Lumpia – Much Crunchier Than It Sounds
Today I would like to share a selection from The Man which involves no cream, no butter and no bacon. Please try to contain your shock. His workplace often has days in which employees bring food. One of his co-workers is from the Philippines and they shared this lumpia recipe with us.
Lumpia is a bit like a spring or egg roll. It is a tasty-crunchy-nom nom party in your mouth. At first, the children were unconvinced that “Lumpies” would be any good. After we told them that they were “Crispy fried Philippine Hot Dogs” they tried them and lumpia is now a family favorite.
Lumpia is not actually Philippine in origin. It is a Chinese dish which has been adopted by various cultures, both Asian and European. This version is classified as the Vietnamese style, as the ends of the wrappers are closed and the pastries have a long, cigar-like shape. There are more and less accurate versions of this dish, but asking someone about “authentic lumpia” is a lot like asking an American about apple pie. We all know that (probably) there will be apples involved, but everything else is up for interpretation. So, no fussing about accuracy, please! Enjoy!
1 package lumpia wrappers (25 sheets) Chinese or Vietnamese spring roll wrappers meant for frying can be substituted
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup minced carrots
½ cup chopped green onions
1 bunch parsley – chopped
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2 Tbsp. Soy sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Garlic powder
A generous shake of Sririacha
*Pulse onion, carrot, parsley, ginger, garlic and green onion in food processor until it looks like small confetti.
Turns into this:
*In a large bowl, combine pork, beef, egg, soy, sririacha, pepper, salt, garlic powder and the veggie confetti as if it were meatloaf. Squish, but do not overwork. (Wearing latex gloves can aid in this)
Turns into this:
*Filling the lumpia wrappers can also be aided by the use of gloves. Put out a small bowl of water. This will be your “glue” to seal the wrappers. Most lumpia wrappers come with paper between the layers. Before you begin, separate the wrappers from the paper and put the stack under a damp paper towel to keep them from drying out. Put a rounded tablespoon of the filling at the bottom third of the wrapper in a line like this:
*Starting from the bottom, tightly wrap the filling in the wrapper, turning in the ends, then rolling upward.
*Use water to wet the top end of the wrapper. This will seal the wrapper and keep it from loosening.
Here are the lumpia after rolling:
*Heat just enough oil (375° F) to cover the rolls in a skillet. (A little less than an inch here)
*Use chopsticks or small tongs to turn the lumpia several times as they cook. Be gentle!
*Fry for 3-5 minutes, depending on how hot your oil is. I find that an electric skillet gives good temperature control. Don’t be ashamed to use a thermometer to check your oil temperature. Bad frying comes from bad temperatures. Pull your lumpia out and drain when it is golden brown and delicious looking. Like this:
The interior will be fully cooked and the outside should be crispy and crunchy. Thicker spring roll wrappers may take an extra minute or two. Serve with a sweet and sour dipping sauce and the side dishes of your choice.
These can be reheated in the oven at around 350 until they re-crisp.
all photos copyright © 2009 by jodi a. kasten • all rights reserved