Homemade Lumpia Wrappers

In case I ever get the Jones to roll up a few fatty spring rolls, I almost always have a package of store-bought Lumpia wrappers at the ready, hidden within the depths of my freezer. But after closer inspection, I found the following ingredients listed on the packaging of said wrappers:

“Bleached wheat flour (niacin, riboflavin, thiamin,
reduced iron, mononitrate, folic acid), water, salt, glycerin, sorbital”
.

I have no idea what half of those ingredients are (isn’t glycerin in soap?)! But up until very recently, the chemical make-up of spring roll wrappers was of little consequence to me. Store-bought lumpia wrappers could contain Soylent Green (mmm, soylent green) for all I cared; I was content as long as the end product resulted in crunchy and tasty lumpia.

But thanks to the help of Andrea Nguyen’s newest cookbook, Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More, I had a spring roll epiphany: Lumpia wrappers can be made from scratch!

Crazy right? Aside from the crepe-like skins of Lumpiang Sariwa (fresh unfried lumpia), I never considered making my own wrappers for fried lumpia. But with Andrea’s fantastic cookbook, a few simple ingredients that I already had in my pantry (no glycerine necessary), and a bit of patience, I was able to fashion my own stash of homemade lumpia wrappers–thin skins that, when fried, were just as crisp and golden as their store-bought counterparts.

Homemade_lumia_wrapper2

Believe it or not, handmade spring roll skins.
Yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.

To make handmade lumpia skins, a loose dough must first be created from a little bit of flour and some water (and a few other secret ingredients). Although not much goes into the actual dough that comprises handmade lumpia skins, there is a lot to be said about the technique and overall zen-calmness that is necessary to manipulate these few ingredients. To illustrate this point, here’s a video of Andrea Nguyen making the spring roll wrappers from her cookbook:

I know, making your own spring roll wrappers looks damn near impossible, right? After I watched that video for the first time, I knew the task before me could be daunting (spoiler alert: the task before me was daunting). But armed with Andrea’s video and with the easy-to-follow instructions in the Asian Dumplings cookbook, I was confident I’d soon have my own stack of handmade lumpia wrappers.

Handling my dough.

For me, the most difficult part about making spring roll skins was handling the loose and goopy dough (those are technical terms). I discovered that the gooey blob had a taste for flesh (my hand) and wanted to be everywhere (the counter, the stovetop, my shirt) but in the pan.

But after a few minutes of working the dough in my hand, and after a
few failed attempts at “swabbing” my hot skillet with a handful of
mess, I eventually got the hang of it all. With each pass of the blob
over my nonstick skillet, an amazingly thin skin formed and clung to
the hot surface of the pan.

Not a perfect circle, but success nonetheless!

Though things weren’t perfectly perfect on my first go-around with spring roll skins, I was still dumbfounded by what took place in my kitchen–before I knew it, right there in front of me on a damp kitchen towel was a glorious stack of handmade spring roll skins. It was magic.

Homemade_lumpia_wrapper5
Fillin’ skins.

Though the finished skins appeared to be fragile, they proved incredibly resilient when I filled them with my usual lumpia fodder of pork and veggies–with every roll and fold, the wrappers resisted any tears or holes.

In addition to lumpia, I also made some Turon from the epic Asian Dumplings cookbook.

Homemade_lumpia_wrapper6

Hot banana napalm in a wrapper.

Turon, a favorite Filipino snack, is lumpia filled with banana and brown sugar. Once fried, the banana softens and the brown sugar caramelizes. My mother usually uses saba bananas or plantains in her turon, but regular bananas work well also.

After finally sitting down and enjoying my crunchy bounty of lumpia and turon, I still couldn’t believe that what started as a blob ended up as beautifully golden and crisp spring roll wrappers.

Though I could have made my lumpia skins even thinner this first time
around (it’s all about temperature control), the wrappers still turned out
wonderfully crisp when fried. I know I can do better next time (and there will be a next time!).

Truth be told, making your own spring roll wrappers from scratch can be a bit difficult, at first. But with practice, the exercise of making lumpia skins becomes second nature. Heck, I’d even venture to say that the whole thing gets easier, and fun, and addicting–all thanks to Andrea’s wonderful and inspirational cookbook.

For the exact recipe for handmade spring roll wrappers, do pick up a copy of Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More. And for additional help and pointers on making spring roll wrappers, check out Andrea’s video again on her helpful website AsianDumplingTips.com.

Besides spring roll wrappers, lumpia, and turon, the Asian Dumplings cookbook also has great Filipino recipes for Empanadas and Siopao–all with handmade doughs. And of course, the book has a variety of excellent recipes for most other Asian dumplings–everything from pot stickers, to soup dumplings, to wontons. I told you it was epic.


