Making Lumpiang (Filipino egg rolls)

So as long as I’m talking up Filipino food, here’s a nice example, which I don’t make often enough. Lumpiang is a fairly generic term for various types of egg-roll-ish dishes, usually followed by a modifier describing just what it is.

The roll above (left open for photography) uses a very easy-to-make flour-based wrapper, using a recipe from Moosewood Sundays. It’s not quite as authentic, but easier to make and stronger. Plus it doesn’t use cornstarch. Any sort of equivalent wrapper can be used. The ingredients are simply egg, flour, water, and salt; I cook them on a cast-iron crepe pan and each one takes about 30 seconds.

Fillings are quite variable. In this case, it’s finely chopped goat meat (very traditional) sauteed with garlic, then simmered for a long time with cashews, sweet potatoes, sunchokes (a good stand-in for water chestnuts), and calamansi juice. That filling is topped with shredded daikon radish and shelled edamame.

So far we have a fairly typical egg roll from many different cuisines (other than the calamansi). It’s the sauce that marks this one as Filipino. I use an adobo-type sauce, relying on the basic combination of soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, black pepper, and garlic. These are simmered slowly and thickened with flour or cornstarch, then either poured into the roll or the wrapped roll dipped into the sauce. There are lots of possible sauces, but this one is lovely. And any leftover sauce is perfect flavoring for fried rice the next day.

I have this tagged as a winter recipe, as most of the ingredients are non-seasonal or easily stored (like edamame). We make these any time of year, though, with whatever fresh ingredients are on hand and a variety of dipping sauces to keep things interesting.

For this New Year’s Eve meal, I paired the lumpiang with a pot of caldereta, a meat stew delicious over rice, but they’re quite sufficient on their own.

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