Mar 8, 2011

Recipe for: The Best Lumpia

From the kitchen of: My parents

I grew up believing my parents’ lumpia was the best. Til this day, I still believe it is. It’s like Italians and their spaghetti sauce. Each family believes their sauce is the best. Well, I certainly believe my parents’ lumpia is the best. If you’re not familiar with lumpia, you should be! It’s so addicting. Lumpia is a traditional Filipino dish, our version of a Chinese egg roll. Every Filipino household does have their own version, it varies with ingredients and size. My parents’ version is made with a simple pork filling and it’s rolled on the longer-side than normal. Each bite is just so heavenly, both sweet and savory. The best part is the crispy wrapper adding texture to every bite.

Makes 50
2 lb. of ground pork
3/4 cup jicama, chopped in food processor
3/4 cup of carrots, chopped in food processor
5 garlic cloves, chopped in food processor
1 small onion, chopped in food processor
1 egg
2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons of sugar (brown or white)
1 teaspoon of salt & pepper
2 packets of Wei-Chuan spring roll shells (each packet is 25 sheets)
2 cups of vegetable oil, for frying

1. Process vegetables in food processor. To start, process each vegetable separately in a food processor, which includes the jicama, carrots, garlic and onion.

2. Combine all the ingredients together. Very simply, combine the ground pork, chopped vegetables, sugar, soy sauce, egg, salt and pepper in a large bowl until nicely combined.

3. Preparing the rolls. Once the meat mixture is well-combined, it’s time to make the rolls! Rolling a lumpia can be done in 8 simple steps. You can use a ice cream scoop to dish out an even amount of meat onto the wrapper. In step 7, when you’re almost done, dip your finger in egg white to make the wrapper stick to itself. Also, once you’ve made several rolls and you want to stack them on-top of each other, be sure to use plastic wrap in between layers to prevent sticking. Check out the “how to roll lumpia in less than a minute” video clip. Enjoy!

4. Frying the lumpia. After all 50 have been made, heat a large, deep skillet at medium-heat. Pour about 2 cups of vegetable oil. Before you place any rolls, make certain the oil is hot enough by dipping a corner into the oil. You’ll know it’s hot enough when little bubbles start to form. You’ll have to fry them in batches. Each side takes about 3-5 minutes, but keep an eye on it. When it turns golden brown on all sides, remove and drain on paper towels.

5. Enjoy! Don’t eat them immediately or else you’ll burn your tongue! Let it cool for 5 minutes. Serve with rice and sweet chili sauce you can purchase at your local Asian market. I hope you love it!!

Check out the video clip on how to wrap lumpia on my Facebook page. Don’t forget to ‘LIKE’ my fan page so you can stay updated with Pretty Tasty Things. I hope you really do try my parents’ recipe for lumpia. If you do, please let me know how it turns out!

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  • I would like this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner…please

    • Isabel

      i know you would!

  • Um… yes please….. one for me!

  • I used to LOVE eating lumpia when I was little… with ketchup :) But now I’m a vegetarian and my mom won’t make it without meat so I think I’m going to have to make a veggie version on my own. Mmm.

    • Isabel

      I also dip it in vinegar. I’m so Asian. Haha. But a veggie version sounds awesome. Couldn’t you add some mock chicken?

  • Um – okay. This looks amazing!!

    • Isabel

      Oh, believe me. It IS!

  • Wow very interesting! My husband and I sponsered a child and her family through Compassion International in the Philippines for over 10 years now. I would love to learn more about your food!! I do have one cookbook about food from the Philippines, but its’ great to see a blog about it! I’ll be back!!

  • Isabel

    Hi Amanda! Wow, that’s wonderful. I have family members that have been sponsored by other families, so that’s pretty amazing you’re doing that. I grew up eating Filipino food so I have tons to share. Try the lumpia recipe and let me know how you enjoy it :) Thanks for visiting!

  • Isabel – love the article =) I haven’t been exposed to much Filipino food. Are there any restaurants in the area you would recommend? I will definitely try making these at home, but would love to see what else is available, too!

  • Isabel

    Unfortunately, the only filipino restaurant that I knew of in Richmond was Manila! Manila!, but it closed a few years ago. The filipino population in Richmond isn’t that high so the demand for filipino food isn’t that great. If you find yourself in Virginia Beach or NOVA, I’m sure they have some filipino restaurants! They have TONS of filipinos :)

  • Really want to try this recipe but when I went shopping the other day I couldn’t find the spring roll shells you were speaking of. Do you know where I can find them. I went to my local Giant and checked the shelves but no luck :(

    • Isabel

      hi joanne! do you have a Kroger where you live? I know they have them for sure. i see them in the produce section near the organics. if you don’t have a kroger, do you have any asian markets you can go to? they would definitely have some there…let me know!

