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Lumpia are a type of stuffed pastry, like a spring roll. Lumpia or spring roll originated from the Chinese, and other Asian countries have their counterparts, like the popiah of Singapore and Malaysia. In Indonesia, it is also called lumpia.
The term lumpia derives from lunpia (Template:Zh-tp; POJ: jūn-piáⁿ, lūn-piáⁿ) in the Hokkien dialect of Chinese. In Netherlands, it's spelled loempia which is the old Indonesian spelling for lumpia and has also become the generic name for spring roll in Dutch. A variant is the Vietnamese lumpia, wrapped in a thinner piece of pastry, in a size close to a spring roll though the wrapping closes the ends off completely, which is typical for a lumpia .
Lumpiang Hubad literally means naked spring roll. It is basically an unwrapped Lumpiang Sariwa (without the crepe).
Lumpiang Sariwa, or fresh spring rolls in English, consist of shredded fresh vegetables minced ubod (palm tree trunk), flaked chicken, crushed peanuts, and turnips as an extender in a double wrapping of lettuce leaf and a yellowish egg crepe. The accompanying sauce is made from chicken or pork stock, a starch mixture, and fresh garlic. This variety is not fried and is preferred to be around 5 inches in diameter and 8-12 inches in length; it is also the most Filipino among the variants.
This type of lumpia is filled with a mixture of ground pork, minced onion, carrots, and spices held together by beaten egg. It may sometimes contain green peas as extenders. Both lumpiang shanghai and the sweet and sour sauce it is served with attest to the Chinese influence. This variety is one-half inch to an inch in diameter and approximately 4-6 inches in length. It may be served with a spicy sauce or bottled sweet chili sauce instead of a sweet and sour sauce. Ground chicken or flaked fish may be used in place of pork.
Lumpiang Prito literally means fried spring roll. It consists of a pancake filled with bean sprouts and various other vegetables such as string beans and carrots that is briskly fried. Small morsels of meat or seafood may also be added. Though it is the least expensive of the variants, the preparation--the cutting of vegetables and meats into appropriately small pieces and subsequent pre-cooking--may prove taxing and labor-intensive. This variant may come in sizes as little as that of Lumpiang Shanghai or as big as that of Lumpiang Sariwa. It is usually eaten with vinegar and chili peppers, or a soy sauce-and-calamansi juice mixture known as toyo-mansi.
Lumpiang Ubod consists of a thin crepe wrapper filled with strips of ubod (the heart of a coconut palm). The ubod may first be stir-fried with shrimp or pork. It is sometimes served with a sweet garlic-flavored brown sauce. It is a specialty of Silay, Negros Occidental, where it is usually served without sauce. Instead the ubod is stir-fried with flavorful ingredients like spring onions or even chicharon.
Turon is a Philippine dessert made by thinly slicing pieces of saba bananas (ripe plantains) lengthwise. These pieces are dusted with granulated sugar, rolled in lumpia wrapper and fried. Brown sugar is sprinkled to coat the turon while it is in the frying pan to add sweetness to the crepe.
The Lumpia has such enduring popularity that one can see at least one variant at almost any Filipino feast. Its distinct taste and ease of preparation (the Shanghai variant at least) have caused it to be one of the staple food products in local Filipino fast food and restaurant menus (such as Jollibee, Kamayan, and Barrio Fiesta, to name a few). It may be eaten as a snack or as part of a meal.
In The Oxford Companion to Food (1999), Alan Davidson says that the Philippines is the country "where lumpia-making has been carried to a high pitch of excellence."
Fernandez, Doreen G. "Lumpiang Ubod: The Heart of a Tree." In FOOD Magazine, August 2001.