FRESH LUMPIA “ALA GOLDILOCKS” (FILIPINO FRESH SPRING ROLLS)

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Photo Credits: Josephine G Solano Photography

Fresh Lumpia- Lumpiang sariwa or Filipino springrolls are sautee’d vegetables and pork and/or shrimp and tofu wrapped in crepe like wrappers made with eggs and flour. Anyone who knows how to chop vegetables and sautee can make the roll. But not all fresh lumpia are made equal. Because the secret to the best lumpia is in the sauce.

Growing up, I was never really fond of this dish being a meat lover myself. I never understood why people go crazy about fresh lumpia like no big event or gathering is complete without it. But then this famous filipino bakeshop/fastfood “Goldilocks,” started carrying their own version, that’s when my love for the lumpia started. Their sweet caramelly sauce is just like no other and that’s what makes all the difference. While not all lumpia are created equal, this for me is the best of them all.

When I migrated to Texas, just like the pandesal, i kept on craving for fresh lumpia. The nearest Goldilocks is in Houston, a 4 hour drive. I salivate everytime I think about that sweet caramelly sauce. Caramelly yes! and just like that a bright idea lit up. The sauce tastes like caramelized sugar, and if I can caramelize the sugar, maybe I can replicate the sauce. I like it when I’m always right especially when it comes to food, because since then I never have to deprive myself of this dish everytime the craving strikes. Because now I can make it anytime I want to. My laziness is my limit, because hey! it’s not that easy to chop and wrap all those veggies. But in the end all those hard work is all worth it. Read on and you’re on your way to your delicious vegetable dish.

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INGREDIENTS

1 large Jaicima (Singkamas) cut julliene style, 1 large carrots, also cut julliene style.You can also add any crunchy vegetable of your choice like, greenbeans and bean sprouts. I like to keep it simple…nah! I’m just really not in to vegetables and that is the reason why I keep it to a few ingredients. We also need lettuce to put between the veggies and the wrapper. And of course no sauteeing is complete without chopped garlic and sliced onions.

Spring roll wrapper.

1/2 lb pork (optional). This can either be substituted by shrimp or tofu. If you’re a vegetarian, of course tofu is the choice. But if you love all of them like me, then by all means add them on the dish. But if you’re cost cutting like I am, then going by just one of the meat wouldn’t make the dish any less delicious.

If you are in luck like I was when I went to the asian market the other day, you may find some fresh/frozen ubod, a.k.a. hearts of palm. The thought of fresh/frozen always makes me smile, thinking how can frozen food be fresh? But beggars can’t choose. This is the closest thing us Texans can get from the fresh ubod in the Philippines. I tried the bottled hearts of Palm before. Don’t ever buy it for this lumpia, coz it will ruin everything. The bottled ones are sour and not made for this dish at all, so don’t waste your money. If you can’t find the frozen one, just eliminate it completely and add more Jaicima.

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Of course no fresh lumpia is complete without chopped peanuts on top. You’ll need about 1/2 cup or more, depending on how much you love peanuts.

Cornstarch for the sauce dissolved in water. You’ll need about 2 tbsp cornstarch for every 3 cups of water. I like mine a little runny but if you want it thicker, just add more cornstarch.

And the secret ingredient….white sugar, that will be caramelized later. You will need 1 cup of sugar or more depending on your taste for every 2 cups of water. Start with 1:2 ratio then just add more water or sugar later.

PROCEDURE

Cook the ground pork untill no longer pink.

Sautee garlic and onions.

Add the pork, then vegetables. Sautee till the vegetables are cooked but still crunchy. Let it cool while we make the sauce.

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Caramelize the sugar. Make sure no child is within 4 feet while your doing this as this can be a little dangerous once you add the water. Be very careful not to touch the caramelized sugar as it can really scald your skin. When the sugar is caramelized, add the water. Do not add the cornstarch yet. Keep a little distance while your doing this because one wrong step can burn your face. Once the water is added and the sugar stopped sizzling, turn the heat back on and keep stirring until the sugar is dissolved. At this point, you can either add more water or more sugar depending on how sweet you want it to be. Dilute the cornstarch in a little bit of water, then add to the sugar and water mixture. Keep mixing until the sauce thickens, then set aside while we wrap the vegetables.

We will wrap in this order: spring roll wrapper, lettuce then mixed vegetables.

Top with the fresh lumpia sauce and chopped peanuts. For my fellow garlic lovers out there, this tastes even better with crushed garlic on top.

And there’s your delicious Fresh lumpia ala Goldilocks. Please don’t forget to leave your comments and let me know what you think.

Credits to: josephinegsolano.wordpress.com