I love preparing Filipino recipes and I enjoy sharing them with others.
How Do I Make Lumpia (Filipino-Style Egg Rolls)?
I learned this recipe from my Filipino mother. I love this lumpia recipe because it isn't overstuffed with vegetables. My mom's Filipino recipe has been a little Americanized.
You're going to need patience!
The first thing you'll need is a lot of patience! Especially if you have never worked with lumpia wrappers before. The wrappers (available at most local Asian food markets these days) are very thin sheets of dough that you will use to wrap your fillings. For some reason—and I have never understood this—they package the wrappers all stuck together. This makes it very difficult to separate them from one another. Recently, they have started selling the wrappers individually separated. However, they only sell 25 sheets per pack instead of the normal 50 per package. The individually separated packages also costs a few cents more; so, depending on how much time and patience you have, that is your choice to make. To me, the extra few cents is worth it, especially if you're preparing for a party or wedding. Please don't let this discourage you from making this tasty treat! The time is surely worth the end product, and you will definitely have future requests for this appetizer.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 3/4 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1 teaspoon or 2 cloves minced garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons season salt
- 1 package of 50 wrappers or 2 packages of 25 individually separated lumpia wrappers
- 1-1 1/2 cup(s) vegetable or olive oil
- Small bowl of water
- Chop your onion. Shred your carrots. Mince your garlic.
- You'll want to brown your ground beef with your chopped onions, shredded carrots, garlic, pepper, and season salt over medium high heat in a skillet or frying pan. (I recommend using a frying pan that is at-least 1 1/2" to 2" deep. I use the same pan to fry the lumpia in once it is rolled and finished.) When the meat is nice and brown, drain the excess grease and set aside.
- Now, here comes the fun part. Separate the wrappers. In all my years of making lumpia, I have not found any easy way to separate these darn things, but I will tell you how I do it. Maybe you can come up with an easier way. The wrappers need to be defrosted if they are frozen. You'll also want to have a plate to set them on, as well as a damp kitchen towel to cover them; we don't want our wrappers to dry out!
- Open the package and take out the stack of wrappers. Start at the edges and gently start peeling the edges upward. Continue around and around until you eventually get to the center of that particular sheet, and then remove the individual sheet from the stack.
- Now, place the loose sheet on your plate under the damp towel or cloth. And basically repeat until the stack or package is done. Sounds easy right? It's not! It will take you a few times of separating before you get the hang of it, probably midway between the stack.
- We are now ready to assemble our rolls. Take one of the wrappers and spoon 1-2 tablespoons of your ground beef mixture in a line near the edge on the wrapper.
- Fold the wrapper over the line of meat you just spooned.
- Now, you will begin to roll the meat into a tube. Stop rolling when you get to the middle of the wrapper.
- Fold the right and left sides of the wrapper to the center.
- Continue to roll to the end of the wrapper.
- Dip your fingers in the small bowl of water and lightly moisten the exposed edge of the lumpia wrapper.
- Fold the wrapper edge onto itself pressing it down gently. So it seems to glue itself down.
- Place to the side for now and repeat, repeat, repeat! Until there isn't anymore wrappers or meat left.
- All that's left to do now is heat your oil in your frying pan on medium-high heat. You only need about 1/2" of oil in the pan.
- Once the oil is hot, place about four or five lumpia in the pan and lightly brown each side. This will take about 3-5 minutes each side. It will also vary with your stove. So if it seems like they are burning quickly, turn your burner down. They should be a nice golden brown color.
- Now, you want to let them cool and drain some of the excess grease off of them. My mother and I have always used a colander. Feel free just to set them on paper towels or napkins.
- Repeat until you've made desired amount, or they are all done. You can store extras (before they are fried in oil!) in the freezer to fry later on.
That's another great benefit to this recipe, you can make 50 at a time and only fry 10 one day and save the others for when you feel like it.
Voila! You've just made lumpia! It's okay if they're not all perfect or the same size. Over time, you will learn how to make them all uniform. Trust me it took me years to master the art of lumpia rolling.
What kind of sauce should I use?
You can use any type of dipping sauce you prefer. My choice is pain old ketchup. I know some people who like to use the store-bought sweet and sour sauce and duck sauce. Some people like them plain. They are great either way. But I strongly recommend trying them with ketchup. They're a perfect pair!
Vary It Up!
Once you master this base recipe, you can always make your own variations to it and make it you own. You could add your favorite vegetables (like shredded cabbage, bean sprouts, sliced celery, ect). You can even change the type of ground meat; my mother sometimes used ground beef and pork together. You could probably also use ground turkey. Whatever your preference, whatever your favorites are, the different combination possibilities are endless with this base idea.
Great for Any Occasion
I love this recipe because of its versatility and its appeal. This is a great appetizer for all occasions like office/work parties, weddings, funerals, holidays, and birthdays. Your family, friends, and guests will not be let down. You will see with your own eyes that it is the first appetizer to disappear. The recipe makes approximately 50 lumpia (provided you didn't rip and tear any wrappers), so just double, triple, or quadruple the recipe when making it for parties. Think two or three lumpia per person.
