Lumpia wrappers, also known as Popiah, have a crepe-like form but are more elastic and stronger, making them able to withstand stuffings of different kinds, from chicken to vegetables to beef and more. But is lumpia wrapper gluten free? Here is all you should know, including an easy-to-make lumpia wrapper recipe.
What Are Lumpia Wrappers?
Lumpia wrappers are thinner than regular egg roll wrappers. They are used to make the Filipino fried spring rolls and the lumpia we all love. They are derived from wheat flour, water, cornstarch, and salt and are usually cooked on a hot griddle.
Lumpia wrappers have similarities with the Vietnamese spring roll wrappers, but they are more durable and elastic, all thanks to the gluten in the wheat. They are filled with ingredients such as vegetables, ground pork, tofu, and shrimp and served with dripping sauce.
What Does Lumpia Wrappers Taste Like?
Since lumpia wrappers are usually very thin, they lack a strong flavor of their own. Adding vanilla and sugar to the batter gives it a note of sweetness. Lumpia wrappers have one of the most crispy textures of all wrappers.
Are Lumpia Wrappers Gluten Free?
Traditional Lumpia wrappers are made from a mixture of water, rice flour, cornstarch, and salt, which makes them gluten-free. In some cases, different kinds of wrappers can be used for commercial lumpia sold at restaurants, which could contain wheat. To be on the safe side, always inquire about the ingredient used in the wrapper each time you dine out.
When purchasing lumpia wrappers, go for certified gluten free lumpia wrappers made from 100% rice flour, or just make them yourself at home. The good news is that they are not hard to make, and shortly, we will be sharing our homemade gluten-free lumpia wrapper recipe.
Gluten Free Lumpia Wrapper Brands
These brands don’t necessarily make gluten-free lumpia wrappers. They make other kinds of wrappers that are not made with any gluten-containing ingredients but can be excellent for lumpia wrappers, and I have used them to achieve crispy, delicious lumpia before I started making my own. Here are my favorite three gluten-free lumpia wrapper brands:
STAR ANISE FOODS Spring Roll Rice Wrapper
These Star Anise gluten-free wrappers are made from cassava, rice, salt, and water and they taste just fine. I have used this for the Vietnamese egg rolls, spring rolls, and even to roll up beef and green pepper I was craving one afternoon, and it turned out fine. However, don’t expect the elasticity found with gluten-containing wrappers.
Mom’s Place Gluten-Free Egg Roll or Wonton Wrap Mix
This is a mix and will need some input from you to become a great wrapper. It is fun to make, as it gives you the satisfactory feeling of getting involved in all the processes of making lumpia. All you need to do is add some vegetable oil, water, and eggs. It is made from brown rice flour, potato starch, sugar, xanthan gum, salt, sorghum flour, and non-GMO cornstarch. Why I love this mix is that it tastes almost like wheat-based wrappers, all thanks to the sorghum.
Best of Thailand [Square] White Rice Paper
This is my preferred option. It is made from rice flour. I find it strong and doesn’t break easily. It is free from preservatives, kosher-certified, has a lower calorie and fat content, and is super versatile.
Lumpia Wrappers Ingredients
Here’s a table of common ingredients found in lumpia wrappers, indicating whether they are typically gluten-free or not:
|Tapioca flour (sometimes used in combination with rice flour)
|Cornstarch (occasionally used)
|Wheat flour (in some non-traditional or mixed wrappers)
How To Make Gluten-free Lumpia Wrappers
Many lumpia wrappers may contain gluten, as it helps them retain elasticity. But we don’t want to go through the issues of gluten sensitivity, which is why we need to make these wrappers ourselves, ensuring they are gluten-free.
Our gluten-free lumpia wrapper recipe includes flour that is easy to source and is just as versatile and delicious as the store-bought wrappers. A major problem faced with gluten-free lumpia wrappers is the absence of binders like xanthan gum, psyllium husk, and guar guar, which aid the dough in coming together.
I was able to get over this hindrance by scalding the tapioca or rice flour with hot, boiling water (a method I learned from Whattocooktoday). This process will gelatinize the starch. The boiling water will make the starch granules swell, dissolve into a paste, and absorb water, causing the starch to become flexible.
The following recipe is easy to make, free from binders, eggless, and dairy-free.
Here in the U.S., tapioca flour and starch are the same thing and are derived from cassava or tapioca roots.
The priority here is any rice with a fine texture. A milled store-bought rice flour will do. You can use any brand.
For this recipe, I prefer sweet mashed potatoes.
For the taste, I use fine sea salt.
The water must be searing hot as it will be used to gelatinize the starch, which is a huge part of the homemade lumpia gluten-free recipe.
- Slice thinly the potatoes you have peeled and steam for five minutes, then mash the potatoes with a spatula or fork.
- In a heat-proof mixing bowl, mix the tapioca flour, rice flour, and salt.
- Boil about 100g of water, turn into the mixture of flour, and stir with a spoon.
- Wash your hands thoroughly for the next step.
- Add the mashed potatoes to the flour mix and knead into a dough with your hand. Access the dough; if it feels too dry, add more hot water and keep kneading till your dough is nice enough.
- Cover the dough and allow it to sit for 21 minutes; the starch should have enough time to absorb as much liquid.
- To make sure the dough is soft and elastic after resting, knead it for around 2–3 minutes. Cut into eight equal pieces. Keep them well-covered.
- Create a 4-inch round by flattening the dough.
- It is simpler to wrap the fillings when you roll out the dough into a big circle, about 7 inches in diameter.
- Do the same with the other doughs, and to stop them from drying out, cover them in plastic wrap.
- Preheat a large pan (a heavy bottom is preferred). Sprinkle some water and cook each side of the wrapper for a minute or two; do not allow them to brown.
- Repeat the 11th step for all the wrappers. To ensure they stay soft, cover them with a towel.
- Over medium heat, stir a mixture of tapioca starch and water into a consistent paste (glue paste) and let it cool.
- 1-2 teaspoons of filling should be placed on the wrap’s lower end closest to you. To cover, fold the bottom over. Overlap the two sides. Roll the item up into a spring roll form and spread some of the previously created glue paste on the two sides and the top.
- Preheat 2 inches of your preferred oil in a saucepan. You can drop a little dough in the oil, and if it bubbles, you’re good to go. Fry the spring roll in batches of 4 or as much as your pan can contain. Fry until it’s a bit golden brown.
- Dry the oil residue with an absorbent paper towel.
- If you want a crispy feel, you will need to fry them again until the wrappers crisp up.
- You can then serve it with a gluten-free white wine like Sauvignon Blanc and a gluten-free chili sauce of your choice.
Lumpia wrappers provide an awesome way to enjoy our vegetable and protein fillings deep-fried, but they contain gluten as they are made from wheat flour. However, you could always access other gluten-free rice wrappers that would still taste just good.