Vegan Lumpia | A vegan twist on Filipino lumpia Shanghai, usually filled with pork, carrot, and onion. This vegan version combines plant based ground with carrot, onion, garlic, and sesame oil, wrapped in spring roll wrappers, and fried until crispy and golden brown.
A few years ago my family would get lumpia from a family owned Filipino restaurant just down the street, and I was always jealous because they smelled good, and looked so crispy. I felt inspired to create a vegan lumpia that was made with similar ingredients, full of flavour, and just as crispy.
Lumpia is a Filipino spring roll. This recipe is inspired by lumpia Shanghai, which is traditionally filled with pork, carrot and onion. Some recipes call for cabbage and water chestnuts, but I’m keeping it simple.
Soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper and garlic are used to season the mixture, and then the mixture is tightly wrapped in spring roll wrappers and deep fried until golden brown. Or, you can bake them in an air fryer.
How to make vegan lumpia
Start by sauteeing onion in some sesame oil, just until they’re slightly translucent. Then add shredded carrot, and the plant based ground. Break the meat alternative up with a wooden spatula and cook it all the way through.
Then add garlic, soy sauce, salt and pepper to the mixture, and cook until the garlic is fragrant. Let the mixture cool before wrapping it up in spring roll or lumpia wrappers.
Shallow fry the lumpia for 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally to brown all sides. Serve with homemade sweet and sour sauce or sweet chilli sauce.
How to make vegan lumpia in the air fryer
Prep the vegan lumpia, following the instructions below. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F and place the vegan lumpia onto the airfryer tray or basket. Spray them with oil, or gently brush with oil, and bake for 7-8 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Air fryer lumpia is a healthy alternative to deep fried lumpia, and they turn out just as crispy and delicious.
What kind of plant based ground is best?
When it comes to the world of plant based meat alternatives, there are now so many store-bought products. The most popular brands include Beyond Meat, Impossible, and Gardein. Some brands can be pretty expensive, but I’ve recently discovered Your Fresh Market, which is almost half the price of Beyond Meat, but tastes very similar.
Beyond Meat and Your Fresh Market are both soy-free, while Impossible and Gardein contain soy.
All of these products would be great for making vegan lumpia. It’s totally up to you based on price, availability, texture, and taste.
Spring roll wrappers vs lumpia wrappers
Spring roll wrappers and lumpia wrappers are made with similar ingredients, just flour, water, salt and sometimes cornstarch, depending on the recipe. Lumpia wrappers are Filipino spring roll wrappers, and they’re thinner than traditional Chinese spring roll wrappers. Both types of wrappers are used for enveloping fillings.
More about the ingredients in this recipe. The exact measurements are below.
Mix the cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of water and set aside. Heat the ketchup, water, brown sugar and vinegar in a pot over medium high heat. Once boiling, add the cornstarch slurry and whisk. Continue cooking for 3-4 more minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
Heat the sesame in a frying pan over medium heat and add the onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until slightly browned and translucent.
Add the carrot and vegan ground. Break the ground up and cook it through. About 6-8 minutes.
Add the soy sauce, salt and pepper. Then the garlic. Cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds, then let the mixture cool until you can touch it.
Place a wrapper in front of you, so it looks like a diamond. Place 2 tablespoons of the filling in the centre, in the shape of a log.
Fold the bottom corner over the filling.
Fold the sides in, roll towards the top corner, and brush it with water.
Tightly roll the lumpia up, and set aside.
Heat about an inch of oil over medium low heat in a pan with high sides. Fry 4-6 lumpia at a time, for 3-4 minutes. Using tongs, turn them occasionally to brown all sides.
Transfer the vegan lumpia to a wire rack with paper towel underneath to let the excess oil drip off. Then, serve the lumpia with my sweet and sour sauce, or your favourite dipping sauce.
Tips for making vegan fried spring rolls
What to serve with vegan lumpia Shanghai
Serve the vegan lumpia as an appetizer, with sweet and sour sauce, or sweet chili sauce. Sprinkle the lumpia with sliced green onion or chopped cilantro.
Store vegan lumpia in the fridge, wrapped in plastic wrap or in an air tight container for up to 3-4 days. Or, freeze the lumpia in an air tight container or freezer bag. You can premake the filling and keep it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
To reheat, bake in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway.
For meal prep, make the vegan lumpia but don’t cook it. Layer the uncooked spring rolls between parchment paper in an air tight container. Freeze for up to 6 months, and deep fry from frozen when you’re ready.
Yes, you can freeze lumpia in an air tight container, layered between parchment paper, and air fry from frozen at 400°F.
Spring roll wrappers are made with only flour, water and salt, making them accidentally vegan friendly.
Filipino lumpia wrappers are thinner than spring roll wrappers, though they are made with almost the same ingredients.
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 340 grams plant based ground I use Your Fresh Market Meatless Ground
- ¼ yellow onion diced
- ¼ cup carrot shredded
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 18 spring roll or lumpia wrappers
- neutral oil for frying canola, vegetable, peanut, etc.
Sweet and sour sauce
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan, over medium low heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until slightly browned and translucent.
- Add the shredded carrot and plant based ground. Break the ground apart and mix until combined. Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until browned and fully cooked through.
- Add the soy sauce, salt, and black pepper, and stir to combine. Add the garlic and cook for 30-40 seconds, or until fragrant. Set the mixture aside and let cool.
- Place a spring roll wrapper in front of you, so it looks like a diamond. Add 2 tablespoons of the filling to the centre of the wrapper, and form it into the shape of a log.
- Fold the bottom corner over the filling, and then fold the sides in. Lightly brush the top corner with water, then roll the lumpia all the way up, sealing it closed. Repeat with the rest of the wrappers.
- Line a baking sheet with paper towel, and place a wire rack on top. You can transfer the cooked lumpia to the wire rack to cool and let the excess oil drip off.
- Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a pan with high sides on medium low heat. Using tongs, place 4-6 lumpia into the oil. Don't overcrowd the pan. Fry for 3-4 minutes, flipping occasionally to brown all sides. Remove from the oil when they are golden brown and transfer to the wire rack.
Sweet and sour sauce
- Mix the cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of water and whisk to combine, getting rid of any clumps.
- Add the ketchup, water, brown sugar, white vinegar, and soy sauce to a pot and heat on medium high heat. Once boiling, add the cornstarch slurry and whisk. Cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
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