The vegetable spring roll, although more known as a Chinese restaurant and take-away staple, is also a Filipino food. We call it lumpiang prito, which simply means fried spring roll. The word lumpia is the generic word for spring roll and prito (which stems from the Spanish word frito) is the Tagalog word for fried. Lumpiang prito is eaten as a snack or a side dish rather than an appetizer. It is usually paired with noodles or rice porridge such as goto (rice porridge with beef or tripe) or arroz caldo (rice porridge with chicken).
I have added chicken to my filling but you can omit that if you want a purely vegetarian version. The ingredients can be changed but choose vegetables that are not too watery so that the wrapper stays crisp. The usual method of pre-cooking is stir frying the ingredients separately. I microwaved them instead to cut down on fat. The vegetables are stir fried together but just until half cooked. They will cook further when the spring roll is fried.
If you like the look of that parsley leaf inside the wrapper, just insert one flat leaf near the corner where you seal the end.
Spring rolls can be frozen unfried or just briefly fried (for just 1 minute, then drained). Lay in a single layer on a baking tray and open freeze. Store in plastic boxes when frozen. You can fry them from frozen or just pop the previously fried ones in the oven. You'll get your spring roll fix in no time.
2 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
1 c. shredded cooked chicken meat
2 carrots, julienned
1 turnip shredded, julienned
1 sweet potato, julienned
1 piece of bamboo shoot, julienned
1 cup of soaked and julienned wood ears, black fungus, Chinese mushrooms or taingang daga
1 bunch of spring onions, cut into rings (about 1/2 c.)
6 pieces of fried tofu, julienned
2 tbsps. of oyster sauce
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
19 cm x 19 cm. spring roll wrappers
1 tbsp. of flour plus 1 tbsp. of water
oil for deep frying
Microwave the carrots and turnip separately for 1 1/2 minutes each. Microwave the sweet potato for 1 minute.
Heat up a wok and add 2 tbsps. of cooking oil. Add the garlic and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the chicken, if using and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the vegetables, wood ear and tofu. Season with 2 tbsps. oyster sauce and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Stir fry until hot and fragrant (about 4 minutes). The vegetables should still be crisp.
You may need to adjust your seasonings because the sizes of the vegetables vary.
Transfer to a colander and leave to cool.
Separate the spring roll wrappers. Cover with a tea towel to keep them from drying. Spoon 2 tbsps. of filling near one corner and fold the corner over it. Fold the right and left corner towards the middle, putting the creases where the filling ends. Put a flat leaf parsley near the corner before you roll, if you wish. Make a paste with flour and water to stick the end corner.
Heat up some oil for deep frying. Fry the rolls a few at a time until golden and crisp (2-3 minutes). Fry for just 1 minute if freezing.
They are traditionally served with a vinegar and garlic dip but I prefer them with a soy and ginger dip:
1"x1" ginger, cut in fine strips
1 tbsp. of brown sugar
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
1/2 c. vinegar
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 red finger chilli in diagonal slices
Mix together and serve as dip for the spring rolls.
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