If you’re looking for a therapeutic way to feed a mass of people, well, I can’t really help you there. But this lumpia recipe — what with its mind-freeing meat massaging, egg rolling and deep frying — could lend a little tranquility as well as take care of one of your get-together’s appetizers.

Lumpia, as with most spring roll-esque dishes, originated in China. The roll eventually found its way to the Philippines, where it is commonly served at parties.

While I’ve tried to get my mom to give me her recipe, I had to settle for estimations due to her propensity to eyeball and taste-test as she goes instead of following a set list of measurements. Rest assured, my four roommates and I have tasted and guaranteed the quality of these delectable sticks of crispy meat are first-rate.

That being said, my mom typically uses beef. Many lumpia recipes call for pork. I used a mixture of the two. I’ve tried it with ground turkey as well, and it certainly works.

Lumpia goes great with banana ketchup, a sweet sauce that I think blows tomato-based ketchup out of the water, but getting ahold of it will probably require a trip to Kabayan or 99 Ranch Market.

This recipe yields a lot of lumpia, so do what you will with that information. My mom will use 20 pounds of meat and freeze what rolls are left over. I had leftover meat after running out of egg roll wrappers and made another batch the following day.

If you’re looking to have a well-rounded Pinoy meal, serve these deep-fried delights alongside pancit, a Filipino noodle entree.

2 ¼ pounds of ground beef/pork
2 eggs
1 stalk of celery
1 carrot
4 garlic cloves
½ onion
½ cup of soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 pack of egg roll wrappers
Frying oil


Banana ketchup, or banana sauce, is a sweet sauce that doesn’t have any tomatoes in it. There’s a spicy counterpart you can also purchase to add a kick to your lumpia. (Photo by Christina Ulsh)

Fill a large pot several inches with frying oil and put it over medium heat.

Finely dice vegetables or throw into a food processor. Combine vegetables, meat, eggs, soy sauce and seasonings in a large bowl with your hands until everything is evenly distributed.

Wash hands and cut egg roll wrappers in half. Take about a tablespoonful of meat mixture and place it on a wrapper lengthwise, evenly spreading in the middle leaving room along the edges, careful not to overfill.

Fold the each end into a point, like an envelope. Roll the length of one side over the meat to the other side.
The moisture from the meat should keep the wrapper sealed. You can also dip your finger in water and run it alongside the seam of the roll to keep the wrapper from opening.

Repeat with the remainder of egg roll wrappers. Refrigerate leftover meat.

Once oil has reached about 375 degrees Fahrenheit, slide in five or six rolls.

After lumpia becomes golden brown, about 10 minutes later, remove from oil and let drip on a rack. Alternatively place lumpia on a plate with paper towels on it.

Slide several more rolls into hot oil and repeat until all have been cooked.

Serve with banana ketchup or sweet and sour sauce. As always, enjoy!


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