Skip to main content

Lumpia, Not Egg Rolls

March 2017

Even I was confused for a long time about how Americans differentiate between egg rolls and spring rolls.  To some, the difference lies in the wrapper used:  thicker and egg-based versus thin, flimsy rice-based.  Based on that distinction, I guess lumpia is really a spring roll.

So here is a recipe for lumpia with a twist (my own version):

3 lbs ground pork or chicken

1/2 large carrot, or jicama, or water chestnuts, minced (around 1/4 cup)

1 bunch or 6 stalks, green onions, finely chopped

1 piece, about 1” x 1”, fresh ginger, minced, about 2 teaspoons (more if you like the taste of ginger)

2 cloves, garlic, minced

1 tsp or to taste, salt

1 tsp or to taste, pepper

2 tsp, fish sauce (opt), if not using, increase soy sauce or salt

1 tablespoon, soy sauce

1 tsp Sriracha or 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce (opt)

2 eggs, beaten

Mix all ingredients.

Lumpia Filling








These are the two types of wrapper I use:  the traditional lumpia wrapper and the slightly thicker “spring roll” wrapper.  Lumpia wrappers are notoriously difficult to separate but you can buy them now separated by thin film.  Hurray!

Lumpia wrappers








The filling can be wrapped two ways:  I cut the spring roll wrappers in half or use the lumpia wrappers whole as they are a lot thinner — your preference.  I do not like a lot of wrapper around the filling.  I also use a mixture of cornstarch and water (1:1) to seal the rolls.  I dip a brush in the mixture and brush the sides and bottom end.


The finished lumpia can now be frozen, if not needed right away.  When frozen, separate the rolls,  store in Ziploc bags and put them  back in the freezer.

Heat about a 1″ cooking oil to 350 degrees and  fry the rolls until cooked thoroughly.  Make sure that the oil is hot or the wrapper will disintegrate, especially when frying frozen lumpia.  Do not crowd the pan.  Frying time can be around 10 minutes for frozen lumpia, less if frying right away.  While frying, start on making sweet & sour sauce.

Combine 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 tsbp water.  Heat a small pan with 1 tbsp. cooking oil, add 2 tbsp. ketchup, 1 tsp Sriracha sauce.  Heat until simmering and then add the water/vinegar mixture.  Stir continuously on low heat until thick.  Let us eat.  Kain na tayo!




Nelia Hostetter

Nel Hostetter was born in the Philippines and came to the United States in 1977. She spent over 20 years in the information technology field but left a management job in California in 2006 to go to culinary school in New York city. She owned Sweet Claire Bakery in downtown Bloomington for five years but moved her commercial kitchen to Spencer in 2015. She specializes in international bread and pastries and sells her baked goods at the Farmers’ Market in Bloomington. Nel’s recipes are influenced by her travels to other countries and a childhood filled with memories of food and cooking.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: