Thursday, September 1, 2016

How To Make Filipino Lumpia

How To Make Filipino Lumpia - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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.

How To Make Filipino Lumpia - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Filipino Lumpia
recipe lightly adapted from Irene and her mother
(printable recipe)
Yield: 4-5 servings

1 lb 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.

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.

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 the oil over medium high. I had 1-2 inches of oil in the bottom of the pan. (I was not actually deep-frying the rolls.) 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!

How To Make Filipino Lumpia - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com



COOK'S NOTES: 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.

I am lucky enough to live within a couple miles or an Oriental market. It is HUGE! I had never been there before and it was an awesome experience to just wander the aisles. It was an entire superstore of the most exotic Oriental foods. I can hardly wait to try another new recipe! I was able to find authentic Filipino lumpia wrappers. (they had an entire freezer section of nothing but different wrapping papers) Honestly, the special wrappers did make a big difference. The ones that I wrapped using basic spring roll wrappers were delicious, but the ones in the paper thin lumpia wrappers were phenomenal.


How To Make Filipino Lumpia - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

{originally published 1/17/12 - recipes notes and photos updated 9/1/16}
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. - get the recipe at www.barefeetinthekitchen.com


40 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, I can't believe that you know Lumpia too!! I had a friend in college who introduced them to me.. and like you, I have not had them since! Thanks so much for posting this recipe, i can't wait to try making them myself!!

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    1. This made me grin. What is it about lumpia that everyone remembers so fondly? It's just so delicious!

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    2. Can these be frozen once they are cooked?

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  2. Love lumpia ;-) Yours look just like my mom had prepared for us during CNY.

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  3. These look great Mary and I'd like to try them. What size are the cans you used.

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    1. The cans were about the size of tuna cans. I'll check the ounces next time I'm at the store and I'll update the recipe to included that info. I'm pretty sure they are the only sizes that the store had for those items though. Good luck with it! I'm already craving them again.

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  4. They look so crispy and delicious!

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  5. Your "youngest actually cried when they were gone" - love it! These look delicious, I'm had something similar but didn't know what they were called!

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  6. I'm really impressed - these not only look delicious - they don't sound the simplest thing to cook!! I could dive in and polish these off - wonderful recipe
    mary x

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  7. that's delicious! they remind me of deep fried spring rolls! you are so lucky to live near an oriental market! I go possibly every couple of months only, and each time, I do a major stockup of my must-haves!

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  8. These are fantastic looking and a good tried and true recipe is always the best!

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  9. Can you say yum!? These look fabulous, Mary. I want!

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  10. Looks very tasty, you should buy that Sandra girl dinner.

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    1. I'm planning on it. See you Saturday! Thanks again for introducing me to Irene. I owe you.

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  11. I have never heard of Lumpia before. They look delicious.

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  12. These look perfect. I am afraid if I made these my girls would request them (and I would want them) weekly...not realizing that the take a little work to make:-) That's right - I forgot that the ones I used to have had shrimp in them. I seriously want to make them this weekend.

    We have a large Asian Market near our house - it is a great treat to go, I agree!

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  13. I haven't had lumpia in like over 15 years, but am now craving it! Thanks for the pleasant reminder and for sharing the recipe.

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  14. Those look delicious! I can imagine munching on a pile of them! Maybe it's a bad thing you shared the recipe? I'm surprised with how many people know of them, I'll have to get on this train!

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  15. Love these! And I’ve been inspired to feature your lumpia in my Friday Food Fetish roundup and on Pinterest. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next and please let me know if you have any objections…

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  16. Wow, you dredged up memories. Before we moved to TN, Alexis and I had 3 generations of a Filipino family living in two homes next to us. Every birthday was a food celebration and they would have tons of family over. Fortunately, their sons and my son were best friends so we got to share in the food. The one thing I remember the most was the fresh made lumpia that Gemma made. Best things ever.

    I have got to try these!

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  17. Those are called Lumpia Shanghai

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  18. That is what I loved about Military Life. Getting and trying recipes from all the woman in the neighbor hood on in the company We learned so much form each other

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  19. Can you bake these? I can't eat anything fried :D Thanks!!

