Whenever I am in a “punctilious” mood, I would prepare this dish. Relatively, it’s quite easy to make, since all you have to do is put them together and deep fry. It’s the process of preparing and putting them together that just puts me off. First, you’re going to have to finely chop the carrots, onions, singkamas (or yam bean), and shrimps. Then you’ll have to wrap the mixture by the spoonful one at a time. But of course, popping them in your mouth is always the great equalizer so here you go. This will make close to a kilo so just cut the ingredients in half if cooking for just a few people. Then again, you may always keep some in the freezer for future use.
For the meat filling:
- 500 grams of ground chicken (or pork)
- a small carrot, say 100 grams, chopped finely
- an onion, chopped finely
- a small singkamas about 100 grams, chop it finely and squeeze out the juice with your hands. Canned water chestnuts may also be used. Then again, you may always do away with this ingredient.
- 5 pieces of shrimp, chopped finely. Crush the heads and squeeze out the juice and meat. If feeling stingy go ahead and use a shrimp cube. Just crush and put it in the mix.
- 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
- half a teaspoon of sesame oil
- an egg to bind them together
- salt and pepper to taste
- lumpia wrappers- I use those square wanton wrappers
- a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water to make paste for sealing the lumpia
- cooking oil for your wok, or if turbo broiling or using an oven brush the prepared lumpia lightly with oil before cooking.
In a big bowl, mix the meat filling and make sure all ingredients have blended together. Separate the lumpia wrappers and lay them one at a time, diamond shaped, on a plate or a chopping board. Place a teaspoon or a spoonful (depending on how big your wrapper is) of meat filling on the lower half of the diamond lumpia wrapper. Lift the lowest corner/edge and cover and tuck in the meat. Roll once until you reach halfway, and lift the two corners in the middle and fold them toward the center to keep the meat from falling out. Now use your fingers and apply paste on the upper corner/edge and roll it toward that direction to seal it. Lay them on a plate with the seal facing down to keep it from opening accidentally. Remember to put meat filling sparingly, no bigger than your thumb, otherwise it might take too long too cook and you don’t want the wrapper to burn.
For a visual step-by-step on how to wrap, head on to the Cheese Sticks recipe. Just replace the cheese with the meat mixture (duh).
Deep fry in a wok, 3 or 4 at a time. Refrain from overcrowding to keep the temperature high. You’ll know it’s cooked when it floats and wrapper is colored golden-brown, about 4 minutes. I allow to give them a few burn marks just so I can be assured that they’re well-done.
The photo above has been turbo broiled at 350°F or 175°C. Brush it with oil using a pastry brush or even a table napkin before cooking and when it appears to be dry during the cooking process. The same goes with a conventional oven.
That’s baked salmon on the other plate, by the way, simply seasoned with coarse sea salt and pepper. I find it a waste of electricity when there’s space in your turbo broiler or oven so I put whatever I can find to fill it up. Even potatoes.
Once done you may chop them to 1 inch bite size pieces or to whatever desired length. Or even as is. Perfect dip would be chili sauce. Just wait for it to cool down or risk burning your tongue. Enjoy!
Wondering what to do with those excess lumpia/wanton wrappers? Make Cheese Sticks!