Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Project Lumpia: The Post-Thankgiving Edition

While trying to come up with different ideas for utilizing Turkey Day leftovers, my mind kept going back to lumpia.   Maybe it's because I hadn't had any in a while, but I was thinking it might be another way to use up the remaining turkey and spare veggies not used for the holiday stock or stuffing/dressing.

I had my first taste of the crispy fried spring rolls as a child when my Filipina stepmom made a huge batch for a family get-together.  I've loved them ever since but only recently have I attempted to make my own (I would normally depend on the kindness of a good friend for my local lumpia fix).  As you'll soon see, my lumpia rolling technique needs a lot of work, but I plan to get more practice in over the next few weeks.

As a reference point, I turned to a recipe for Lumpiang Shanghai from one of my favorite food blogs, Burnt Lumpia.   I made a few changes for this Turkey/Shrimp version (I decided not to add ginger and opted for slightly less garlic).  For this recipe, I used roasted turkey thigh meat.  I'm usually more of a "white meat" gal, but for this recipe the higher fat content of the thigh meat makes it more ideal.   I also decided to throw some shrimp into the mix as well-just because.  In retrospect, I think I should have followed Marvin's instructions and made them a bit smaller (he suggests cutting each lumpia wrapper in half-I think I'll do that next time).  The lumpia I'm used to are usually the size of cigars-don't ask me why I decided to make them larger!  This recipe yielded 10 large lumpia and should yield about 20-25 smaller ones.  Recipe follows after the jump...

Turkey & Shrimp Lumpia
(adapted from this recipe from Burnt Lumpia as featured on Rasa Malaysia.com)

Two roasted turkey thighs (skin removed)
1 lb shrimp (30-40 ct per pound), peeled, deveined and chopped
1 large carrot, finely diced (about 1 cup)
2 tbsp minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp chicken stock
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 pkg lumpia or spring roll wrappers (available at Asian supermarkets)

Remove the meat from two roasted turkey thighs and chop finely.  Stir in two tablespoons of chicken stock (if you have turkey stock, that's even better).  Set aside.

In a large skillet, saute the carrot, onion and garlic in two tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat.
Stir in shrimp and 2 tbsp of the soy sauce.  Cook over medium low heat just until shrimp begins to turn pink.
Stir in the reserved turkey thigh meat and remaining 1 tbsp of soy sauce.  Cook for an additional minute.  Transfer filling to a bowl and allow to cool completely before preparing the lumpia.

Rolling the lumpia:

Carefully remove each lumpia wrapper sheets from the package.  They are delicate and can tear easily.   Have a dish of warm water on hand to moisten the edges of the wrapper as you roll your lumpia.  As you will see below, my rolling technique was pretty crummy but it will improve... 
Raggedy lumpia...

...and slightly better looking lumpia.  Next time, I'm making them smaller!

Fry the lumpia in a large frying pan with about ½ inch of vegetable oil.  Fry until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Drain on paper towels before serving.
Frying the raggedy lumpia
My dipping sauce of choice is sweet chili (just like my friend), but rather than use the bottled variety I decided to make my own (with a little bit of a twist).  It's a very simple recipe and once you try it you might not want to go back to the bottled stuff again.

Sweet Lime-Chili Sauce
(adapted from this recipe from taste.com.au)

2 cloves garlic
¾ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup of  white or rice wine vinegar
3 long red chilies (this added just the right amount of "oomph" for my tastes, but as always adjust to your liking)
½ red bell pepper
2½ cups sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce (I use a Vietnamese-style fish sauce for this recipe)

Halve each of the long red chilies (you can de-seed some of them if you want to reduce the heat level but I don't think you'll need to).  Roughly chop the chilies and bell pepper and place in a blender or food processor.  Add the garlic cloves and vinegar.  Process until finely chopped.
Add the chili mixture, lime juice, sugar and fish sauce to a large saucepan.  Cook (stirring) over low heat for about five minutes, or until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes (or until sauce thickens).  Allow sauce to cool before storing.  This recipe should yield one 12 oz jar of sweet lime chili sauce.


  1. Okay, I will *have* to show this to my wife. She's half Chamorro, and Filipino food is ubiquitous in Micronesia..


  2. I hope she likes it! Let me know if you give the recipe a try.

  3. I teach spring roll 3-way classes and especially liked the homemade sweet chili sauce recipe! Folks seem to lap up the bottle. I do a hybrid with more kick. Thank you!