Since my success in making choco crepes (though no success in egg roll wrapper yet), I have been looking for the opportunity to try making fresh lumpia, which means, a time for another Filipino-get-together. Our supposed lunch meeting the previous week was postponed. I actually was no longer in a mood to bring anything (and I told the hostess Fe about that, and she did not mind). But when I still had cabbage from Vengie and some more carrots from my garden (getting quite wrinkly already), plus a scan of my freezer and pantry revealed that I still had that pack of frozen ubod and a small can of water chestnut, I immediately went online to print out that recipe that I saw a long time ago.
The best compliment I received was that it was very much like what they ordered in a restaurant that costed $27 each!(Did I hear it right??? Maybe it was in pesos at a PI resto. ) That's expensive! I am now thinking of making and selling this and maybe siopao to Filipinos as a sideline when I start working as a nurse in a nearby hospital that has 5 Filipino doctors, 1 PT, and 1 CNA (who have their own families, of course). I wonder how much I can reasonably price these two Pinoy goodies? Hhmmmm....Any ideas?
Since thess's recipe did not have any amount for the ingredients for the filling, I approximated (read: I did not measure, either) the proportions, and that is what I will post here. Also, I did not have the time to go to the grocery store to buy tofu and roasted peanuts, but I did have 1 small can of water chestnut (my first time to use it) and several pounds of uncooked pecan nuts, which I toasted at 200 deg F for 10 minutes then cooled before I chopped (in the chopper).
INGREDIENTS and PROCEDURE:
For the wrapper (crepes) --
2 cups flour
4 beaten eggs
4 cups water
dash of salt
2-3 tbsp melted butter
(I omitted the oil since I will be brushing the crepe maker with butter for every crepe)
Coffee filters - to place in between crepes
Mix everything well and let stand in room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Plug the crepe maker and brush with melted butter. Place the batter on the plastic pan that went with the crepe maker and stir well, then dip the crepe maker for 2-3 seconds, lift up and swirl while still upside down. Let stand upright to cook for 1-2 minutes (you will notice if the sides are beginning to get drier and start to separate from the pan; this takes practice! I wasted the first 1/4 of the batter to finally find this right technique!). Positioning the pan upside down above the coffee filter, use a silicone spatula or a wooden stirrer to start separating the edge. The crepe will smoothly fall right away. Repeat the process and place coffee filters between each crepe. (I had a layer of parchment paper at the bottom, placed on top of a wire rack to cool the crepes as I add to the stack.) You can then place this stack in a ziplock bag, squeeze out excess air, and refrigerate for up to one week.)
For the filling --
1-2 tbsp oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 pound pork, sliced into bits
1/4 cup shrimp, sliced into bits
1/4 cup pre-boiled chicken meat, sliced into bits
1/2 head of cabbage, sliced thinly
1 carrot, sliced thinly
1 small can water chestnut, sliced thinly
frozen ubod, thawed (I have had it in my freezer for months now, so I did not have to resort to bamboo shoots. I actually have not seen any bamboo shoots here.)
salad greens (these are not cooked with the rest of the ingredients, but placed at the bottom before putting the cooked filling)
Heat the oil. Cook the pork. Remove from pan and set aside. Sautee garlic, add chicken and shrimp and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the ubod and water chestnut, cook for a minute, then add carrots and cabbage, 1/2-3/4 cup chicken broth and let simmer for 1 minute.
One of my readers, Toto, offered the following piece of information for those who do not have access to ubod/hearts of palm:
A little info about substitutes. I live in Norway and they don't sell Ubod here. I'm using Yellow Turnip instead. It's almost the same taste. I don't know though if you can find it outside Scandinavia but it's very common here.
Here's how it looks like:
For the sauce --
I had to research online for a good sauce because I had a hard time trying to imagine the proportion of the ingredients as described by thess, since she did not have amounts stated, and found one by a Filipino, which I tweaked to achieve what I imagined should be, according to what I recall of Goldilocks' fresh lumpia's paalat sauce. From recall, the sauce had a strong garlicky taste which I loved, but the recipe I found had only 1 clove of garlic. And of course, the peanutty taste. So what I did was to roast 10 cloves of garlic and mash them. Then I chopped roasted pecan nuts, about 1/2 cup. So I sauteed the garlic in peanut oil, then the nuts, then I followed the rest of the recipe. After cooking, I was not satisfied with the taste yet, so I added 1 tbsp white sugar and some more salt. I was quite disappointed with the dark brown color, and thought that maybe I should have used white sugar all the way, and light soy sauce instead of all purpose. I stirred the mashed roasted garlic into the mixture. Then as I tasted, still, something was missing -- the bite of garlic. So I minced one clove of garlic and just stirred those into the sauce. Suddenly I loved the taste! (Although I still did not like the dark brown color). Anyway, because it tasted good, I will share it here, although I think I could have made it look more like how I envisioned it if I used white sugar and light soy sauce. I liked the effects of pecans because the crunch was not too hard on my sensitive teeth, so I guess I will keep that. But as of this posting, I realized too late that there were other fresh lumpia posted a long time ago in other foodblogs: stel's and ting-aling's, which had the recipe for paalat. Oh well, I can try them another time. Maybe the tapioca flour and/or the peanut butter ingredients will give me what I want. Let me just claim (ahem!) that this sauce has turned out to be one of my creations that I am proud of because of its taste (never mind the looks). Here is my final recipe (which I may change in the future):
10 cloves garlic, roasted for 5 minutes in oven toaster then peeled and mashed
1/2 cup roasted pecans (peanuts if you prefer), roughly chopped
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup brown sugar (maybe white would be better) + 1 tbsp white sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce (maybe light would be better)
1-1/2 cups water
salt, if needed
4 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/3 cup cold water
1 clove garlic, minced (to be added after cooking the sauce)
1 cup chopped roasted pecan nuts for topping
Mix the sugar, soy sauce, and water. Sautee the garlic in peanut oil until golden brown then add the chopped nuts and stir to cook for about 30 seconds. Pour the mixture and stir, add 1 tbsp white sugar, and salt as necessary. thicken by pouring the cornstarch-water mixture in a slow stream while stirring, stopping when the desired consistency is achieved.
The fillings will, of course, occupy the middle part of the crepe/lumpia wrapper. Place a layer of fresh greens at the bottom (lettuce is most preferable), then the filling. You may want to add some sauce here before you fold the sides over the filling. Spoon the sauce over the lumpia, then top with chopped nuts and enjoy!
I will definitely, in the future, try those paalat sauces by stel and ting-aling, and maybe add some things to tweak them according to my taste.