The reason I call these Filipino Spring Roll Bites is that these appetizers are bite-sized versions of the Filipino favourite. Lumpia, also known as spring rolls, come in the vegetable version and the meat version. I love the vegetable lumpia and my husband and daughter love the meat version (Lumpia Shanghai).
Ever since I was a little girl, experiencing my Mom and her sisters gathering at my aunt’s kitchen table and wrapping spring rolls has been a fond memory of mine. We used to go to my aunt’s house for family get-togethers regularly when I was a kid. My Mom and her siblings are very close and we spent a lot of time with my aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins.
I was surprised when a friend in elementary school commented on how it was unusual that I was so close to my cousins because she didn’t even really know hers. To be honest, my cousins are like my siblings. I feel like I have twelve brothers and two sisters.
A friend recently hosted a dinner party and asked me to make spring rolls. I usually make my Filipino spring rolls exactly the way my Mom and her sisters make them. This time, I didn’t have any bean sprouts and my Filipino spring roll wrappers were frozen. I happened to have wonton wrappers handy, so I improvised a little.
Filipino Spring Roll Bites
- 1 large carrot (washed, peeled and julienned)
- 1 onion, sliced thinly
- 1 large potato (washed, peeled and julienned)
- ¾ cup bean sprouts (if you have them on hand)
- salt & pepper to taste
- oil for cooking
- 1 package Filipino Spring Roll Pastry (or wonton wrappers if you don't have spring roll pastry)
- water (to seal warppers)
- Wash, peel and slice veggies.
- Heat large wok and add a bit of oil for cooking. Cook vegetables until tender crisp. Make sure potato is cooked, but do not cook until too soft, otherwise it will get mushy. If using bean sprouts, add them last, because they cook quickly.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Separate wrappers (in this case, we used wonton wrappers to make bite-sized spring rolls). Keep wrappers under a damp tea towel or cloth to prevent from drying.
- Remove cooked vegetable mixture from wok and put in a bowl.
- Lay one wrapper flat on your work surface. Add a bit of vegetable filling (because the wonton wrappers are small, I was only able to put 1 piece of each vegetable). If making full-sized spring rolls with the spring roll pastry, you can put 3 tablespoons of filling or more).
- Fold in the bottom and top ends of the wrapper. Bring one long end over the filling and wrap the roll. With the tip of your finger, dip into water and seal the end of the wrapper.
- Repeat with each wrapper until you have finished wrapping all the spring rolls. You may have a bit left over filling. My husband used the little bit of leftover filling in a noodle dish for his lunch.
- In your wok, add enough oil to fry the spring roll bites. Cook until golden brown. You will have to cook in batches since you don't want to overcrowd the wok.
- Set cooked spring rolls on a dish with paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Serve hot and enjoy! Serve with Filipino dipping sauce (or any dipping sauce you like).
Growing up, Filipino Spring Rolls were always one of my favourite things to eat at dinner parties. I love the vegetable spring rolls, but we also have a meat version. I’ll be sharing the other spring roll version in an upcoming post.