Guam inspired Lumpia, this aint yo momma's egg roll!

May 16th 2013

Back to “normal” for spring here in Portland….rainy! Doesn’t really bother me all that much to be honest…and back to cooking for rainy weather, it’s a different process completely. This recipe was inspired by the most amazing dish at PDX 671, they are a food cart in the pod by my house and they serve amazing lumpia! I’ve eaten my share of eggrolls/spring rolls but these lumpia (Guam version) are outta this world! They are light, crispy, and served with the most amazing sweet and sour sauce, not the red stuff you get on your sweet and sour chicken, a light vinegar based sauce with fresh chilies. Recently, PDX 671 was featured on “Diners, Drive in’s, and Dives” and ever since then they have had weird hours, sold out, and aren’t open for dinner hours. Great for them, bad for the locals who now have to fight the tourists to get their Guam food craving. So in defiance I decided to make my own, this is my recipe and my journey. Pretty damn good, but not as good as my homie up at the Rose City Carts…damn you Guy Fieri, leave my carts alone…haha!
My delicious, but inferior lumpia:
1 ½ lbs ground pork or chicken
1 cup grated jicama
1 carrot, grated
2 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp fish sauce (Three Crabs is the best, I’ve found)
1 tsp grated ginger
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 egg
1 package Egg roll wraps, the thinner the better, I got the run of the mill thicker ones, I was on foot and couldn’t be picky so I had to get what was available at my local Wholefoods, which were fine but thinner would be way better.
Vegetable or peanut oil for shallow frying
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all ingredients, except wraps, in a bowl. Open wrapper and place about a golf ball sized amount of meat filling on to wrapper, form meat into a cigar shape, roll like a burrito (there are instructions on the back of the package, practice makes perfect!). Repeat till out of filling, mine made about 20, and they all got eaten…haha! Heat a few inches of oil in a frying pan over medium high heat, when lightly smoking add four lumpia at a time and brown on all sides. We are shallow frying here, to get the color then finishing off in the oven, a little less oil is absorbed so they are slightly more healthy….these are in no way heath food….but healthier food. As you brown all your lil buddies add them to the sheet pan in the oven, when all are finished give the rolls about 10 min in oven and they are good to go!
For the dipping sauce, I kinda did a Vietnamese version, it of course got a lil fusion action as this is not exactly the most authentic, but more inspired by the awesome spring roll sauce that I have eaten in the past.
Not that authentic, but delicious dippy time express:
½ cup sugar
1 cup hot water
¼ cup red wine vinegar, you can use what you have, not balsamic, but white, cider, rice would all be great
¼ cup fish sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thai chili, feel free to use fresh or serrano or whateves this is what I had on hand.
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
Put sugar in with hot water and dissolve in a mason jar, add other ingredients, combine. If using the same day serve as is, if waiting till later refrigerate, this recipe makes a bunch and can be stored in the fridge as long as needed.
I served my eggrolls wrapped in lettuce leaves and topped with the sauce. Try to find the thinner wrappers I think it will help with the crispy factor…..still great, but as with most things in life could be better!