Friday, May 21, 2010

Lumpia for the Bowling Alley

OK! Tonight is our bowling banquet. I always like to make something good, but not too much for the cheap b@stards we bowl with. The banquet at the end of the league is always fun, an 8 pin no tap for the rest of us while the top 2 teams roll for 1, 2 and 3rd place. This year...we have NO need to worry about it, even with having the BEST team name. Ever! "Sofa King Butch". EVERY team we bowled the last half of the season had, "the best night EVER!!!". One more team said that to us...they were going to be hurt! Seriously! I roll 3 games 30 pins over average, my team mates all roll within their average and we STILL lose all three games? FEH!

Anyway, everyone brings a pot luck dish. Several years ago...these were fun things, everyone brought something good. Of late...people are rolling in, WITH friends we've never seen on the freaking league before, and bring in 4 pieces of grocery store fried chicken or a bag of potato chips. So, yes, I'll cook for them, but it ain't going to be anything over the top. They are NOT getting cheesecakes, for instance! LOLZ

So, I decided to make lumpia. If you have never had lumpia, you don't know what you are missing. Lumpia is the Filipino version of spring rolls, or egg rolls. The wrappers are different, thin, flaky, crispy, light. The filling is meat, not cabbage with some meat in it, but meat with some cabbage in it. With some duck sauce...HEAVEN!

So, let's make some lumpia! I used this recipe from I doubled it to 30 servings, which I will cut in half. This saves a lot of time at a pot luck. A, the things are open so people can see what is in them, and B, it makes each lumpia two servings. HA!

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds ground pork
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup minced carrots
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons soy sauce
30 lumpia wrappers (from the Asian market or produce section of the grocery. NOT eggroll wrappers!)
4 cups vegetable oil for frying

Shred the cabbage and carrots finely. I use the 2mm slicing disk and ejection bowl in the food processor for the cabbage. Seriously, if you've got it, use it. Throwing the bowls in the dishwasher is one HELL of a lot easier than finely slicing up the cabbage. Plus, you get a much more even and fine chop than you will probably do with your knife and cutting board. Switch to the grater plate and do the carrots. Set this aside. Chop up your garlic and set it aside. Chop up the green onions and set aside. In a small cup, mix your dry spices and set to the side. Have the soy next to the stove as well. Mise en place, baby!

Clean down your counters and put the stuff you used for prep in the dishwasher. Look, you have all these lovely bowls of food ready to go and your kitchen is still clean!

Add the oil to your stir fry pan or wok and cook the ground pork. Remove the pork, drain and use a towel to quickly wipe down the pan, leaving a good sheen of oil.

Add the garlic and green onions and cook for two minutes.

Add the pork, cabbage and carrots back to the pan. Add the pepper, salt, galic powder, soy sauce and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the cabbage is wilted and the carrots are tender.

Remove from heat, dump it into a large bowl (you need the wok or stir fry pan again.) Take one wrapper at a time (keep the rest covered with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out, these things are THIN, but WAY tougher than they look).

Place a scant 3 tablespoons of filling at the bottom of the wrapper. Begin rolling up along the long side, pulling back to tighten the wrapper. Fold in the side and finish rolling up. When you get to the end, wet the fingers of the hand not holding the lumpia and wet the edge to seal and finish rolling. Set on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Make the next one. These actually go really quickly once you catch the rhythm of it.

Add the oil to the pan and heat on med-hi for 5 minutes. Once the oil is hot, drop 2-4 lumpia into the hot oil and fry for 1-2 minutes. Don't crowd your pan. These only need to brown and crisp, the filling is already cooked. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

Once all are cooked, serve with duck sauce, or a soy/vinegar/mirin/green onion blend of sauce. Or hot chinese mustard. Or, whatever your heart fancies!


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