Invited by Tony from Sinosoul and Eating Valley Blvd, one of my favorite food bloggers, to a potluck with the LA Food Bloggers Group, I decided to make lumpia for my pot. The LA Food Bloggers Group seeks to build bridges within the local food blogging community and the LA food community at large, today's potluck was to be their second gathering. I shopped and schemed to make lumpia and in the end decided I couldn't spare the time to actually go to said potluck due to my busy upcoming work week. Le sigh.
I walked down the hill to A Grocery Warehouse on Sunset, my favorite grocery store on planet Earth. Grabbed some Maggi sauce because some blogger was going on and on and on about Maggi sauce, and I remembered when I lived in London I used to sprinkle it on my salad instead of dressing like my then roommate. British people are weird and that's OK. I also picked up Sriracha, which in my poor college days I used to eat mixed with brown rice and consider that a meal. Grabbed a couple of cans of lychee for making martinis later in the week, lumpia wrappers and a bottle of dipping sauce for spring rolls because I am too lazy to make my own. My friend Mylene will laugh at this. I spent $20. Srsly.
My favorite lumpia wrappers. I always buy this brand. Next time, I may use Burnt Lumpia's recipe for homemade wrappers. As a child I learned to make an excellent crepe, and this cannot be that different.
I got my recipe for lumpia filling from Burnt Lumpia's guest blog on Rasa Malaysia. It's a very basic recipe, I substituted ground turkey for the ground pork. Also, I may have been a little more generous with the ginger and garlic. I ended up with a crazy delicious gingery ground turkey filling. So good. Last time I didn't even use a recipe, and added minced carrots, green onions and celery as well. That was good too. Marvin at Burnt Lumpia suggests using the filling raw, roll in wrapper and cook. I par-cooked my filling though, almost but not quite all the way cooked, then filled.
Lumpia wrappers are paper thin. You might think they would tear as you separate them one by one from the stack, but no. Surprisingly, they retain structural integrity as you lift them from one another.
Problems start to arise in the process of the rolling. Above, see an example of too much filling. Fill them too much and the relatively hard texture of the meat tears the wrapper. Roll them too tightly and the same occurs. The amount of filling needs to be just right, and you need to roll with a firm but gentle hand.
One row of perfectly (as perfect from my hand as we get at this point) rolled lumpia.
I chose soybean oil to fry in this morning. The Soya website informs us about soy bean oil,
"Soybean oil is widely used oil and is commonly called ‘vegetable oil’. Soybean oil is a very healthy food ingredient despite the bad publicity regarding fats and oils in general. Soybean oil is very popular because it is cheap, healthful and has a high smoke point. Soybean oil does not contain much saturated fat. Like all other oils from vegetable origin, soybean oil contains no cholesterol. Saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart diseases and mainly found in products from animal origin such as milk, cheese and meat products. Soybean oil contains natural antioxidants which remain in the oil even after extraction. These antioxidants help to prevent the oxidative rancidity."
Apparently lots of vegetable oils are made from soya or have soy bean oil in them. This one, the Asian Taste Vegetable Oil, is 100% soy.
Happily frying away. My lumpia look nothing like Marvin's, or Flo's. Flo is the mother of my bff. Their family lived in the Phillippines when B was a child and Flo can throw down some seriously delicious lumpia. I will be eating more than my fair share of her perfect, tightly rolled and evenly fried lumpia December 24th at around 5PM.
Mine look more like chimichangas. I burnt a few in homage to the Burnt Lumpia blog.
They were damned good, for lunch. And they will be damned good again for dinner tonight.