I hope you try this and love it!
stylezink (author) from Atlanta, GA. on February 06, 2020:
Lisa on January 20, 2018:
Want to make these for the game on Sunday, but I have a birthday party before the game and wanted to know if I can make these up ahead of time, so I can just cook them up just before the game but have them all ready to go. Thank you.....
Stacey on January 14, 2017:
I remember the first time I tried Lumpia. I was in elementary school in Rota, Spain. Our teacher read a chapter a week of Tom Sawyer and for the finale she invited a few moms to bring food for a Tom Sawyer movie party. One mom brought pizza, I think another mom brought popcorn, and one mom brought Lumpia. Yummy!
I've made it once before when we were first married 21 years ago.
Planning on making it for Super Bowl Sunday this year. Can these be made in advanced (assembling) and then frying or baking the day of? Will these taste right baked?
Thanks for posting!
stylezink (author) from Atlanta, GA. on May 06, 2016:
Yes, you can also use spring roll wrappers. Most Asian markets have a freezer section with many types of wrappers you can use as an alternative. Sorry, it took a year to tell you!
Nita on April 28, 2015:
If you cant find lumpia wrappers is there something you can use in the place of them?
stylezink (author) from Atlanta, GA. on September 12, 2012:
Thank you all so much for reading and using this recipe! It brings me joy to know so many of you are trying it! My mom would be soo happy so many are enjoying her lumpia! I really appreciate all the wonderful comments as well! Thanks again everyone! Happy Hubbing!
lissa on July 25, 2012:
So excited to try this!! Haven't had lumpia since high school. Never thought to Google the recipe!! Lol.
nermin on June 17, 2012:
nanette agullo on March 03, 2012:
hi,, nanette here, making lumpia for my son's wedding, knew he would ask for it, he was kinda afraid to ask due to what a pain it it to pull apart those darn whappers,, yes he has been stuck having to help do that over his life time, had to laugh reading your how to do it, as i have been there so many times, too funny, nanette
Linda on January 12, 2012:
I lived in the Philippines in the '70's and lumpia was my favorite. It had become a distant memory since I had not had any good versions of lumpia here in the states. I am so thankful for your recipe and cannot wait to try it. It sounds just like the lumpia we had.
stylezink (author) from Atlanta, GA. on October 09, 2011:
You're right Kerlynb. No filipino party would be right without them! I've have them at all of the types of gatherings you suggested. That's SO funny to me!
Lou on September 02, 2011:
I'll have to try your recipe for lumpia. I make filling with ground pork, chopped cooked shrimp, ginger, chopped waterchestnuts (or synkamas), soy, egg yolk, and a bit of sesame seed oil.
kerlynb from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on August 23, 2011:
"This is a great appetizer for all occasions like office/work parties, weddings, funerals, holidays, and birthdays." - Awww, Filipino parties are not complete without lumpia :)
Filipino Recipes on March 01, 2011:
My favorite Filipino Recipe is the Chicken Adobo. Even though it is spicy I like my extra spicy. The Lumpia is also great. My room mate use to prepare that when we were in college.
Jean on January 03, 2011:
additional tip, make sure to use vegetable shortening like crisco or better yet organic vegetable shortening ( non hydrogenated which is what I use). For some reason the lumpias taste better when it is fried in vegetable shortening. I use ground turkey or I mix lean ground beef and ground turkey.I use finely chopped or shredded sweet potato instead of carrots, sometimes I mix sweet potato and carrots together.
Jean on January 03, 2011:
You can get the square eggroll wrapper at the asian store also . They are easy to peel . I use them whole for the vegetable lumpia but for the recipe mentioned here , you can cut them in quarters and you can make the lumpia really small (bite size) which we call it Shanghai lumpia in the Philippines. My children help me peel and roll them. Then if you have extra wrapper you can slice a banana in quarters, but lengthwise then roll in brown sugar and then wrap them with the lumpia wrapper and fry. Great dessert and good with vanilla ice cream if you prefer.
NINA on December 30, 2010:
Thanks for the recipe. My boyfriend loves Lumpia and he wants me to learn how to make it.
mbzialife on December 12, 2010:
I use the egg roll wraps found in the produce department and just bend them back and forth several times to get them to separate easily. I also use some sweet chili sauce (the kind in the asian section, not the Heinz) in the ingrediants, and as the dipping sauce. The result is amazing and they are the first thing gone at the work buffets!
