These lumpia, or Filipino spring rolls, are fried and filled with moist ground pork, carrots, peas, and bean sprouts. Fish sauce adds a layer of salty complexity, but otherwise these are simply straight-up, easy-to-eat, fried goodness.
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If sliced just right, Spam makes for an excellent spring roll filling—especially so when combined with slivers of fresh pineapple, toasted sesame seeds, and green onions. When fried to a crisp in hot oil, these Hawaii-ified spring rolls are great as is, but a dip in homemade sweet and sour sauce provides another contrast to the crunchy shell and toasted sesame seeds, salty Spam and sweet pineapple.
The filling for these spring rolls is tender and full of flavorful cabbage-y liquid, thickened with cornstarch for that signature "velvety" sheen. In addition to cabbage, you'll find little slivers of stir-fried pork, mushroom, and bean sprouts.
The standard spring roll in Shanghai is made with napa cabbage, cooked down for hours along with slivers of pork.
Imagine biting into a freshly fried spring roll, its shell breaking off in crispy, golden-brown shards to a piping-hot center of natto beans. The taste is still distinctly natto-esque, but with a kind of maturity and softness that is really pleasant.