Banana Lumpia with Caramel Sauce

I was going to make this last week. With my sisters.

Cause it’s kind of a Filipino thing and I wanted to be a good Philippines host and everything.

banana lumpia

But we did this instead, which is like the most adventurous thing I’ve done in the last 6 months. Woohoo! I live on the edge.


I’ve actually been meaning to make banana lumpia (aka turon) since I saw it in a Filipino cookbook a few months ago. A FEW MONTHS AGO. It’s one of those recipes that you almost just… don’t want to make. I mean, you do, and you know you’re going to love it when it’s all said and done, buuut do I really have to? Because it involves finding something new – lumpia wrappers – at the grocery store, and then pulling apart those paper-thin, or actually, thinner than paper lumpia wrappers, which could make anyone look and feel like a fool. Plus it involves frying. Which, in the Philippines, also involves sweating and changing clothes for the 8th time this morning and makeup melting off my face. Can’t eat it for lunch tomorrow, makes a mess, and generally makes me feel like I have no cooking skills. It’s not all that practical.

The thing is, I had a kitchen full of super sweet baby bananas, lumpia wrappers, and coconut milk left over from my sisters thinking we could squeeze some lumpia frying into our crazy week. It’s like they planned on dropping the stuff and just leaving the country to see what I would do with all of it. Ha ha to me.

So I was definitely forced to make it.

And hellooooooo.

banana lumpia

Once I got started, I just sort of lost myself in the process of rolling and frying these little guys. A little music in the background, the front door open, fan blowing directly on me, just thinking about life {read: coconut caramel sauce} and taking it all in. It was one of those times where I had absolutely no concept of what time it was when I finished because I didn’t need to be anywhere. Sigh.

Can we get more of those times?

banana lumpia

So let’s talk about the moment that I first dipped my face in coconut sauce.

It was also the same moment that I stood over the stove, stirring it, which was actually about 30 moments. I am conservatively calculating that I liked my daily calories in sweet brown sugar coconut sauce off of that wooden spoon.

Realistically, you guys are not going to make this tonight unless you are some sort of extremely ambitious cook who also happens to have lumpia wrappers and bananas and coconut milk laying around the kitchen. What you should do is save this for a day when you can lose yourself in something. Like, for example, something sweet and soft and wrapped in super light thinner-than-paper layers of golden brown crispiness. That paper thin-ness that made me the world’s clumsiest cook 3 seconds ago? I LOVE IT when it’s fried. It’s so thin and delicate and perfectly crispy.

And I sincerely, with all my heart, hope you make this sauce just so you can lick the wooden spoon more than is appropriate. Or just try not to and let me know how that goes for you {evil villain laugh}. It’s so sweet, so creamy and dark, so perfectly simple.

I feel faint.

banana lumpia

4.4 from 8 reviews
Banana Lumpia {Turon} with Coconut Caramel Sauce
Serves: 10
  • 10 small bananas
  • 20 fresh lumpia wrappers
  • 1-2 cups oil for frying
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • water
  1. Pour the coconut milk into a medium saucepan over low heat. Heat until bubbling slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the brown sugar and stir until smooth. Thicken the sauce to your desired consistency by keeping it at a low boil and stirring very frequently. I kept mine on the heat for almost 30 minutes. It thickens slightly as it cools, but you should be able to see it thickening in the pan as well.
  2. Steam the lumpia wrappers for a few minutes to soften them and make them easier to pull apart. I just held mine over the top of the steaming sauce pan for a few minutes. :)
  3. Peel the bananas and cut them in half lengthwise. Place the banana on the lumpia wrapper. If they are still too long to fit inside your lumpia wrappers, cut the ends off or cut them in half again. Dip your fingers in water and run them along the edge of the lumpia wrapper to make them easier to fold. Fold the top and bottom over the banana, and then roll it sideways, sealing the banana inside and using a little more water to make the wrapper stick together.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet or frying pan over low heat. When water sizzles across the top, add the lumpia, a few at a time, and fry for 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Serve with the dipping sauce.

For all you visual learners, here’s a quick how-to video!

Would it be wrong to say that I’m having visions of that sweet, dark, coconut caramel sauce poured over ice cream and sliced bananas?

Someone please make that happen and get back to me.

