Lumpiang Ubod

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Lumpiang Ubod are fresh Filipino spring rolls made extra special with sautéed palm heart filling, homemade crepe wrappers, and a tasty garlic-peanut sauce. They’re hearty and delicious as a midday snack or main dish.

Lumpia are an adaptation of the Fujianese pokiah, a type of spring roll made of thin, paper-like crepe or pastry wrapped around a savory or sweet filling. They’re popular in Indonesia as street hawker food and in the Philippines as a midday snack or appetizers for parties and special gatherings.

 

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Filipino lumpia come in many varieties. Some are fresh with sweet and garlicky gravy, while others are fried with spicy vinegar on the side for dipping. The savory fillings like meat, fish, cheese, and vegetables are traditionally served as a light meal, while sweet choices such as fruits and sticky rice are enjoyed as dessert.

 

Lumpiang Ubod is a fresh variety of Filipino lumpia, filled with palm heart or ubod, the edible pith from coconut or palm tree. The dish originated from Silay, a city in the province of Negros Occidental, where Lumpiang Silay, the original variant, is still very prevalent.

The lumpia has three components, the filling, the homemade wrapper, and the brown sauce.

 

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Vegetable filling

  • If ubod is unavailable, substitute bamboo shoots. You can also add julienned carrots for color and extend the servings
  • Swap the pork and shrimp with crispy tofu cubes for a vegetarian option.
  • For lettuce, you can use green leaf, red leaf, butter, or batavia.

Homemade crepe wrapper

  • Although flour is traditionally used, I find cornstarch yields a softer texture and makes a great gluten-free alternative.
  • Eggs add color, provides structure, and acts as a binder. Beat them first before adding to make mixing easier
  • Adjust the amount of water as needed. The consistency of the batter should be thin and runny.
  • Do not skip the sugar and salt! Use a small amount of sugar to lightly sweeten the batter and salt to enhance flavor.
  • Use a non-stick pan about the diameter you like for the lumpia wrapper. Brush the pan with oil or spray with cooking spray between EACH crepe to keep from sticking.

 

Peanut sauce

  • Soy sauce adds umami flavor and color. If you need to adjust saltiness, use more salt instead of soy sauce to keep the sauce from darkening too much.
  • Use brown sugar and not white. It has a slightly less concentrated sweetness and contains molasses for a deep caramel flavor.
  • Check if using salted or unsalted peanuts as you might need to adjust the amount of salt in the sauce.
  • You can use flour or cornstarch to thicken the sauce. I prefer the latter as it’s quicker and easier to work with. Make sure to dilute into a slurry before adding to the hot liquid to prevent lumps.
  • Don’t forget the peanut butter; this is the “secret ingredient” that makes my lumpia sauce extra special. Add a tablespoon or two and thank me later. 🙂

How to serve

  • Arrange the lumpiang ubod on a serving plate, top with a generous amount of sauce, and garnish with ground peanuts and freshly minced garlic.
  • It’s delicious and filling as a midday snack or an appetizer. It also makes a tasty main dish with steamed rice on the side.

How to store

  • For best results, store the sauce, filling, and lumpia wrappers in separate containers. They’ll keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To store cooked wrappers, stack separated with pieces of wax paper and place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 4 months. Thaw completely before uwrapping and separating.
  • Warm the sauce in a saucepot until heated through, adding more water as needed to loosen the consistency.

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