I had the coolest best friend. I was 9…she was 10 and she was Filipino and gorgeous. All the boys wanted to date her. And all the girls wanted to be her friend. Especially after the day she punched a classmate with a cast on her arm. Talk about lucky!
She lived about 2 blocks from my house and her family welcomed me. There, I fell in love with everything Asian. I enter the house, removed my shoes immediately. The house always smelled of fresh steamed rice. And all of her siblings were nerdy (except for her, of course!). I remember one particular day when her mother offered my kimchi. Smelled like ass but, tasted like heaven. Me…I love anything well seasoned and pickled. Then, she began to fry lumpia. As soon as she was done cooking, I was first in line….had no idea what it was but, I was already hooked!! Bit into this crunchy roll and it completely rocked my world.
Unfortunately, her family moved across the country to California and I hear from her every 5 years. I think about her a lot…wonder what she’s up to….but, I can’t lie…I think I miss the lumpia move (I’m kidding!!). Recently, I decided to make lumpia based on a recipt I found on RasaMalaysia.com (http://rasamalaysia.com/lumpia-filipino-spring-rolls-recipe/). I made it for my parents…who never ate Filipino food before and it lasted 1 day in my home… Enjoy!
Recipe: Lumpiang Shanghai (Filipino Spring Rolls filled with Pork)
Makes about 50 lumpia/spring rolls
1 package Lumpia wrappers (25 sheets); Chinese or Vietnamese spring roll wrappers meant for frying can be substituted.
2 pounds ground pork
5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Using a serrated knife, cut the square lumpia wrappers in half so that you have two stacks of rectangular wrappers. Place a damp paper towel over the wrappers to keep them from drying out as you work.
Combine the pork, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, eggs, and black pepper in a large bowl. Using your hands, or a rubber spatula, mix the filling well so that the seasonings are evenly distributed.
Place one of the rectangular wrappers vertically on your work surface with the short edge facing you. Place a heaping teaspoon of the filling on the wrapper about half an inch from the edge closest to you. Grasp the bottom edge of the wrapper and roll it up and over the filling, continuing to roll until 2 inches of wrapper remain.
Dip two fingers into a bowl of water, then moisten the last 2 inches of wrapper with your fingers. Finish rolling the lumpia, then rest it on its seam. Continue rolling with the rest of the filling and lumpia wrappers.
At this point, you can freeze your rolled lumpia if you wish by placing them in freezer bags and then into your freezer.
To cook the lumpia, fill a large frying pan with about 1/2-inch of vegetable oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Gently place the lumpia into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes total (if frying frozen lumpia, it will take 1 to 2 minutes longer).
Place the fried lumpia on paper towels and serve immediately with sweet and sour sauce (bottled from the store is fine).
- You can also add finely minced raw shrimp to the pork mixture if you’d like. Also, instead of ground pork, you can use ground beef, or even ground turkey if you’re watching your girlish figure.