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Home Recipes Chicken Filipino inspired grilled chicken lumpia recipe

Lumpia is by far one of my favorite appetizers because each roll of meat and veggies is packed with so much flavor and surrounded by a perfectly crispy shell. t

Dipping lumpia into sauce.

What is lumpia

Lumpia is one of the most popular dishes in the Philippines. It’s similar to a fried egg roll or spring roll, but the wrapper is thinner, which makes it extra flaky and crispy. There are several different types of lumpia.

Lumpiang Shanghai is made with ground pork, chicken or beef along with minced onions, carrots, garlic and various seasonings.

Lumpiang Gulay is a vegetarian version of lumpia. It is filled with a variety of fresh vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, green beans, bean sprouts and sometimes jicama (singkamas) or sweet potato (kamote). The vegetables are typically stir-fried or sautéed before being wrapped in the lumpia wrapper.

Lumpiang Ubod has a filling made from the inner core of the coconut palm tree. The ubod is typically sautéed with garlic, onions and shrimp before being wrapped in the lumpia wrapper.

Turon is a sweet style of lumpia filled with saba bananas coated in brown sugar. Sometimes ripe jackfruit (langka) is added, as well. This is one of my faves!


Why grilled chicken?

My Filipino mother-in-law tells me she makes great lumpia, but she jokes that she hasn’t made it since 1986 – well before I met my husband. So I just have to take her word for it.

She did share her recipe with me years ago, and her mom taught me how to make lumpia before she passed. From those lessons, I’ve created my Filipino-inspired version of chicken lumpia using grilled chicken thighs.

When making lumpia Shanghai, you can either pre-cook the ground meat or combine the raw meat with the veggies and let it cook up in the hot oil.

The raw method makes some people nervous, so this grilled chicken filling is a great alternative.

Inside of chicken lumpia.

Ingredients

Lumpia ingredients: wrappers, carrots, cabbage, green onions, vinegar, soy sauce, spices and chicken.
  • Lumpia Wrappers: I strongly recommend you find authentic lumpia wrappers. They are thinner than egg roll and wonton wrappers and are a must for getting that signature lumpia crunch. They can be round or square; it doesn’t matter.
  • Chicken thighs: Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. The dark meat provides more flavor and richness than chicken breast.
  • Veggies: Green cabbage, carrots and green onions
  • Seasonings: White vinegar and soy sauce are staples of the Philippines. These two ingredients are used in many different recipes like adobo. You’ll also use kosher salt, black pepper, granulated garlic and granulated onion.
  • Heat: If you like a little heat, add sambal oelek to the filling.

See the full recipe card below for servings and a full list of ingredients.

bottles of BBQ rubs on black background

How to cook chicken lumpia

Before you pull out your ingredients, pre-heat your grill to medium-high to high heat (400F degrees) with a direct heat zone.

  1. STEP ONE: Place the chicken thighs on a pan. Season all sides with soy sauce, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and onion.
Seasoned grilled chicken thighs.
  1. STEP TWO: Place the seasoned chicken thighs on a preheated grill. Grill over direct heat for 4 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and let rest.
  1. STEP THREE: While the chicken is resting, shred the cabbage and carrots and dice the green onions. You can also use pre-shredded ingredients. Mix them together in a large bowl.
Bowl of shredded cabbage, carrots and green onions.
  1. STEP FOUR: Chop the grilled chicken. Add it to the shredded vegetables and season with more soy sauce, white vinegar and salt. This is where you can add the sambal for a little heat.
  1. STEP FIVE: To roll the lumpia, separate one lumpia wrapper from the stack. Place 2 tablespoons of the filling toward one edge of the wrapper. Fold the sides over. Then, fold the other side over and roll it tightly. Add a dab or two of water to the end. This will help it seal.

PRO TIP: As you’re rolling your lumpia, keep the stack of wrappers covered with a damp paper towel so they don’t dry out.

  1. STEP SIX: Heat a pot of oil to 375F degrees. Fry the lumpia in small batches for 2-3 minutes. You want them to be golden brown.
Chicken lumpia frying.
  1. STEP SEVEN: Remove the lumpia from the hot oil and place on a paper towel-lined pan to drain off excess grease. I like to add a pinch of kosher salt at this point, too.
Fried lumpia on paper towel to drain grease.

