I am a home cook with a strong love/hate relationship with eating out. Probably everyone has. With Dubai’s plethora of cuisines, from the most glamorous dining option to the most dirt cheap street fare option, all you’re left with are questions of where and when. But I find the magic in the discovery and the take-away, not of leftovers, but of new ideas! Deep fried avocado? Haha, gagawa ako niyan! Steak and kimchi? Off to Spinney’s for my homemade version! I wanted that magic to happen for Filipino basic food, so when an event popped up and granted me the opportunity to take on their Amateur Chef Challenge, well hello StreetfoodMarketDXB, meet The Lumpia Lab DXB! Feast on Filipino pride and the wonderful fusion that is the humble lumpia. Sa kahit anong party, nandiyan ang lumpia. Might as well introduce these yummy spring rolls to an enthusiastic Dubai street food niche market, right? Move over truffle burgers, we sold out on 350 pieces! Let’s take on the UAE one fried lumpia at a time.
Now let me share with you a revved up version of one of the bestselling flavors. Freeze a batch of about 50 pieces and you’ll be having weekends of veggie fried goodness! Adjust the amount of ingredients as you please.
Ingredients: 1 head garlic, 1 medium bulb onion, 1 medium bulb ginger, 4 packs of white mushrooms, 1/2 kg green beans, 4 packs firm tofu, Mama Sita’s Vegetarian Oyster Sauce and some bit of Mama Sita’s Lumpiang Shanghai Ready Mix, sesame oil, blossom honey or coco sugar if you want to make it vegan, spring onions or cilantro and of course, spring roll wrapper – the smallest squares.
Easy peasy cooking:
1. Dice mushrooms, green beans and firm tofu.
2. Saute in garlic, onion and some ginger (remove this later so you don’t bite into it!). The flavor depth happens when you mix a bit of Mama Sita’s Vegetarian Oyster Sauce and Lumpiang Shanghai Ready Mix with a wee bit of sesame oil and honey into the mix.
3. Add in chives or cilantro. Let everything simmer to caramelize the sauce and lessen its watery texture. Otherwise, punit ang iyong lumpia.
4. Lay out on wrapper and roll as you please. Seal each with water at the edges. I-Youtube mo ang “How to Make Lumpia” and naku, I’m sure maaaliw ka sa dami ng rolling videos na makikita mo! Kinda like edible origami, hehe.
6. Fry to golden brown and freeze the leftovers for fresh batches each time you crave for birthday lumpia.
7. Mama Sita’s Sweet Chili sauce would make the freshly made lumpia do crazy Cirque de Soleil in your mouth. Enjoy! Happy birthday kunwari!
Skills unlocked: rolling, learning to love and amplify Filipino fare, the urge to be okay with sharing these spring roll goodies!