March 16: National Lumpia Day

Lumpia is a livelihood! When Islander was a child, she would help her Daddy separate sheets of spring roll wrappers so he could quickly make the favorite Filipino snack and sell them on the side. Sometimes people would order from Daddy frozen or fried lumpia for parties around West Oahu. Auntie Maria B. also caters lumpia, Filipino foods and wedding cakes from her home in Waianae. And Auntie Laarni C. is successful at the swap meet in Aiea when she hawks hot lumpia at her stall on the weekends. Islander learned how to make lumpia from them but, unfortunately, not so much about how to commercialize her cooking.

Lumpia is most requested by mainlanders when Islander is invited to potlucks. They take so long to prepare yet they are the fastest to be eaten. Love lumpia? Make them for National Lumpia Day! Or please pay Islander for her lumpia labor so she could supplement our income like her Daddy and aunties do!


(Inspired by Daddy and Aunties)


  • spring roll wrappers
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil for frying


Defrost the spring roll wrappers, separate the sheets, place in a container and cover with a damp cloth until ready to use. Beat the egg with a tablespoon of water and set aside. Combine the ground pork, oyster sauce and grated carrot. Salt and pepper to taste.


With the wrapper in a diamond-shaped direction, place a one-inch size of meat filling in the center. Stretch the meat filling horizontally. Fold the sides of the wrapper inward. Then fold the bottom of the wrapper upward and roll tightly toward the top corner.


Moisten the top corner of the wrapper with the egg wash. Roll and seal. Place each lumpia in a container lined with wax paper. Continue rolling all the lumpia, separating each layer with a sheet of wax paper.


Cover the container with foil and freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen lumpia to zipper-top freezer bags until ready to cook. Heat the oil in a deep fryer. Do not defrost the lumpia.  Carefully plunge them frozen into the hot oil and fry until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot with dipping sauce of your choice.



  • The above recipe is in the style of lumpiang shanghai. Learn about the different varieties of lumpia from Wikipedia.
  • Facebook fans have designated March 16 as National Lumpia Day (observed in the United States but not yet in the Philippines).
  • For a fruit-filled version of lumpia, try our turon (banana lumpia) recipe for National Banana Lovers Day on August 27.