MichelleArakaki from USA on November 22, 2010:
i love lumpia. miss doing that.i put some chinese celery and eggs.
kcukrowski on November 15, 2010:
This is the best and easiest lumpia sauce I make: dump about a cup of white vinegar, a cup of soy sauce, and a cup of brown sugar in a saucepan that you start cooking on the stove. Once the mixture boils, reduce to low and stir in a couple of tablespoons of corn starch mixed in about a cup of water to thicken up the mixture. Stir for awhile so no lumps occur, and when it is about the consistency of light tar, it's just right!
marice on October 25, 2010:
This is how i remember them!!!! They are so good best recipe ever!!!! The other are not the true old school way with all the fillers add in..... Thanks
Debbie on October 25, 2010:
Dip them in sweet chilli sauce
Barbarainnc on August 16, 2010:
Here is a good dipping sauce I got from a Lumpia restaurant: equal amounts of sugar, vinegar and banana sauce, Stir until the sugar is dissolved. No cooking involved. I love making Lumpia!!!! :) :) :)
Michelle on August 05, 2010:
Thank you so much for posting this. My former sister in law use to bring this to all of the family gatherings and they were such a hit, and I have been trying to find the recipe for years. It is so nice of you to do this.
stylezink (author) from Atlanta, GA. on July 31, 2010:
You are absolutely right Raven. However, I am one of those "Americanized" Filipinos and I don't care for ground pork. My mother used to make them both ways and sometimes mixed them together. So it is totally up to preference.
Raven on July 30, 2010:
Filipinos don't really use ground beef as in above recipe. Beef is expensive in the Philippines - not many cows. True lumpia recipe uses ground pork.
stylezink (author) from Atlanta, GA. on October 26, 2009:
Thanks all for the great comments!
Amabelle S. I found to do the same thing.. It makes life so much easier.. The other easiest way to separate the wrappers is teaching your kids to separate.. LOL! You can prep everything else while they do the wrappers.
Amabelle S on July 03, 2009:
Hi! Thanks for sharing your recipe. My mom taught me a really easy way to separate the wrappers. Basically, you half the stack of 50, and you have two stacks of 25 wrappers. You then keep halfing the stack until you're left with only two wrappers, and then you gently separate the two.... really easy. Hope this helps!
johanna on June 24, 2009:
great and simple recipe! it was a hit! thanks!
Jennifer on March 15, 2009:
I love to make lumpia and I dip it in a sauce I make. I just take vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper and mix and it goes well with the lumpia.
leigh on March 10, 2009:
Thank You for your traditional recipe and the tips!!! We have an upcoming wedding and I've heard these are a filipino favorite!!
toni_noname on November 27, 2008:
I totally agree with you akeejaho. Philippines has a wide range of dishes and snack you will crave for. These mouth-watering filipino snacks or desserts can be found on www.filipinodesserts.net. You are all most welcome to check it out. They're pretty to cook. Enjoy!
akeejaho from Some where in this beautiful world! on August 05, 2008:
I was stationed in the Phillipines, and being there once, I can truly say I want to go again.
I loved the food, and am a great fan of Pancet,(Pardon my spelling.) I liked the one with the thicker yellow noodle, not so much the white noodle, though it too was delicious. I loved the chicken adoboe and those little bread things with the meat and veggies inside. And the hopia, and the sweet sticky rice, and the...Stop me, I'm starving to death!
After the food, the people are what I miss as well. Warm, generous and very very sweet.
One of the high points of my military service. And the country is absolutely breathtaking!
Great Hub and I do hope to see some more authentic recipes. As lonf as nothing contains Balut.
christinekv on June 13, 2008:
I love and miss my mother in law's lumpia....my husband is a chef (and my husband and his family are Filipino) yet he doesn't make it much. I tend to stay away from making things that are a lot of work unless it's an ingredient I have an abundance of and don't want to see go to waste (we have 4 apple trees, so in late summer and early fall, I make a lot of apple crisps which even my mother in law commented was a lot of work!). So now these things are something we appreciate more and get to partake of when we go back to the islands or they come to visit us...they always bring a cooler full of goodies (or "ono grinds")! The thing that I miss as much as lumpia that we used to eat in Hawaii is Maruya - not sure I'm spelling it right - the batter fried cooking banana. I think we can get this banana at Uwajimaya's though...I'll have to check! Guess it's about time for breakfast!
Cristina Santander from Manila on June 12, 2008:
Nice hub. Lumpia is one of my favorite filipino delicacies. Thank you for sharing it.
Cellebrate! from Manila, Philippines on June 09, 2008:
I wonder why ADOBO isn't in your list! must be a claim-to-fame for the Filipinos huh. But I agree with you 100%... I LOVE LUMPIA. I feel like eating some right now. LOL.
Jack Burton from The Midwest on June 06, 2008:
This looks masarap.
My lovely wife is from the Philippines, and this old farm boy from southern Illinois had to learn to eat a lot of strange food that I had never dreamed existed. Some of it I don't even want to think about. :)
You’re welcome to mouse over to my hub and take a look at how a traditional Filipino recipe is looked at through American eyes.
malibu35 from malibu35 on June 05, 2008:
Decrescendo on June 02, 2008:
One word. Delicious