Banana Lumpia Recipe

It's always eye-opening to enjoy foods from different cultures and marvel at unfamiliar flavors. Susan Olayinka is a talented recipe developer, and she shares creative family friendly recipes on her food blog The Flexible Fridge. This tasty banana lumpia recipe is a fun idea for when you are looking to serve a unique dessert that's also a crowd-pleaser. Olayinka explains that the "origin of this dish is from the Philippines," and goes on to clarify that the name lumpia "translates to mean a form of spring roll." 

Once you see the final product, it's clear that this sweet treat is essentially a banana spring roll. While it might look like it requires advanced skills, Olayinka reassures home cooks and remarks, "I just love that it's so simple but tastes so delicious." You will only need three ingredients and some oil for deep frying to whip up these heavenly banana lumpia. There's lots of room for experimentation here, so start with the basics and then venture beyond.

Gather the ingredients for banana lumpia

There are very few ingredients required for this dessert which certainly adds to its appeal. You will need bananas for the spring roll filling. Olayinka explains, "This is traditionally made with something called Apple bananas." Unfortunately, she notes, "They are quite difficult to find if you don't live in a tropical climate." Unless you are located somewhere with Apple bananas or can find them in a specialty store, the standard variety will do. Olayinka notes that they differ a bit in that "regular bananas are curvier, whereas Apple bananas are fairly straight bananas which are a bit sweeter."

Next, brown sugar is used to add sweetness and caramelization to the bananas. Lumpia sheets or spring roll wrappers are used to wrap the bananas. If you're wondering where to find them, Olayinka suggests checking larger supermarkets or Asian grocery stores. Finally, vegetable oil is required to fry the lumpia, and be sure to choose one with a high smoke point. If you want to add some extra flavor for service, Olayinka recommends sprinkling some very fine sugar or drizzling caramel sauce on top.

Slice the bananas so that they're straight

The first task is to prepare your bananas so that they are more similar to the shape of an Apple banana. If you were able to find this less common variety, then you won't have as much to slice off. Start by setting the bananas on a cutting board with their skin still on. Chop off the top and the bottom, then slice them each vertically in half. Olayinka explains, "When you slice it down the middle without [the] skin, it tends to fall apart easily." Once you have sliced them in half, the skin can come off.

Next, slice off the top and the bottom of the banana again. Here, Olayinka remarks that the purpose is "to remove the curve from each banana," adding that "you can't have curvy lumpia." She warns that "the paper won't hold onto it — it needs to be straight." If you are wondering what to do with the banana tips, Olayinka shares her advice: "I used any extra bananas for smoothie freezer bags!"

Coat the bananas in brown sugar

Now that your slices of banana are lined up and ready to go, it's time to sweeten the dish. Set out a plate, and spread out ¼ cup of brown sugar flat on the surface. Next, one by one, roll each banana slice in the sugar making sure to coat it on both sides. As you complete a banana, set it aside until it is time to use it for the next step.

Wrap the sliced bananas in lumpia sheets

It's now time to roll up the banana lumpia. Thankfully, the technique is not as hard as it looks. Set out a lumpia sheet on a flat surface, and place one of the bananas horizontally in a corner. Now, fold the corner of the sheet over the banana, then fold either side of the sheet into the middle. Next, holding the banana, start to roll it forward so that it becomes wrapped in the lumpia sheet. Once you approach the end of the sheet, use a pastry brush to spread some water on the corner to seal the sheet shut.

If you're thinking of rolling your banana lumpia ahead of time, Olayinka warns that they run the risk of drying out. She notes, "The paper dries out very quickly unless it's surrounded by something damp, so [it's] best to make [them] fresh." Otherwise, be sure to cover them with a moist tea towel.

Fry the banana lumpia in hot oil

It's now time to cook the banana lumpia, so set a pot with 2 cups of vegetable oil on the stovetop on medium-high heat. Once the oil comes to temperature, carefully add the lumpia into the hot oil. (You may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pot.) Fry the lumpia for a total of three minutes, flipping them halfway through so that they cook evenly. 

As you remove the lumpia from the oil, transfer them to a plate to cool down before serving. You can place a piece of paper towel to absorb excess oil, if desired.

Serve and enjoy your banana lumpia with caramel sauce

Once you have fried all 10 banana lumpia, they are ready for the finishing touches. Olayinka recommends sprinkling some very fine sugar on top for an extra sweet touch. Take it one step further, and drizzle caramel sauce over the lumpia — the combination with the bananas is heavenly. A chocolate sauce or some grated coconut would surely taste delicious as well. Olayinka and her family are huge fans of this recipe, and she shares, "[We] could not get enough of it, including my 2-year-old son — he loved it." Try this easy banana lumpia recipe, and you will see for yourself!

Banana Lumpia Recipe
4.9 from 35 ratings
You will only need three ingredients and some oil for deep frying to whip up these heavenly banana lumpia.
Prep Time
12
minutes
Cook Time
3
minutes
Servings
10
Banana Lumpia
banana lumpia on plate
Total time: 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 5 bananas
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 10 lumpia sheets
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
Optional Ingredients
  • very fine sugar, for serving
  • caramel dipping sauce, for serving
Directions
  1. Set the 5 bananas on a cutting board with the skin still on.
  2. Chop off the top and bottom of each banana.
  3. Slice all of the bananas vertically in half before removing the skin.
  4. Slice off the top and the bottom of each banana again to make sure that the ends are straight.
  5. Sprinkle the brown sugar onto a large plate.
  6. Roll each slice of banana into the sugar, then set them aside.
  7. Lay a lumpia sheet out on a flat surface, and place a banana horizontally in one corner.
  8. Fold the corner of the sheet over the banana, then fold over the edges of the sheet into the middle, and begin to roll the banana lumpia.
  9. When you reach the end of the sheet, using a pastry brush, seal the last part of the lumpia with water.
  10. Repeat steps 7 through 9 for all 10 lumpia sheets.
  11. Heat a pot of oil on medium-high heat.
  12. Once it's hot, fry the banana lumpia for 3 minutes, flipping them midway through.
  13. Transfer the banana lumpia to a serving dish, and serve them topped with very fine sugar and caramel sauce, if desired.
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