Everyone’s favorite Chinese egg rolls (Lumpias)

Chinese egg rolls

This recipe is lifted from Steamy Kitchen and ever since the first time I tried these egg rolls, I’ve never made them any other way. Being Asian, I love spring rolls and in the Philippines, we have several versions. I’ve been making 2 versions of spring rolls for as long as I can remember, the vegetable version and the minced meat version and both have been very popular. Last year, I’ve decided to be more adventurous in the kitchen by trying out new recipes and new ways of doing the dishes that I’ve learned from way back.

I came across Steamy Kitchen while in search for the recipe of Vietnamese Pho and became so excited when in searching the site, I saw a lot of interesting new recipes. I tried these egg rolls and was amazed at how wonderful the combination of flavors were from the ginger, sesame oil, a bit of sugar, soy sauce, rice wine and shitake mushrooms. Soon, I was making these egg rolls in huge quantities as they became huge favorites of family, friends and colleagues.

Last Saturday, I made huge quantities again and they are now in the freezer, saved for the upcoming family reunion on my mom-in-law’s side of the family. They are big fans of my egg rolls and introducing them to this new version with amazing flavors will surely be a big success no doubt.

Ingredients:
50 Spring/Egg Roll Wrappers (about 2 packages), defrosted unopened at room temperature for 45 minutes or in the refrigerator overnight
1 tablespoon cornstarch (or flour) mixed with ¼ cup of cool water
Oil, for frying

FOR THE GROUND PORK
1 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon sugar
freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE VEGETABLES
2 to 3 cloves garlic, very finely minced
½ head of cabbage (about 11 ounces)
3 carrots, shredded
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
10 fresh shiitake mushrooms (or dried black mushrooms soaked overnight), stems discarded
1 tablespoon cooking oil (canola, vegetable, peanut)
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1. To make the filling, combine the ingredients for the ground pork together. Marinate at least 10 minutes. In the meantime, shred the cabbage and the carrots using your food processor or by hand. Slice the mushrooms into very thin strips (or you could use your food processer and pulse a few times to get a fine dice.

To the ground pork meat, add the corn starch, soy sauce, sugar, ground pepper, mix well and marinate for at least 10 minutes.

Shred the cabbage using the food processor or by hand.

Shred the carrots using the food processor or cut them in matchsticks size. Other ingredients are finely minced garlic, grated ginger and thinly sliced shitake mushrooms.

2. Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. Add the cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the pork and stir-fry until no longer pink, about 2-3 minutes. Turn heat to medium-low, push the meat to one side of the pan. Add the garlic, cabbage, carrots, ginger and the mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 minute, until the vegetables are softened. Add the rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and black pepper. Continue to stir-fry for another minute. Scoop out the filling to a baking sheet and spread out to cool. Prop up one end of the baking sheet so that it tilts and will allow all the moisture to drain to one end. Let cool for 15 minutes.

To the hot oil, add the pork to stir-fry.

Stir-fry the pork until no longer pink, about 2-3 minutes

Set aside the meat to one side of the pan and add the garlic, ginger, carrots, cabbage and mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 minute or until the vegetables are softened.

Add the rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, salt and black pepper.

Continue to stir for another minute and then the filling is done. Check the taste and add some more soy sauce or salt if needed to meet desired taste.

3. Discard all of the accumulated juices. Drain in a strainer.

IMPORTANT: Only use 1 heaping tablespoon of filling for each egg roll. These are slender egg rolls, the width of the egg roll should only be 1.25″ diameter.

Discard all of the accumulated juices. Drain in a strainer.

WRAPPING:

Use 1 heaping tablespoon of filling for each egg roll.

Lift the bottom corner up and begin rolling until you reach halfway up.

Fold over the left side, and then the right side towards the center.

Continue folding up with a tuck-roll tuck-roll motion. Dip your fingers into the cornstarch slurry and brush all over the final top corner. Finish up the roll and seal.

The finished egg roll

Keep the rolled egg rolls in neat, single layer and covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying. If you want to stack the egg rolls, make sure you have layer of parchment paper in between the layers to prevent sticking. Keep wrappers also covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Refrigerate up to 4 hours until ready to fry or freeze.

4. To fry the egg rolls, fill a wok or pot with 2 inches of high-heat cooking oil. Heat the oil to 350°F (175°C) or until a cube of bread will fry to golden brown within 10 seconds. Gently slide in or lower the egg rolls, frying 4 to 6 at a time, turning occasionally until golden brown about 1½ minutes. Place on wire rack to drain and cool.

Frying the egg rolls in a pan

Egg rolls are done when they turn golden brown

Place on wire rack or paper towels to drain extra oil.

Serve with chili sauce (or I make a sauce from combining soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and freshly ground pepper).

NOTE: To fry frozen egg rolls, do not defrost the egg rolls – just add them to the oil frozen, frying 4 to 6 at a time. Add an additional 1½ minutes to the frying time since they are frozen.

Bicol express: one spicy Philippine dish named after a train service

A cold snap is currently chilling Europe these days and the mercury has dropped and stayed at sub-zero levels in the last couple of days. At times like these, there is nothing that I like more than to eat something hot and spicy, something familiar. What came to mind was a very special dish from the Philippines (my home country) and specifically from the region where I come from, Bicol. This dish is called “Bicol Express”, coined from the train service that runs from Manila to the Bicol region. What makes this dish special even in the Philippines is its spiciness and use of coconut milk because in general, Philippine dishes are not spicy but lean more to the Spanish influence due to the ties with Spain which colonized the country for over 300 years.

The Bicol Express


When I first came to Holland, I didn’t know that making this dish will be a big thing to my in-laws, friends and colleagues. I made it for myself then for comfort especially when I start to pine for things back home. After introducing it to the people here, it became the most anticipated dish whenever we had gatherings.

The dish is simple and had very few ingredients which in many ways, make its taste pure compared to spicy curries for instance.

For this dish, I used the following ingredients:

700 grams pork belly cut in cubes
2 tin cans of coconut milk (I would have used coconut cream but didn’t have that on hand)
6 cloves garlic
1 onion, sliced
6 pieces long chillies, sliced
freshly ground pepper
Salted tiny shrimps (This provides the special flavor and if not available, can be substituted by shrimp paste but salt should be added.)

The chillies used for the Bicol Express


The ingredients: pork, chillies, garlic, onion, coconut milk, salted tiny shrimp

Cooking instructions:

Sautee the garlic and onion

Add the pork meat

Add the coconut milk

Let the stew simmer for a while

Add the salted tiny shrimps, check the taste as this is the seasoning used. No need to add salt.

When the dish is almost done, add the chillies

Let it cook for a short while

The Bicol Express

Serve with steamed/boiled white rice and some vegetable (boiled broad beans in this case)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,685 other followers