Fried Spring Rolls on Foodista

  • Tangled Noodle September 2, 2009, 12:39 pm

    This is awesome! Your lumpia and turon look absolutely perfect; forget my textbooks for this semester – I need ‘Asian Dumplings’!
    I’ve also relied on store-bought frozen wrappers (although I would draw the line at Soylent Green – it’s PEEEEEOOOPPLE!) but would love to impress the family with this (and with siopao, too).

    Reply
  • Caroline September 2, 2009, 1:02 pm

    A wish come true! I was just wondering if I can make wrappers while rolling up lumpia last week. So excited to try this.

    Reply
  • jenn September 2, 2009, 1:07 pm

    That’s really awesome. I never figured to make my own lumpia wrappers before. I always get the ready made stuff. Bookmarking this. I actually had some lumpia the other day, too.

    Reply
  • Jikuu September 2, 2009, 3:04 pm

    I would always watch my grandmother make these on a big electric griddle. Scared the crap outta me because it looked too easy to burn oneself. The turon look delicious. Thanks for showing us this, though!

    Reply
  • _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver September 2, 2009, 3:47 pm

    Ooooh, impressive!

    Reply
  • Andrea Nguyen September 2, 2009, 5:02 pm

    Marvin, you make a cookbook author want to SQUEAL with DELIGHT! Thanks so very much for trying out the recipe. Shanghai spring roll wrappers are not hard to make but they just take practice. Lord knows I worked for weeks to get all the right cues down in the recipe and video.
    It’s one of the advanced recipes in the book so you can officially call yourself a Dumpling Master!

    Reply
  • Joelen September 2, 2009, 6:41 pm

    Awesome job and super impressive!!

    Reply
  • caninecologne September 2, 2009, 7:39 pm

    hey there daddy-o! what a cool post! how do you find the time!?your lumpias and turon came out really well!
    i remember back in the day (the 70’s), my parents would make their own lumpia wrappers. they had this electic skillet thing and I would help separate the stacks as a kid. that was back when there were hardly any asian food places around, so almost every party-type food that you could order nowadays, was all made by scratch back then.

    Reply
  • beancounter September 3, 2009, 5:08 am

    thanks for this Marvin…i’ll definitely give it a go!

    Reply
  • elaine September 3, 2009, 10:12 am

    now that i no longer live in an area near my filipino-food cooking relatives nor near any filipino restaurants, i’ve been forced to learn how to cook filipino food on my own. so i’m loving your blog! definitely adding it to my google reader! :)

    Reply
  • Kate O. September 3, 2009, 10:44 am

    Turrones are my favorite. Guaranteed to make me fat. In any case, my mom-in-law has her own version. Add a sliver of jackfruit to the saba banana in the wrapper along with a bit of the jackfruit juice from the can. Use the jackfruit juice to help seal it. And she usually rolls the turrones really long and open at the ends. Sprinkle sugar on top either before or after frying – I can’t quite remember. SOOOOO GOOOD.

    Reply
  • Lorena September 3, 2009, 11:45 am

    I’m going to have to pick this book up – I’m vegetarian so it’s hard to find Filipino foods (like siapao) that are animal-faceless.
    And color me amazed that you found the time to do all this, Marvin!

    Reply
  • Pat September 3, 2009, 3:30 pm

    WARNING: Non-Lumpia Related Comment
    are you aware that you can combine some of your The Five Point Pork Exploding Heart Technique for a more fatal attack?
    that would be the lechon and sisig.
    see, i was wondering last week in SM and saw the infamous Lydia’s Lechon in their food court.
    with haste i ordered 1/4 kilo of lechon then i saw their lechon sisig.damn.without hesistation i ordered one.and i really enjoyed it.you should try one too.

    Reply
  • diva September 3, 2009, 8:38 pm

    wow, from scratch! looks so delicious :)

    Reply
  • Anh September 4, 2009, 1:07 am

    This is excellent!!!

    Reply
  • cookienurse September 4, 2009, 9:16 am

    I remember my mom making her own lumpia wrappers, and it really is an art. You did a great job!!

    Reply
  • wasabi prime September 4, 2009, 5:16 pm

    wow, this looks delicious — and it’s good to have you back to the bloggosphere!

    Reply
  • ladygoat September 4, 2009, 7:16 pm

    Love it! I too never thought wrappers were something I could actually make. I want to try it now!

    Reply
  • Tuty September 4, 2009, 8:20 pm

    Kudos to you Marvin…. I guess after eating freshly fried turon, the only thing that’s burnt is your tounge :-)
    Your post surely encourages me to try making the lumpia skins.

