What distinguishes good lumpiang ubod (heart of palm spring rolls) from great lumpiang ubod? The quality of the ubod, of course, the right balance of saltiness and sweetness of the sauce, the light seasoning of the filling that does not take away from the natural sweetness of the ubod… and there’s the wrapper. You can have the most superb filling but if you wrap it in commercial lumpia wrapper, the lumpia as served suddenly falls by several notches. But if you can make crepe-like lumpia wrappers, you’ve elevated your lumpia to such heights that will make your mother-in-law talk about you to her amigas with such pride. :smile: Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. :wink:
Of course, I didn’t slave over the wrapper just to impress you. I made lumpiang labong (bamboo shoots spring rolls) for lunch. My original plan was to make a noodle dish but somewhere between sautéing the bamboo shoots and waiting for it to become tender, I changed my mind. The recipe for the lumpiang labong will be posted later today.
There are three things to remember when making crepe-like spring roll wrappers.
1. The correct proportion between the flour and the starch;
2. The correct consistency of the batter (i.e., the amount of water); and
3. A non-stick frying pan — I really wouldn’t attempt this without a non-stick pan.
The following recipe makes 10 spring roll wrappers using a 10-inch non-stick frying pan. If you use a smaller sized pan, you will be able to make more wrappers. But small wrappers aren’t easy to work with because you will need a substantial amount of overhang to fold them properly without the lumpia bursting open before they are served.
1 c. of all-purpose flour
1/3 c. of corn or tapioca starch
1/2 tsp. of salt
2-3/4 c. of water (you may have to adjust this depending on the quality of the flour and starch you use)
Cooking procedure :
In a mixing bowl, beat the egg. Add the water and mix. Add the flour, starch and salt and mix until well blended.
Place the frying pan on the stove and turn on the heat to medium-low. Pour 1/3 cup of batter into the pan, swirling the pan to evenly distribute the batter on the bottom. Cook the batter until the crepe (it is a crepe, really) pulls away from the sides of the pan (see the photo), about two minutes. Using a spatula, flip the crepe over and cook the other side for a minute.
Okay, stoves have different settings and temperature and the cooking time of two minutes is relative. How can you tell if the crepe is ready to be flipped over? It is ready when the spatula slides easily underneath. If the crepe wrinkles, that means it is still too wet. If you flip it at this stage, it is still sticky, it’s difficult to flip over and it might crumple and stick in places.
Just keep repeating the procedure until you have used up all the batter. A tip: stir the batter before cooking each wrapper. The starch has a nasty tendency to sink to the bottom and you really want the batter to be very well blended before it goes into the hot frying pan.
Where do you place the cooked lumpia wrappers? Most cooks will say stack them between sheets of kitchen (wax) paper. That’s too rich for me — kitchen paper is not cheap and I only use it for baking. I don’t have any problems stacking the cooked lumpia wrapper one on top of the other. They might stick to one another if they are still wet. But if they have been sufficiently looked, you will be able to pull off each wrapper easily.
How long will they keep? Ah, I do not know. I only make lumpia wrappers that can be consumed in one meal.
What do you use for filling? Give me an hour or so and I’ll show you. :)