  • Your parents’ lumpia looks absolutely DIVINE!! Can’t wait to make this ‘our’ lumpia. Will let you know how my first batch turns out……and next to certain I’m going to have to blog this one! Looks too delicious not to pass on!!! Thanks for that, even before I get started. One burning little question – have you ever tried freezing these once they’re made, then frying them?

    • Isabel

      Fantastic! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have over the years. And YES, they do freeze VERY well. I have about 25 in the freezer right now. It keeps for several months! I didn’t do anything special. Just placed them in foil container, lined each layer with plastic wrap so they don’t stick to each other and covered it with the foil cover. BUT, it seems like using freezer bags works well, probably better than the foil container. Either way, they do freeze well!! ENJOY!

      • Hi Isabel and a fine good afternoon to you from the sunny Okanagan Valley of beautiful BC. Hope March is being good to you. I’m ba-ack!! I made your Pretty, Tasty Things called lumpia a few months back, and in fact must say they are actually Gorgeous, Scrumptious Things! And now to get in the groove of just making homemade lumpia one of our ‘things’! On that note, I know they freeze well, but I cannot remember for the life of me if it’s best to fry them frozen, or to let them thaw and then fry. Please let me know……so I can delight my family with yumminess from our Filipino heritage this Easter.

        • Isabel

          Hi Judi! SO happy you loved them! I’m super flattered at what you called them “Gorgeous, Scrumptious Things!” :) Thank you for the wonderful comment. So to answer your question, YES they freeze well. They fry frozen too. Don’t try to defrost them at all. I never do! So when you freeze them, place them in a foil tray and be sure to use plastic wrap between layers so they don’t stick to each other. Cover with plastic wrap and then cover it with foil. They should be good perfect for Easter if you make them ahead of time. If you have any more questions, please let me know! ENJOY!

  • Sarap! My search for Lumpia led me to your site. I’m doing Lumpia Togue tonight for dinner. Family recipe is always the best. :)

    • Isabel

      Happy you found my blog! I love family recipes. I need to get more from my parents. Wait, Lumpia Tongue?? Please explain!

      • not Tongue! bean sprouts = togue (in tagalog)

        • Isabel

          Apparently, I need to brush up on my tagalog. Haha.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I will be making these tomorrow to be part of our Easter celebration next weekend. If I freeze them, do I need to defrost the day before, or can I go right from frozen to hot oil?

    My sister-in-law-to-be grew up in the philippines and is joining a very large Italian family. Since she doesn’t cook, I’ve decided I’m going start incorporating filipino dishes into the holiday mix. So far, jasmine rice and lumpia are on the menu. Any other holiday must haves?

    • Isabel

      Hi, JS! Sorry for the delay, but you don’t need to defrost the lumpia at all! You can fry them frozen! That’s the beauty of them. My parents always makes a lot more and freezes them. You can fry them frozen without any problems :)

      As far as more Filipino dishes, I would recommend maybe Chicken Adobo, Pancit (noodle dish) and Sinigang. For dessert, a must is Leche Flan! I don’t have any recipes for those yet since I need to get them from my parents. But I’m sure you can find something delicious online!! Thanks for visiting and enjoy Easter!

  • Love this and can’t wait to try it! Growing up in L.A., I have many Filipino friends whose moms used to make homemade lumpia all the time (so good!), but sadly, none of them learned how to make it. :-( Can’t wait to make this and surprise them!
    PS– I recently discovered your blog and love it!!!

    • Isabel

      Hi, Weezy! Thanks so much for your comment! Making lumpia is not as hard as you think and once you make it, you’ll want to make it more often! I hope your friends enjoy the nice surprise!! And thanks for loving my blog!!! So sweet!

  • […] the recipes and are pinned on Pinterest.) Cilantro Jalapeno Limeade – Steak N Potatoes Kinda Gurl Lumpia – Pretty Tasty Things Venezuelan Empanadas – Sarah's Kitchen Chick Pea Curry – Nap Time Creations Mango Lemonade Pops […]

  • […] make your mouth drool. I got a little bit of everything — Pancit, Beef and Broccoli, Lumpia and Breaded Shrimp. I think the whole family went back for seconds. I just love it when my parents […]

  • I can’t wait to try them, I love lumpias! Spring roll shells; Are there different sizes? I want to make sure I buy the EXACT ones you and your parents use. :) I reside in NY so finding ethnic brands and foods are a cinch! :) Please share the brand name & size, if different. I grew up with a few Filipino’s but no longer in contact with them. I know not to use egg roll shell, but please sgare a few brands too. :) Thanks. P.S. have you or your family ever made the shrimp and pork mixture? If you guys have, I would love that recipe too. I love traditinal recipes! :)

    • Isabel

      Hi Sirena! Thanks for your comment! I believe there’s just one size. We typically use Wei-Chuan Spring Roll Sheets. It’s in a red/yellow clear plastic packaging. I think 25 come in a pack and they’re square-ish, maybe 8×8 size — the standard size. We usually find them at an Asian store. You didn’t won’t have any problems finding it in NYC! As far as a shrimp and pork mixture, I haven’t tried it! I would imagine you can finely dice up some shrimp and add it to the mix. I’m sure that would be delicious! Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

  • I have just returned from the Philppines after trying many new foods. I look forward to trying your recipe.