    Reply
  • Jen Tan September 4, 2009, 10:58 pm

    hello marvin!!!! I think this is awesome! I have always thought lumpia wrappers are made with a runny crepe like batter…never thought it was made from a dough mixture. I am totally inspired to make my own spring roll wrappers. Commercial bought lumpia wrappers (specially the kind we but from out local ‘palengke’ aren’t really that hygienically made —as I have seen on a TV expose on how it is manufactured here in Manila—yikesss!!! )
    will try this soon =)
    I love spring rolls(fresh or fried)…I love turon ;P yay!!!

    Reply
  • Erin September 5, 2009, 9:35 am

    There really is something to be said for homemade. Those are some of the best looking lumpia I’ve ever seen. Way to go!

    Reply
  • joey September 7, 2009, 7:23 am

    Bravo to you for making your own lumpia wrappers! You are truly the lumpia king :)
    Love love love turon…MMM!

    Reply
  • Pat September 7, 2009, 12:03 pm

    You’ve come a long way from burnt lumpia, Marvin! My mum always makes crepe-like skins for her Indonesian risoles and it never looked too intimidating so why not lumpia skins right? Gotta try this out too!

    Reply
  • Claudia September 7, 2009, 4:19 pm

    She makes it look kind of easy, but I know it’s not. Great post! Now, I want to try doing that fun lumpia wrapper thing too.

    Reply
  • Sandy September 8, 2009, 10:19 am

    Thanks for the tip about the book; I’m buying it ASAP. I never thought of making the wrappers; it seemed like it would be more work than it’s worth.
    Congratulations on Baby Lumpia, too. I was pleasantly surprised to find a new post since you must be pretty busy (and sleep-deprived) with the little guy.

    Reply
  • Mila September 8, 2009, 7:37 pm

    Just thinking here – assuming your frying pan could be turned over and you could use the underside of the pan to cook your dough, it might make it easier to get the wrappers flat, round and ready for action that way. Or you could use a flat griddle. Like a crepe pan.
    It’s great to know that making wrappers can be done at home.

    Reply
  • nobe September 12, 2009, 3:24 am

    come to think of it, i never ever tasted any kind of lumpia that satisfies me to an A.
    love,
    nobe
    http://www.deariago.com
    http://www.iamnobe.wordpress.com

    Reply
  • Burnt Lumpia September 14, 2009, 8:04 pm

    Hi Tangled Noodle. Making your own wrappers would definitely impress the family. I also want to get to the siopao recipe soon.
    It’s definitely worth the effort, Caroline!
    Thanks Jenn.
    An electric griddle sounds like it might be easier, actually, Jikuu. I might give that a try for the next time.
    Thanks TS.
    Thanks so much, Andrea! Though I don’t think I’m quite a Dumpling Master just yet. Let me work my way through more of your recipes!
    Thanks Joelen.
    Hey caninecologne. No one has called me daddy-o before, I think I kinda like it;) And believe me, there’s barely any time for anything anymore!
    You’re welcome, beancounter. It’s definitely worth it.
    Thanks elaine. I hope you continue to visit and read.
    Great tips on using the jackfruit juice, Kate! I don’t usually like jackfruit in my turon, but I’ll give them another try just to use the juice for sealer!
    Thanks Lorena! I’ll have to work on a veggie recipe for you and your ilk!
    Lechon sisig does indeed sound killer, Pat. Thanks for visiting!
    It definitely is delicious, diva. From scratch is always more tasty!
    Thanks, Anh.
    Thanks cookienurse!
    Good to be back, wasabi prime.
    Give it a go, ladygoat. It’s not as difficult as it looks.
    I’m glad I could encourage you, Tuty. Just be sure to blow on the turon so as to not burn your tongue.
    Hi Jen. Lumpiang sariwa wrappers are indeed like crepes, but not the wrappers for fried versions. And I’m glad I didn’t see that expose you are talking about, yikes indeed!
    Thanks Erin!
    Thanks Joey! Though I’m no king. Jester perhaps, but not a king.
    Thanks Pat. I had to try really hard not to burn any though;)
    Hi Claudia. It actually gets easier after some practice. You should give it a try.
    Thanks Sandy, the book is fabulous! And making the wrappers is not that much work, just a little patience and practice is needed.
    I agree with your crepe pan idea, Mila. But I’m not sure about turning over my frying pan–it’s all cruddy on the bottom and far from perfectly smooth. But a crepe pan would definitely make things easier.
    Thanks Nobe.

    Reply
  • Rasa Malaysia September 14, 2009, 9:44 pm

    Marvin – I love watching the popiah man making the popiah skin back home in Penang, Malaysia. Your video reminds me of them. You’re brilliant!

