Lumpia (AKA Filipino eggroll) is a party dish. If you have mastered the art of making lumpia, don’t tell anyone unless you are willing to give into the requests.
At 3 a.m., I will be frying up frozen lumpia for Mister Jack’s Thanksgiving potluck. He’s leaving our home at 4:30 a.m., and the potluck is scheduled for 6 a.m.
So why am I frying lumpia at 3 a.m.? Well, I have this thing for serving lumpia hot. Or at least–warm. Lumpia is best when it is served hot. If it’s served cold, you can count on eating a greasy mess. Lumpia is not a dish that you can keep in the oven or in a crockpot.
“I won’t eat those greaseballs,” confessed a friend of mine. Over the years, I am reminded of what she told me. If I’m going to make lumpia, it’s going to be served hot. Or close to it.
Recently, I spent a day making lumpia for freezing. So whenever I get a request for lumpia, all I have to do is take it out of the freezer and fry it. I figured that 4 lumpia makes an average serving. With the following recipe, I made about 90 lumpia.
4 cooked chicken breasts, shredded or chopped into small pieces
2 cups carrots
8 oz. mushrooms
2 cans water chestnuts
1 head green cabbage
3 packages frozen individual lumpia wrappers, defrosted in refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for several hours
olive or cooking oil
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
Making the Lumpia Filling
- Chop or shred chicken.
- To save time, chop carrots, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and cabbage in a food processor. If you really want to save time, you can make a filling of chicken and water chestnuts. You can also drop the chicken for vegetarian lumpia. You decide on what you use for the filling.
- In a skillet, wok or paella pan, heat 1-2 teaspoons of olive or cooking oil. Add one heaping teaspoon of minced garlic. Stir.
- Mix carrots, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and cabbage in the pan.
- Over medium heat, stir mixture until cabbage goes limp.
- Remove from heat. Cool.
Rolling the Lumpia
Defrost the lumpia wrappers. Separate one lumpia wrapper from the wax paper. Place on a plate or cutting board to roll. Have a small bowl or glass of water nearby so that you can seal each lumpia.
Lumpia wrappers are delicate. If it breaks as you roll your lumpia, it could be that you are using too much filling. You can either start over or roll another wrapper over the lumpia. You can also put the broken ones aside to fry immediately. Then you will get an idea of how your batch will taste.
- Place a heaping 1-2 teaspoons filling near the bottom edge of the wrapper.
- Roll until wrapper covers filling.
- Fold left side, then right side of the wrapper.
- Roll until there is about 1/4″ wrapper left.
- Dip fingers in bowl or glass of water. Run moistened fingertips over exposed wrapper.
- Continue to roll.
- Stack lumpia with the seam side down to seal.
- Label freezer bags.
- Place six lumpia per bag. Freeze flat. Stack to save freezer space.
- Use within six months.
Fry and Serve
- Heat 1/4″ cooking oil in a skillet. Do not deep fry lumpia.
- You can place the frozen lumpia directly in the oil. Or you can defrost the lumpia before frying.
- Brown each side (about 4 minutes each).
- Drain on a paper towel.
- Serve hot with dipping sauce or hot sauce.
Garlic and Vinegar Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup apple cider, white or rice vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
- Mix vinegar and garlic in a small bowl.
- Refrigerate before serving with the lumpia. Or serve at room temperature.