I’m happy to say I work at a company that’s ethnically and culturally diverse. My co-workers are African American, Samoan, Filipino, Mexican, Caucasian, etc. We would always chat about ethnic cuisines, sometimes swapping recipes. We later realized we should try each others’ dishes by holding a “Cultural Potluck”
My co-workers requested I bring fried Lumpia.
Fried Lumpia is the Filipino version of fried egg rolls. Veganizing it would be tricky because the traditional version calls for eggs and ground pork.
Good thing I stumbled upon this recipe from Keepin It Kind. No, it’s not a fried roll recipe but a post on how to make vegan meatballs. I thought, if I could incorporate some of the binding ingredients such as lentils or flax eggs, I could make it work.
- The recipe calls for finely minced jicama, carrots, and celery. It’s best to grind them in a food processor so not only the process will cut back the prep time, it’ll also make the texture of the ingredients more uniform and tender.
- For binding the filling, feel free to use flaxseed meal mixed with water, or corn starch with water, or egg replacer such as Ener-G mixed with water. You may also use mashed lentils or mashed potatoes. You could mash the lentils by boiling them first until they’re soft.
- I used mushrooms to replace ground pork. Shiitake mushrooms are probably the most ideal. Fry them until they get firmer. Feel free to also use other alternatives such as soy ground beef/pork, Seitan, or Tempeh.
- Lumpia wrappers are sold at most Asian and Filipino grocery stores. The wrappers also go by the name, spring roll wrappers. Look for the ingredients list, make sure there are no eggs in them.
VEGAN FRIED LUMPIA
- 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots, minced
- 1/2 cup celery, minced
- 1/2 cup jicama, minced
- 1 cup Shiitake mushrooms, minced
- 1/4 cup black olives, minced or chopped
- 6 tbsp. Ener-G egg replacer mixed with water (see notes for other options)
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper (or more to taste)
- 1 tsp. salt (or more to taste)
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- Lumpia wrappers (see notes)
- 3/4 cup oil for frying
- Heat a wok or pan over medium heat. Fry the mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Remove from pan.
- Add the garlic and saute until light brown. Then add the onions and saute until fragrant.
- Add the carrots, celery, olives, jicama, and mushrooms. Mix and leave them for about 8-10 minutes.
- Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and soy sauce. Mix until the flavors marry. Turn off the heat.
- In a bowl, combine the vegetables and egg replacer (see notes).
- Place a single Lumpia wrapper on a separate plate. Add about 3 tbsp. of the filling near a corner of the wrapper, leaving about 3/4 more space on the other side. In other words, more filling towards the bottom of the wrapper, more space towards the top. Gently fold the shorter wrapper, tucking in the filling. Also fold the left and right sides of the wrapper. Tightly roll to the top part and seal by moistening the ends with egg replacer (or binding ingredient of choice). Repeat with the other wrappers.
- Over medium heat, pour oil in a medium pot. Heat for about 5-8 minutes. Test if the oil is ready by frying a roll. It should instantly react and fry. Add more rolls, making sure all sides are golden brown. Use an oven rack (or any steel rack) to dry the rolls. Serve immediately, with banana ketchup or sweet and sour sauce on the side.
Here’s a preview of our humble little potluck:
One lesson learned: The lumpia will turn soggy over time so serve immediately. Mine got somewhat soggy but co-workers didn’t seem to mind. The container was wiped clean :)
UPDATE: Guess what?! A reader has tried out this recipe, yay! Sandee, who is transitioning to the vegan lifestyle, says the lumpia she made came out great. She shared me this photo:
Thanks Sandee for trying it out!