This recipe for Fresh Vegetable Lumpia is meatless, and easy to make. If you're looking for an easy and tasty appetizer or snack, you should try making fresh vegetable lumpia.
Lumpia is a Filipino dish that consists of wraps filled with vegetables and meat.
You can use any combination of vegetables that you like, but some favorites include carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots. We use broccoli slaw as a time saver.
The rolls are then fried until golden brown, and served with a dipping sauce. They're quick and easy to make, and everyone will love them!
Why you will love this recipe
The best thing about lumpia is that it can be tailored to your own taste preferences. You can add whatever vegetables and/or meat you like, so it always feels like a fresh and new experience.
Plus, making lumpia is not as hard as you might think – even beginners can do it easily. Make them ahead of time, freeze them before shallow frying, and you have a quick appetizer to lay out that will really wow your guests!
- Vegetable oil for sauteing and for shallow frying.
- Fresh vegetables - carrots, or shredded broccoli slaw.
- White onion - diced small.
- Green scallions - minced small.
- Garlic, minced.
- Fresh ginger, grated.
- Rice vermicelli, soaked and softened.
- Soy sauce, low sodium or regular.
- Black pepper, ground.
- Lumpia or spring roll wrappers.
- Sweet rice vinegar with sliced chili peppers, or Sweet chili dipping sauce.
Full ingredient amounts and preparation instructions are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to make fresh vegetable lumpia rolls
Soak the noodles
- First soften the dry rice vermicelli noodles. Any Mei Fun noodles will be fine, but I prefer the Mama brand as they are packaged in smaller rice 'cakes' inside the package. Perfect, as we only need 1 'cake'.
- Use 1 rice noodle cake. This would be about 2 oz broke off, if using a solid rice noodle brick.
- Submerge the dry noodles in a bowl of hot water, microwave for 30 seconds to soften. Snip and cut up small with kitchen scissors.
Prepare the vegetable filling
Prepare your vegetable & rice noodle filling, and then set it aside to cool.
- Saute all your vegetables until soft, add the softened and snipped rice noodles.
- Saute a few minutes longer, stirring and mixing well.
How to wrap lumpia (and also spring rolls)
You will use this wrapping method for not only lumpia, but any spring roll. They key is dipping your fingers in the water to dampen the wrapper. This allows it to 'glue' together and not unravel when shallow frying.
- Some brands are separated with film, which saves time!
- Place filling toward the bottom of wrapper, centered.
- After rolling upwards twice, dampen sides with water and fold over, securing.
- Finish rolling up tightly like a mini cigar.
Frying and serving
You will be using a shallow frying method for lumpia. I prefer an electric skillet, as the square shape allows a better fit and less crowing. But, any skillet that is large enough will work.
- Shallow fry, turning so they are golden brown on all sides.
- Serve on a platter with sweet chili dipping sauce.
Stack your fresh vegetable lumpia rolls up on a platter, and serve them with a bowl of sweet chili dipping sauce. These are fabulous finger foods at parties, buffet style dinners, or even as a light starter with a salad like our Cantaloupe Salad.
I use broccoli slaw sold in packages in the produce section of the grocery store. It saves me time grating or chopping, and the broccoli slaw is lower on moisture than many vegetables.
Any in season vegetables can work though. Potatoes, green beans, bok choy, carrots, cabbage, bean sprouts, celery, chopped brussels sprouts. Best results though from vegetables that don't get 'juicy' after cooking (like zucchini, tomatoes, or spinach).
If you love this vegetarian, or Fresh Vegetable Lumpia, you may also want to try our recipe for Turons, or Filipino Banana Lumpia. Turons are made with sweet yellow plantains (or even regular bananas) rolled in brown sugar.
We also have a terrific, authentic Traditional Pork Filipino Lumpia recipe. Ground pork and vegetables is a traditional filling for Filipino lumpia. I was taught this recipe as a teenager living in Subic Bay, Philippines.
