Lumpia is the general Filipino term for “egg roll.” Sariwa means “fresh.” Together lumpia sariwa is a spring roll made with a delicate egg crêpe filled with any combination of meats, seafood, pickled vegetables, and herbs. I have to admit that lumpia sariwa was never an everyday dish in our home but a specialty served at celebrations and gatherings. However, nothing more than a little organization is required to make this recipe any day of the week.
Crêpes with Shrimp and Green Papaya (Lumpia Sariwa)
Makes 12 spring rolls
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups (250 g) cornstarch
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
21⁄4 cups (550 ml) water
1 small cucumber, deseeded and cut into matchsticks
1 small carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1⁄2 cup (50 g) peeled and deseeded and cut into matchsticks green papayas
2 tablespoons Five-Spice Vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1⁄2 lb (225 g) mesclun salad greens
1 cup (25 g) fresh mint leaves
1 cup (25 g) fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
24 medium-sized shrimp, cooked and peeled
12 to 15 long chives
Make the crêpes: Combine all the crêpe ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix the batter well with a whisk. Heat an 8 or 9-inch (20–22 cm) skillet over a medium flame. Lightly grease the pan with cooking spray or an oiled paper towel. When the skillet is hot but not smoking, ladle 2 ounces (50 ml) of batter into the pan and immediately swirl the batter to evenly and completely coat the bottom of the pan. Cook the crêpe until set, 2 to 3 minutes. The edges will pull away from the side of the pan and when you firmly shake the skillet the crêpe will loosen and move freely. Using a spatula, turn the crêpe over and cook the other side, 1 to 2 minutes. Slide the crêpe onto a plate.
There is no need to re-oil the pan unless the batter from the first crêpe has stuck to it. Wipe off any stuck bits of batter. Using your ladle, stir the batter to reincorporate the cornstarch, which has a tendency to settle on the bottom of the bowl. Pour another ladle of batter into the pan and repeat the process. Stack the crêpes on top of one another until you have used all of the batter. Keep the crêpes loosely covered with a towel or plastic wrap until they have completely cooled.
Pickle the vegetables: In a large bowl toss together the cucumber, carrot, and green papaya with the vinegar, mirin, and soy sauce until well mixed. Set aside to marinate for at least 10 minutes. Note: If refrigerated, vegetables will store up to one week in pickling marinade.
Assemble the rolls: Place a crêpe in the center of your work surface. Lay 3 to 4 mesclun leaves in a horizontal row just below the center of the wrapper. This layer of greens will protect the crêpe from absorbing excess moisture from the marinated vegetables. Arrange a tablespoon of marinated vegetables in a row atop the salad greens. Place 2 to 3 leaves each of mint and cilantro over the vegetables. Finally place 2 pieces of shrimp on top of the herbs. Fold the bottom edge of the crêpe over the row of filling and tightly roll up the crêpe. Secure the spring roll closed by tying a chive around the center. The two ends of the roll will stay open. Place the spring roll on a platter and continue this procedure with the remaining crêpes.
I’ll often have components of the dish already prepared so that when I decide to serve these delicious spring rolls, the preparation time is cut in half. The pickled vegetables can be made the week before and the crêpes can be made a month in advance, stacked between sheets of wax or parchment paper, refrigerated or frozen, and revived as needed. To revive the crêpes, steam them for a few minutes until they becomes tender and pliable before laying down the filling. The dipping sauce can be made a day ahead and reheated in the microwave. Assembly is then just a simple matter of gathering all of the ready-made components. Although the completed rolls ideally should be served immediately, they can be made up to a day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator covered with lightly moistened paper towels and plastic wrap.
Reprinted with the express permission of Tuttle Publishing, a member of the Periplus Publishing Group.