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Lumpiang Sariwa with Ubod (Fresh Lumpia with Hearts of Palm)

Updated: May 23, 2022


Fresh Lumpia or Fresh Spring Rolls are a Filipino style of savoury crepe filled with colourful and crunchy vegetables. It is topped with a sweet and salty peanut sauce and crushed nuts. This dish is made with ground meat, but can easily be made vegetarian! Surely a unique and delicious meal anyone would love.

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If you've have spring rolls, then you are surely not new to its concept - thin pastry filled with meat and or vegetables that are either served fresh, or deep fried, then served with a delicious sauce.

Now these are not your typical spring rolls as these are an authentic and unique dish to the Philippines that wherein the 'wrapper' is made with a crepe and is served almost like a main course than an appetizer or snack.

I never really had this when I was growing up in the Philippines, as I would of course lean more toward the fried spring rolls, and although my mom surely had a lot of it and I saw it almost everywhere - coz I mean, what kid wants a meal that's almost all vegetables? Surely not I at the time. Though now that I've grown up and started appreciating every kind of vegetable, this definitely peaked my interest when my mom made it one day for dinner, and now, I absolutely love it!

It's delicious and filling, and definitely one of the healthier Filipino dishes, and not only that, I have a few tips on how to make this dish vegan and also gluten-free!

What is Lumpiang Sariwa and Ubod?

'Lumpia' - is basically a kind of spring roll that's common in the Philippines and also in Indonesia. They are a snack or appetizer made with meat, vegetables, or a combination of both that are then encased in a thin edible wrapper/pastry usually made of flour, water, and salt then are either served fresh or fried. There are many varieties of lumpia, but the one I'm sharing with you today are Lumpiang Sariwa with Ubod.

In Tagalog (a Philippine dialect), 'sariwa' means 'fresh' and so 'lumpiang sariwa' translates to 'fresh spring roll' and this version is made with ubod - which in the Philippines, refers to hearts of palm - the inner core of the growing bud of certain palm/coconut trees in the Philippines.

Now this is not the same kind of fresh spring roll that's made with rice paper and salad-type ingredients and noodles inside, nor the kind that has been deep fried, nuh uh. Taking from Indonesian and Spanish influence, lumpia originated from Indonesia, then was adapted by the Spanish in colonial times.

This spring roll is made with a crepe as its 'wrapper' which are usually made with flour, water, and egg, though I've made changes to mine for it to have more flavour and structure. The filling is also a lot heartier and is made with lots of crunchy sautéed vegetables along with a choice of protein, typically ground pork, or ground chicken, fresh tofu, or even a combination.

While most other spring rolls are served with dipping sauces like a sweet and sour sauce (like plum sauce) or vinegar-based dipping sauces, and/or sweet chili sauce, this lumpia is served with a sweet and salty type of gravy made of soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and peanut butter, then topped with chopped peanuts for added crunch and texture.

All in all, this recipe is deliciously balanced in flavour and texture, and considered quite a healthy meal given all the different vegetables and proteins in it.

What makes this recipe better than most:

Well for one, the crepe batter is delicious on it's own. Most traditional crepe recipes in the Philippines for lumpiang sariwa only call for flour or cornstarch, water, and salt only making the recipe quite bland and also creating a sort of gummy texture. My recipe, however, incorporates the use of egg, milk, and sugar to add a bit more structure which then also acts as additional flavour and adds richness to the crepe.

This recipe also makes use of ubod or hearts of palm - now this ingredient is quite traditional as it is a very common ingredient in the Philippines and it adds great texture and bulk to the recipe. See substitutions below.

It also contains an abundance of vegetables and makes use of fresh ground pork AND firm tofu, and can easily be a hearty vegetarian meal simply by omitting the meat.

It is a labour of love, and worth it 💯

Though there's quite a bit of prep involved in making this recipe, it is a labour of love as nothing beats hearty vegetables wrapped in a homemade crepe with a deliciously sweet and savoury sauce then topped with crunchy roasted peanuts. All of it was 💯 worth it.