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  1. Wow, it is quite a process, isn’t it. I have a couple of recipes like that, ones I put off from making but then immediately praise myself upside down and backwards when I go trough with it. Mine is my gluten-free naan. Man, I could live off the stuff but it takes quite a long time. I triple the batch usually… But it’s never enough!!

  2. Those look amazing! I wonder if wonton wrappers would work for those of us who might not be able to find lumpia wrappers?

  3. Funny my sister is visiting at the moment and our ‘adventurous thing’ is doing an aerobics dvd and making cardamom cookies. I like your ideas a whole lot more.

  4. These look amazing! I would love that coconut sauce over ice cream……..yum.

  5. Holy cow! That looks absolutely sinful, bananas & coconut caramel sauce sounds like heaven to me.

    I bet the time and effort was worth the end results.

  6. Mmm what a treat!!

  7. Your story reminded me of the day I went searching for a live yeast cake to make my very own pain au chocolat. It was quite the process too (rolling, butter, folding, butter, chilling, rolling, butter, continue), but I can completely relate to the idea of losing yourself in something. If I can’t find the lumpia wrappers, I’m happy to lose my face in that sauce!

  8. Omg. The coconut caramel sauce is genius!! I’ve always liked the idea of turon, but the excess sweetness prevented me from loving it so much. (In a traditional turon not only is there brown sugar inside the lumpia, but IN the oil so the lumpia will caramelize on the outside when it fries. Yikes!) The caramel sauce is the PERFECT way to control how sweet you want the turon, which is great news for me! Might have to convince my mom to cook turon the ‘Pinch of Yum’ way the next time she decides to make it 😉

    • To me, what makes traditional turon genius, is the brown sugar in the oil, which turns into a caramel and coats the rolls. It results in the turon having 2 different surface textures. It’s tricky to get it right though, so making a stovetop caramel is easier for the beginner. Plantains are also a great substitute for bananas, and would hold up better to the heat of the frying.

      • Do you put the brown sugar on the outside of the wrappers then, instead of the inside? Or directly into the oil? I’ve made banana que with the aunties and kids, and we just did bananas, brown sugar caramelized on the outside, but with no wrapper, and it was SO good! So I know exactly what you’re talking about with the brown sugar turning into a delicious caramel. :)

        • You put the brown sugar on the inside, together with the banana. If you can find some langka (jackfruit), you can line them up next to each other with the banana for a more sinful snack.

  9. These look absolutely amazing! I know what you mean about being intimidated by rolling and frying something in a paper-thin wrapper… but definitely an awesome recipe to save for a rainy day!

  10. Sweet baby bananas, coconut brown sugar sauce, fry oil, yeah, I can totally get on board.

    Great pic of the little kayak/boat, too. Glad you lived on the edge!

  11. i want to go kayaking! i am too much of a chicken, though. :) nice pic!
    we LOVE fried bananas, too! im gonna have to add some of that coconut caramel sauce next time. looks like you should jar it and sell it! looks so yummy.

  12. I cannot wait to try this out! Thank you, thank you for posting this recipe! =)

  13. That sauce! As I read about it, all I could think of was ice cream…and then you had that same thought at the end of your post. And on the weirder end of the spectrum, I wonder how an ear of salted sweet corn would do dipped in it. I had an ear of corn with this maple butter last summer, and now I keep dreaming of salty/sweet corn combinations. #unecessarybutgood

  14. We used to buy banana turon at the market when we’d buy groceries {I lived in the Philippines when I was 12}. It is AMAZING. Something I don’t think I’ll be able to reproduce over here {the little baby finger bananas are soooooo sweet}. Thank you for the photos. I am totally salivating all over myself now. 😉

  15. yes!! I can’t wait. We have over 100 banana trees on our property and I’m always looking for new ways to use the bananas. (they are actually apple bananas, but work fine in any banana recipe.)
    this looks so good!!
    Always love your posts, thank you!!

  16. i love lumpia. love. them. so…..just to clarify….i use the coconut milk, unflavored/unsweetened, that comes in the carton….NOT the stuff….i think it’s cream of coconut or something….that comes in the can, right? also, i was fortunate, the first couple of times that i made lumpia to actually find the in a philippean grocery store along with banana catsup. alas….the place has gone out of business. so…..wonton wrappers may be too heavy, right? is there an acceptable solution here for the lack of lumpia wrappers?

    • Wow! Cool about the Filipino grocery store. I used full-fat coconut milk from a can to make the sauce. Wonton might be a little heavier, but I think it could still work. Otherwise you could make your own! I’ve seen a few recipes for lumpia wrappers out there.

      • Hi. I am Filipina and I just have to comment on this. Please, wonton wrapper, even eggroll wrapper for that matter, won’t work for this lumpia. They are too thick and won’t result to the crispness you need for this to be ultra delicious.

        Delicious recipe Lindsey. Try adding a wedge of cream cheese with the banana…so good! It melts when frying and sort of balances the sweetness a bit.

  17. I had no idea what lumpia was until this post…stuff it with bananas, wrap it, crisp it, dip it in caramel…YUM!

  18. Oh man…these bring back sweet memories of my childhood in Guam, where I had lots of Filipino friends who would made lumpia and pancit and mung bean soup of all kinds for all occasions. I can taste these banana lumpia in my mouth right now. Wondering where I can find fresh lumpia wrappers. right. now.

  19. Luchie Suguitan says:

    I’m a Filipino, so everytime I go home, I amke sure I buy tons and freeze so I have a stock of lumpia wrappers at home.

    @Teresa, I’ve been eating this thing for the last 30 years of my life, and can guarantee you that although wonton would work, there’s nothing like the crunch and crisp of rice flour lumpia wrappers!

  20. I absolutely love lumpia! It doesn’t hurt that I’m half Filipino. I’ve never tried a DESSERT lumpia before, what a great recipe! Lumpia can be a very difficult thing to make by your lonesome, especially in a hot kitchen. Way to go!

  21. OMG – i just found your blog and LOVE it. I have more recipes to try than i have time for! I’m a fellow Minnesotan, although about 45 South of the cities – so hello from MN!!

  22. Those lumpias looks really good and like something that would be fun to make on the weekend for a potluck!

  23. That looks fantastic. I cannot wait to try this one out.

  24. Ooooo, those look amazing. And now I will be forever browsing my local Asian markets for lumpia wrappers… too bad they’re so hard to get in small cities in the U.S.!

    I suppose I could just make that sauce and pour it over some wrapper-less deep-fried bananas?!

    I also kind of want to try drizzling it over homemade popcorn… :)

  25. Steph Mork says:

    Ah! So glad you made them, but so jealous I was not there. Looks good Lindsay :)

  26. The process to make these may be long but the end result certainly looks delicious. Your photographs are making me weak!

  27. Oh goodness – this looks dangerously AMAZING! My best friend’s mom makes this but never with that dipping sauce – this is definitely a must try!

  28. OMG, I’m sure these are yummy! I wish they were 200 calories lighter, or even more?!:) Typical Filipino dessert, Canadian kids love them!

  29. Mary Mork says:

    I thought that the most adventurous thing you have done in the last 6 months was snorkeling with the jelly fish! BTW…the lumpia looks fabulous. Mmmmmm!

  30. I so love that your available ingredients closely mimic my own. I’ll have to try these soon! Thanks!

  31. I absolutely LOVE reading your blog!! It is funny and makes the day brighter!! I love your sense if humor in your posts!! And thank you for loving food and making it fun to try different foods, even if they are desert!!

  32. This is the most inauthentic recipe I’ve stumbled upon. As a real Filipino, we do not use small bananas for lumpia turon. Small bananas results in mushy lumpias. We use burro bananas. Get it right. Go look up a more legit recipe from someone that’s actually Filipino.

    • Goodness, what venom. Was there any claim to authenticity? And how do you know they weren’t small saba bananas? I’m a “real Filipino” and that doesn’t mean I can’t modify a recipe to the ingredients available. Gah.

    • I’m Filipino too. You’re being rude and selfish. You gotta chill and get a life.

      There are Millions of people who rather live for themselves but she put a whole year of her life to help people who are different than her.

      That means leaving her family at home, her friends, the things that are familiar to her, the money that she could have made, leaving opportunities for social progress, etc.,etc.

      I can’t believe that you exchange evil for kindness. You should be ashamed to call yourself Filipino.

