As a Filipino, one of the most requested foods I get from friends and co-workers is “Lumpia”. Being in the western hemisphere it is already understood that they want this fried version of lumpia or “Lumpiang Shanghai”. I think its a safe assumption that they want them this way, rather than fresh, since fried twinkies and whatnot are available at town fairs all over America. I digress…
Lumpia originated in China and have since been adopted by South East Asian countries, such as Indonesia and the Philippines. It is commonly served during birthday parties and gatherings. A very popular choice of eatery. Typically served with sweet chili sauce in the US, but in the Philippines, commonly served with ketchup. Go figure.
In my experience with lumpia, I remember having my aunts hate life whenever they had to serve this dish. We didn’t have food processors so everything had to be cut manually. Mincing carrots and onion en mass is no joke. They shed a lot of tears in the process, thus making the meal extra delicious. I think that’s the secret ingredient, onion inflicted tears. Regardless, after all the hard work, all the used handkerchiefs to wipe tears away, and after the accidental knife slit to the finger, the show goes on and everybody is happy with this fried goodness in the end.
Luckily in America, we have a food processor and can get the machine to whine and do all the hard work. I actually just pressed a button and laughed like a madman while chanting, “Get some, onions! Get some!” They stand no chance with the spinning double blade, chopping them into a minced condition. Take that, era of manual labor!
One thing that I couldn’t get away from is wrapping. This is very tedious and very time consuming. So what did I do? I captured some hungry folks down the street and enslaved them to wrap the lumpia for me. Who doesn’t love the no wage workers? Just kidding. I invited some friends over along with Curly Girl and promised them that this will be good. I didn’t break my promise.
- 3 lb. ground pork
- 2 carrots, minced
- ½ large onions, minced
- 1 can water chestnuts, minced
- 2 eggs
- 50 piece round lumpia wrapper
- Cooking oil (we used canola oil) enough to submerge the roll
- ¼ cup water (for pasting the roll shut)
- 1 tbsp flour (for pasting the roll shut)
- Cut the lumpia wrapper in half
- Heat the cooking oil in medium heat or if you have a deep fryer set to 375°
- Combine in a large mixing bowl: eggs, ground pork, water chestnut, onions, carrots, generous amount of salt and pepper. Mix together, hands works best.
- Mix water and flour in a separate bowl.
- Lay the half piece of wrapper flat as if you're facing the straight edge where you cut.
- Put the meat mix length-wise in the middle, creating a ½ inch in diameter line, about 3 inches long.
- Using the water flour mix, apply it on the side top and bottom of the wrapper.
- Fold the sides first, then top, then roll. Apply more water mix if it doesn't stick.
- When oil is hot enough, try to fry one first to see how it taste.
- Fry til golden brown on both sides.
- Taste it.
- Add more salt and/or pepper to your meat mixture if needed.
- Repeat until all the meat or wrapper are depleted.
- Share with friends.