- Skillet for preparing vegetable mix
- Electric Skillet or regular skillet for shallow frying
A 12" x 12" electric skillet is awesome for making lumpia. The square shape allows for better spacing than most round skillets, and more even heating. I prefer the ability to manage the heat with the electric skillet better also.
- Don't overfill your lumpia rolls, as that will tear the wrapper.
- Any Mei Fun dry rice noodle will work, but Mama Instant Rice Vermicelli Noodles is packaged with 4 separate cakes, making it easier to work with.
Frequently asked questions
No, but something to absorb liquid from the vegetables is needed. Meats don't ooze liquids like vegetables do, and in order for these fresh vegetable lumpia to hold up as well, something starchy is needed.
You could substitute 1 cup of grated, white potato. Add and cook with the other vegetables. Or, 1 cup of cooked rice, add to cooked vegetable mixture instead of the mei fun or rice noodles.
They do prior to shallow frying. The shallow fried lumpia reheat a bit soggy due to moisture in the vegetables. If you want to make lumpia ahead, freeze the rolls before shallow frying.
Lumpia of all types are typically an appetizer. A sweet sour sauce with some spicy heat is also typical. Thai Sweet Chili sauce sold in the grocery store is perfect.
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Filipino Fresh Vegetable Lumpia
- ½ cup vegetable oil for shallow pan frying lumpia rolls
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil for sauteing vegetable filling
- 4 cups broccoli slaw (one bag in produce department)
- ½ cup onion chopped
- ½ cup green scallions chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ package Mama Instant Rice Vermicelli Noodles (1 of the 4 rice cakes, soak in hot water)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 30 Lumpia wrappers
- Soak the cake of rice noodles in hot water. You can microwave the dry noodles in water for 30 seconds. Cut the softened noodles with clean scissors into approximately ½" to 1" lengths.¼ package Mama Instant Rice Vermicelli Noodles
- Heat a large skillet with the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the broccoli slaw, onion, scallions, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper.2 tablespoon vegetable oil, 4 cups broccoli slaw, ½ cup onion, ½ cup green scallions, 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, 2 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt
- Strain off water from the noodles and add noodles to the skillet with cooking vegetables. Add soy sauce. Stir well and cook for about 3-5 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Lay out a lumpia wrapper on a flat board. Have a small bowl of water nearby for sealing the wrapper. Place two rounded teaspoons of vegetable mixture on the lumpia wrapper. Center placement, but about 2" from bottom edge of wrapper.30 Lumpia wrappers
- Lift the bottom edge of the lumpia wrapper up and over the vegetable filling, rolling twice as you do so.
- Dip your fingers in the water and dampen the left and right sides of the lumpia wrapper. Take the left side of the wrapper and pull toward the center, sealing the damp wrapper against the roll. Repeat with the right side of the wrapper.
- Use fingers dipped in the water, dampen the remaining exposed upper portion of the wrapper. Now gently roll with just enough tightness to create a little tension. roll the wrapper up like a mini cigar. Use water to dampen any loose edges so they all lay smoothly.
- Repeat until all 30 lumpia wrappers are filled. Let sit for a few minutes so all sealing water is absorbed.
- While lumpia rolls are sitting, heat a few tablespoons of the remaining oil in a large skillet or electric skillet. Lay out lumpia in the hot oil, shallow frying and turning until golden brown on all sides, adding more of the remaining oil as needed. Work in small batches. Remove fried lumpia and lay on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.½ cup vegetable oil
- Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.
- The Mama Instant Rice Vermicelli Noodles is packaged with 4 separate cakes. It is so much easier to use than breaking off part of a full brick of noodles.
- The Mei Fun rice noodle ensures your vegetable mixture does not make wet or soggy vegetable lumpia, as the noodles absorb any liquids.
- Don't overfill your lumpia rolls, as that will tear the wrapper. You really only use 2 rounded teaspoons of filling. Lumpia rolls are about 4-6" long and about ¾" in diameter. They are smaller than spring rolls.