January 25, 2010

lumpiang sariwa (fresh springroll)

lumpiang sariwa with dried shrimps (above)

lumpiang sariwa with pork strips (above)

(1) rinsed & soaked "hibe" or dried shrimps and annatto juice. Annatto seeds and dried shrimps are both available in Asian markets (2) chopped fresh cilantro (3) pan-fried diced sweet and yukon gold potatoes (4) thinly sliced green beans, cabbage and onion (5) browning the pork strips in the wok (6) blanched vegetables were combined together.

There are many variations of the lumpia or springroll in the Philippines. Perhaps the most popular are the crispy fried springrolls that are served in most Asian restaurants. Even with the fresh kind, there are a few variations, and this is just one of them. It has been years since I made this type of lumpia or springroll. Although they're usually served wrapped or rolled in a fresh springroll wrapper, it's also acceptable to serve them without the wrapper. Minus the wrapper, we call them "lumpiang hubad" or "naked springroll". In Manila, we get fresh wrappers straight from the guy who makes them at the local market. The wrappers are made with a simple flour and water mixture and are similar to very thin crepes. This recipe calls for a mix of fresh vegetables cooked with either pork and/or dried shrimps although the dried shrimps add a distinctive flavor. They can be salty so it's best to rinse them. Pan fried diced potato and sweet potato are also important in the dish. The jicama strips provide the crunchy texture. With my husband's shrimp allergy, I had to make this in two batches. The first batch was cooked with pork and the second, with the dried shrimps. One unusual ingredient we like to use for this dish is achuete, achiote or annatto seeds. The seeds, which give the dish a deep yellow orange color, are sold in Asian markets as a natural food coloring. They have to be soaked in hot water, then strained before using. The unusual flavors of this vegetable dish come from a combination of peanut butter or ground peanuts, rinsed and soaked dried shrimps, cilantro and annatto juice. It's also served with a sauce made with minced garlic, ground roasted peanuts, soy sauce, water, sugar, salt and pepper then thickened slightly with cornstarch. I would say this Filipino vegetable dish is quite different from most Asian stir fry dishes we're familiar with.


canola or vegetable oil
1/2 lb. pork, thinly sliced in strips (optional)
2 tbsps. dried shimps or hibe, rinsed and soaked in water (optional)
2 tbsps. garlic, minced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2-3 tbsps. natural style peanut butter
1/4 cup ground roasted peanuts
2 tbsps. annatto or achuete seeds, soaked then strained
1 cup thinly sliced green beans, blanched
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage, blanched
1/2 cup julienned singkamas or jicama (optional)
2 small potatoes, diced and pan-fried
1 small sweet potato, diced and pan-fried
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the peanut butter and annatto juice and mix well. Set aside. If using pork, cook the pork strips in a little oil over medium heat until well browned. Drain and set aside. Cook the garlic and onions in a little canola oil in the same pan. Add the annatto juice and peanut butter mixture. Drain the shrimps before adding. Thin with a little water if mixture is too thick. Stir in the blanched vegetables followed by the pan-fried potatoes and jicama. Sprinkle the cilantro and ground peanuts. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with some green leaf lettuce leaves and the sauce (below). The green leaf lettuce leaves may take the place of the fresh springroll wrapper.


2 cups water
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons white or brown sugar
finely minced garlic, about 2 tablespoons
1/4 cup ground roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with water

Combine the water, sugar, soy sauce, garlic and peanuts. Simmer over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in the the cornstarch mixture. Serve with the fresh lumpia.

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