Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Beef Lumpia

Filipino Lumpia (pronounced as 'loom-pya') is the egg-roll of the Philippines. Traditional Filipino lumpia is time consuming since you have to cook the filling then let cool and drain before wrapping it in the lumpia wrapper to deep fry them! 

Being traditional can be a hassle-at least that is my OWN opinion. Aside from being time consuming, it is also 'restraining' and there are already ingredients you can find in the grocery stores as a substitute but the finish product is amazingly delicious! Plus you get to say: "I invented this recipe!" or at least you did-until you found out there are already hundreds, if not thousands, of other variations of your work on the internet. 

I may have a few or some 'traditional' recipe posts here but that's because there is no other option but to go old-fashioned.

This beef lumpia recipe is not your traditional Filipino lumpia. It's made from ground beef instead of ground pork (Purist and old folks say it's the "only meat to use for lumpia!") and this is cooked all the way raw instead of being pre-cooked. 

The secret is: very hot pan and very hot cooking oil.

This is my OWN version of the hundreds and thousands of similar "beef lumpia" recipe found on the web.


Heavy-bottom pot or deep pan; NOT non-stick!
Tong (wood or metal)
Serving plate or coriander on a plate lined with paper towels
damp, clean dish cloths


1 package Asian style egg-roll wrap*, thawed. 

*This can only be found in the frozen section of some Asian stores. (It is NOT the Vietnamese dry rice wrap. Definitely NOT the one found in your regular grocery store that almost look like a flour tortilla when fried.)

1 lb ground beef (85-90% lean)
2 medium carrots, grated or shredded
1 small or half of a large onion, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled and minced
2 eggs
5 T potato flakes
handful of raisins, chopped
2 t iodized sea salt
1 t ground black pepper
2 T soy sauce
2 T granulated sugar 
2 to 3 cups cooking oil of choice*

*I suggest oils with high smoking point like light olive oil, corn oil, soy and sunflower oil.

Edible Paste to make your egg-roll stick together: because water alone just does not work for ME!

1 T flour
4 T water

In a microwave safe bowl, mix well the flour and water and microwave for 15 to 20 seconds-making sure it does not explode inside the microwave. Mix halfway then microwave for 10 more seconds or until you create a paste. I like mine more fluid than thick.


With your clean, bare hands-mix everything together in a large bowl preferably glass or metal but plastic is fine; just wash thoroughly with hot, soapy water for the garlic/onion/beef smell and grease. 

Make sure egg-roll wrap is thawed thoroughly but still cold. Always cover with damp clean dish cloth after removing a wrap.

Place 1 egg-roll wrapper flat on your clean work table. Depending how thick your lumpia will be, spoon a filling on the wrap and shape it like a cigar or 4" long. Fold each side towards the top of the filling then roll tight; seal with your homemade paste. Set aside, covered with damp dish cloth; repeat until all your filling is rolled and sealed!

Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. Clean up your work table and clear the sink (lol).

At this time, you will be able to decide how many lumpia you are going to fry. Since there are only 2 of us in the house, I only cook 8 rolls of it then freeze them in a Ziploc. It keeps for 1 month unless we have stray guests and it becomes an emergency snack or meal (lol).

If you have left-over filling, shape into a patty or roll by itself, freeze until hard and (grill or) pan fry it; eat anyway you want it: in a burger bun or as a Filipino breakfast sausage (on rice)! 


Preheat your pot or pan on high for 3 minutes or until it reaches 320°. Pour the cooking oil in the hot pot or pan and preheat for another 3 to 4 minutes or until you see WISPS of smoke coming up the oil.

Slowly drop 3 to 4 raw lumpias on the hot oil; they should not stick together. Fry for 30 seconds each side or until wrap is also light brown inside the lumpia when you chop 1 of it in the middle; CAREFUL-VERY HOT! Filling inside should NOT be pink when done; they should be light brown and crispy outside when done. Repeat until all your lumpias are fried. 

Sweet-sour-spicy Dipping sauce:

1/2 c catsup
1/4 c coconut or palm or plain rice vinegar; apple cider vinegar is fine. 
1/2 t or more red pepper flakes to make medium spicy
Salt and pepper to taste
2 T sugar
1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

Combine altogether until sugar is dissolved. Use immediately.

Crunch, crunch, crunch!