  • I first had lumpia at a friend’s house & tried twice to make them myself without success. Until I found this website! Thank you so much for posting the video of the wrapping process; that’s where I was making my mistake. I ended up using egg roll wrappers which was what was available at my grocery; they turned out wonderfully! Also the info that they freeze well is terrific; I think I’ll spend the weekend making them & freezing them! Thanks again!

    • Isabel

      So great!! Thanks so much for your lovely comment. I’m glad they turned out well even with egg roll wrappers and I’m glad you learned how to roll them with the video. I made some this past weekend too and froze several as well. I think I want to make more though :) Glad you enjoyed them!!

  • Just made these for dinner and invited my friends. Everyone loved them! Thank you :)

    • Isabel

      YAY! I’ve never met someone who didn’t love these! Glad everyone loved them :)

  • […] famous lumpia, which I’ve had a million times, will always make an appearance at any […]

  • Hi Isabel – do you have a recipe for a beans sprouts-based lumpia?
    This one seems to be more like meat
    Thanks – I will try this tonight though although
    I grew up with togue-based lumpia and I love them
    We dipped it in vinegar and soy sauce with bawang :-)

    • Isabel

      Hi Regine! You’re certainly right, this lumpia is definitely made meat-based. Quite honestly, just use less meat and add bean sprouts and more veggies. I think that’s what my parents did. I love vinegar, soy sauce and bawang too! Hope you enjoy the recipe and good luck with the bean sprouts. I’m sure it’ll be delish!

  • I MADE THEM!!! And they are awesome. My daughter and I made them together so while she was rolling I fried them up. Not hard at all with 2 people doing it. I made them w cabbage as I didn’t have jicama but I will next time for sure or add more than just 3/4 cup of cabbage. Also, the soy sauce leeches out of them when deep frying and it makes them look kinda “dirty”. Don’t know what the answer is except to not put it in? Anyway, this recipe is pretty easy to make and YUMMY!

  • OH I forgot I had half extra lean ground turkey and half ground pork, worked great!

    • Isabel

      That’s so great you were able to change up the recipe and work with what you have available. That’s the beauty about lumpia. You can add whatever you like! That’s so weird about the soy sauce…I’m not really sure why it would do that! Maybe make sure you incorporate all the ingredients well? Glad you liked it otherwise :)

  • […] well I’m always on that dang website but anyways! I found a recipe for Lumpia! Heres the link to the website! It looked super easy so I thought I’d give it a whirl! I’m a quarter […]

  • mmm, am having some right now but I need to thaw the batch

    • Isabel

      I need to make some and freeze some too! i bet they’re delicious!

  • Is the meat raw when placed in wrapper?

    • Isabel

      Yes, it is! It will cook through once you fry the lumpia! Enjoy!

  • I’ve made and eaten many versions of lumpia, but none have ever had jicama in them. What a brilliant crunchy tasty idea! THX soooo much.

  • These were delicious! How come mine came out so greasy?

    • Isabel

      Glad you enjoyed them! Sorry they came out so greasy for you. Definitely be sure to have the oil nice and hot (not too hot though). Don’t want the outside to cook faster than the inside. You don’t want the rolls to sit in cold oil. Also, when you drain the rolls after frying them, stand them up vertically in a bowl lined with papertowels. Hopefully these tips will make for an ungreasy lumpia!

  • Question; I’ve seen recipes where you cook the pork & veggies before hand & I’ve seen it where you use the pork raw. Which is the more authentic way to make the lumpia? Thank you.

    • Isabel

      Hi LisaMarie! Ummm, as far as I know, my family and I have always used raw ingredients to stuff the lumpia. I’d imagine if you cook the pork and veggies beforehand, the ingredients won’t stick as nicely together. Sometimes though, my parents cook a different style of eggroll and they would cook the ingredients beforehand. But for lumpia, you want the pork and veggies to stick together. I think the more authentic way is to prepare the lumpia with raw ingredients. Thanks!

  • Thank you Isabel for taking time to answer my question. :)

  • The best lumpia has shrimp. I always make mine with shrimp.

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