Vegetarian Spring Rolls (Lumpia) with Sweet & Sour Dipping Sauce
How many times have you looked in the fridge at the end of the week of cooking and couldn’t find a lot of any one thing left but a little bit of a lot of veggies like a half a head of red (or green cabbage), half a bell pepper, one small carrot, a couple of green beans, a couple cups of sprouts, or one green onion. Most often folks will think to make a soup or a salad, well, spring rolls or “lumpia”, a Filipino term, is another great way to use up all of those little bits of everything to make something crazy delicious.
Spring rolls (lumpia)
- 50 lumpia wrappers (2 packs of 25 wrappers; see Note below)
- 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
- Can also use green cabbage, bok choy, kina savoy, kale, collard greens
- 1/2 cup scallions, sliced
- 1/2 cup ripe red poblano peppers strips (julienne – approximately 1/8 inch by 1/8 inch by 2 inch sticks)
- Can also use bell peppers, sweet peppers, Italian or Cubanelle peppers.
- If you like it really spicy add jalapeno peppers
- 2 cups sunflower shoots
- 1/2 cup carrot julienned
- 1/2 cup green beans, sliced
- 1/2 cup culantro (top left in herbs photo below)
- 1/2 cup cilantro (top right)
- 1/2 cup mint (bottom right)
- 1/2 cup Thai basil (bottom left)
- 1/4 cup ginger minced (optional, bottom center)
- 6 cloves garlic minced (optional, bottom center)
- 1 tsp corn starch (to be used in rolling the lumpia wrappers)
- 1/2 cup of water (to be used in rolling the lumpia wrappers)
- Sweet and sour dipping sauce
- 1 cup sweet pepper glaze
- 1/4 cup organic rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp corn starch
- Note: You can usually find spring roll or lumpia wrappers in the frozen section of most Asian grocery stores. They come 25 to a package. Make 25 to have for dinner and freeze the other 25 for later. The finished lumpia freeze really well and can go directly into the fryer frozen.
Note: 45 minutes total (15 min to cut veggies; 30 to roll lumpia (each one will take less time than the previous as you get better at it)). Plus at least 4 hours or overnight for the veggies (see below for explanation)
- The wrappers will come frozen from the Asian grocery store so place these in the fridge to thaw overnight.
- Wash the red cabbage, remove any discolored leaves, thinly slice; place in a medium to large bowl.
- Wash the scallions, remove any discolored leaves, cut off the root end, thinly slice; add to bowl.
- Wash the red/green poblano peppers, julienne; add to bowl.
- Wash the sunflower sprouts really well, remove any discolored leaves or roots; add to bowl.
- Wash and peel the carrot, julienne; add to bowl.
- Wash the green beans, remove any discolored parts, cut off both ends, slice on the diagonal; add to bowl.
- Add a couple of sprinkles of kosher salt, mix well, cover with plastic wrap, place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- This step will remove excess moisture from the veggies and soften them a bit. Not doing this step may result in a lot of punctured lumpia wrappers.
- Prep the herbs after you have allowed the veggies to soften a bit in the fridge (see step above) and when you’re ready to begin rolling the lumpia.
- Wash the herbs really well, drain, wash again, drain, pick the leaves off of the stems, give them a rough chop; add to the bowl of softened veggies, mix well.
- Your filling is now ready!
Rolling the lumpia:
- In a small bowl add 1 tsp of corn starch to 1/2 cup of cold water, mix well.
- Refer to photos below starting with top left then going clockwise.
- Remove the lumpia wrappers from its package, lay on a cutting board and cover with a damp paper towel.
- Remove one wrapper and place it on the cutting board with one of the corners close to you.
- Place one tablespoon of the filling just below the center of the wrapper.
- Fold the bottom corner of the wrapper over the filling and lightly press toward you.
- Roll twice.
- Fold the one side over the partially rolled lumpia.
- Fold the other side in the same manner.
- Using a small basting brush, spoon, or your thumb, dip it into the cornstarch water mix and lightly wet the unfolded portion.
- Complete rolling the lumpia.
- The corn starch water mixture will act as a “glue” to keep the wrapper from separating.
- Place on a baking sheet.
- Repeat until the baking sheet is full.
- Place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove the partially frozen lumpia and place in a sealable plastic bag; place the bag in the freezer until ready to use.
- Add enough vegetable into a frying pan to about 1 inch deep.
- Heat on medium-high to 350F. Your oil is ready to use.
- Carefully and slowly add one lumpia at a time to the hot oil.
- Fry on one side for 1 to 2 minutes then the other for another minute or two; the rule of thumb is “Golden Brown and Delicious”.
- Place the cooked lumpia on a tray lined with paper towels to wick away excess oil.
- Serve immediately with a cup of hot green tea, and sweet and sour pepper, sambal oelek, and ponzu sauces!
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