Lumpia (Filipino Egg Rolls)

January 11, 2016
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes about 60
Author Notes

Lumpia is a Filipino egg roll, usually made with ground pork, soy sauce, minced garlic, onion, and fried in oil. My mom would always make these for any party my family ever had, and she would also bring it to other parties when people had us over as well. It was always a hit, and everyone gobbled them up as soon as they hit the table. It is the perfect option for snacking because they are so thin and the filling is so flavorful! —Madeline Hall

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Madeline hall is a New York City-based blogger.
WHAT: Three-bite, salty-savory, and wrapped in a crispy wonton wrapper—a classic Filipino snack.
HOW: Stir together a ground pork-and-vegetable filling, portion it into wonton wrappers, roll them up, and fry—and then try to eat just one.
WHY WE LOVE IT: While the rolling takes some patience, the filling is so easy to make for these egg rolls, especially when you use a food processor to finely mince the aromatics. While the bok choy and carrot are optional, we like the extra texture and color they give to the filling. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 package square wonton wrappers
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced bok choy (optional)
  • 1/3 cup minced carrots (optional)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, using more/less as needed
  1. Make the lumpia filling by placing all of the chopped vegetables, soy sauce, rice vinegar, pepper, salt, and sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Stir well to combine, and then add pork. Mix to ensure that all ingredients are evenly combined. Editors' note: We par-cooked the filling. To do this, brown the meat mixture lightly in a pan over medium heat, until it's no longer pink, about 6 to 7 minutes. (No need to add any oil to the pan.) Set aside to cool. When cool, proceed with step 2. (This will make the pork a bit crumbly and the lumpia harder to roll—but this way, you won't have to pan-fry them as long, ensuring you don't burn them.)
  2. Fill a small ramekin with room temperature water and set aside. Open the package of wonton wrappers and set up work station using a cutting board or other clean surface for assembly. To roll, place a very small amount of filling to the far left side of wonton wrapper (approximately 2 teaspoons) and tightly roll it toward you. (Editors' note: We didn't fold the edges.) Seal the rolled end by brushing the wrapper with water and pressing down. Continue rolling until you're out of filling! (You may have some leftover wonton wrappers.)
  3. Heat a large pan on medium heat, and coat pan with vegetable oil (about 2 tablespoons or more, depending on the size of your pan). Once oil is hot, place 6 to 7 rolled lumpia on the pan. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. If you didn't par-cook the filling, cook lumpia for approximately 4 to 6 minutes on one side before flipping to the other side; if you did par-cook, 2 to 3 minutes should do the trick. The cooked side should be golden brown and crispy. Once flipped to the other side, add more oil if needed, and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Filling should be cooked all the way inside.
  4. Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice. We've used a sweet and sour pre-made sauce, or a simple sauce made with soy sauce, vinegar, and minced garlic.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • gustadora
  • sexyLAMBCHOPx
  • ChefJune
  • Bambi
  • boulangere

16 Reviews

gustadora February 12, 2019
Self-described lumpia connoisseur and Filipino food 'privileged' person here. I'm Filipino American and I literally live four blocks away from Filipino grocery stores and eateries. (The San Francisco Bay Area is a great place for Filipino food outside of the Philippines. I'm so fortunate!) I used to volunteer to roll and fry lumpia for our family parties just so I can eat all ones that weren't pretty enough to serve.

Here are my two cents:

Before reading the recipe, I could tell from the first photo that this recipe used wonton wrappers, which are considerably thicker than traditional lumpia wrappers. Mouthfeel isn't the same. You get that initial crunch but then there's a sort of doughy feel right beneath that initial crunchy bite. Lumpia wrappers are also thinner than typical store-bought, Chinese-style spring roll wrappers, too; mouthfeel is also different but not as doughy as a wonton wrapper. Raw lumpia wrappers are gossamer thin giving cooked lumpia a super light crunch without the doughy feel. That light crispiness is what I find most addictive in traditional, fried lumpia. (There are fresh versions as well.)

If you live near a large Asian grocery, check the frozen section. They'll probably have a few options. Go for the type with raw edges and not the perfectly square, trimmed ones. I find the rustic-looking wrappers are easier to seal. If you don't have an Asian grocery near you, the Filipino food blog Burnt Lumpia has a recipe: It's a pretty legit recipe but making all those wrappers can be labor intensive and it's hard to make them paper thin. So, I really do hope you live near a grocery with goods from all over Asia that sells stuff for Philippine cuisine!
Cheryl C. February 12, 2019
I wholeheartedly agree! Lumpia without the true lumpia wrapper is a Chinese egg roll. They are two different things. ... It is the the wrapper that distinguishes that it is lumpia. There is a very different and distinct textural difference which actually makes it two taste different. It is just like the difference in two different pastas.
Atlanticgull November 19, 2016
Thank you for this, Madeline. I just found it. My father was a navel captain and the mess on his last two ships were run by the greatest Filipino cooks ever. These were his favorites. I'm sure he hasn't seen or tasted one since 1976. I can't wait to bring them to Christmas this year. Everyone will flip out!!!!!
sexyLAMBCHOPx February 3, 2016
congrats! Well-deserved!
ChefJune January 29, 2016
So sorry I can't vote for your Lumpia, madeline, since my recipe is up against yours... I LOVE lumpia, and remember fondly learning how to make them with my dear friend Magdalena Arguelles.
Madeline H. February 3, 2016
Thank you June! Best of luck to ya :)
Bambi January 29, 2016
P.S. No no no to Wonton Wrappers unless under duress!!! Use spring roll wrappers common in Asian stores.
Natalia February 8, 2016
I agree about no wonton wrappers! They also have to be more tightly wrapped than those in the photos. Spring Roll Wrappers or actual "Lumpia" wrappers you can buy at the store. But i'm glad we all agree lumpia is amazing.
Bambi January 29, 2016
Please please please I beg you. Redo your photo presentation. I take offense for the Lumpia that has ever been perfectly rolled up and deep-fried to perfection!
boulangere January 29, 2016
I agree @Bambi. Those that I remember Andrea making were round and tender.
boulangere January 29, 2016
Sorry, hit Reply too soon. This photo does not do them justice.
boulangere January 29, 2016
Words fail me. Long ago and far away, I worked in San Francisco with a Filipino woman named Andrea. Whenever we had office-wide pot luck lunches, she would bring a disposable turkey roasting pan filled with dozens and dozens and dozens of these. There would not be one left. I've thought longingly of them ever since, and you have literally changed my life by supplying a recipe. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

She also made the most heavenly noodle dish. As I recall, it featured very short (1 to 2 inch long vermicelli). I don't suppose you have a recipe for that tucked up your sleeve.
LeBec F. January 29, 2016
Madeleine, Congrats on such recognition in this very crowded field of contest recipes! i think the filling is very well flavored and balanced. I do have to say that I wish you had used, or at least mentioned, lumpia wrappers, which have such a delightful spring roll shattering quality, elevating them way above wonton wrappers IMO. For me, the lumpia/spring roll wrappers are a good part of what makes lumpia so special. Just one of the many dishes that make filipino food so worth exploring!
Bambi January 15, 2016
I am appalled at this picture!!!! That is not a half decent- looking Lumpia!
Bambi January 15, 2016
So flaaaaatt! Soooo burnt!!! So unappetizing! Whoever you commissioned to demonstrate that recipe should expect to be lynch mobbed.