How to serve chicken lumpia

Let the lumpia cool just a bit before biting into it. It’s so tempting to dig in, but the filling is super hot when it first comes out of the oil.

Lumpia can be served with a soy vinegar dipping sauce (recipe below) or traditional sweet chili sauce. It’s a great finger food or appetizer to serve at a party. 

Platter of chicken lumpia with sauce.

Try using this chicken lumpia filling to make lumpia tacos.

Storage

Leftover lumpia can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. The longer it’s in the fridge, the soggier it gets. The best way to reheat them is in an air fryer.

If you want to freeze lumpia, freeze them before you fry them. You can fry them straight from the freezer. They just take a couple of minutes longer.

Rolled lumpia on a pan.

GCG Pro Pitmaster Tips

  • Make sure you use authentic lumpia wrappers
  • Chicken thighs provide more flavor than breasts
  • Lightly season your veg and cooked chicken, you don’t want it too liquidy
  • Fry until golden, drain the excess oil

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use egg roll wrappers to make lumpia?

You can, but it won’t taste the same. Lumpia wrappers are thinner and create a really smooth, crispy shell. Egg roll and won ton wrappers blister and have a thicker bubbly-like texture.

Is lumpia the same as spring rolls?

They are similar in that they both usually include meat and vegetables wrapped in pastry. Lumpia are fried; whereas spring rolls can be served fried or fresh.

Are lumpia wrappers and spring roll wrappers the same?

Some brands of lumpia wrappers also include the term spring roll wrapper on the box. But some spring roll wrappers may also say egg roll wrappers on the packaging. Egg roll wrappers are not the same as lumpia wrappers. It’s important to find packaging that says lumpia.

Can I make lumpia in an air fryer?

One of the things that makes lumpia so amazing is the glossy, crispy shell. When you air fry these lumpia, you don’t get the same results. I have tried spraying them with cooking oil and air frying them, but it’s still not the same as deep frying them.


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5 from 1 vote

Grilled Chicken Lumpia

This delicious chicken lumpia recipe uses grilled chicken thighs wrapped in thin pastry. It's the perfect crispy Filipino-inspired appetizer.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 31 minutes
Total Time: 46 minutes
Servings: 22

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 6 thighs

Chicken Marinade

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp granulated onion
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper

Shredded Veggies + Filling

  • 4 cups green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sambal oelek, optional
  • salt to taste

Remaining Ingreidents

  • 24 lumpia wrappers
  • 2 cups oil for frying

Soy Vinegar Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • pinch red pepper flakes

Instructions 

  • Heat Grill: Heat your grill to medium-high to high heat (400F degrees with a direct heat zone.
  • Season chicken: Place the chicken on a rimmed sheet pan or in a bowl. Season with 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic, 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat evenly. 
  • Grill: Grill the seasoned chicken over direct heat for 4 minutes per side. Let rest 5 minutes. Chop.
  • Prepare Filling: In a large bowl, mix the carrots, cabbage and green onions with 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sambal. Mix in chopped chicken. Season to taste with salt, if needed. 
  • Heat Oil: Heat oil in a large pot to 375F degrees. 
  • Roll: Place one lumpia wrapper on the counter. Place 2 tablespoons of filling toward the edge of the wrapper. (see pics above) Fold the sides over the filling. Working from the side where you added the filling, fold that end over. Roll gently squeezing so it’s wrapped tightly. Before you get to the end, dip 2-3 fingers in water and pat the water on the end of the wrapper. Finish rolling it and seal it with the wet edge. Place on a pan seam side down until ready to fry. 
  • Fry: Fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Don't overcrowd the pot.
  • Drain: Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel-lined pan or plate to drain the excess oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. 
  • Make Sauce: Mix all of the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with the lumpia.

Video

Notes

Makes 20-24 lumpia.

Nutrition

Calories: 198kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 9gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.05gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 419mgPotassium: 148mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 966IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Filipino
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to rate it, leave a comment and save it so you can make it again. Show off your awesome results on social by tagging @girlscangrill

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Hey BBQ Family

Hi. I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and have dozens of top ten category finishes. People know me as the girl who is forever hovering over a grill, smoker or campfire with tongs in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

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