The third in the four-part series on easy hors d’œuvre featuring tilapia fillets is fried lumpia (spring rolls) with whole strips of fish fillets and chopped fresh dill as filling. Now, I’m not saying that you absolutely have to use fresh dill. It just so happened that among the herbs growing in my garden, the dill is the most plentiful. You can try using other herbs or even a combination of herbs. Tarragon and oregano, for instance, or cilantro and mint. You’ll never really know what works best unless you experiment.
And using dried herbs is not a crime. Fresh herbs are not always available but that’s no reason why we can’t enjoy their wonderful flavors and aromas.
Whatever herbs or combination of herbs you choose, it is important to seal in the flavors. The best way to do this is to make sure that your lumpia, or spring rolls, are properly wrapped and sealed. Ideally, therefore, the length of the fish strips should be at least an inch shorter than the spring roll wrappers on both sides. This will allow you to fold the wrapper on the sides as you roll.
To make these spring rolls, you will need tilapia (or other fleshy fish) fillets, cut into strips and seasoned lightly with salt and pepper. You will also need some finely minced garlic (I used dehydrated garlic bits because I was in a hurry) and a substantial amount of fresh dill or your herb of choice. Finally, you will need spring roll wrappers and at least a cup and a half of vegetable cooking oil for frying.
Finely chop the dill, discarding the tough stalks. Spread the dill on the seasoned fish fillets, rubbing them into the fish flesh.
Lay the seasoned and herbed strip of fish on the spring roll wrapper and sprinkle with garlic. Wrap and seal the edges. Fry in hot oil until golden brown.