We’ve all been there: standing in front of a plate of lumpia, wishing you could eat all 100 pieces. The appetizer is a staple in all Filipino celebrations. It’s always one of the first things to run out, either during the meal itself or when everybody packs food in to-go containers after the party. No one can resist the trifecta of a crispy lumpia wrapper, meaty filling, and sweet chili sauce. We’ve taken all of those characteristics and applied them to this lumpia salad recipe.
We’ll be the first to admit that, yes, this is basically a de-constructed lumpia. It’s not a conventional healthy green salad, so we can’t really recommend it for people looking to eat “lighter” and “healthier.” What it is, instead, is a hearty, flavorful, textured appetizer. It promises everything you love about lumpia without the extra effort of having to roll individual pieces.
How to Make Lumpia Salad
This lumpia salad recipe starts with our homemade sweet chili sauce; to which you’ll add sesame oil and rice wine vinegar for both a bit of savoriness and brightness. You’ll use this as your dressing, so set this aside for later.
The next step is to fry your pork. You can swap this for or mix in beef or chicken (or maybe even some seafood, if you’re into that). What’s important is that you get a nice sear. You can do this by leaving the meat undisturbed—we mean it, no moving it around—for a few minutes until it’s brown on the outside.
Once you’ve got those crisp parts, add the garlic and ginger, and move everything around, cooking the meat until there are no more pink parts. Don’t forget to season it with salt as you go!
While your meat cools down a bit, add oil to your pan to start frying your lumpia wrappers. Technically, you can do this salad with just the mix-ins and the dressing. But the crunchy wrappers are a non-negotiable part of lumpia, so we couldn’t not have it in there.
It’s very easy to do. Just wait for your oil to get hot, then drop your lumpia wrappers one at a time. It should only take a couple of seconds to cook and crisp up. Let these drain on a paper towel so they don’t get all soggy.
The final step of this recipe is what makes it a salad—tossing everything together.
In a large platter or bowl, combine the cabbage, green onions, carrots, and red onions. Add the slightly cooled pork, then pour the dressing a little at a time, tossing until the ingredients are well-combined and everything’s coated. Finally, top the dish with your fried lumpia wrappers, either whole or in pieces.
This lumpia salad recipe makes for a great salad for large group gatherings—the same way lumpia is a great appetizer for celebrations. We recommend frying a whole bunch of lumpia wrappers for this; it’s the best part.