By Request

By Betty Shimabukuro

Wednesday, August 11, 1999

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
For fresh lumpia, a bounty of veggies, enriched with a little meat
and sometimes seafood, is rolled up in a delicate crepe-like doily.
It is best eaten right away, before the wrapper dries out or gets soggy.

Roll your own fresh lumpia

TODAY'S installment in our continuing investigation of culinary mysteries is Part 2 in an exploration of Filipino cooking.

Last week we dealt with Sari Sari and an old-style recipe for Bibingka. This week it's lumpia, but not your average crispy-fried lumpia.

Lilian Divinagracia e-mails from Rockville, Md., in search of a recipe for fresh lumpia, which she can't get in her home town despite urgent cravings.

"I have been dying to eat this food ... this may be because of my being pregnant," she says.

Lumpiang Sariwa, or Fresh Springrolls, are folded into a soft, crepe-like wrapper made with eggs. They contain a mixture of stir-fried ingredients, heavy on the veggies. Many variations exist. Divinagracia remembers them containing pork, turnips and other vegetables, served with sauce and peanuts.

Included here are recipes for lumpia, dipping sauce and wrappers.

Wrappers also may be purchased frozen at many Asian markets and Filipino groceries (be sure you're buying the type for fresh lumpia, not fried). Some cooks say making the wrappers is very tricky, but others say working with the frozen wrappers can also be difficult. Either way, they're fragile, so bring a lot of patience to your first attempt. Also, serve them quickly, as they have a tendency to crumble.

These recipes come from "Filipino Cuisine," by Gerry G. Gelle, who quotes a lumpia lover named Buchi Buchi as saying: "If heaven were to have a smell, I think it would smell like lumpia."


(Fresh Springrolls)
"Filipino Cuisine," by Gerry G. Gelle, Red Crane Books, 1997, $30

1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 pound pork, diced
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1/2 cup green beans, french cut
1/2 cup cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup jicama, sliced
1/2 cup peanuts, shelled, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup shrimp, peeled and diced
15-20 small lettuce leaves
15-20 lumpia wrappers
3-4 tablespoons minced garlic

Saute garlic and onions in oil. Add pork and saute until fat begins to render. Add water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer 10 minutes.

Add fish sauce, salt, pepper and potato. Cook 5-7 minutes. Add vegetables, peanuts and shrimp. Stir-fry 5-10 minutes. Cool.

To assemble: Place a lettuce leaf in the center of a wrapper. Add 2 tablespoons filling. Fold bottom of wrapper over filling; wrap one side over filling and roll to the other side. The edge of the lettuce will stick out. Seal edge with water. Wrap each lumpia in wax paper. Serve with sauce (below) and minced garlic or peanuts. Makes 15-20 springrolls.


1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
3 cloves garlic, minced

Combine first four ingredients; bring to a light boil. Add cornstarch, stir until thickened. Remove from heat, then stir in garlic. Makes 1-1/2 cups.


3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 cups milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine eggs and salt. Gradually add flour, alternating with milk. Beat with a whisk until smooth. Beat in oil gradually. Refrigerate batter 1 hour.

Brush a nonstick crepe pan with oil and place over low heat. Ladle in 2 tablespoons batter, swirl to cover pan and pour off excess. Cook until the wrapper can be lifted (if batter bubbles, the pan is too hot). Turn and cook just to warm the other side. Makes 20 wrappers.

Approximate nutritional information, per piece (without sauce): 180 calories, 10 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium.*


Can you help?

Divinagracia is also seeking a recipe for Hopia, a Filipino cake made with mung beans. If you have a recipe, please send it to the address below.

Send queries along with name and phone number to:
By Request, Honolulu Star-Bulletin Food Section,
P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Or send e-mail to

Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by
Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.

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