In April, 2003, I posted a tuna lumpia (spring rolls) recipe using cooked fresh tuna. That recipe was updated (with better photos) in 2011.
Although I will always prefer fresh over canned, there are days when one has to survive on canned goods. At least, partially. Like when it’s been raining for over a week and the downpour precludes trips to the market or grocery. That’s what life has been these past several days. Rain, rain, rain. I love that it’s cool but food shopping can be a hassle. Canned tuna sounds more practical.
Canned tuna… what kind? We only buy chunks or solid in brine or water. If unavailable, we buy tuna chunks or solid in oil. Always unflavored. And we don’t buy tuna flakes because there is much less fish inside the can. If you ask if me if flavored canned tuna will work for this recipe, I’ll advise you to try it yourself and let us know how it turns out.
Here’s how to make spring rolls with canned tuna filling.
First, drain the tuna. Let every drop of liquid drip off. Wet filling means soggy fried spring rolls. So, before you do anything else, drain the tuna.
To add texture to the filling, I included potatoes and carrots. They were fried before they were mixed with the tuna. You can also boil or steam them.
Why precook? They won’t get cooked through if the only cooking they’ll get is after they have been stuffed inside the spring roll wrappers. The cooking time is too short. So, precook the potatoes and carrots.
When the potatoes and carrots have cooled, and the tuna has drained fully, mix together all the ingredients for the filling.
Then, wrap your spring rolls. Click here for a step-by-step guide.
Fry the spring rolls in batches until lightly browned and crisp.
Then enjoy your tasty tuna spring rolls with your favorite dipping sauce. I like sweet chili sauce.
- a can of tuna chunks or solid in brine, water or oil
- 1 medium-sized potato
- 1 medium-sized carrot
- about 2 c. of vegetable cooking oil for frying
- a bunch of scallions (green onion, onion leaves), finely sliced
- 1 tsp. of chili flakes
- 1 tsp. of salt or to taste
- ½ tsp. of freshly ground black pepper or to taste
- 1 egg, beaten
- 12 pieces of 6-inch spring roll wrappers, separated
- Open the can of tuna and drain off the liquid.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan. Cut the potato and carrot into ¼-inch cubes. Fry the potato and carrot cubes until lightly crisp. Scoop out and drain on a stack of kitchen paper.
- In a bowl, put the drained tuna, potato, carrot, scallions, chili flakes, salt, pepper and half of the beaten egg. Mix.
- Place about a heaping tablespoonful of filling at the center of a wrapper and roll (see step-by-step guide on wrapping spring rolls), sealing the edges with the remaining half of the beaten egg.
- Reheat the oil until you see fine wisps of smoke above the surface. Fry the spring rolls until golden, in batches if necessary so as not to overcrowd the pan and make the temperature drop which will make your spring rolls greasy and soggy.
- Serve the spring rolls immediately. You may cut them into halves, if you wish. You can serve them with any dipping sauce that you like. I recommend sweet chili sauce.