I think my mother learned to make lumpia from Filipino ladies whose husband’s were stationed on the Navy base in Iceland at the same time we were there. The filling is made of various cooked vegetables and ground meat wrapped in a thin wrapper almost like a crepe and then fried quickly in hot oil. As a child, I remember it was difficult to buy the wrappers and the packages had likely been frozen and thawed more than once. The paper-thin wrappers were often stuck together and it was my job to carefully peel them apart and hand them out to the adults who rolled the filling into the wrappers.
A few weeks ago my parents came down to see us and my mother cooked up a big batch of filling and three of us rolling made quick work, allowing us both to stock pile carefully bagged lumpia in the freezer for later enjoyment.
My mother’s recipe for Lumpia
1 1/2 – 2 lb ground beef (or other types of meat)
2 medium carrots (I use peeler)
1 medium cabbage, cut very thin
4-5 stalks celery, chopped small
1 bag of beansprouts
1 lb (approx) string beans, cut very thin
1 medium onion chopped
5 bay leaves
1/4 tsp chopped garlic
1 Tbsp salt
small amount of black pepper to your taste
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1. Fry garlic in oil; add gound beef, salt and bay leaves
2. Add onion and let it cook until translucent
3. Add cabbage and cook 2 minutes
4. Add bean sprouts
5. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir constantly until everything
6. Add a dash of pepper
The total amount of cooking time is approximately 10 minutes.
Cool and drain the filling. Place 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of filling on a wrapper and bring up the bottom corner first. Fold in the sides and roll. Brush the last corner with beaten egg to seal.
To cook, heat two inches of oil in a heavy pot until a dry chopstick bubbles when dipped in the oil. Have a cooling rack of paper towel covered tray ready for the hot lumpia. Gently slide lumpia into the hot oil, turn as necessary to fry evenly to golden brown. Remove to rack to cool slightly before serving. I usually cook 4-6 per adult. Two per adult for an appetizer.
Did I get all that right mother? :^)