Filipino Spring Rolls

Growing up, I was surrounded by a large extended family and have been to countless Filipino parties, characterized by all my relatives playing Mah-jongg or line dancing to the “Electric Slide.” More importantly, I remember the food, from pancit noodles to lechon (Filipino roasted pig). But of course, there’s my all-time favorite: lumpia – piping hot and crunchy spring rolls with ground pork filling served with sweet and sour sauce on the side. It’s been my food of choice since the first birthday party I can remember. It’s also coincidentally the first thing to run out at every family party I go to. As my stomach starts to growl and while I go in and out of food nostalgia, here’s a recipe of my favorite Filipino snack. (All right, so I took the recipe from, but I ran it by my mom and she says it looks pretty much like what she would do.)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound ground pork
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup minced carrots
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup thinly sliced green cabbage
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon soy sauce
30 lumpia wrappers
2 cups vegetable oil for frying

Place a wok or large skillet over high heat, and pour in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Cook pork, stirring frequently, until no pink is showing. Remove pork from pan and set aside. Drain grease from pan, leaving a thin coating. Cook garlic and onion in the same pan for 2 minutes. Stir in the cooked pork, carrots, green onions, and cabbage. Season with pepper, salt, garlic powder, and soy sauce. Remove from heat, and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Place three heaping tablespoons of the filling diagonally near one corner of each wrapper, leaving a 1 1/2 inch space at both ends. Fold the side along the length of the filling over the filling, tuck in both ends, and roll neatly. Keep the roll tight as you assemble. Moisten the other side of the wrapper with water to seal the edge. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap to retain moisture.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat, add oil to 1/2 inch depth, and heat for 5 minutes. Slide 3 or 4 lumpia into the oil. Fry the rolls for 1 to 2 minutes, until all sides are golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.