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Last Updated on December 16, 2023
For family dinners, parties, or just for your indulgence, homemade lumpia should be your number-one pick. It’s crunchy, juicy, and irresistible. Composed of ground pork, mixed veggies, and seasonings, this lumpia recipe will satisfy your tastebuds. But what does lumpia mean?
Lumpia has and will always be a symbol of celebration and Christmas to me. Growing up my mother would always whip up several dozen for every birthday, graduation, and holiday.
There are many interpretations of spring rolls in Asia, but in the Philippines, you’ll encounter a meal called lumpia. It’s a Filipino plate that originated from Chinese spring rolls and is made with vegetables, seasonings, and meat or seafood. (Don’t mistake them for egg rolls—an American version of Chinese spring rolls that are bigger and fatter in shape).
The Filipino-style spring roll is also known as lumpia Shanghai.
You’ll find various lumpia-filling ingredients on the internet, as well as lumpia recipes, but here, I’ll cover an easy one that’s proven to be exquisite!
Luckily, lumpia isn’t challenging to make and doesn’t require a lot of time or fancy culinary techniques. Here’s the time it’ll take you to finish it:
- Prep time: 30 minutes
- Cook time: 15 minutes
- Total time: 45 minutes
Following my easy recipe, the ingredients needed to make Filipino spring rolls are:
- 1 pack of lumpia wrappers (Chinese, Vietnamese, or Filipino spring roll wrappers)
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1/2 cup onion
- 1/2 cup carrots
- 1/2 cup cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup green onions
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- Bean sprouts (optional)
- Oil for frying, I prefer coconut oil or palm shortening
How to Make Lumpia
You can make lumpia using your stove or air fryer. Here are the detailed instructions on how to make the delicious rolls.
1. Prepare the Vegetable Upfront
Peel and chop the veggies according to your liking. But let me tell you, the smaller the pieces are, the more delicious your rolls will be. Also, try to cut all pieces in equal sizes so that they cook equally.
2. Start Preparing the Meat Mixture (The Filling)
Heat the pan over medium heat, and add the oil. When the oil is hot, fry the garlic for about 30 seconds until it begins to brown. However, pay attention when frying because burned garlic can ruin your filling and make it taste bitter.
3. Add the Ground Pork
Cook the ground pork until it loses its pink/red color. But make sure the meat doesn’t absorb too much oil (important if you don’t want oil dripping from your mouth when eating lumpia).
4. Cook the Rest of the Veggies
Reuse the same pan after adding fresh oil and add the rest of the vegetables. When the veggies become slightly tender, continue to the next step.
5. Combine the Ingredients and Add Spices
Mix the meat and veggies, then add the seasonings, which are salt, garlic powder, pepper, and soy sauce. Cook for one more minute. After finishing, let the filling cool down.
Note: Pre-cooking (stir-frying) the filling is essential if you want to ensure that all ingredients are fully cooked after deep frying the lumpia.
6. Prepare the Mix Used for Sealing the Wrap
Make a thick paste for sealing the lumpia wraps by combining the flour and water in a mixing bowl. One more way to seal the lumpia wrapper is to use egg wash.
7. Assemble the Lumpia
Carefully separate the thin wrappers. Next, lay a lumpia wrapper on the counter with one corner pointing toward you, then add 2-3 tablespoons of filling. Roll tightly, then apply the paste or the egg wash to seal the edges. Repeat these steps with the rest of the wrappers.
After you finish, keep the wrappers on a plate and cover them with a damp cloth or paper towel to prevent them from drying.
8. Fry the Lumpia
Fill a pan with hot oil, and heat to about 350 degrees. Deep fry the lumpia until golden brown. It’s essential here that you don’t leave them for too long because the thin wrappers can easily become overcooked.
9. Let the Rolls Dry Out
Lumpia tends to absorb oil a little too much when deep-fried. That’s why you should place the fried lumpia on paper towels before serving to let the excess oil drip out.
How to Serve Lumpia
You can serve this tasty Filipino dish as an appetizer or finger food. It’s best when combined with a dipping sauce. The two most common dipping sauces that go well with the lumpia are:
- Sweet and sour sauce (like sweet chili sauce)
- Flavored spicy vinegar sauce (made with white vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, and chili pepper)
Tips and Tricks
Here are some tips to make your lumpia Shanghai recipe exceptional.
Store Lumpia Properly
If you have leftovers (which doesn’t often happen since it’s quite hard to resist eating lumpia), place them in an airtight container or wrap them in foil. Then, store them in your refrigerator for up to four days.
If you want to freeze them uncooked, place them in a Ziplock bag. You can store the uncooked meal in your freezer for at least a month.
Use Ground Beef
Feel free to experiment with the filling. Those who don’t favor pork can easily replace it with ground beef. To boost it up, mix the two, and you’ll have a delicious, crispy, and juicy appetizer.
Air Fry the Rolls
If you want to make a healthier version (some of you might not be fans of frying food in deep oil), try cooking lumpia in an air fryer. Add the filling, roll it up, and cook lumpia for 6 minutes (or until golden brown).
Make sure to turn the lumpia halfway to ensure both sides are fried evenly. Add the sweet and sour dipping sauce, and your dish is ready to be served!
Choose the Right Wrappers
To make the best lumpia, look for a lumpia or thin spring roll wrapper.
Egg roll wrappers are also an option, but not the best one. The texture is different from the one you want as an egg roll wrapper is thicker and, when fried, not as smooth.
Wonton wrappers are a better alternative than egg roll wrappers, but they aren’t a perfect fit if you want to experience the taste and crunch of an original lumpia.
Hence, always go for paper-thin lumpia wrappers. But where can you find these? The best option would be to jump on the plane, go to the Philippines, and get the original wrappers from the local market.
However, considering that the odds of you doing so are quite slim (kudos to those who can prove me wrong!), you can look for lumpia wrappers in Asian and Filipino stores in your local town.
If you’re, however, having trouble finding them, try online stores or Amazon.
Can I Bake Lumpia in the Oven Instead of Frying It?
Yes, you can. Preheat the oven to 400-425 degrees. Then, put the lumpia on a baking sheet and spray it with cooking spray. Push the tray in and wait for 20 minutes or till the lumpia is golden brown.
Can I Make Lumpia With Shrimp?
Yes, you can make lumpia with shrimp, fresh fish, chicken, or any protein you want.
Some tips for this Best Lumpia Recipe
- You can freeze this recipe to cook up later. Make sure to place the lumpia in a roll in a freezer-safe container. To prevent sticking, place a piece of parchment paper between each layer.
- When you are ready to cook the lumpia, you can cook them frozen however, you will need to keep an eye on oil temperature. You do not want to burn the outside while the inside is frozen so keep turning the lumpia every 4-5 minutes.
Vegetables and meat, wrapped and then fried in the best lumpia recipe. Recipe is from my Filipino family
- In a skillet combined the ground beef, onion, and veggies and cook until the meat is well done.
- Add in the salt, pepper and oyster sauce and mix until well blended.
- Remove skillet from oven and set aside.
- Crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk. This is the "glue" that you will use to seal the wrapper.
- Peel the lumpia wrapper in to individual pieces and place one spoonful of filling into the wrapper and roll as the video shows.
- At this point I leave out what I want to cook immediately and place the rest in freezer safe bags for later. I will often take the balance and give them away as gifts.
- In a medium pan warm your cooking oil. When it's hot drop your lumpia in and fry until golden brown on one side and then flip. These serious brown up in 4 minuted or less.
- Remove lumpia from the pan and drain on a piece of paper toweling.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 187Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 201mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 8g