    Reply
  • veron September 18, 2009, 6:40 am

    These look fantastic!! Lumpia from back home never looked this good. Hurray for homemade wrappers!

    Reply
  • baby September 24, 2009, 6:03 pm

    pwede bang pakipost ang recipe para sa lumpia wrapper

    Reply
  • rita October 17, 2009, 4:44 pm

    what luck! hubby is in the States right now for a 2-week class. i can ask him to get me the book. not easy to find wrappers here in germany that will not cost me an arm and a leg.
    your lumpias are making me hungry.

    Reply
  • Sarah October 20, 2009, 10:00 am

    today just tried to make the Moroccan version of lumpia called warka. First time I tried this method it was a catastrophe. Second time I used a method I learned from Paula Wolfert- painting the warka/lumpia on the pan, pretty neat. Great video, looks so easy

    Reply
  • abby jenkins boal November 3, 2009, 12:06 pm

    never thought about making those from scratch and out family motto is “always take the long way to a great meal”
    well down to the shore to collect and dry some salt water for dinner ;^D thanks!

    Reply
  • Paul February 22, 2010, 10:20 am

    Maybe I missed this earlier but where can I find the recipe for the lumpia wrapper shown above?

    Reply
  • Kevin Mitchell February 28, 2010, 11:49 am

    Ive never made them from scratch.Looks fantastic and will definately give it a go.Thanks for sharing.Great topic.

    Reply
  • Mhel March 3, 2010, 5:46 pm

    Your Lumpia and Turon look awesome! I don’t live near Asian stores so I always have to settle for the Wonton wrappers from our local supermarkets. I always wonder how to make it, you mean to say, I have to buy Andrea’s book just for that recipe? Is it worth buying the book? I’m planning to put Fresh Lumpia on our menu but using crepe batter just like what Goldilock’s uses (I guess)for their Lumpiang Ubod. I thought you would have posted the recipe on your blog, that’ll be great!

    Reply
  • TheRickyShow March 4, 2010, 9:14 pm

    I love it! I am an American, but I live in the PHilippines and I was too lazy to go to the Sari-Sari (as in it is too hot outside, and I have my aircon on, lol). I love to cook and I am making these right now! Coming out pretty good too. Love your blog!
    Cheers,
    Ricky

    Reply
  • Joe and Christi November 10, 2010, 2:57 pm

    We just get the store wraps when we make lumpia. Could I put the recipe for the wraps on my website? http://home-made-recipes.net? Thanks!

    Reply
  • philippines classified ads January 16, 2011, 5:10 pm

    Lumpiang Sariwa is still the best for me consists of minced ubod, flaked chicken, crushed peanuts, and turnips as an extender in a double wrapping of lettuce leaf and a yellowish egg crepe. The accompanying sauce is made from chicken or pork stock, a starch mixture, and fresh garlic.

    Reply
  • Emma April 26, 2011, 7:38 pm

    Does an egg roll wrapper recipe exists that does not require egg?

    Reply
  • Sarah A. May 1, 2011, 5:54 am

    My father’s family is Pilippino but alas I was raised in the Midwest surrounded by my Scotish Presbyterian family. But I loved this post! When we would get together with my dad’s sister and her family lumpia was often an all day event, and a family affair including making homemade lumpia wrappers. Auntie would make the batter, and with a med. sized “special” cast-iron skillet, and a clean natural paint brush would “paint” the wrapper in it! When you find the groove it works like a charm!

    Reply
  • Charlene Johnson August 17, 2011, 7:23 am

    I always use the spring roll wrappers made in Vietnam ,they are great for making fresh spring rolls or making egg rolls,when using for the latter they make for a very nice crisp outer shell,the name on the package is
    Banh Trang,they are made from rice flour,water and salt

    Reply
  • rosie December 16, 2011, 8:30 pm

    what is the recipe of the lumpia wrapper? thanks.

    Reply
  • calvin tolentino June 1, 2012, 10:03 pm

    what are the ingredients in making lumpia wrapper.. pls tell me.. need it badly..

    Reply
  • mschnittker@verizon.net November 21, 2012, 12:30 pm

    We make the Thai version called “bad! bia” using store bought Wei-Chuan Spring Roll Shells that are bought frozen. It’s the best brand so far but all are prone to tearing when rolling, any tips to help prevent the tearing? Figure somebody’s grandmother has some trick.

    Reply
  • Nancy February 20, 2016, 9:47 am

    Did Andrea Nguyen’s book “Asian Dumplings…” have a DVD with it?
    Thanks

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post: