Monday, July 4, 2011

In search of future projects and lumpia (Indonesian spring rolls)

It was not a very happening day yesterday. I got home from work and had a serious hankering for grilled cheese. So, I made myself some. With lots of butter. Yum.

When evening came, I made myself some dinner (left over fried chicken and gratin) and began to rummage through my mother's stash of cookbooks. It was interesting. I found Chinese cookbooks. That are in Chinese. Huh. I set those aside. 
Then, I found a book solely about cupcakes. I thanked God. I'm not much of a cupcake baker. I mean, I try. And, recently, I failed miserably; I tried to make Bakerella's sweet potato and bourbon cupcakes. Did not work out at all. But, in my defense, I didn't start out baking cupcakes and cookies with my mom like other normal kids. I made food.

Later that night, I flipped through Burnt Lumpia's posts. Have you heard of him? 'Cause you absolutely should. His posts are wonderful. I love how he incorporates his Filipino upbringing in his food and in his blog.
Anyway, I got home this afternoon from a failed attempt to see Transformers 3 (it was sold out. I'm failing a lot these days). And, I made some lumpia.

Lumpia is the Indonesian word--and apparently, also the Filipino word--for spring rolls. Not the Vietnamese kind (you know, the one wrapped in rice paper and isn't cooked?), but the Chinese kind. A bajillion (yes, that is an exact number) years ago, Chinese immigrants settled in Indonesia and the Philippines, bringing this wonderful food. The Hokkien (a group of Chinese dialects) word for spring roll is lunpia. Under Dutch rule (cause it might as well have been), the word evolved to lumpia.

If you look carefully in the first picture, I did kind of burn one of them, the one with the busted end, in honor of Burnt Lumpia. Don't worry. It's still great; I ate it just now. Unfortunately, I can't disclose the recipe for these lumpia. Sorry. It's kind of a family thing. My mother would flip her shit.

I can, however, tell you a couple of general ingredients. As you probably know, the wrapper is store-bought. Do not, I repeat, do not get the white spring roll skin. Those are for Vietnamese spring rolls. Get the ones that say "spring roll pastry". The filling contains shrimp, bamboo shoots, and Indonesian sweet soy sauce (we use this A LOT). It's called kecap manis. Kecap sounds a lot like ketchup. So, when my family first got here, there was a lot of confusion. Anyway, this type of filling originated from Semarang, the capital city of Central Java. It's traditionally eaten with a thick brown gravy, but I was lazy.

So, I had some sweet and spicy chili sauce with it. Still awesome. Yum.
I now have a pretty uneventful evening ahead of me. I have stuff I need to prep for work. I guess I'll reluctantly do that. meh.

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