The lumpia is known as classic finger food for most Filipinos but there are actually many different kinds of lumpia, including a Chinese-style lumpia that is quite different from what we know.
Fresh lumpia is packed with vegetables and embellished with crushed peanuts, seaweed, and a sweet soy-based sauce. Whatever kind you choose to make—meat, seafood, or vegetable—one thing’s for sure: lumpia is definitely a bundle of flavors and textures.
What is lumpia?
Since Filipino cuisine is filled with dishes from different influences from other cultures, the lumpia is one of those dishes that the locals absorbed and made their own. The lumpia is a kind of Asian spring roll that is stuffed and rolled like cigars, the most popular and the most well-known to Filipinos is the basic lumpiang Shanghai. It can be stuffed with any number of fillings but the most popular ones are those filled with savory pork. There are also the vegetable stuffed ones and even the dessert versions of the lumpia called “turon“.
There is also the fresh lumpia or lumpiang sariwa which is made with a soft, freshly-made flour wrapper instead of one that needs to be fried to a crisp. The Chinese-style lumpia is a lumpiang sariwa style that sees the cooked filling placed into a wrapper with fresh lettuce.
See how it’s made from start to finish:
Chinese Fresh Lumpia Recipe
Chinese Fresh Lumpia Ingredients
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 1/4 kilo Shrimp peeled and chopped
- 1/2 Cup white onion chopped
- 2 tablespoons Garlic minced
- 1/4 kilo ground pork
- 1 Cup carrot grated
- 1 Cup long beans (sitaw) thinly sliced
- 1 Cup jicama (singkamas) thinly sliced
- 1/3 Cup Dried Wood Ear Mushrooms (Tenga Ng Daga) rehydrated and chopped
- 1/2 head cabbage shredded
- 1/2 Cup firm tofu (tokwa) chopped
- 1/4 Cup chicken stock
- 1 Cup water
- 3 tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 Cup peanuts
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 Cup vermicelli (sotanghon) noodles (deep-fried), chopped
- 1/4 Cup hoti toasted on a dry pan
- 6 to 8 large lumpia wrapper
- 6 to 8 lettuce leaves trimmed
- Make the filling: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large wok. Sauté shrimp until pink. Transfer to a platter and set aside.
- Heat remaining oil in the same wok. Sauté onions until translucent. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add ground pork and cook until browned. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add carrots and green beans; cook for 1 minute. Add jicama and mushrooms; cook for another minute. Add cabbage and tofu; toss to mix well. Add water or stock. Cover wok partially and let vegetables steam for 1 minute, or until water or stock has evaporated.
- Add shrimp and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a platter and set aside.
- Make the sauce: Place water, soy sauce, sugars, and vinegar in a small saucepan. Boil and cook until sugar dissolves and the vinegar’s acidity has mellowed. Add dissolved cornstarch and let mixture thicken. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Mix together peanuts and sugar in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine sotanghon and hoti.
- Lay a lumpia wrapper on a flat surface. Place a lettuce leaf at the center. Top with 2 to 3 tablespoons filling. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon peanut mixture and 1 tablespoon sotanghon mixture. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon sauce. Fold the bottom of the wrapper, then the sides to enclose the filling. Wrap tightly. You can wrap the lumpia with foil, wax paper, or parchment paper, if desired. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Serve warm with extra sauce on the side.