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These Lumpiang Gulay are the best homemade Filipino vegetable lumpia! They’re made with a delicious vegetable and tofu filling then rolled in authentic lumpia wrappers and fried until golden and crispy. Dip in garlic and vinegar or sweet chili sauce and enjoy!
Table of Contents
What is Lumpiang Gulay?
Similar to Lumpiang Shanghai and Lumpiang Dinamita, lumpiang gulay is a popular, deep fried Filipino-style vegetable spring roll filled with a mixture of various vegetables. They’re often served as a snack, appetizer, or even a vegetarian side dish alongside large Filipino meals suitable for sharing.
In this vegetable lumpia recipe, we’ve opted to include additions like tofu to increase the protein and make them even more delicious!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Aromatics: A simple blend of sautéed onion and garlic creates a flavorful foundation for the filling.
- Vegetables: We used julienned chayote, sweet potatoes, carrots, shredded cabbage, and mung bean sprouts. Other popular additions include jicama, green beans, bell peppers, and water chestnuts. Feel free to adjust the veggies to suit your personal taste buds, but keep the measurements the same. For example, if you replace the jicama with water chestnuts, use 1.5 cups to create the right amount of filling.
- Tofu: Drained and pressed firm tofu is best, but extra firm tofu will work as well. Avoid softer varieties of tofu as they contain too much excess moisture.
- Soy sauce: Adds the perfect savory, umami flavor. If you are making gluten-free lumpia, opt for tamari.
- Lumpia wrappers: I purchase my lumpia wrappers from my local Asian market and find them in the refrigerated or freezer sections. If you do not have Asian grocery stores near you, you may be able to find them in larger grocery stores too. If needed, wonton wrappers will work BUT the lumpia will look bubbly on the outside.
- Oil: In addition to vegetable oil for frying, you’ll need a small amount of sesame oil to drizzle on the filling.
- Mixing bowls
- Food processor
- Large pot (for frying)
- Kitchen shears or sharp scissors
- Plate or platter and paper towels
- Slotted spoon
How to Make Lumpiang Gulay
Prepare the Filling
- Defrost your lumpia wrappers. If your lumpia wrappers are frozen, thaw them according to the package directions or the night before in the refrigerator.
- Sauté the onion and garlic. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Once warm, add in the onions and garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the root vegetables. Into the same skillet, add the chayote, sweet potato, and carrot and cook until they just begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
- Add the tofu and seasonings. Once the root vegetables begin to soften, add in the tofu, soy sauce, and ground black pepper. Stir gently to combine and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Stir in the cabbage and bean sprouts. Gently stir in the cabbage and bean sprouts until well combined. Cook for 2 more minutes. Season with additional salt and black pepper to taste, as needed. remove from heat and drizzle with sesame oil, mix through.
- Drain the excess moisture. Transfer the lumpiang gulay filling to a colander in the sink and drain the excess liquid. Allow the mixture to cool before wrapping.
Wrap the Lumpiang Gulay
- Heat your frying oil. Fill a large, deep pot with 2-3 inches of frying oil and heat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer, set the pot over medium-low heat to start. I like to start the heat on low and increase the heat as needed because if it becomes too hot, it will take a long time to cool down to the correct temperature.
- Fill the vegetarian lumpia. Carefully peel one lumpia wrapper off of the pile and place it on a clean work surface (in a square, not a diamond shape). Place 1 ½ tablespoons of filling toward the bottom edge of the wrapper and spread it out into a long line. If you have excess filling on your fingers, wipe it on the inside of the wrapper so it doesn’t get wasted.
- Fold the rolls. Fold the edge closest to you over the filling and tightly tuck the bottom of the wrapper under the filling. Roll into a long cigar shape (similar to a vegetable egg roll). Dip your fingers into the small cup of water, wet the end of the wrapper, and roll shut making sure it sticks. As you work, place the lumpia seam side down on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining filling.
- Prep for frying. Line a large plate or platter with paper towels and set aside. This will be used to drain the oil once the vegan spring rolls are fried.
- Test the oil. Test the oil with one spring roll and see if it is hot enough. It should take about 4-5 minutes to become golden brown. If it is a lot faster, the oil is too hot. If it is slower, the oil is not hot enough.
- Fry the remaining lumpia. Once the hot oil reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit, add about 5-8 lumpia to the oil (depending on the size of your pot) and fry the Lumpiang Shanghai for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Place the lumpia on the paper towel-lined plate to drain off the excess oil.
- Serve fried lumpia immediately with a dipping sauce of your choice. Enjoy!
We haven’t tested an oven-baked version of this lumpia, but you can air fry them while fresh or frozen. To air fry, coat the outside of the lumpia with a thin layer of cooking oil and place them in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Air fry at 360 degrees Fahrenheit for 14 minutes, flipping halfway through.
If you are gluten-free, replace the lumpia wrappers with rice paper or another gluten-free type of wrapper. If you’ve never fried with rice paper before, refer to this tutorial for making Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls that Won’t Explode When You Cook Them! Note that her recipe is NOT vegan, but the technique is helpful.
If the wrappers are not sealed with just water, use cornstarch glue instead. Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1⁄3 cup of water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat. Stir often, until thickened into a glue-like consistency then cool until it is easy to handle. Use in place of the water on the corner of the wrapper to help seal them shut.
Vegetable lumpia is traditionally served as a street food or snack with a garlic and vinegar dipping sauce for a tangy kick! They can also be served with additional dipping sauces like sweet chili sauce or peanut sauce, as desired.
Storage and Make Ahead Instructions
Once fried, lumpia is best served immediately while fresh and crispy. If you’d like to make them in advance, keep the lumpia covered in a single layer in the refrigerator with a damp paper towel over top until ready to fry (this method is best if you are planning to fry the same day).
Lumpia can also be frozen if you’d like to prep them more than one day in advance. To freeze, transfer all of the folded (un-fried) lumpia to a baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the freezer to flash freeze. Once frozen, transfer the lumpia into an airtight container or bag and place in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Appetizers and Sides