      You’re on your own on this one. Don’t misrepresent the rest of us.

  33. Hi there,

    My co worker made these for us at work, only he added jack fruit also. SOoo good, try it.

  34. Salvacion says:

    Wow, thanks for posting this. This makes me remember the dessert that I used to eat when I was young, minus, the caramel sauce however. I honestly think that your version of this dessert is far more better than ours. I’ll recommend this to all my friends and family here in Saudi Arabia and back there in the Philippines. Best regards and more power!

  35. We used regular egg roll wraps and those worked great! We topped them with coconut ice cream and caramel syrup. It was heavenly :)

  36. Excited to try turon with your dipping sauce!

  37. JM Rius says:

    I came across your blog by accident and saw this recipe. My grandmother used to make this for us. You should try and add jack fruit & a little brown/white sugar when you wrapped it, that is if you are still in PI. It will add more flavor :)

  38. Hi Lindsay :)

    This is the most amazing turon recipes I ever made. I am a filipino and I make turon but never
    tried the caramel sauce made from coconut milk. It was phenomenal! My kids and family loved it. I will never go back to the way I used to make turn thanks to you :) btw, the tip on steaming the wrappers to make easier peeling was very helpful too. I always had problems when I make shanghai lumpia. Thank you very much and God bless you!

  39. what kind of bananas did you use? pinoys usually use plantains as an alternative.

  40. I love how you showcase Filipino recipes on your blog! I’m Filipino and here we call them ‘turon’ :) you should try banana cue!

    P.S.: loving your blog

  41. Hmmm do you think that phyllo dough might work? I am trying to picture the texture of the wrapper and I think both those and wonton would work? I have got to make these.. Makes me think of banana flambe

    • Hm, I have never thought of that. I think it would taste good, even if it’s not the same as the original, except I don’t have any experience frying phyllo. Is that something that’s done?

  42. Don’t forget to put langka(jackfruit) inside! :)

  43. Will surely gonna make this coming weekend! I’m craving already. Thanks for sharing the video too! :)

  44. Christopher says:

    Lumpia wrappers are not that hard to find *if* you look in the right place. If you have an Asian grocery anywhere near you, they almost certainly will stock them. I live in Minneapolis and between here and St Paul, there are only about a dozen places with them, but if you go to your local grocery stores, you’ll never find them.

    Also, if you are really desperate, you can buy the dry ones online. They need to be soaked in order to work them and I prefer those to the frozen ones since they are easier to get apart.

    And if you are going to make them, make a load of them. It’s like make pierogies or cannolis or anything that is small and tedious… And your first few will take a bit, but after the first five or six, you’ll be burning through them.

    Thanks for sharing recipes from my native land! It helps to demystify our food a little bit!

  45. Love your blog and adventurousness!

    There is relief from the difficulty of separating the wrappers. They now come with paper separating each wrapper just like the cheese from the deli. Just a wee bit more costly but hey it’s a great dish! To get a hint of coconut we fry the Turon in coconut oil. Good high heat and flavor. We also like to take a little fry daddy when we’re going to take a dish to a party. I like them fresh and hot.

    Finally, once made but before frying we store them in vacuum sealed food saver bags and freeze them. Just as good and ready when you want to snack without the prep time.

  46. Your story is funny!

    As a pinoy, great job in this!

    A small suggestion: when can’t find lumping wrappers, egg roll wrappers would do and can be found in the Asian sections of most major grocery stores.

  47. I loved reading the stories behind your recipes, usually I just skip those and go directly to the recipe so it was infinitely a pleasant suprise when I actually finished reading the whole thing. And honestly speaking, I love reading about it more because I am a Filipino and I love the appreciation you give to our food and culture. Will definitely read more, looking forward to it actually. Keep up the great work.

  48. Joy Miranda says:

    Hi Lindsay,

    I would definitely try your coconut caramel sauce. We use to add brown sugar while frying the turon, it’s kinda messy and its difficult that way. You can see them in a tupical filipino streets or in the markets. We use to add jackfruit (langka) with the banana which you can buy in asian shops in a bottle, canned or fozen.

    Making the coconut caramel sauce or Latik takes a lot of patience.

    I admire you for being creative! God bless you :)

    From: New Zealand

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