How to cook: Lumpiang ubod (heart of palm spring rolls) Lumpiang ubod (heart of palm spring rolls)

The last time I made lumpiang ubod, my firstborn (now 15) was still a baby and we were living at my in-laws’. I had too many excuses for not making lumpiang ubod all these years — I had no non-stick pan to make those crepe-like wrappers, it was such a hassle going to the market so early in the morning for the ubod choice cuts, the weather’s too hot… I’ve had so many non-stick pans, I’ve been to the market so many mornings, so many Christmas seasons have passed and it was only today that I finally mustered the resolve to make lumpiang ubod again. I ran out of excuses. I have a great set of Pyrex non-stick pans, the weather’s been cool and crisp for weeks and my husband discovered some gorgeous ubod at The Landmark yesterday. When he picked up a pack from the cold section, I got as excited as he was. Very tender ubod — I could tell from the texture.

I wasn’t mistaken. While cutting the ubod this morning, I was eating the irregular pieces. Even without cooking, the ubod was crisp and tender. But what is ubod? Contrary to misleading references to ubod as “coconut heart”, ubod does not come from coconut trees exclusively although the heart of the coconut palm is the most well-known variety. Lumpiang ubod (heart of palm spring rolls)

Heart of palm, also called palm heart, palmito, chonta or swamp cabbage, is a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees (notably the coconut (Cocos nucifera), Palmito Juçara (Euterpe edulis), Açaí palm (Euterpe oleracea), sabal (Sabal spp.) and pejibaye (Bactris gasipaes) palms). It is costly because harvesting in the wild kills the tree. [Wikipedia]

I would have made lumpiang ubod last night had not my daughter, her voice hoarse from a bad cold, asked that I make Vietnamese spring rolls instead. And instead of the chicken and asparagus soup that I had lined up, my husband asked if we couldn’t have miso soup instead. So, my planned menu went awry, I had to rush dinner and wasn’t able to take photos of the Vietnamese spring rolls. Next time, I will — I still have a pack of rice paper and all the rest of the ingredients. Lumpiang ubod (heart of palm spring rolls)

For this morning’s lumpiang ubod (breakfast, believe it or not), I made the wrappers myself. If you recall, I posted an entry on how to make crepe-like spring roll wrappers. I tweaked the proportions of the ingredients a bit and this morning’s lumpia wrapper turned out a dozen times better — thinner, lighter and softer.


  • 500 g. of ubod
    250 g. of boneless chicken thighs (skin on)
    1 whole garlic
    a bunch of spring onions (onion leaves)
    a bunch of wansuy (cilantro)
    freshly ground black pepper
    2 tbsps. of cooking oilFor the wrappers:

    1/4 c. of corn starch
    3/4 c. of all-purpose flour
    1 egg
    1-1/2 c. of water
    1 tbsp. of vegetable cooking oil


  1. Cook the filling:Cut the ubod into matchsticks (see photo).

    Cut the chicken into thin slices — as thinly as you can, thin enough to cook in minutes.

    Peel and finely mince the garlic.

    Cut the onion leaves and wansuy into one-inch lengths.

    Heat the cooking oil.

    Saute the garlic until fragrant. Add the chicken and cook until no longer pink. Season with patis and pepper and cook over high heat for about 2 minutes, stirring often.

    Add the ubod. Stir well. Lower the heat, cover and cook for about 10 minutes. If the ubod is not tender after 10 minutes, it probably came from a mature palm tree and it’ll take over 30 minutes or longer to cook.

    When the ubod is done (should still be slightly crisp), add the onion leaves and wansuy. Stir well. Season with more patis if necessary. Turn off the heat, drain any liquid and transfer the cooked filling to a large shallow plate and cool. COOL. If you wrap the filling while hot, the wrappers will get soaked with steam and the lumpia will turn soggy.

    While the filling cools, make the wrappers.

