The Lumpia Lady - American Born, Filipino Raised
My Fil-Am Recipe for Lumpia
My Version of Lumpia ("Mini Egg Rolls")
The other day I was commissioned to make lumpia by a friend at the local dive bar. He said he grew up in a military family so he was used to always having filipino food around, but he didn't know who or where to go locally to purchase it. I have always enjoyed cooking my culture's dishes for my friends who don't know how, so naturally, I agreed to take his $40 and get to work.
I always have to call my mom and bug her for help when I'm in the kitchen trying to replicate her recipes. Last Sunday when I was prepping the meat to be rolled inside the lumpia, I gave her a rang and explained what I had done so far to make sure I was on the right track. Within less than a minute, she told me I had already messed it up, but TOO LATE. I already mixed a few of the "wrong" ingredients. (She doesn't like veggies, so the green beans were a no-no and the vinegar I added for the "tang" I like was apparently also incorrect). WHATEVER. I went ahead and mixed up what I felt would taste good, and VOILA - golden, crispy, meat-fried goodness!!! Feel free to add or take-away your own ingredients to your liking - but the SOY SAUCE and PATIS (FISH SAUCE) are KEY (so keep those in)!
- 1 lb Ground Meat, Can be a mixture of pork, beef, shrimp, chicken, etc. I like to use half fatty meat and half lean
- 3/4 cup of each (or to your liking) Carrot, Celery, Green Beans, Sprouts, Cabbage, etc., For this last batch I used carrot and green beans only.
- 1/4 clove Minced Garlic
- 1/4 cup Minced Onion
- 1 Tablespoon Patis (fish sauce), This is a key ingredient to have if you are cooking anything Asian.
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- Dash Salt
- 1 Egg
- Chilli Sauce or Sweet & Sour Dipping Sauce, I mix vinegar and minced garlic in mine.
- 1 Pack Spring Roll Wrappers (medium size)
- Mix all ingredients for the filling in a bowl. I use my hands and massage all the stuff together and let it sit for at least 1 hour to let the flavors blend together.
- Pan fry a little spoonful of the filling for taste. Add soy sauce, patis, salt, (err, vinegar) if it needs more. Once it passes "taste test", you're ready to roll!
- Roll 'em up! There are many methods and styles to the art of rolling lumpia. The directions are on the spring roll wrapper packaging too. Personally, I put a thin strip of filling right smack in the middle, ensuring it is not thicker than my pinky finger (remember, you want the meat to COOK, so less is more), then I carefully roll a "skinny egg roll", tucking the ends in, and sealing with paste (just flour and water mixed together to make it stick).
- Once you've rolled all the lumpias you want, fry them til golden brown and crispy! (Usually takes about 10 minutes). Any extras get thrown in freezer for another time! ENJOY!