February 13, 2007
When we lived in San Diego, I worked with a lot of Filipino folks. Occasionally, there'd be an event of some sort, and everyone would bring a dish in. My Filipino friends often would bring in lumpia (LOOM-pee-uh), which is a kind of egg roll. Unlike other egg rolls I've had, these were much narrower (about the diameter of your index finger) and longer, about 6 inches or so. They also had a lot more meat than veggies. I'm always a bit disappointed when I bite into an egg roll and find it's mostly cabbage, with a speck or two of meat.
Since we moved to Maryland, I know one Filipino person. Actually, I don't really know her, my daughters know her daughters. But we've met. Anyways, -- I can't find lumpia around here, so I figured I'd have to learn to make it. The recipe I found for lumpia is from Allrecipes.com, and it's pretty good. The filling is amazingly good. I just can't seem to get the wrapping quite right. It's not bad, but it's not the way those folks in San Diego made it. My egg roll wrappers come out of the oil all blistered, whereas theirs were never blistered. And the color on theirs was a perfect, even, golden color. Like a perfectly toasted marshmallow. But even if I haven't perfected the technique yet, I think the end product is enough to satiate my cravings from time to time. I'll let you all click over to the recipe, and I'll describe the wrapping. These aren't hard to make, but they do take some prep time. If any of you have any pointers, I'd be delighted to hear them.
The filling - pork, cabbage, carrots, onion, garlic, salt & pepper.
I usually start by arranging the wrappers in a star pattern, so they're easier for me to pick up. The first time I tried this, I kept getting double wrappers and not realizing it. So now I separate them first, and alternate them.
You'll put a wrapper in front of you, then put 2 Tbsps of the filling on it, making a line that goes from corner to corner. The recipe calls for 3 Tbsps, but that makes them real thick. Of course, you might prefer them that way, I dunno.
Then you'll take the corner closest to you, and fold it over the meat filling, kinda inching the meat up tight against the back of the wrapper. Fold those corners in, and roll it the rest of the way. Before you get to the end, put a drop of water on the tag end, then roll it up. That water will help the wrap stay closed.
Once you have all your lumpia put together, just deep fry them in whatever kind of oil you prefer, until they're nice and golden brown. Drain them on paper towels, and serve. You'll like these.