Over 20 years ago, I tasted lumpia for the first time. I fell in love with them at first bite. Unfortunately, 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, who was happy to chat about lumpia recipes 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.
Over the years, I’ve made traditional lumpia, Baked Filipino Lumpia, and most recently, I shared this easy recipe for a Filipino Lumpia Skillet! If you love all the flavors of traditional lumpia recipes, but just don’t have the time to roll them each time you’re craving them, the Lumpia Skillet is sure to thrill you!
Dipping Sauces for Filipino Lumpia
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.
Where To Buy Lumpia Wrappers
- 1 pound ground pork cooked and crumbled
- 1 can water chestnuts chopped
- 1 can sliced mushrooms chopped
- 1 can large shrimp chopped
- 1/2 cup green onions chopped
- 1/3 cup sweet yellow onion chopped
- 2 cloves fresh garlic pressed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 2 eggs beaten
- lumpia wrappers or spring roll wrappers
- 2 cups oil for frying I used refined coconut oil, flavorless and unscented
- Combine all ingredients except for the eggs in a bowl, and mix with your hands. (per Irene, this way it is with love!) After it's all mixed, cover it and let it sit in the fridge for an hour (or up to 24 hours) before wrapping.
- Open the lumpia wrappers and cut in half to form rectangular strips or in quarters to make bite size rolls. The lumpia wrappers are larger than most eggroll or spring roll wrappers. If you are using spring roll wrappers, you can cut them in half or leave them the bigger size.
- Carefully peel the wrappers apart and place about a tablespoon of filling on each one. Roll them according to your preference and then dip your finger in the beaten egg and seal the edges. Set the rolls aside until ready to cook. I found it was easiest to roll them all in an assembly line and then cook them in batches.
- In a small sauce pan, heat about 2 inches of oil over medium high. Once the oil is hot, use tongs to place a few rolls in the oil at a time. Let cook for about a minute on one side and then turn to cook the other. If the oil covers them completely, just turn as needed to make sure they are cooking evenly. When they are lightly golden brown, remove from the oil and place on a paper towel covered plate. Serve with dipping sauces of your choice. Enjoy!
I played with the wrappers as I was making these and tried several different sizes, as you can see in the photos. The ones I thought tasted the most like I remembered, were the long rectangular strips left open on the end. The ends were a bit crunchy and we all liked that. My personal favorites were the smaller, almost bite size ones.
If you’re craving more eggroll style recipes, check out these Italian Eggrolls, Chicken Cordon Bleu Eggrolls, Macaroni and Cheese Eggrolls, Southwestern Eggrolls, and don’t miss these Breakfast Eggrolls with Sausage Gravy!