Ok, 10 minutes might be a stretch but if you do some prepping, it’s possible. How, you ask? Prepare the filling ahead of time and wrap a few to fry up right away.
My Mom’s version is labor intensive, she uses a lot of different ingredients but it is so worth it for those of us who get to eat it and not have to make it. I honestly don’t have that kind of time and I’ve already mentioned my loss of patience since having kids so I do a quicker version that is approved by my Mother herself. She has now deemed me the new lumpia maker from now on. I’ll take that compliment from my favorite lumpia maker on the planet!
The one item you have to have to make these are the lumpia wrappers which are normally found in an Asian market, luckily in my small town I’m able to find these locally. I like the ones in this blue box because they’re packaged as individual wrappers, separated by sheets and if you’ve ever used the ones that aren’t individually wrapped, you better have a lot of patience because these are super thin and are hard to separate.
But if that’s all you can find, just moisten some paper towels and lay them over the wrappers to help loosen them, it makes them easier to separate.
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 lb ground chicken (cooked and shredded)
- 2-3 lbs Napa cabbage (shredded finely)
- 1-10 oz bag matchstick carrots (To your liking)
- 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 yellow onion, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Garlic powder
- 1 pack lumpia wrappers (kept frozen until ready to use)
- 1-8 oz can chopped water chestnuts (drained)
- Brown the ground pork in a large pot. Halfway through the browning, add onions and carrots and cook until slightly tender.
- Add cabbage, cook about 5 minutes more, then add the garlic.
- Salt and pepper to taste and add a generous amount of garlic powder. Stir well.
- Add shredded chicken and stir, adding more garlic powder and salt and pepper as needed.
- Add water chestnuts if using. Continue to saute until carrots are cooked but still firm. Continue adding seasonings until desired flavor.
- I add heavy amounts of garlic powder that it makes my fridge smell after I've rolled the lumpia. Again, it's all personal preference but the garlic powder is what makes these so flavorful.
- Once the filling mixture is cooked, place in a strainer over a large glass bowl to drain any extra liquid until the filling is room temperature. You can refrigerate the mixture until ready to wrap, up to 2 days. x
- Once the filling mixture is cooked, place in a strainer over a large glass bowl to drain any extra liquid until the filling is room temperature. You can refrigerate the mixture until ready to wrap, up to 2 days. You don't want to try to use the filling while hot or warm and not fully drained, or the wrappers will break when you try to wrap them.
- When you're ready to wrap, pull the lumpia wrappers out of the box onto a plate. Moisten 2 paper towels and place them on top of the wrappers until the top few are slightly defrosted and pliable. Set up a wrapping station with the plate of wrappers, container of filling, a bowl of water to seal the wrappers and an empty dish to pile the lumpia in.
Ok, there are people who make tiny little lumpia that I could easily eat 6 of to equal 2 to 3 of the size I roll, but you can do whatever you like, just don’t make them the size of a burrito! I use about 1-2 tablespoons or less of filling for each lumpia. Once you roll it, use a little water to wet the outer edge to seal it. The beauty of lumpia is the crunch factor you get when you bite into it so a giant burrito size would not be ideal. Here’s a little how to on the rolling part:
If you’ve been lucky enough to find the individually wrapped box of wrappers, you can reuse the paper to wrap the rolled lumpia in. Not sure if this is a silly thing but this is what my Mom taught us to do. I can’t really say for sure how many this makes but the box contains 30 wrappers and I usually use the entire box. I’ll freeze any I don’t plan on using within a few days and store a dozen per freezer bag. Just be sure to defrost frozen lumpia before frying.
To fry the lumpia fresh or defrosted, you need a skillet and our oil of choice is peanut oil, it has a high smoke point so it won’t give your lumpia a burnt taste or color when frying in multiple batches. Heat the oil on medium heat until a splash of water makes it sizzle. Fry desired amount of lumpia, don’t overcrowd the skillet, a few minutes per side until each is golden brown.
One of these days I promise I’ll post recipes for the chicken adobo, teriyaki sticks and pancit, I just haven’t mastered those things yet. Besides, I don’t want my Mom to deem me the maker of any of those things, she’s still the master of those and my Dad, well he’s the master of the grill which I’m far from. One day, I’ll get there. For now, I’m happy being the lumpia maker of family gatherings now. One thing at a time.