The best part of growing up in multicultural family is the exposure to so much delicious food. Family holidays always include the classic American roast turkey or ham, but are never complete without my mom’s “egg rolls.” Mom would make dozens – sometimes even hundreds – of lumpia depending on the size of the gathering. 50 for an intimate Easter. 100 for a large family Christmas. 200 for my little sister’s high school graduation. Regardless of how many she made, they would all disappear and the crowd would clamor for more.
To recreate the experience, Raphe and I had a few folks over to taste test a traditional non-traditional Easter menu
- Hamonada (pineapple braised pork)
- Vegetable lumpia (spring rolls)
- Super-experimental sweet potato fritters (inspired by ukoy)
The lumpia, as usual, stole the show. We decided to keep them vegetable only to balance out the large hunk of meat sitting in the oven. My mom’s lumpia (Filipino fried spring rolls) are filled with seasoned ground beef, garlic and (usually) vegetables. Occasionally, she’ll make all-meat lumpia. For some reason, I embraced an all vegetable version when I started experimenting in my own kitchen. This does not, however, mean that they are vegetarian. I slipped in a little fish sauce and bacon grease to round out the flavor.
American influence or no, this is Filipino food we’re talking about.
- My mom’s secret is to skip all the chopping and just use a bag of pre-mixed, pre-washed cole slaw mix. In the Kensington Kitchen we go for the cheaper but more time-consuming route, especially since we have a kitchen full of sous chefs. If you’re looking to save 20 minutes of your life, though, go for the cole slaw.
- I (Marni) have an irrational fear of deep frying, so I make Raphe do it. Even if you’re brave, please wear an apron. To avoid the spattering oil all together, you can also just put them under the broiler (instructions below) if you make sure to watch them carefully. Unlike me.
- Some of the pictures here were taken when we made meat lumpia a few weeks ago, but the process is the same.
Makes 25 lumpia
|1 package of 25 frozen spring roll wrappers||Eastern Fruit and Vegetable|
|1/2 red cabbage||Eastern Fruits and Vegetables|
|1 large carrot, shredded||Eastern Fruits and Vegetables|
|3 stalks celery, julienne||All Asian (Himalayan) Grocery|
|1 T minced garlic||C-town|
|2-3 splashes fish sauce (be conservative if you’re new to fish sauce – it’s potent)||New York Mart on Avenue U|
|Twice around the pan with soy sauce||New York Mart on Avenue U|
|salt and pepper to taste|
|Dipping Sauce (identical to Spam musubi marinade)|
|1/4 c. soy sauce||New York Mart on Avenue U|
|1/4 c. vinegar||C-town|
|1/4 c. brown, raw or palm sugar||C-town|
|2. Make filling|
|Set up your rolling station: We use three dinner plates: one to hold unused spring roll wrappers, one to hold finished spring rolls and one for rolling the spring rolls. Have a small bowl of water ready to seal the rolls.|
|Spread about two tablespoons of filling along a diagonal on a wrapper|
|Fold over one corner and begin rolling tightly. A loosely wrapped roll will fall apart in the skillet.|
|Fold over one side corner…|
|…then the other.|
|Roll tightly to the end of the wrapper. Rolling tightly is the key here.|
|Seal with a little water.|
|Finished roll should look like a little cigar. Repeat until all wrappers are used. Leftover filling can be eaten over rice|
|4. Fry or Broil|
|5. Serve with homemade dipping sauce or sweet and sour sauce.|