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Anyone who has had lumpia at our house knows if you want lumpia, you have to be specific about what kind of lumpia you want us to serve. That’s because my mom taught us how to make several variations of lumpia — from fresh to fried, from meat to vegetable, and from banana to shrimp. Everyone has their favorite. Growing up, our home version was either Lumpia Shanghai with ground pork or Lumpia Prito, the more vegetarian version with just bits of pork and lots of vegetables and bean sprouts. My late mother’s favorite lumpia was Lumpia Prito. But, this lumpia is the most labor intensive and time consuming to make because it involves a lot of prep work — cutting up meat and vegetables for the filling. If we wanted an easy lumpia to prepare, our family made Lumpia Shanghai, a meat-filled lumpia. Mom would mix together ingredients for the meat filling. Then she would call my sister and me to the table to help wrap the lumpia. When there were enough of the lumpia to begin frying, my mother did the frying. Many times, my mother would double up the recipe so we would not only have enough to serve immediately, but we could stock the freezer with Lumpia Shanghai to serve at another time.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 4 stalks of green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 16 ounce package spring roll wrappers
  • 1 1/2 quarts oil for frying
  • sweet chili sauce (for dipping)

Directions
In a large bowl, mix together ground pork, green onion, carrot and egg. Blend in the soy sauce, black pepper, garlic powder and salt. Lay out a few wrappers at a time on a flat surface. Place about 2 tablespoons of the filling in a line down the center of the wrapper. Make sure the filling is no thicker than your thumb or the wrapper will cook faster than the meat. Take the bottom and top edges of the wrapper and fold them toward the center. Take the left and right sides, and fold them towards the center. Moisten the last edge of the wrapper to seal. Repeat until all the wrappers and/or the filling are used. Heat the oil in a wok or heavy skillet to 375 degrees. Fry lumpia in batches until golden brown, turning to evenly cook. Serve with sweet chili sauce as a dipping sauce.

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