Lumpia or spring rolls come in various forms with different fillings. But one thing stays the same: the Lumpia Wrapper, sometimes called spring roll wrapper.
The wrapper is a thin, delicate sheet made from a mixture of flour, water, and salt. It acts as a crunchy, protective casing that holds everything together.
It can be round or square and come in different sizes. Whether you prefer crispy fried or fresh lumpia, this paper-thin pastry skin is what you'll need.
Fresh and fried lumpia wrappers
Filipino lumpia comes in two types of wrappers. The most familiar one is the paper-thin wrapper for fried lumpia made from flour, water, and salt. It is very thin, even thinner than other spring roll wrappers.
The wrapper is versatile and can be filled with sweet or savory ingredients. When fried, it becomes light and crunchy. While commonly used for fried lumpia, it can also be used for fresh lumpia. It is already cooked and can be enjoyed as is.
Another type of wrapper used specifically for Lumpiang Sariwa (Fresh Lumpia) has a crêpe-like texture and is slightly thicker due to the addition of eggs. It is filled with sautéed vegetables and proteins for a fresh and healthier treat.
Other Asian wrappers
The paper-thin, delicate wrappers used for fried and fresh lumpia set them apart from other spring rolls. It's important to distinguish lumpia wrappers from other Asian wrappers commonly used in various cuisines:
- Spring Roll Wrappers: Wheat-based wrappers that are slightly thicker and more elastic than lumpia wrappers, commonly used in Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisines. They are an excellent substitute for lumpia wrappers.
- Egg Roll Wrappers: Thicker wrappers made with wheat flour and eggs, primarily used for Chinese egg rolls.
- Wonton Wrappers: Thin, square sheets of wheat-based dough typically used for making wontons.
- Dumpling Wrappers: Thick, round wrappers made with wheat flour, commonly used for various types of dumplings.
- Rice Paper: Also known as spring roll skins, these are made from rice flour used for Vietnamese fresh and fried spring rolls.
Where to buy
Lumpia wrappers can be challenging to find in the US, although they can sometimes be purchased online or at select Filipino specialty stores.
You can always use frozen spring roll wrappers readily available in Asian supermarkets. These wrappers come in various sizes and are ideal for making lumpia. While they may be slightly thicker than lumpia wrappers, they make delicious lumpia recipes.
How to store
Wrap fresh lumpia wrappers tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Separate each wrapper when ready to use and freeze any unused wrappers.
Keep frozen lumpia or spring roll wrappers in the freezer until ready to use. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for about 30 minutes before using.
To keep the wrappers from drying out, place a damp cloth over them while working, as leaving them exposed to air for too long can make them unusable. Wrap any leftover wrappers tightly and refreeze them for later use.
Fresh lumpia wrappers made with egg are best consumed within a day or two for optimal texture and freshness. Freezing is also an option to make them last longer.
How to make fresh lumpia wrappers
Fresh lumpia wrappers are not readily available in stores. Making them from scratch is easy with pantry staples you may already have. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Combine 1 cup of milk, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons melted butter or oil, ⅔ cup of all-purpose flour, and a pinch of salt. Mix until smooth using a whisk or a blender.
Step 2: Set an 8 or 10-inch nonstick pan over medium heat and grease it with butter or oil. Pour about ¼ cup of batter and immediately swirl the pan to spread the batter thinly and evenly.
Step 3: Cook the crepe for about a minute until the surface appears dry and the edges start to lift off the pan.
Flip it and cook the other side for half the time or cover the pan instead of flipping it. Slide it onto a plate and repeat the process. Grease the pan as needed.
Filipino recipes using Lumpia Wrapper (Spring Roll Wrapper)
Lumpia is a popular finger food made with thin lumpia wrappers filled with sweet or savory ingredients. Here are our favorites:
- Lumpiang Shanghai (Fried Spring Rolls): Crispy bite-sized lumpia with a savory filling of ground meat, vegetables, and aromatics.
- Lumpiang Gulay (Fried Vegetable Spring Rolls): Fried lumpia filled with a medley of sautéed vegetables and aromatics, served with a vinegar dipping sauce.
- Turon (Banana Spring Roll): Ripe saba bananas and jackfruit (langka) are rolled in thin, delicate wrappers and deep-fried until crispy. Ube Turon is a delicious variation of turon containing Ube Halaya (Purple Yam Jam).
- Cheese Lumpia: Crispy, fried lumpia filled with warm, gooey cheese, like cheddar or mozzarella.
- Lumpiang Sariwa (Fresh Spring Rolls): Crêpe-like wrappers filled with sautéed vegetables and proteins served with crushed peanuts and a sweet garlic sauce.
- Lumpiang Ubod: Similar to Lumpiang Sariwa, it features heart of palm (ubod) as the key ingredient, rolled in a thin crepe-like wrapper, and served with a sweet garlic sauce.
Other ingredient guides you may like
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Fresh Lumpia Wrappers
- 8 or 10-inch nonstick pan
- 1 cup milk sub:plant-based milk or water
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons melted butter sub:oil
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- Salt a pinch
- Combine milk, eggs, melted butter or oil, all-purpose flour, and a pinch of salt. Mix the ingredients until smooth using a whisk or a blender.
- Set a nonstick pan over medium heat and grease it with butter or oil.
- Pour about ¼ cup of batter and immediately swirl the pan to spread the batter thinly and evenly.
- Cook for about a minute until it looks dry and the edges start to lift off the pan. Flip it and cook the other side for half the time. Alternatively, you can cover the pan instead of flipping it.
- Slide onto a plate and repeat the process. Grease the pan as needed.