    Make the wrappers:

    Beat the egg. Pour in the water. Add the starch, flour and oil. Mix until smooth. Pour 1/3 cup of the mixture into a hot non-stick frying pan (a 10-inch frying pan is the ideal size). Cook until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cook a little longer if you want a lightly browned wrapper. Turn the pan upside down into a plate. Repeat until the bowl full of wrapper mixture has been used up.

    Assemble the spring rolls:

    Lay a wrapper flat on a plate. Place two tablespoonfuls of the filling across the middle. Fold the edge nearest you to cover the filling. Take the side edges and fold over the center then roll the entire thing.

    Make the peanut sauce:

    This sauce is the traditional accompaniment for Vietnamese spring rolls. I mentioned that we had Vietnamese spring rolls for dinner last night and we had leftover peanut sauce (no leftover spring rolls).

    Mix together 2 tablespoonfuls of patis, 1/4 cup of hoisin sauce, 1 tablespoonful of tamarind paste (you can substitute mild vinegar), 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter and 1/2 cup of hot water. Pour over the lumpiang ubod or serve on the side.

Cooking time (duration):about an hour

Number of servings (yield): 8 lumpia to serve 4

Print this post (for personal use only).


  1. says

    yes, lumpiang ubod is the best, i just made this too weeks ago. i made the sauce the sauce with lots of freshly chopped garlic and lots of crushed peanuts.. you can check my recipe in my blog.

    you have great recipes in your blog and i love the color.

  2. marcllen says

    I have the canned one but my mom said, it’s not the one. She said it should say coconut something on the can, it just says heart of palm. She said the one that I bought is the one that you put in salads. Please give me a certain name to look for or to ask for when I go to the store.

    • beth says

      thanks Ms. Connie for all the recipes you posted on this site….I used some of them to serve for Christmas eve dinner….many blessings to you and the family this coming new year

  3. Ebba Myra says

    Such timing, they started selling “fresh” ubod in the vietnamese store here.. hindi nga lang kasing “fresh” ng tinda dyan, pero mas mabuti ito vs. the canned ones. I also make peanut sauce from scratch, a vietnamese friend told me how, and its the same as yours except we added al ittle bit except there’s two kinds of hoisin sauce she used and added a litle bit of chicken broth.

    Connie, saan yung Landmark. also saan din yung binibilhan ninyo ng mga trees to plant? I lost the archive for that post eh. And somebody also said soemthing about a certain market in Taguig that they sel fresh unusual produce during the weekend.

    Thanks for the info. I wilmake this ubod this week. Laging tama ang tiempo ng postings mo.

    You’re such a blessings.

  4. says

    Ebba, there’s Landmark in Makati, there’s another at TriNoma. The herbs I used to buy at Market! Market! (Fort Bonifacio); more recently, at the Manila Seedling Bank (EDSA cor. Quezon Avenue).

  5. JASON says



    I’m here in the UK right now, and there’s no fresh ubod. What we have here are canned ones. I know it’s not as good as the fresh ones, but do you think pwede na rin pagtyagaan ang nasa lata? Lastly, do you think the soy-garlic sauce is also good for these recipe?

  6. says

    Jason, naku, I haven’t tried canned ubod. But if they’re as good as canned bamboo shoots, they should be good for making lumpia. Re soy-garlic sauce: I’ll post it when I make lumpiang ubod again (which should be soon). I’ve never noted the proportions before and I should before posting it here.

  7. romwell says

    first time i made this recipe. Slamdunk sarap daw sbi ng wife ko. Yung excess filling pritong lumpia bukas also made yung nuoc nam for the dipping ths will be great tommorow for lunch. Thanks for the easy recipe. I love the peanut sauce.

  8. rico manuel says

    Here in the bay area, and would liek to send a friend in paris “canned ubod” (besides the canned hearts of palm)do they exist? If you where do I get them. I called Manila orinteal in Daly city but they have any. Also someone mentioned ou get them is Vietnamese market. are they always available? and what is the vietnamese term?

    maraming salamat po.


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