Crispy and flavorful wrapped lumpias.
My childhood memories in Hawaii consist of eating crunchy, juicy, flavorful lumpia. Yes, there are the beaches, but I have to say that this recipe is just memorable. I’ve had all sorts of lumpia with different fillings changing depending on what we had in the fridge at the time. I’ve also had different dipping sauces to go with the lumpia! Sweet chili sauce and the spicy-vinegar flavored sauce that makes you go “Mmmmm.”
Let’s talk about the wrapper
Before I get into what goes into the filling of the lumpia, let’s talk about what to use for the wrap. Questions that have been asked from my Youtube video generally goes like this:
- Can I use rice paper?
- How about wonton wrappers?
- What brand do you use for the wrappers?
Let me clarify first that you want to use spring roll pastry wrappers. I understand the confusion in which “spring roll” wrapper to use because there are other wrappers called “spring roll.” The difference is that these “spring roll” wrappers are used for the actual recipes called Vietnamese Spring Rolls. These wrappers are made of rice and are transparent and hard in its dry state. It should actually be called “rice paper!” If you fry one wrapper, it will curl up and look like shrimp chips! But that’s a recipe I’ll cover on another day or post.
So, is it okay to use wonton or egg roll wrappers? You could, but you will be making egg rolls at this point. The texture of the wrapper will be different. The egg roll wrapper is thicker and has a rougher texture when fried. The lumpia wrapper that we want to use needs to be thin and when fried, it is actually smooth. You should be looking for “spring roll pastry” wrappers. They are very thin and pasty white looking. Growing up I was used to using the Menlo brand to making lumpia. If you don’t have that brand, I also like using Spring Home (don’t buy this because it comes in a pack of 20…unless you have a huge party).
What’s in the filling?
From my Youtube community there have been two different ways they grew up in making lumpia. This is my recipe and how I remember growing up. The first method is what I do, by pre-cooking the filling, wrapping it, then frying it. I personally like this method because you can fry it faster without burning or overcooking the wrap and you don’t have to worry if the filling is cooked all the way through.
The second method is combining all of the ingredients, wrapping it, then frying it. The difference is that the filling is raw. You’ll need to make sure you fry it long enough to cook it all the way through. Either method is perfectly fine.
Another debate that I’ve seen is what goes into the filling? If you want to be more traditionalist, you could always stick with your family’s recipe. But cooking is an art and it can be changed to the chef’s personal preference. Anyways, I’ve eaten lumpias that have had cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts, onions, and ground pork. It is totally up to you. This recipe is just a guide and you can change it up. At times I’ve had JUST cabbage and ground pork!
Sealing the wrap
One tip that my aunt gave me was that when frying, any water that touches hot oil will make it splatter. So, using water to seal my lumpia is something I try to steer away from. I also have noticed that when I seal my lumpia with water, it sometimes doesn’t stick entirely which means the lumpia may unravel while frying.
I recommend using the flour and water paste combo to seal the lumpia. I’ve used this method countlessly and it has never failed me when I fry lumpia! It’s super quick and easy to whip up to seal those lumpia shut.
Dipping saucy sauce
In Hawaii it is a melting pot. Meaning a lot of cultures have merged. This being a Filipino dish has also been combined or influenced with Hawaii’s local cultures. Two common dipping sauces used for this local lumpia are Sweet Chili Sauce or flavored spicy vinegar sauce. If you can’t handle anything spicy, leave out the chili flakes.
Check out this video to help you gain more insight on how to make Ube Ice Cream/Shake. Also, subscribe to my YouTube to help support me so I can continue making more of these contents. Mahalo!
- deep fryer optional
- nonstick skillet or pan
- 16 oz lumpia wrappers
- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp shoyu soy sauce
- 1/2 cup onion
- 1/2 cup carrots
- 1/2 cup cabbage
- 1/2 cup green onions
- oil for fryinger
Flour Paste Sealer
- 1/2 tbsp flour
- 1/2 tbsp water
Spicy Seasoned Vinegar Sauce
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 red Hawaiian chili pepper optional
- Prepare vegetables ahead of time.
- To make the filling, heat a pan over medium heat and drizzle oil in it. Add in the garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds or until aromatic. Be careful to not burn the garlic.
- Add in the ground pork and cook until all has turned brown. Drain the oil in a colander.
- While the meat is draining, reuse the same pan. Drizzle in some oil and add in the vegetables. Sautee until the vegetables have become slightly tender.
- Add the meat back into the pan and add in the seasonings. Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and shoyu. Mix and cook for one more minutes. Then add in the green onions and cook for another minute. Take off the heat and let it cool down to room temperature.
- Make the flour paste by combining the flour and water in a small bowl. Mix to get a thick paste like consistency.
- Assemble the lumpia by separating one sheet of the wrapper. Lay the wrapper on a plate with one corner pointing towards yourself. Add on about 2-3 tbsp of the filling. Take the bottom corner of the wrapper and fold over filling. Roll tightly until you reach about three fourths of the way to the top corner. Gently but firmly fold the right and left corner to the middle (it'll look like an envelope). Tightly roll towards the top leaving about an inch gap. Apply the paste and roll the rest of the way to seal it off. Repeat this procedure until all of the filling and wrappers have been used.
- Fill a pan or pot with oil. Heat it to 350 degrees and carefully add in the wrapped lumpia. Fry until golden brown. About 2-4 minutes.
- Line a plate with paper towel to place the fried lumpia on.
- To make the sauce, combine the vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, and chili pepper.
- Serve the lumpia with your choice of dipping sauce, and enjoy!
- I love using Grassland Beef’s ground pork! I know that they raise their pork in a safe and humane environment.
- This is a great deep fryer to use for frying your lumpia! Long enough to place your rolled lumpia without overcrowding it.
- If you don’t have a deep fryer, you can still use the classic pot or pan to fry your food.
- If you like a sweeter sauce, I love using Mae Ploy for my chili sweet sauce.