Filipino food may not be as big or sought after as other Asian foods, but even if you don’t know a thing about it I’m pretty sure you have heard of Lumpia. Maybe you’ve had it but didn’t know what it was or that it was Filipino. They are our spring rolls, they have a thin wheat wrapper that when fried becomes light and crisp. There are about 7,641 islands in the Philippines so there are about 7,641 different ways to make lumpia. The ones I make are on the bigger side of lumpia, more the shape of an egg roll.
When I was six years old, I moved from Hawaii to Seattle. Every summer my parents would put me on a plane by myself and I’d fly 5 hours to visit my grandma. It was the 90’s so it was still safe. My grandma and cousin would always pick me up from the airport with a plate full of lumpia waiting in the back seat. It was always pork and banana lumpia but there never was a way to tell which was which, so it was like a game of lumpia roulette! At least one day of my trip would be spent lumpia rolling. My grandma, my cousin, and I would all sit around her dining room table filling and rolling. We’d make pretty much a year’s supply of lumpia for my grandma, my cousin’s family, my family, and our whole extended family in one sitting. That was a lot of rolling! The ones that weren’t pretty enough for the family would be fried up for us to snack on, which meant most of the lumpia I rolled were ugly. Once it was time to head home, I’d be sent with a GIANT cooler full of Lumpia and other things that my dad missed from Hawaii, mainly Grandma Gloria’s Pecan Cookies, Portuguese sausage, and Zippy’s chili which always made my dad fat and happy.
- 1 pound Ground Pork
- 1/2 Onion, sliced thin
- 1/4 head of Cabbage, sliced thin
- 2 Carrots, grated
- 1 bundle Thin Rice vermicelli
- 1 inch knob of Ginger, minced
- 4 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 4-5 dashes of Fish Sauce
- 15-25 Lumpia Wrappers
- Prep the noodles by boiling a kettle of water and placing the noodles in a heatproof bowl. Cover the noodles with the boiling water and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Drain and cool. Then chop the noodles up a little and set aside to finish cooling.
- In a fry pan add a little oil and pork. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until the pork is browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Be sure to leave a little of the pork fat in the pan.
- Add onions seasoned with salt and pepper to the same fry pan and cook until tender. Add cabbage and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until the cabbage has wilted and have released some of their liquid. Once all liquid is cooked out, add the garlic and ginger and cook for one minute.
- Add pork and noodles to the same pan. Season with soy sauce and fish sauce. Taste to adjust seasoning.
- Place the wrap like a diamond and add 1/4c of the filling in the middle of the lower 1/2 and roll the corner close to you over the filling.
- Fold the sides to the center and roll, securing the ends with a little water.
- In a fry pan add about an inch of oil and heat on medium, try to keep the oil at around 350°.
- Fry the lumpia until golden brown and heated through. Allow cooling on a paper towel for 5 minutes before eating.