In cuisines all over the world, there's always one dish that is a meat and/or vegetable filling wrapped in chiffon-thin food-sheets, then deep-fried, then enjoyed by the multitudes of people. Many people would call that dish an eggroll, but Filipinos –– people of the Philippines, mabuhay! –– call this dish lumpia. 

I grew up eating lumpia. They're a ubiquitous dish for any type of get together. Baptism? You got it! Birthday parties? Yup yup! A housewarming? Why, of course! A golden wedding anniversary? Well duh! Funerals? Yes! Just a random occasion? Where the lumpia at?

Personally, it would be a shame if I don't know how to make lumpia. It's such a popular dish that even my non-Filipino friends would come over and ask for them. (Like, can't I catch a break? I want non-lumpia foods too.) So, here is me giving you a quick lumpia recipe that is easy in the kitchen and for your wallet!


  • One box of lumpia wrappers ($3) –– These can be found at any Asian food market. There are three in Fairbanks, each with their own specialty. I'm pretty sure all three of them have lumpia wrappers; however, the cheapest I found were at (drumroll please) the commissary on the military base. 
  • A package of frozen vegetables ($2) –– Check the frozen section of your local grocery store. And I swear, you better eat your veggies. 
  • Onion and Garlic ($2)–– These are in the produce section. I usually just eye-ball the amounts, depending on how many lumpia you are making. I tend to put more onions and garlic, so my friends also have onion/garlic breath. 
  • Ground meat ($8+) –– Meat section. Eyeball this again. I use ground beef, but you can also use other ground meats. If you are a vegetarian, take this ingredient out and add half a package of veggies. Or experiment with a meat-alternative. If you do the latter choice, let me know how it turns out!
  • Salt and pepper ($2, also why don't you have this in your kitchen?) –– Eyeball this again. Like seriously, I just use my eyeballs to cook. My eyeballs have its own hands to stir the pot too.
  • Oil ($5) –– lots of it.
  • A bowl of water (free, as it should be)
  • Sweet and Sour sauce ($10?) –– My favorite sauce is called Mae Ploy. It's a clear-red sauce with orange specks. It's delicious. Found in the international aisle of all local grocery stores. If not, they'll definitely be in the Asian food store. 
  • Thaw out the lumpia wrappers. Keep them in the plastic bag though.
  • Defrost the frozen veggies according to the instructions on the bag.
  • Finely chop the onions and garlic. 
  • Sauté the meat in a fairly large pan (or a wok, if you have one.) The juices are going to start coming out of the meat. You don't want that. Strain the liquid out and away!
  • After straining, put the meat back into the pan. Add the finely chopped onions and garlic. 
  • Drain the frozen veggies too, then add to the meat mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Wrap that lumpia! –– This portion takes a while.
    Grab a lumpia sheet. Fill up a small rectangle at the bottom third of the sheet. Fold the left and right sides over, from the edge of the filling. Then fold the bottom over the filling. Roll that lumpia, keeping the filling tight and snug. Wet the inside of the top edge with water. Fold over the whole roll. Wet the outside of the top edge to seal. 
  • Meanwhile, start heating the oil up. I don't know what temperature the oil should be because I'm not fancy like that. To check if the oil is ready, I usually just drop in a little part of the lumpia wrapper. If that starts to bubble and crackle, then the oil is ready. If it just floats like a nonchalant duck on a calm yellow pond, then the oil isn't just quite there. 
  • Drop those lumpia carefully! Cook about 3 minutes on each side, or until the side is golden brown. 
  • Enjoy the lumpia with a side of sweet and sour sauce! 
  • Eat all of the lumpia. Do not share! 

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