Key components:


Made primarily of flour but also using a traditional ingredient like cornstarch to be the main binder. Milk and eggs are added as the liquid - its richness adds flavour helps build the structure for the crepe. Sugar and salt are also added as flavour enhancers.

The Filling:

Its main protein are minced pork and firm tofu (the pork being a traditional ingredient as is a cheaper and more flavourful option for the Filipinos, and the tofu is added for extra flavour). It is loaded with vegetables like cabbage, carrots, green beans, potatoes, onion, garlic, and ubod or hearts of palm. It is seasoned with soy sauce and patis (fish sauce), which is rich in umami flavour.

For the sauce and topping:

The sauce is made using some of the juices from the filling and is then cooked with soy sauce, patis (fish sauce), minced garlic, brown sugar, and peanut butter to make a rich and flavourful, sweet, and salty sauce that is poured over the crepe and filling.

It is then garnished with crushed salted and roasted peanuts mixed with granulated sugar to give extra crunch.

Notes and Substitutions (and how to make it vegan and gluten-free):

For the crepe: To make this vegan, replace the egg with 1/2 cup (125ml) of Just Egg, a vegan egg replacement.

To make it gluten-free, substitute the all-purpose flour with equal parts gluten-free flour.

For the filling and sauce: Though ground pork is the traditional ingredient used in the Philippines as it is a less expensive cut of meat, it can be substituted with ground chicken or turkey. For a completely vegetarian meal, this can also be replaced with your favourite vegan ground 'meat' like Beyond or Impossible Meat, Yves Ground Round, or anything similar that is available to you.

The ubod (hearts of palm), can be found in most Asian grocery stores in the frozen section, but if is not available, it can be replaced with jicama, or even green jackfruit, or simply omitted.

For the fish sauce, omit it for a vegan option and add more soy sauce. This can also be substituted with coconut aminos or tamari for a gluten-free option, and adjust seasoning to taste.

Green beans can be replaced with wax beans, snap peas, or snow peas.

Cornstarch can be replaced with arrowroot starch.

To add a bit more dimension to the dish, replace the potatoes with sweet potato!

How to make the Lumpiang Sariwa with Ubod (Fresh Lumpia with Hearts of Palm):

To make the crepe:

In a blender, combine milk, flour, cornstarch, eggs, sugar, and salt until completely blended and smooth, then let it rest before using.

In a 9" non-stick skillet over medium heat, spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour about 1/4 cup of the crepe and swirl it around to evenly coat the pan. Cook until the edges are dry and start to peel away from the pan, then gently flip using a spatula, and let cook until set. *Note that the crepe is not meant to have any golden colour, but cooked just enough until it is cooked through and set. Transfer to a plate, with wax paper in between each crepe to prevent them from sticking to one another.

To make the filling:

In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat, and cook the onion, garlic, and ground pork until the pork is fully cooked. Add the potatoes, carrot, and ubod (hearts of palm) and let that cook. Next, add in the cabbage, green beans, tofu, soy sauce, fish sauce, and some water and let cook until vegetables have softened and the mixture has released some juices.

To make the sauce and topping:

Take some of the juices from the filling and place in a small pot along with water, soy sauce, fish sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar, peanut butter, minced garlic, and freshly cracked black pepper.

Place over medium heat and whisk until the sauce comes up to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let the mixture cook until it has thickened.

For the topping, mix together the granulated sugar and crushed roasted salted peanuts.

To assemble:

On a crepe, add a piece of lettuce and the cooked pork and vegetable mixture, then roll it up with the edges at the bottom. Transfer to serving plate then pour a generous amount of sauce and garnish with the peanut mixture.

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I'm Adrienne, and I'm a food and prop stylist, recipe developer & tester, cake artist, and food & lifestyle writer and blogger.


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