Lumpia wrappers are also referred to as Popiah and more generally as spring roll wrappers are thin paper-like skins. They are soft and light textured but they are strong enough to wrap and hold your fillings without breaking apart.
Lumpia wrap is a form of crepes but in this case, it’s stronger and more elastic which makes it very durable in holding different types of stuffing from vegetables to chicken to beef and much more. A good Lumpia Wrapper (Spring Roll Wrapper) is necessary if you enjoy making crispy spring rolls from scratch.
Unlike the store bought version the homemade lumpia wraps are more springy and more durable. They are made from just four simple ingredients. Flour, cornstarch, Water, and Salt. These ingredients are combined to form an extremely wet and viscous dough.
This dough, being a wet dough, cannot be kneaded the way we knead bread, therefore the process of lifting it up and slamming it down on the bowl comes in. This process enables us to develop the gluten in the dough. This gluten development is very important because it helps to give the lumpia wrappers the elasticity it needs to hold different stuffing without breaking apart.
Let’s go through the step by step process of making the Lumpia Wrappers (Spring Roll Wrappers):
Step 1: Make the Lumpia batter
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix together until everything is well blended. Create a well at the center then add the water. Mix together until a wet and viscous dough is formed.
Step 2: Lift and slam the batter
Lifting and slamming it is the best way to develop the gluten. This process will help to achieve a very elastic wrap. After lifting and slamming for some time, the dough will soon begin to hold together like a rope. At this point, you know you’ve done a good job. (Update: You can use a stand mixer or a hand mixer for this step).
Step 4: Keep the dough in the fridge
Cover the lumpia dough and leave in the fridge for about two hours.
Step 5: Cook the wraps
Smear the dough on a hot griddle on a medium heat with a quick circular hand motion. The dough will adhere to the pan. After a few seconds. You will notice the edges of the skin pulling away from the pan. At this point, you can peel off the skin from the pan.
The first video I made on how to make lumpia wrappers, I used my had to lift and slam down the dough a couple of times but now, I use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. It’s way easier. You can also use the handheld mixer for it.
I now cook the wrappers after 5 minutes of rest on the table top without putting the dough in the fridge. I see no difference in my result.
It safe to use a mixer for mixing the dough food processor works just as well… Whew! What a relief
It is safe not to put the dough in the fridge for hours. I noticed no difference in my result.
Finally, it safe to skip the cornstarch, corn flour or Tapioca starch.
If the skin is sticking to the griddle, try using a clean wet kitchen towel to wipe the griddle then continue smearing
Lumpia skins have since gained popularity in different parts of the word and often times apart from being a delightful street food it is also a part of the celebration in places like West Africa, Nigeria to be precise, it is usually filled with minced meat or chicken and vegetables. Wrapped and deep fried and served to guests.
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