Fresh Lumpia Cabbage Wraps, a Remix on Lumpiang Sariwa

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Last week, I was at my parent’s house visiting for the week. Since I still go to my dentist near where they live, I often stay at their place for a few days when I have an appointment. One thing that I love, besides spending time with my family and the good food that they make is that I get to test some recipes on them. They have a bigger kitchen, so it is a nice change-of-pace to cook there instead of my small apartment kitchen. I think I mentioned in some of my other posts that my Dad has a big garden and that I often get some of his homegrown produce. One new item that he planted this season is a type of cabbage. I’m not sure exactly what the name of it is, but it seems like Savoy Cabbage. I told my Mom that I was thinking of making some sort of cabbage wrap with it and she gave me the delightful idea to make Lumpiang Sariwa (aka Fresh Lumpia) with the cabbage as a wrapper and some of the Spaghetti Squash Pancit Guisado (+ added veggies) that I had made.

Lumpia is very similar to Spring Rolls with either a fried variety and also a fresh, not-fried variety, which is called Lumpiang Sariwa. I remember as a kid my Mom making Fresh Lumpia for celebrations and when I got older, would sometimes help chop some vegetables and roll the lumpia. In her version, she used Menlo Wrappers (a brand of Spring Roll Skins), which I would help peel from the stack, since they came in a package with the sheets stuck together in a stack. Imagine wonton skins stuck together and you had to peel them to use each sheet. I kind of liked that job.

Another traditional variety of this dish utilizes crepe-like wrappers that are often larger sized than the ones that my Mom made with Spring Roll Skins. This is the type you most often find at Filipino eateries. Almost always when we go out to eat at a Filipino restaurant (such as Goldilock’s or Manila Sunset)  that has Fresh Lumpia, I will order it .

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Classic Fresh Lumpia (Photo Credit: panlasangpinoy.com)

This is one of my favorite Filipino dishes. Full of veggies, but very satisfying.  Makes me think of the family parties and my Mom’s Fresh Lumpia. Here, I’ve done a remix of this Filipino favorite that you can make quickly and is a great option if you are avoiding grains. It’s really good!

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You can serve these with some sauce on top of the rolls and garnish with minced garlic and chopped peanuts as in this picture or with some dipping sauce on the side like the first picture. Or…both!

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Start out by stir-frying some veggies. I started with sweet potato and bok choy.

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Then added some cooked chicken, garbanzo beans, and some frozen “French-cut” green beans. Stir fry this for a couple of minutes.

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Then I added some of the Spaghetti Squash Pancit. Stir-fry a bit more and add some soy sauce. Season with salt  & pepper to taste. Feel free to use other vegetables, proteins (tofu is a traditional Lumpia ingredient) to make your own spin or stick to the classics! A great recipe for the classic Lumpiang Sariwa can be found at Panlasang Pinoy.

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Here you go, the lumpia filling also called Lumpiang Hubad which translates to Naked Lumpia. You can eat it like this without making it into a roll and you can say you are eating a naked dish, that is “Naked Lumpia!”

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Meanwhile, here is the lumpia sauce-making operation. Brown sugar, salt & pepper to taste, soy sauce and a bit of worcestershire sauce is whisked into boiling water. The thickener is a corn starch slurry.

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The sauce is done and you can make a thinner or thicker consistency, whatever you prefer. At this point, you could add a tablespoon of peanut butter for a variation.

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Garnishes:  chopped peanuts and minced garlic. Trust me, a bit of raw garlic with this dish is worth a try. Filipinos love garlic. It is in almost every savory dish.

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Here are the cabbage leaves from my Dad’s garden.

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You have to carefully make a slit to cut out the tough stem. Otherwise it will not roll properly.

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Overlap one side a bit to cover the slit so the filling can stay in place.

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A couple of tablespoons of filling is a good amount to get a good roll.

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You can roll it with both sides un-folded or fold one or two sides like when rolling a burrito or egg roll.

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Roll tightly so filling won’t be too loose. You can spread some peanut butter on the edge to seal it. It acts to seal and gives some flavor that goes well with this type of Lumpia. This is a tip from my Mom, a master Lumpia-maker. I didn’t use it this time. I forgot! Next time, I have to remember my Mom’s cooking tips!

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There you go, one nice lumpia cabbage roll.

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Tastes pretty good plain too!

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Fresh Lumpia Cabbage Wraps

~Serves 4-6 (a rough estimation)

Ingredients

Filling

  • Dash of cooking oil
  • 1-1.5 cups sweet potato, cubed
  • 1-2 cups bok choy, chopped
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans (I used canned)
  • 1 cup green beans, “French-cut”/diagonal cut
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water
  • chicken boullion, to taste
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup parsley or cilantro, chopped (optional)

Sauce

  • 1 cup water
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • dash of worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chicken boullion
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch diluted in 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (optional)

Garnish

  • ½ cup peanuts, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp garlic, minced
  1. Heat some oil in a pan on medium heat. Cook the sweet potato until starting to soften. Add some of the water if the pan is getting dry. Add the bok choy and stir-fry for a minute. Then add the garbanzo beans, green beans, cooked chicken and stir fry for a couple more minutes. Keep adding water if the pan is getting dry. You may have some left over. Add chicken boullion to taste and season with salt & pepper. Add the parsley or cilantro and cook for a minute longer. Set the filling aside.
  2. Make the sauce:  In a sauce pan, heat the water to a boil on medium heat, then whisk in the soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, bouillon, and salt & pepper. Bring back to a boil and, while whisking, slowly pour the cornstarch slurry. Keep whisking and cooking for 2-3 minutes longer, then it is done. You may whisk in some peanut butter if you wish.
  3. Get your cabbage wrappers ready. Rinse and thoroughly dry them. Cut the thick stem out, which will give you a slit a little less than halfway through the length of the leaf.
  4. Assembly! Overlap the slit on the cabbage leaves. Place a couple of tablespoons of filling on the bottom of the cabbage leaf and roll tightly. My mom’s tip:  use peanut butter on the edge of the leaf to seal. Remember this, it is a great tip!
  5. Place sauce on top of each roll and garnish with chopped peanuts and minced garlic. Or eat them plain!

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15 thoughts on “Fresh Lumpia Cabbage Wraps, a Remix on Lumpiang Sariwa

    • Thanks. It really is. Still love the classic version that I grew up with, but with this recipe you don’t really miss the crepe wrapper if you want to lower carbs or are trying to use up cabbage leaves!

  1. The cabbage definitely looks like Savoy. They’re used extensively here in Europe to wrap meats, usually ground. If they leaves are quite tough they can be blanched for a few seconds which makes them easier to deal with. They’re normally roasted or baked in the oven. Very tasty, like your dish is as well.

  2. I’ve never seen a fresh version of lumpia before — all I’ve had was fried — so this kinda of blew my mind! I’m so curious to try the classic (because I seriously LOVE lumpia but try to avoid fried foods), but your version also looks fantastic. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Pingback: Garden Vegetable Slaw with Pea shoots, Corn, and a Creamy Calamansi Dressing | food flavor fascination

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