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One of my favorite Filipino foods growing up was lumpia. This tasty little handheld roll encompasses all of the things you need in a savory on-the-go snack: light and crispy outside, hot veggie/meat mixture inside and that satisfying crunch every time you bite into it.  I’m not going to lie, I can honestly eat at least 8-10 in one sitting…and I’m not ashamed of it.  After you fry up a batch, you’ll be saying the exact same thing.  The best part is, you can sit and wrap 100 of these little guys and freeze them for later!

There are a so many varieties of lumpia in the Philippines and I’m sure each family claims their recipe as the best – they’re all delicious!  My mom’s family recipe cooks the mix of meat and veggies first and then wraps them so only a light pan fry in about 1 inch of oil is needed , instead of the usual deep fryer method.  What really makes these little rolls of goodness rock are the different sauces you can dip them in.  I usually lean towards a garlic-vinegar type of sauce but there is always the tried and true sweet chili sauce or good old soy sauce.

I had been bugging my mom to teach me her secret recipe and technique for years! We finally managed to set aside some time to sit down, catch up with each other and wrap 100 lumpia while watching Netflix. It really is awesome after about 1-2 hours of work, you have enough lumpia to eat that day and even more to freeze and fry up whenever you get that craving.  I have the craving ALL THE TIME.

Try out my fam’s recipe and let me know how it turns out!

  • 3 pkgs Lumpia wrappers
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 to 1 c oil, for frying
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 pkg frozen green beans, defrosted and thinly sliced
  • 1 pkg shredded carrots
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 russet potatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 head garlic, chopped
  • 1 c water
Ground pork and/or beef work well here.  Also, you can easily omit the meat and just add more veggies for a vegetarian lumpia. The 1/2 to 1 cup of oil can vary, depending on the type of pan or pot you fry the lumpia in.  You need enough oil so that when you lay the lumpia down, the level covers up to half the lumpia.  This should be about 1 to 2 inches of oil.  Use 1 large russet potato or 2 smaller ones.  The water is just for dipping your fingers in as you wrap and seal each one.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Heat up the 4 tbsps of oil on medium high heat. Saute the onion for a few minutes and then add in the garlic, stirring until fragrant.  Add in the carrots, green beans and potatoes and stir around for a few minutes.

Step 2

Stir in the ground beef and make sure everything is mixed well.  Let the mixture sit and stir occasionally to make sure all the meat is cooked.

Step 3

While you’re waiting for the meat/veggie mixture to cook through, open the lumpia wrapper packages and separate the thin wrappers.  They will be pressed together really tightly, so separating them now will help your assembly line go faster.

Step 4

Set up your assembly line: bowl of meat/veggie mix, cutting board or plate to wrap on, pile of separated wrappers, bowl of water.

Step 5

Lay one wrapper in front of you with a corner pointing towards you so it looks like a diamond. Put a small spoonful of the mixture on the lower third of the wrapper, towards the corner pointing at you.

Step 6

Take the corner pointing at you and roll it over the mixture, tucking the mixture towards you, making it a tighter fit inside that section of the wrapper, so it starts forming a tiny log.

Step 7

Start rolling the tiny log shape away from you towards the top corner of the wrapper. As you get to the middle of the wrapper, tuck each side in. Make sure that the side corners are folded so that they don’t poke out the sides of the log as you roll.

Step 8

Once you roll the lumpia all the way up and the top corner that was farthest from you is now wrapped around the log, dip your finger in the bowl of water to seal the corner to the lumpia. Repeat steps 5-8 until you run out of wrappers. Save remaining mix (if any) and throw into a stir fry or omlette later.

Step 9

Heat up the oil in a sauce pan on medium-high heat.  While it’s heating, arrange your stove top assembly: neat pile of wrapped lumpia on one side, pot of oil and plate with paper towel on it on the other side.

Step 10

Using tongs, lay lumpia gently in the oil and fit as many as you can where they can still have a little room to move as they cook.  Fry each side about 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Take out the cooked lumpia and place on the paper towel lined plate.  Repeat the frying process until all lumpia are fried.

Note: You can always fry some for now and freeze the other wrapped lumpia for frying up later.