Every Filipino family has its own version of lumpia, a fried roll that’s often filled with meat and vegetables and served at parties. Accordingly, this recipe yields a lot of pieces and takes some time, especially if it’s your first time rolling them, but if you’d like to cook a smaller batch, assembled, uncooked lumpia freezes well and can be fried from frozen. My favorite wrappers are the lumpia wrappers from Simex, but in their absence, I like Spring Home’s TYJ Spring Roll Pastry or any other thin wheat-based wrapper meant for spring rolls. —Bettina Makalintal
Yields about 25 lumpia
About 2 cups of dried shiitake mushrooms
1 large carrot
3 scallions, minus the roots and top 1 cm of greens
At least 4 cloves of garlic
½ cup of cilantro, optional
8 oz shrimp, peeled + deveined
1 lb ground chicken
4 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil, optional
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp cornstarch + 1 cup water
1 package lumpia or spring roll pastry wrappers (the wheat kind, not rice paper)
3 cups neutral oil
For serving, optional
Banana ketchup or sweet chili sauce
To make the filling
Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for about 30 minutes, or following package instructions. Prep other ingredients while mushrooms hydrate.
Cut carrot into small dice. Roughly chop scallions, garlic, cilantro (if using), mushrooms, and shrimp. Carrots, mushrooms, and shrimp should ideally be about the same size.
In a large bowl, combine all chopped ingredients with chicken and egg.
Mix together until the filling is well-combined (all ingredients should look evenly interspersed).
Add oyster sauce, sesame oil (if using), pepper, and salt and mix thoroughly. Filling should look slightly sticky, not dry.
Optional: Taste filling by cooking about 1 tsp in a hot pan; adjust seasoning to taste.
If assembling with another person, delegate one person to carefully peel wrappers apart and the other to fill. If assembling alone, peel apart all wrappers before filling and cover with damp paper towel.
Mix together cornstarch and water in a small bowl. This will help moisten the wrapper to help it adhere.
Lay the wrapper down on a flat surface. If using square wrappers, place the wrapper in a diamond shape.
Using a measuring spoon in one hand and a spoon in the other, transfer about 2 tablespoons of filling to the center of the bottom half of the wrapper. Use the spoon to smooth and flatten until the filling forms a log shape, about 4 inches long.
Using a finger or a pastry brush, use the cornstarch-water mixture to lightly moisten the border of the wrapper, about 1 inch in on all sides.
Fold the bottom edge of the wrapper up until it covers the filling. Press down lightly to adhere this side of the wrapper to the rest of the wrapper. Gently slide your fingers downward horizontally toward the log of filling, creating some tension around it.
Fold the sides of the wrapper inwards until it looks like an envelope with one side open. Before folding the sides in, you may want to moisten and lightly press at the seams created by folding the bottom up. Wrap tightly; the roll should not feel loose but like you are compressing the meat inside the wrapper.
Tightly roll the log upwards until the remaining wrapper has covered the entire roll. Place the roll seam down on a plate or baking tray while you fill the other wrappers.
Optional: At this point, lumpia can be frozen on a baking tray and then transferred to a container or freezer bag once slightly hardened.
In a deep, heavy-bottomed pan (like a cast iron skillet), heat up about 3 cups of neutral oil, until around 300°F.
Gently lower lumpia one-by-one into oil, seam side down. The oil should be hot enough that bubbles immediately form around each lumpia. Work in batches of about 4 or 5 rolls at a time in order to give each roll space.
Fry for about 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway until golden brown on all sides.
Transfer cooked lumpia to a wire rack to cool.
Serve warm with a side of banana ketchup or sweet chili sauce, and white rice, if desired.
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