Recipe #48: LUMPIANG SHANGHAI (Filipino Pork Spring Rolls)

Among the Filipino foods that are served during birthdays, gatherings, and holidays, there’s nothing more addicting than the tasty, crispy Lumpiang Shanghai. Nope, neither the iconic lechon nor the childhood-favorite fried chicken can beat the allure of the humble pork spring rolls in a buffet popularity contest. Lechon may be the king, but Lumpiang Shanghai is the star.

Why do we love Lumpiang Shanghai so much?

It’s not exactly the easiest dish to prepare, mind you. The mixing part is not that difficult, but it takes a certain level of skill (and courage) to roll and wrap the meat mixture with a lumpia wrapper and to keep them from breaking and unrolling.

Lumpiang Shanghai

But the tedious task does not end there; you also have to carefully heat up a panful of oil, which you will use to deep-fry these glorious rolls while dancing the cha-cha to avoid the scorching hot oil from splattering all over you.

You see, every Lumpiang Shanghai piece was made with love. It may not be as popular as Vietnamese or Chinese spring rolls among the international audience, but for the Filipino palate, it is pure joy.

Lumpiang Shanghai can be served as a main course, a side dish, an appetizer, or as a pulutan (beer food). Learn how to make them by following these steps:

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Recipe #44: RED SINIGANG with Del Monte Tomato Sauce

I don’t think I’ve ever posted a Sinigang recipe on my blog before. Don’t get me wrong — I love Sinigang, and my family loves it too. In fact, we love Sinigang so much we cook it almost every week: Sinigang na Baboy, Sinigang na Manok, Sinigang sa Miso, Sinigang na Hipon, Sinigang na Salmon, Sinigang na Bangus, and so on…

Sinigang has been a staple on our dining table, which is probably why I haven’t shared  its recipe. I eat it every week, so I never really found any interest to write about it. It’s like making an omelette or frying hot dogs.

So, you ask, what makes this particular recipe special? I’m adding Del Monte Tomato Sauce, that’s what! Yes, Sinigang with tomato sauce, hence the name Red Sinigang.

The mere idea of adding tomato sauce to Sinigang already raised my eyebrow. Won’t it taste weird? Won’t it just turn it into a Caldereta or Mechado of some sort? Is this even legal?

I must try to find out.

Red Sinigang

Albeit skeptical, I couldn’t wait to prepare this Red Sinigang recipe from Del Monte Kitchenomics. Sinigang itself is very easy to prepare — just dump everything into the pot. It has protein and vegetables — a hearty, well-balanced meal, perfect with steamed rice.

The classic Filipino recipe uses fresh, ripe tomatoes and tamarind (sampaloc) to create a sour soup base that we all crave for. For Red Sinigang, I replaced the tomatoes with Del Monte Tomato Sauce. I’m also using Sinigang mix to make things quicker and easier to prepare, although you can still use fresh tamarind if you prefer.

I also decided to use pork ribs because this is one of the bony sections that gives out a rich, meaty flavor, ideal in making soups and soup-based dishes. Just the same, you can use any pork parts that you like.

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Recipe #32: MISUA BOLA-BOLA

Filipinos love soups. We enjoy them as they are, or we eat them with rice to add moist and texture. When I was a kid, I remember eating a bowl of rice overflowing in warm soup of Nilaga or Sinigang — types of pork, beef, or seafood stews. One of my favorite soup dishes is called Misua Bola-bola or Meat ball soup with Misua Noodles, and you can easily prepare this dish at home using today’s recipe.

Misua noodles originated from China which we inherited through its culinary influence in the country. Unlike rice vermicelli (bihon), which is made from rice, misua is made from wheat flour. These are very thin, white noodles that are very delicate, easily break when raw, and quickly absorbs liquid. You can buy them from your nearest sari-sari store (variety store), public market, or supermarket.

Misua Bola-bola

Misua Bola-bola is also known in some parts of the country as Almondigas. Because some recipes of Almondigas use rice vermicelli instead of misua, we will call it Misua Bola-bola to make a distinction. Besides, that how we call it back home in Malabon.

Perfect for rainy days, enjoy a warm bowl of Misua Bola-bola as a main dish, an appetizer, or as an afternoon snack. I still prefer the childish way by mixing it with my rice. It reminds me of the good old days.

I divided the recipe into two parts: the first one is how to prepare the meatballs; the last one is for the soup. Check the recipe below:

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