Pork, shrimp, and vegetables are folded into a paper thin lumpia wrapper and then fried to crisp golden perfection in this traditional recipe for Filipino Lumpia.
Over 20 years ago, I tasted lumpia for the first time. I fell in love with them at first bite. Then I lost touch with the friend who introduced them to me, courtesy of her mama’s cooking. I remembered them a few years ago and realized that I might be able to make them at home. Then I ran into a problem. Where would I find the recipe? I looked online and didn’t find anything that sounded quite right. The lumpia that I remembered was not your average eggroll. There wasn’t cabbage or an abundance of vegetables in them. I simply remembered that there were a lot of different flavors packed into a very thin wrapper.
I mentioned my lumpia craving to a friend, (thanks, Sandra!) who told me to look for one of her friends on Facebook. I did that and proceeded to message back and forth with her friend, Irene, for a bit to make sure I had it right. The lumpia turned out fabulously and my middle son immediately requested them for his birthday meal the following year.
In my house, a birthday request is the very highest of food compliments. Everyone in the family devoured these and my youngest actually cried when they were gone. There wasn’t a single one left or we probably would have eaten more.
We like to use a couple different sweet and sour hot sauces for dipping. My husband enjoys the heat of Lingham’s Sweet & Spicy Hot Sauce and my younger boys and I prefer the sweetness of Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce. My oldest son mixes the two and declared that perfect. My friend Irene also mentioned that she likes Frank’s Sweet Chili Sauce, however I didn’t see that one at my store.
The first time I made these, I misunderstood the original directions and I cooked and crumbled the ground pork prior to mixing it with the other ingredients. It was supposed to be mixed together in the style of a meatloaf with all the other ingredients and then fried and cooked that way. I loved the way mine turned out, so I have chosen to share that particular method.
I’ve also made them as originally intended with raw meat and they’re delicious that way. I simply find it simpler (with less concern to whether they’re cooked through) to make them the way the recipe is written above. If you decide to make them with the more traditional method, be certain the meat is fully cooked in the oil. Irene recommends just a teaspoon or so of the mix in each lumpia and the cooking them 5-6 minutes or until golden brown.