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Lumpia: The Filipino Egg Roll

Updated on June 5, 2010

Lumpia: The Filipino Egg Roll

For the people out there who don't know what lumpia is, it's a food from the Philippines (as well as Indonesia) which is strikingly similar to a food that you've probably had before: egg rolls. The major difference between the egg roll and lumpia is that lumpia is typically not deep fried. This means that it's really more like the spring roll than the egg roll. As a general rule, this means that it's a healthy alternative to the egg roll which you might consider adding to your Asian-themed meals. You get the taste of the egg roll without all of the deep fried calories to go with it.

Before you decide on a lumpia recipe, you should consider the fact that there are many different variations on lumpia. Here are just a few of the basic forms of lumpia that you might find if you do a recipe search:

  • Lumpia Basah. This is a basic spring roll that is similar to the ones that you will find in Vietnamese and Thai restaurants located in areas like California. Carrots and bean sprouts stand out as the main ingredients that you'll find in these spring rolls although there may be other vegetables or even meats in this type of lumpia.
  • Lumpia Hubad. When everyone went on the no-card diets, our wraps got unwrapped. That's basically the idea of this kind of lumpia which consists of only the inside vegetables and meats and not the actual egg roll pastry.
  • Lumpia Sarwia. This is the most common kind of lumpia that you'll find in America. It is a basic spring roll which contains lettuce and peanuts as well as other vegetables and meats.
  • Lumpia Semarang. This is an Indonesian version of the food and stands out from the others because it includes dried shrimp as a main ingredient. As a result, this lumpia has more of a seafood taste than the other kinds.
  • Lumpia Shanghai. The main ingredient in this kind of lumpia is ground pork.
  • Lumpia Ubod. This is another common lumpia that you'll find in America which has the same basic ingredients as lumpia sarwia but differs in the addition of coconut flavors.

To narrow down your lumpia recipe choices, you're going to want to determine which kind of lumpia you're looking to enjoy. If you aren't quite sure, your best bet is to go with the lumpia sarwia which is probably the type that you have tried in the past and which is most likely what you would find in a restaurant here.

The best recipe that I have found for this type of lumpia is the recipe available from Food Down Under. It is a complete recipe containing a variety of different ingredients which will give full flavor to the food. However it should be noted that this recipe calls for frying the lumpia which isn't necessarily the most common way of eating this type of food. However you can change any lumpia recipe from being fried simply by replacing the egg roll wrapper with lettuce.


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