For last Saturday’s dinner with my husband’s family (his oldest brother and his family are visiting from Chicago), the menu, as originally planned, was supposed to include lumpiang ubod. We had announced it to the would-be guests and the balikbayans were excited. Now, we had been buying our (clean and super tender) ubod from The Landmark at TriNoma so, on Friday, I was there an hour after the supermarket opened so I could pick the choicest pieces. Then, disaster struck. No ubod. Did they move it to another section? I asked a supermarket attendant who consulted with her supervisor. There has been no ubod for several weeks already.
My immediate decision was to make some Vietnamese spring rolls instead. But my husband, Speedy, wanted the garlicky salty-sweet sauce that traditionally goes with lumpiang ubod so I decided to simply substitute shredded cabbage for the ubod. And that was what we served.
Why chicken and not pork? Because, for health reasons, my mother-in-law is banned from eating red meat.
- 20 pieces herbed spring roll wrappers
- 400 grams chicken thigh fillets thinly sliced
- half a head of garlic minced
- 4 shallots finely sliced
- 1 large carrot peeled and coarsely grated
- 120 grams of Baguio beans trimmed and sliced on the diagonal
- 1 large head of cabbage cored and finely shredded
- 3 to 4 tablespoons cooking oil
Place the cut chicken in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Heat the cooking oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the seasoned chicken and stir fry over high heat until no longer pink. Add the garlic and shallots; cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the Baguio beans and grated carrot; cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes. Add the shredded cabbage, stir, season with salt and pepper. Continue stir frying until the cabbage softens, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Place a colander over a bowl and pour the cooked spring rolls filling into the colander to drain well. Wet filling will ruin spring rolls. Allow to cool to room temperature. Normally, by the time the filling cools, it has sufficiently drained too. So, just leave it there for an hour or so.
To assemble, place a heaping tablespoonful of filling along the center of a wrapper. Lift the edge nearest you and fold to cover the filling. Lift the left and right edges and fold inward to cover the edge first folded. Roll the spring roll away from you to tuck and seal.
To make serving easier and less messy, cut out 20 3"x3" inch pieces of wax paper. Place an assembled spring roll on a piece of wax paper, the exposed edge of the wrapper facing down and touching the wax paper. Lift the sides of the wax paper to mold to the shape of the spring roll. Arrange the spring rolls on a platter and cover with cling film until ready to serve.
For the sauce:
1 c. of water
1/4 c. of soy sauce
1/3 c. of white sugar
1 tbsp. of tapioca (or corn) starch
1 tsp. of grated garlic
Mix all the ingredients together and cook over medium heat until clear and thick. Double or triple, as necessary.