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    1. Hi Emily, Yes, I have baked them as well. I posted that version of the recipe here: http://barefeetinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2012/03/baked-filipino-lumpia.html I hope that helps! Good luck.

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  20. Are the 2 eggs for the mixture or for sealing the wrappers, cause for us newbies making it like me. Added all the ingredients and let the mix set. Then down the ways it says use beaten eggs to seal wrappers. If it was for the wrappers only, will egg in the mix affect the outcome?

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  21. I was just going to ask the same question that Wolfdogz asked I just found this recipe and would love to make it. I have never heard of Filipino Lumpia. It sounds yummy and we just made the dipping sauce and it is wonderful. So now we want to try the Lumpia. Do you add the eggs to the mix or are they for sealing the wrappers? Thanks for posting this recipe

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    1. I'm sorry that I missed the original question. The egg likely won't affect the mix in the end. It is there just for sealing the wrappers though. I'll update the recipe now to make that more clear. Thank you!

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  22. I like Jufran's sweet Banana Sauce, they also have a spicey Banana Sauce. Look for it in your oriental market where you get the Lumpia wrappers.

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  23. I lived on Guam for a year and was taught how to make those by a Philipina. Wrappers are traditionally made by brushing a thick mixture of water and cornstarch on a grill with a sponge and the dipping sauce I was taught was a clove of garlic minced in vinegar. Delicious

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  24. Thank, thank you, thank you!! I grew up in the Philippines eating Filipino food and this is one of my favorites. I have looked for an authentic recipe for a long time and THIS is it!! Thanks. NOW, if you really want to be authentic, you need to serve it with patis (pah-teese'), a fish sauce that, admittedly, could take a bit to get used to, but it is incredible for dipping lumpia or other Asian spring rolls. "Patis" is not a brand name - it is a type of sauce. Because Americans are not familiar with it, it may be sold as "fish sauce." I think if you ask for "patis" at the market, they will steer you in the right direction. Try it!!

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  25. The Lumpia I make ( from my sisters mother in law who is Filipino) uses ground beef, cabbage, carrots, garlic and soy sauce. They are divine!

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  26. I can give you the ingredients for making the sauce: just boil 1 cup water, mix with cider vinegar, sugar, salt, banana catsup, chopped garlic and ginger, and prepare cornstarch mix with water and just pour it in in the boiling mixture until it becomes thick. Drop some tabasco sauce to make it more spicy.

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  27. I use Italian Sausage and wrap mine much thinner. If I use just ground sausage I add shrimp. Or, if you wish, you could use 1/2 Italian Sausage and 1/2 Ground Pork. I too use Patis (a somewhat salty fish sauce similar to soy sauce) to dip. I also make Pancit to go with the Lumpia. I learned these foods and more from a very dear Filipina friend. Filipino food is so good because it is a mixture of Oriental and Spanish. Your recipe looks great!!

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  28. Never heard of this, but will definitely make them. Couple of questions: can I use fresh (raw or cooked) shrimp and mushrooms instead of canned? Also, what "course" are they served for? Thanks!

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    1. Yes! Absolutely you can use fresh cooked shrimp and mushrooms instead of canned. I often swap those two when I have them on hand. We eat Lumpia as an appetizer, or side dish. I love it as a main course, but that means making a whole lot of lumpia! I'd serve with rice and a salad or vegetable in that case.

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  29. These look fantastic. I wish I lived near an Asian market. I would love to explore the aisles.

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  30. The meat cooks completely from the frying? With that, I assume I should not over stuff the wrapper of any size?

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    1. Definitely do not overstuff the wrapper. Be sure to read the Cook's Note under the recipe for tips on working with the raw meat. Enjoy!

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  31. There's also cheese lumpia. Easier and simpler.

    I've taken a block of pepper jack cheese, cut on the short side but big enough to fill a wrapper and deep fry. Pretty damn good too!

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  32. I had this 45years ago in the Philippines but it was made with ground beef,carrots and fresh green beans. My friend also made bananas and cinnamon fried in lumpia wrappers.

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