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Nostalgia-Inducing Lumpia


Earlier this month the boys were on Fall Break from school. We had a robotics tournament on the first weekend and the second weekend, we worked on Halloween costumes. But we didn't travel anywhere and my parents couldn't take them to Hawaii with them because they weren't getting home in time for the boys to be back at school on Monday.

And since Jake and I were both working, the boys scheduled bike rides and park playdates with friends who live nearby. One afternoon, they headed to the park and came home to for a Filipino dinner. Their buddy J said that he had never had lumpia, but he was game to make some.


I sent a few home with him that evening and his mom called me the next day to thank me and tell me that she remembers going to festivals at the DLI (Defense Language Institute) with her dad when she was a kid. He'd let her pick her where she wanted to buy lunch and she always picked the Filipino booth. So, she was very excited that J had learned to make it. Love that!


Ingredients makes 2 to 3 dozen

  • 1 pound ground meat (typically I use pork, but I had beef for this version)
  • 1 C diced onions
  • 1 C diced celery
  • 1 C diced carrots
  • 1 T olive oil
  • lumpia wrappers (I found ours frozen at a local Filipino market - they told me to get the round ones), defrosted and separated
  • water
  • oil for cooking (I used a canola oil)
  • sauces for serving
Procedure

In a large skillet, heat 1 T olive oil. Add in the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until the onions are slightly softened and the carrots are fork tender. Stir in the beef and cook until no pink remains. Spoon the filling into a colander - over a bowl - and let drain until nothing drips when you press down on the filling. Now you're ready to roll.

Keep the lumpia wrappers covered so they stay pliable while you roll and have a small bowl of water nearby to seal the lumpia.

Place a lumpia wrapper on a plate. Place about 1-1/2 T of filling on the wrapper. Fold in the edges and roll it as tightly as you can without breaking the wrapper. But, if you happen to tear one, don't worry. Double wrap it and that one will just have extra crispy goodness around it!



Wet the edge of the wrapper and complete the roll, placing the lumpia, seam-side down, while you finish wrapping the rest.


To cook, heat oil in a rimmed skillet. Use tongs to gently lower the lumpia into the hot oil. Turn them as they brown and crisp. Once they are nicely crisped, remove them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.


Move to a serving platter and serve with a dipping sauce of your choice. This was our first course. For the second course, I made chicken adobo; and for dessert, the boys made halo-halo. More on that later.


So happy that this deliciousness was nostalgia-inducing as well. Food memories are the best.

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