Lumpia with Atsuete/Annatto

Lumpia with Atsuete/AnnattoIn the short, Lumpia is the Filipino version of pork egg rolls.

Inside Lumpia with Atsuete/Annatto

The beautiful orange interior comes from the addition of atsuete/annatto.

The cuisine of the Philippines is actually quite an intriguing one. Obviously they are an Asian nation, and they have an abundant supply of such fresh ingredients as rice, bananas, citrus, fish, and other uniquely Asian fruits and vegetables, but they have also had some major influences from outside.

The Philippines, who were ‘originally’ Asian, became a Spanish colony in 1521. In fact, they were actually the colony of a colony. The Spanish colonial reign over the Aztecs where their governing body. So here we add the the influences of Central American cuisine, as well as the obvious influences that the Spanish brought to Central America. Then, even farther back, we can see the influence of the Moorish people on the Spanish culture. Now, skip forward, and the US takes control in 1898. This explains the very American spelling of ‘Filipino,’ among other things.

In reality this is the exact story of all of our world, but some places show it more obviously in the face… for instance the literal faces of the Asian and Mayan descendant Filipinos.

Lumpia brings the common ground pork, soy sauce, ginger, and fried wrapper concept from neighboring cultures, but their common use of atsuete, shows their obvious tie to South America. Here I have used ground annatto, but Filipino cuisine more commonly uses atsuete oil; oil warmed and infused with whole annatto seeds.

Lumpia with Atsuete/Annatto

By: Semiserious Chefs
Makes: 30-40 Lumpia


  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup finely grated carrot
  • 1/2 onion; minced
  • 4 garlic cloves; finely minced
  • 1/2 T grated ginger
  • 1 t ground annatto
  • 1 1/2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T sugar
  • thawed Lumpia Wrappers or Phyllo Dough
  • oil for deep frying


  1. Mix together the carrots, onion, garlic, ginger, annatto, soy sauce, and sugar. Taste your mix and adjust as desired. You can also add some ground chilies for heat at this point.
  2. Add the ground pork and egg. Mix well to incorporate.
  3. Pull off a few wrapper sheets at a time, and cover the rest with plastic and a damp towel to keep from drying out.
  4. Place a couple tablespoons of the meat mixture near the end of one sheet, in a narrow row. Fold the end over the meat, then fold the sides in, all the way to the top of the sheet. Roll the meat tightly to the top, and dab the edge with a little water to seal it closed. These rolls are typically about the size of a small cigar.
  5. Fry the rolls in batches, in oil heated to 350°F. It will take many minutes for them to raise to the surface, become golden, and crispy. Remember that the meat going in is raw, so be sure to cook your rolls thoroughly. Allow to drip and cool on a drying wrack.
  6. Serve the Lumpia as-is, (they are quite outstanding!) or with a dipping sauce such as mae ploi.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *