Lumpia is great to eat as an appetizer, dunked into some sweet chili or sweet and sour sauce! They are wonderfully crispy on the outside and filled with a variety of ingredients.
While lumpia can be a very social food to prepare and cook together in the kitchen, it can be quite tedious, and for this reason, you can buy frozen lumpia to cook at home.
You might be nervous to cook frozen lumpia, as you would want them to still turn out beautifully crispy.
How do you cook frozen lumpia? You can either cook frozen lumpia by deep-frying, in an air fryer, or in the oven. Done right, all of these ways will give you delicious lumpia. While all three methods are great, you will definitely get the best results by deep-frying frozen lumpia.
If lumpia is on your to-eat list, keep reading to find out the best ways to cook it to enjoy the crispy outside and the delicious filling!
What Is Lumpia?
Before moving on to the best ways to cook frozen lumpia, it helps to know exactly what it is. Lumpia is a famous appetizer or finger food from the Philippines. It is often served at parties and can be found in restaurants too.
Spring roll wrappers are wrapped around fillings which could be chopped up vegetables with minced beef, pork, or chicken, or just veggies on their own. Certain areas serve lumpia filled with seafood.
This is all seasoned beautifully before the lumpia is wrapped up and fried.
Lumpia is often served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce, or a sweet chili sauce depending on what you prefer.
It is a social food to make together in the kitchen, preparing the filling and wrapping the individual rolls, however, it is time-consuming, which is why you can buy lumpia ready-made and frozen.
Frying Frozen Lumpia
Frying frozen lumpia is possibly the best way to cook it. It will give you results as close to fresh lumpia as possible and will give you a crispy outside and a warm, delicious filling.
Frying will also not dry out the lumpia filling, so it will be juicy and moist.
Here is how to fry lumpia:
- Pour oil into a pan, deep enough to submerge the lumpia in for even cooking.
- Leave the oil to heat until it reaches around 375°F.
- Place the lumpia into the oil, 1 at a time, using tongs. Cook about 3 lumpia at a time in the oil so that it is not overcrowded.
- Leave the lumpia to cook for about 3 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove the lumpia with tongs and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.
- Continue to cook the lumpia in batches until all are cooked through and crispy.
The benefit of cooking the lumpia by frying is that you can cook them from frozen, and it is actually advised to do so, as this allows it to remain crispy.
The problem with frying lumpia is that you have to heat up the oil first, and the fact that you are cooking the lumpia in oil is fairly unhealthy. Draining the lumpia on paper towels helps to remove excess oil somewhat.
Lumpia are traditionally fried, so it makes sense that deep-frying them would give you the best results, and a beautiful gold, crisp exterior, and juicy, moist filling.
Baking Frozen Lumpia
If you do not want to fry the lumpia in oil or have quite a few to cook at one time, you can bake frozen lumpia in the oven.
You will still be able to crisp the outside beautifully, and enjoy a moist filling.
Here is how to cook frozen lumpia in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Line a baking sheet with some baking paper or aluminum foil to reduce clean-up.
- Place the frozen lumpia down in a single row, trying to not make them touch if possible. If they are too crowded, they will not crisp up.
- Leave the lumpia to cook in the oven for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, remove the lumpia and check to see if they are heated through and crispy on the outside. If not, put them back in the oven for another 5 minutes and check again.
Do not let the lumpia thaw before cooking them in the oven, as this would cause them to be soggy and chewy. Cooking them from frozen keeps them crispy and moist.
The downside of cooking frozen lumpia in the oven is that you have to wait for the oven to heat up, and while this isn’t a problem in the long run, when you want some lumpia, you don’t want to have to wait that long!
Cooking Frozen Lumpia In The Air Fryer
For those who have an air fryer at home, you can easily, and healthily, cook up some frozen lumpia in next to no time!
Using an air fryer means that you can cook lumpia without using any oil, which is a much healthier way to do so. While you don’t use oil to cook the lumpia, it will still cook to be crispy and juicy.
Here is how to cook lumpia in the air fryer:
- Preheat the air fryer to 375°F.
- Once preheated, place the frozen lumpia into the air fryer basket. Make sure not to overcrowd the basket, and that each lumpia has some space around it.
- Place the basket into the air fryer, and leave them to cook for 9 minutes.
- After 9 minutes, remove the basket, flip the lumpia over, and then place them back in the air fryer for another 9 minutes.
- Check the lumpia after this time, to check that they have been cooked through and the wrapper is crispy. You can increase the cooking time by 3 minutes if necessary.
- Repeat this for the remaining lumpia.
It is important to not overcrowd the air fryer basket. Air fryers work by circulating air, and if there are too many things packed into the basket, the air will not circulate properly and the lumpia will not cook and crisp up.
Using an air fryer is great to quickly cook frozen lumpia, and to do so without any oil! It might not be the best option for cooking lots of lumpia at once, but it is worth it if you are looking for a healthier cooking option.
Can You Refreeze Lumpia?
If you have taken lumpia out of the freezer and left it to thaw, or cooked frozen lumpia, you might be wondering if you can refreeze it.
The rule is that you should never refreeze food. Not only will refreezing food lower the quality quite drastically, but there is a higher chance of bacteria growth too.
Once you have thawed lumpia, it should be cooked. If you have cooked frozen lumpia, you should try to eat it before it spoils as it is not a good idea to freeze it again.
Do I Need To Thaw Lumpia Before Cooking?
There is no need to thaw lumpia before cooking it by frying it, baking it, or cooking it in the air fryer.
It is actually recommended to cook it from frozen, as this helps to keep the wrapper crispy and golden, and the filling intact and juicy.
Thawing the lumpia before cooking can result in it being soggy and the wrapper being chewy, which is definitely not what you would be hoping for when you take a bite!
Not having to thaw the lumpia also means you can get to cook it quicker.
Now that we’ve gone over the best ways to cook frozen lumpia, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!
How do you know when lumpia is cooked?
You can determine that lumpia is cooked if the wrapper goes a golden brown color.
If you are still unsure, you can break the lumpia open and check that the filling has been heated all the way through and is piping hot.
Can you cook lumpia in olive oil?
You can cook lumpia in olive oil, but you just have to make sure that you do not heat the olive oil up past its smoking point, as this could give the lumpia a burnt taste.
Once the olive oil is hot, you can fry the lumpia in it for around 3-5 minutes per batch, until hot and golden brown.
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