Filipino snack / streetfood

Lumpiang Togue (Mung Bean Sprout Spring Rolls)

Saturday, March 29, 2014Enz F

Lumpia is a very popular street food in the Philippines. It is very easy to make as the ingredients are so simple. There are many ways to prepare lumpia. You can have it sweet or savory, fried or fresh, meaty or vegetarian; any way you want it, depending on your diet and preference. Filipinos generally classify it into two: the fried and the fresh one. Lumpiang gulay (vegetable) is a fried spring roll filled with any kind of vegetable. If your fried lumpia is filled with minced pork, it is called lumpiang shanghai while if it is with banana slices and sweetened langka (jackfruit), we call it turon or lumpiang saging (banana). We also have lumpiang isda (fish) for shredded fish meat wrapped in egg rolls and Cheese Stick if you have julienned cheese stuffing in it. There is a special variation of cheese stick that is best served as pulutan (paired with beer) called dinamita, wherein green chillies stuffed with meat and cheese slices are also wrapped in egg rolls and fried. As for the fresh lumpia, we have lumpiang ubod or lumpiang sariwa – it is similar to a crepe which is filled mainly with fresh ubod (tender heart strips of coconut), shrimps and other vegetables like bamboo shoots, carrots and cabbage, and served with a garlicky sweet peanut sauce. And lastly, lumpiang hubad (naked spring rolls), it is a lumpiang ubod sans the crepe wrapper but served on lettuce leaves.

Almost at all corners of Metro Manila (even at the side walk), you can find a food stand and surely any type of lumpia is always being offered. It can even be seen peddled along the streets by a vendor in his handy food tray or basket together with the other famous Filipino street foods like okoy (shrimp fritters), banana-que (caramelized sugar coated banana on stick), chicharon (pork cracklings), nilagang maning sung-song (boiled shelled peanuts), maruya (fried battered banana) and karioka (sugar-glazed coconut balls), just to name a few. Savory lumpia is also a well-loved appetizer in many Philippine restaurants.

Lumpiang Togue is best paired with spiced vinegar dipping sauce
One of my personal favorites among the spring rolls is Lumpiang Togue or Mung Bean Spring Rolls – a variation of fried vegetable spring roll stuffed with sautéed mung beans rolled in a crunchy golden brown egg wrapper that goes along well with spiced vinegar on the side. 

This type of vegetable spring roll is another dish that brings back fond memories of my childhood. My younger brother and I used to have our morning shift classes when we were in grade school. During sunny afternoons, upon returning home, we would already see our neighbor from a few blocks away manning her makeshift food stall stationed in front of her house as she prepares her delightful homemade fried finger foods and kakanin (native sweets) for sale. We would always race to the old lady’s booth holding a few peso coins (spared to us by dad) inside our pockets to buy whatever goodies our money can afford for our early merienda (afternoon snack). 

Sautéed mung bean sprouts are the main stuffing of Lumpiang Togue
A street favorite that brings back fond memories of my childhood afternoon snacks
My younger brother would always go for a square-slice of maja blanca (coconut pudding) gently laid on a piece of banana leaf and topped with some shredded coconut, while I would sit beside the tindera (lady vendor) who was then busy frying my favorite egg spring rolls. I had to be closely on guard to make sure that I had reserved a piece or two because the other customers would begin to swarm the pwesto (store) as they were also very eager to grab their portion of the best seller spring rolls. When I finally had my “orders” in my hand, the next thing I would do is to snatch that bottle of sukang maanghang (spiced vinegar). Like an SOP rule for every lumpia-eaters like me, you should eat the roll with your bare hands. Take the first bite at the top portion to create an opening where you pour the vinegar sauce. The roll must be held upright, just like holding a shot glass, so as not to spill the vinegar inside. Here comes the most exciting part: slowly take a chomp, pause, chew, enjoy and swallow. Repeat the process, adding more vinegar if the sourness is just not enough, all the way through the last bite at the other end, where one can taste the most vinegary part of it as most of the sauce had already settled at the bottom. Make sure to create a crunchy chomping sound every bite, to let everyone know that you were enjoying your lumpia. Haha! And mind you, do not skip the “pause” part or you would either get choked with the fillings or retch yourself with vinegar. You can also insert more “enjoy” in between every rules.

Lumpiang Togue (Mung Bean Sprout Spring Rolls)
This makes 2 dozens of spring rolls

  • 2 lbs. togue (mung bean sprouts) 
  • 16 oz. tofu, fried and sliced into cubes 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 small carrot, julienned 
  • 1 small chayote (pear squash), julienned 
  • 2 tbsps. soy sauce 
  • 1 tsp. patis (fish sauce) 
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper 
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 25 pcs. lumpia (spring roll) wrappers 
  • ½ cup cooking oil 

  1. Using a wok or a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and onion until very fragrant. 
  2. Add the tofu slices and patis, and then stir. 
  3. Toss in the carrots, chayote and mung bean sprouts. Keep stirring until well blended. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. 
  4. Add soy sauce and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Remove from heat. Transfer the sautéed vegetables in a large coriander to drain excess liquid. Set aside the stock for other use. Meanwhile, allow the mung bean sprout mixture to completely cool. 
  6. Prepare a piece of lumpia wrapper on a plate (if using a square-shaped wrapper, one corner should be pointing to the lower direction, forming a diamond). Scoop out about 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable mix and put them at the center of the wrapper. Fold the lower edge halfway through, covering all the fillings. Hold the mixture firm at center, keeping them from going out of the sides. Fold the left and right edges of lumpia wrapper. This should look like a lumped envelope. Finally, start rolling all the way through the top edge and seal the lumpia with a dab of water. Place the spring roll on a separate plate and repeat the process until all vegetable filling is used up. 
  7. Heat enough oil in a frying pan and deep fry the rolls per batch. Do not overcrowd the pan. Adjust the heat so as not to burn the spring rolls. Occasionally flip each side until becomes golden brown and crispy. 
  8. Place the cooked lumpia on paper towel to drain the excess oil. 
  9. Serve the cooked spring rolls with vinegar sauce. Enjoy! 

  1. Lumpia is best paired with lugaw (rice porridge). 
  2. Prepare the vinegar sauce ahead of time and serve the lumpia while crunchy and hot.

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