goi Cuon)
You can use shredded or ground chicken meat instead of shrimp. Bamboo shoots and dried shrimp are what making lumpia Semarang what it is, so I suggest keeping those if possible 🙂
HOW TO KEEP SPRING ROLLS (LUMPIA) CRISPY AFTER COOKING
1. Line a baking sheet with a rack
2. Place the spring rolls on top in one layer, do not stack or they will end up steaming each other and lose that crispiness
3. Keep them warm in the oven at 200 F or use the “keep warm” setting if there’s one, until ready to serve
4. If you are bringing this to a potluck, make sure you let them cool completely on the rack, and then transfer to a large baking sheet, BUT, do not cover them with a foil or cling wrap, this will create condensation and soften the spring roll wrappers. If you have access to the oven, re-crisp them in the oven when you get there.
HOW TO STORE SPRING ROLLS (LUMPIA)
FOR UNCOOKED SPRING ROLLS
Place the lumpia on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, not touching each other. Pop into the freezer for about 1 hour. They won’t be completely frozen, but you can transfer them to a freezer bag or container and they won’t stick to each other anymore. They can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to cook, do not thaw and you can fry or bake them, you may need to add about 5 minutes extra to the cooking time since they are frozen.
FOR LEFTOVER COOKED SPRING ROLLS
Leftover cooked spring rolls get soggy fast once you refrigerate them. You can re-crisp them again in the oven or air fryer at 350 F for 10 minutes or so until they are crispy again. I recommend not to store them in the fridge for more than 1 day. Store them in the freezer like the above method for longer storage.
RELATED READING: Popiah Medan (Fresh Spring Rolls with Jicama)
Recipe is adapted from Indonesia Eats
For baking/ kueh making: I highly encourage to weigh ingredients with a digital kitchen scale instead of using measuring cups as they are not very accurate especially when it comes to recipe that requires precision.GRAMS TO CUPS CONVERSION (UNSIFTED)
- 15 sheets thin spring roll wrappers - size 215 mm x 215 mm
- 500 gr canned bamboo shoot strips - drain off liquid
- 1 Tbsp sugar - to boil the bamboo shoots with
- 3 Tbsp cooking oil - for stir frying
- 5 cloves garlic - finely minced
- 2 Tbsp dried shrimp - soaked until soft and finely chopped
- 300 gr shrimp - peeled, deveined and chopped
- 75 ml water
- Cooking oil - for deep frying
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp sweet soy sauce - kecap manis
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp water
- 250 ml water
- 6 cloves garlic - finely grated
- 50 gr coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch with 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp water - you can use tapioca starch too
- 3-4 Thai red chili - chopped
Prepare the dipping sauce (can be done the day before):
- In a saucepan, bring water, coconut sugar, salt and garlic to a boil. Thicken slightly with cornstarch/ tapioca flour mixture, stir until mixed. Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare the bamboo shoots:
- Boil bamboo shoot with enough water in a saucepan and 1 tbsp sugar until soft and discard the boiling water
Prepare the filling:
- Heat some oil in a wok/skillet. Saute garlic for about 10 seconds. Add dried shrimp and saute until fragrant. Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink, then add bamboo shoots, water, and seasonings. Stir fry until the liquid evaporates and the filling is dry. You don't want a wet filling
- Prepare the cornstarch slurry by mixing the cornstarch with water. Set aside
- Place one sheet of spring roll wrapper on your work surface. Place 1-2 tbsp of filling (not too much) on the lower end of the wrapper, the side near you. Fold the bottom over to cover the filling and gently tuck it in and then fold the two sides over. Roll up once and tuck in a bit. Brush the edge of the wrapper with cornstarch slurry and then continue to roll all the way up to secure. Continue with the rest of the wrappers and filling
To bake the spring rolls:
- Preheat oven or air fryer at 350 F. Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper and then set a rack on top of the sheet. This is so that the spring rolls cook evenly on both sides. Place the spring rolls on the sheet or on the air fryer basket, in one layer. Brush with some oil and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and then flip over and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately or keep them warm in the oven at 200 F if not serving right away
To deep fry spring rolls:
- Preheat about 2 inches of oil in a small stainless steel saucepan or wok if you have one, over medium heat. When the oil is ready, gently slide in the spring rolls. Do not fry over high vigorous heat or the spring rolls might get unrolled and open. Fry until golden brown. Fry in small batches
- Remove from the oil to an absorbent paper towel.