Lumpia is a Filipino spring roll, fried to a golden perfection and served with sweet, spicy or tangy sauces. As with most Filipino food, the sum of the fillings slightly differs from region to region, but you’ll always see it with ground pork, garlic and a splash of fish sauce. Shanghai Lumpia, a popular version among lumpia lovers, contains shrimp and finely minced vegetables like carrot and cabbage. There’s also sweet lumpia, like the Turron, which is wrapped banana and sugar and then friend. The version I typically make is the most basic with just the pork, seasonings, garlic, onions and finely minced carrots.
The wrappers are made out of rice flour, corn starch and water, and can be found in the frozen section of most Asian supermarkets. When you are ready to wrap your eggrolls, take the wrappers out of its package and let thaw a little bit at room temperature. I find that it is easier to begin separating sheets when it is still cold, but not quite frozen anymore. Do not let your wrappers sit out too long or they will dry out and will not be easy to handle or separate. I find that separating all the sheets you want first is easiest and then while you are rolling each lumpia place a damp cloth over the ones you are not using yet.
Rolling the perfect lumpia takes practice because of the wrappers’ delicate nature. Be careful not to make them too big or damp it too much or you may break the wrapper while rolling. Additionally, a lumpia rolled too big needs to sit in the oil longer so that the filling is cooked all the way through, and if that is the scenario you are faced with there’s and increase chance of burning it when cooking. So, like the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and when you have the technique down you’ll be able to make all sorts of eggrolls, not just the Filipino ones.
1 lb ground pork
3 cloves crushed garlic
½ onion, grated
½ cup minced carrots
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1-2 cups cooking oil (for frying)
1. In large mixing bowl, combine ground pork, minced garlic, onion, carrots, fish sauce, soy sauce, egg and pepper.
2. Place about three to two-three tablespoons of pork filling in the center of one lumpia wrapper. Form your filling to make a mini log.
3. Wet the edges of your lumpia wrapper with water and begin rolling tight, as if rolling a burrito. Each should be about an inch in diameter. Wet the last bit of the wrapper so that it sticks to the roll at the end.
4. Fry in hot to medium-hot oil for about 3-4 minutes, and the outside is golden brown. Check to make sure the filling is cooked all the way through.
5. Drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Serve with banana sauce, sweet & sour sauce or spiced garlic vinegar.
Makes about 15-20 lumpias
TIP: Fry your lumpia until a light golden brown and remove from oil to drain and cool down. Then cut each in half or into smaller bite size pieces and then return to the hot oil to cook again for a couple minutes. (as shown below)This helps you check to see if the meat is cooked through, and it creates bite size pieces which are great for parties.