Lumpia, The Filipino Spring Roll
If you’ve never experienced Lumpia, YOU ARE MISSING OUT! These are a crispy, light and delicious spring roll from the Philippines and a must-try 😉!
I’m lucky my brother-in-law, James, has Filipino roots and Lumpia is served for every gathering, usually with Pancit (stay tuned, Pancit recipe coming soon), which is a Filipino noodle dish. As soon as I experienced Lumpia at one of the family celebrations, I immediately fell in love.
My recipe below is based on James’ family’s recipe with the addition of ginger because Asian dishes love ginger in my opinion 😉 and cabbage because many other recipes call for it. I hope you enjoy and cheers 🍻.
- The Cutting Style – You want everything cut to the same size, very small and comparable to the ground pork/meat. I’d suggest cutting matchsticks and then dicing.
- To Pre-cook the Filling or Not – Recipes are certainly torn between pre-cooking the filling versus mixing raw. My brother-in-law’s recipe, like many others, suggests cooking the meats first individually and then sauteing the aromatics; garlic, onion and ginger; and then adding the veggies and seasoning. While other recipes suggest mixing raw and since I appreciated that time saver, I went with the raw mix. I did fry up some of the mixture before rolling to ensure the appropriate seasoning.
- Rolling – James would suggest long, thin, pretty and uniformed. Since I wanted to stretch my wrappers further, I sliced the wrappers in half, which created a thicker lumpia and a lighter wrapper. I was happy with my lumpia, but the more traditional roll would be a tablespoon diagonally near one corner, leaving a 1 inch space at both ends. You would then fold the sides along the length of the filling and roll neatly. Regardless of the roll, make sure it’s tight and sealed with egg white (prefered) or water.
- To Fry or Bake – I have had my share of Lumpia and while frying is more traditional, I do prefer baking over frying for a couple of reasons:
- I hate the fry mess
- I prefer to avoid the extra calories you get with frying
- I think you can get the same crisp in the oven.
For my oven version, bake on a non stick mat at 375 for 20 minutes, flipping occasionally. For the more traditional fry, I would deep fat fry in vegetable or canola oil for 6-10 minutes or until the wrappers are golden brown, flipping occasionally.
- Freezing for Later – Lumpia freezes tremendously for months. Simply, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non stick mat and freeze after rolling your lumpia. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag and enjoy as you please. I would suggest defrosting before frying and if you are baking from frozen add another 10 minutes, for a total cook time of 30 minutes.
- The Dippers – The traditional dipper is Sweet & Sour or Sweet Chili Sauce. For my dipper I decided to create a Vinegar-Soy Dipping Sauce, which was delicious and prefect with the lumpia. Here’s my Vinegar-Soy Dipping Sauce recipe:
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup light soy sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped finely
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 lb ground meat
- 2 stalks celery, cut into matchsticks and diced
- 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks and diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 green onions, diced
- ½ cup cabbage
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
- 2 tbs ginger, smashed and chopped
- 3 tbs salt
- 1 tbs white pepper
- 1 tbs soy sauce
- 2 eggs, one for the meat filling and one for sealing the lumpia
- 25 lumpia wrapper or spring roll wrappers, cut in half
- Prepare all the aromatics and veggies.
- Add the pork, ground meat, aromatics and veggies to a large mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Now add the soy sauce and 1 egg. Again, mix until well combined. Set aside.
Rolling the Lumpia
- Prepare the work surface by placing the wrappers in between a damp kitchen towel, add an egg or water to a small ramekin, use a cutting board for the rolling surface and a lined baking sheet for the finished lumpia.
- Now roll the lumpia, take a wrapper and add tablespoon (TBSP) of the filling and roll tight, sealing with egg or water.
Freezing or Preparing the Lumpia
- Once the lumpia have been rolled, either fry/bake fresh or place in the freezer and once frozen add to a freezer storage bag.
- Serve as a side or enjoy the lumpia on its own with my delicious Vinegar-Soy Dipping Sauce, cheers!