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Monday, December 11, 2023

Is Lumpia Gluten Free? What About Its Wrappers?

What beats a lumpia served with a sweet chili sauce and a great white wine to go with it? Lumpia, or Filipino spring rolls, as they’re fondly called, are made with gluten-free fillings such as vegetables and meat, chicken, pork, shrimp, etc.., but where we usually have gluten threats are in the wrappers and sauce.

Since different varieties of lumpia call for different sauces, you should check with the chef or waiter about the kind of sauce used, just to make sure it is gluten-free. Or if you’re making them at home, go for brands that are certified gluten-free.

Some sauces are made with binders that contain a common gluten source, wheat. Also, some wrappers made out there are made with wheat flour, making them a source of gluten. I have made homemade gluten-free lumpia wrappers over a hundred times and will teach you how to get it done shortly in this writeup.

What Is Lumpia?

Lumpia is one of the numerous types of spring rolls common in the Philippines and Indonesia. Lumpia consists of fresh or cooked chopped beef and vegetable filings. It is usually wrapped in lettuce or a lumpia wrapper (a crepe or paper-like pastry skin) and is often served as a snack or an appetizer.

There are numerous ways of preparing lumpia, and they differ across countries. In the Philippines, where it is a common snack at events and gatherings, there are two types of lumpia, the first being lumpiang hubád, which is also known as “naked spring roll” as it is devoid of a crepe wrap and contains fresh ingredients. While lumpiang Shanghai consists of beef or pork alongside spices and vegetables, The roll is usually complemented with sour and sweet sauces.

Indonesia equally offers numerous lumpia types, the first being the Semarang roll, which is either fried or fresh but contains pre-cooked prawns and bamboo shoots or dried shrimp and is served with a sweet chili and coconut tapioca-based sauce. Another type is known as lumpia basah and consists of carrots, bean sprouts, and shrimp or chicken. I will liken this to the Vietnamese spring roll.

While these sumptuous rolls have become the Philipines, and Indonesia’s favorites and are also eaten in a host of countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, etc., they were introduced around the 19th century by the Chinese settlers.

Love Filipino dishes? Check if Pancit is gluten-free, and our gluten free recipe.

Lumpia Nutritional Sheet

There are over 20 varieties of lumpia, and the nutritional content will vary depending on the ingredients and sauce used. We will be exploring Lumpiang Sariwa.

Fresh Lumpia (Lumpiang Sariwa) Per Serving (Approximately 1 Roll):

  • Calories: 50-100 kcal
  • 10–15 grams of carbs
  • 2–5 g of protein
  • 1-3g of fat
  • 1-3g of fiber
  • 2-4g of sugar
  • 100-200mg of sodium

Is Lumpia Gluten Free?

When it comes to lumpia, I am a lover of this appetizer, and I have made over 15 different types for Thanksgiving, my guests, and randomly for my kids, who won’t stop craving it. Since we are all on a gluten-free diet, I ensure to omit sauces that could contain gluten.

If the lumpia wrappers are not made of wheat flour, then they are gluten-free. Also, most sauces used for lumpia, like tauco sauce, peanut sauce, and palm sugar sauce, are gluten-free. While common fillings such as vegetables, beef, chicken, glass noodles, and bamboo shoots are all gluten-free,

Since there are varieties of lumpia rolls, it is necessary for you to make an inquiry about the ingredients and sauce used in making any lumpia you purchase to ensure it is gluten-free. If you are making them at home, be sure to source gluten-free ingredients, and you can make use of our gluten-free recipe in the later part of the article.

Lumpia Ingredients

Here’s a table of common ingredients and sauces used in making lumpia, along with their gluten-free status:

Ingredient/Sauce Gluten-Free Status
Spring Roll Wrappers Varies by Brand (some gluten-free options available)
Ground meat (e.g., pork, beef, shrimp, chicken) Gluten-Free
Tofu Gluten-Free
Vegetables (e.g., carrots, cabbage, green beans) Gluten-Free
Garlic Gluten-Free
Onion Gluten-Free
Soy sauce (used sparingly for flavor) Gluten-free options are available.
Fish Sauce Gluten-free options are available.
Oyster Sauce Gluten-free options are available.
Black Pepper Gluten-Free
Cooking oil (for frying Lumpiang Shanghai) Gluten-Free

Are Lumpia Wrappers Gluten Free?

Lumpia wrappers are elastic crepe-esque and have a light and soft texture, yet they are still durable, holding together the fillings.

Traditionally, lumpia wrappers are made from a mixture of water, rice flour, and salt, which makes them naturally gluten-free.

However, we cannot rely on all gluten-free lumpia wrappers marketed by some manufacturers that include wheat flour, which could compromise the gluten status of the wrappers.

Since you don’t want to stir up your celiac disease or gluten intolerance, when purchasing lumpia wrappers, go for certified gluten-free options 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.

Read: Are egg roll wrappers gluten free?

Lumpia Wrappers Ingredients

Here’s a table of common ingredients found in lumpia wrappers, indicating whether they are typically gluten-free or not:

Ingredient Gluten-Free Status
Rice Flour Gluten-Free
Water Gluten-Free
Salt Gluten-Free
Tapioca flour (sometimes used in combination with rice flour) Gluten-Free
Cornstarch (occasionally used) Gluten-Free
Wheat flour (in some non-traditional or mixed wrappers) Contains Gluten

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.

Ingredients Needed

Tapioca starch

Here in the U.S., tapioca flour and starch are the same thing and are derived from cassava or tapioca roots.

Rice Flour

The priority here is any rice with a fine texture. A milled store-bought rice flour will do. You can use any brand.

Mashed Potatoes

For this recipe, I prefer sweet mashed potatoes.


For the taste, I use fine sea salt.

Boiling water

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.

Final Thoughts

The traditional lumpia recipe is gluten-free, but not everyone is aware of the benefits of keeping their meals gluten-free, which is why you need to ensure your lumpia is gluten-free by going to restaurants that have a gluten-free menu, or if you’re making the lumpia at home, you can use our gluten-free lumpia wrapper recipe, or if you’re getting a store-bought wrapper, prioritize wrappers made with rice or tapioca flour. Also, ensure the sauce is free of gluten. Did you enjoy our recipe? Tell us about your experience.

Cortiso Davids
Cortiso Davidshttps://wearepintsized.com
My culinary adventure began at an early age when I would stand on a chair to help my mom stir pancake batter. Over the years, I've honed my skills and knowledge, drawing inspiration from family recipes, celebrated chefs, and the vibrant food cultures that make our world so diverse and fascinating.

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