How to cook perfectly crispy lumpia in an air fryer

·3 min read

Chef, restaurant owner and cookbook author Leah Cohen tapped into her Filipino roots to share a savory snack that's big on flavor and texture.

To switch up the traditional preparation for her Lumpia Shanghai, Cohen showed "Good Morning America" how to use an air fryer to achieve the same deep-fried crunch.

"The traditional deep fried one was my preference, cause I'm used to eating that," she said. "However, the air fryer one, it was still really crispy. It had a little bit of a weird texture to the outside of the wrapper, kind of leathery, and it was a little dry inside -- the deep fried one was greasy, but it was crispy and juicy inside. I still think that both were really good. It just depends on if you're trying to be health conscious or not."

Check out the full recipe below and other delicious dishes in Cohen's new cookbook, "Lemongrass and Lime."

Air Fryer Lumpia

PHOTO: Leah Cohen's fried Lumpia Shanghai filled with beef and pork. (Dylan Kushel)
PHOTO: Leah Cohen's fried Lumpia Shanghai filled with beef and pork. (Dylan Kushel)


4 ounces ground beef

8 ounces ground pork

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger

1/2 cup water chestnuts, drained, rinsed, drained again, and cut into small dice

1/4 cup finely diced carrots

1/2 small Spanish onion, finely diced

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

3/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon Thai chili flakes

1 medium scallion, thinly sliced

15 spring roll wrappers (I prefer Wei-Chuan), cut in half crosswise on the diagonal

1 large egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water

1 quart peanut or vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups store-bought sweet chili sauce


Put the beef and pork in a large owl and gently mix to combine.

Add the garlic, ginger, water chestnuts, carrot, Spanish onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, black pepper, chili flakes, and scallion and mix until combined.

Take half of a wrapper and place it on your work surface so that a point is facing you. Place about 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling on the wrapper and spread it out to the edges. Turn up the bottom corner and roll upward. Fold in the left and right corners, making sure the filling is nicely packed, with no air pockets. Continue rolling. Dip you finger in eggwash, pat it on the remaining corner, and finish rolling the lumpia, sealing the edge.

The lumpia should be about 1/2 inch in diameter. Put the lumpia on a lined baking sheet lined with parchment.

The lumpia can be made to this point and refrigerated, covered with a damp towel, for up to 8 hours or frozen in an airtight container.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until it reaches 350 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer.

Line another lined baking sheet with paper towels. Fry the lumpia in batches of 4 to 6, until golden brown and crispy and the meat is cooked through, for a total of 4 minutes for fresh lumpia and 6 minutes for frozen.

Remove with a slotted spoon to the prepared baking sheet. Serve with sweet chili sauce on the side.

Note: I find that it helps to separate the wrappers in advance; cover them with a damp paper towel to prevent them from drying out.

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