Since Thanksgiving is getting nearer I thought I'd share my Filipino recipe for Turkey Spring Rolls. This is a wonderful dish if you wish to do something different with your left-over Turkey. You can opt to fry it, as we would normally do, but if you want a healthier, lower-fat version then you can bake them too! As long as it's crispy, it's good! Also, I added some vegetables with the turkey so it's not an all-meat variety, unless that's what you prefer.
Without much ado, here's - Lumpiang Pabo (Filipino) or in English - Turkey Spring Rolls.
2 tbsp olive oil
3-4 cups cooked turkey, shredded
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium size onion, finely chopped
2 cups cabbage, chopped
1 cup carrots, finely chopped (Baby carrots are handy!)
1 cup bean sprouts
1 tub water chestnuts, chopped (optional)
Salt and Pepper, to tasteA few drops of Sesame oil (optional)
Lumpia Skin (Spring Roll Wrappers) - may be found at any Asian store (use the Filipino brand - the paper-thin variety, if you can find them)
For the Sauce to use for the Stir-Fry
Choices: Hoisin sauce (about 4 Tbsp or to taste), Soy Sauce (beging with 2 Tbsp), Oyster Sauce (begin with 1 Tbsp) or a Soy-Oyster combo. I usually eyeball the sauce so let this serve as a mere guide. Follow your taste buds!
I usually pre-cook all the ingredients before I fry or bake them but it’s not difficult to do so provided you’ve got all the ingredients ready.
Heat the oil in a wok or a deep frying pan in medium heat.
Season the oil by adding the garlic and frying it until aromatic, less than a minute. Add the onion and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes.
Place the shredded turkey in the pan and stir-fry just until heated, 2 minutes more or less.
Raise the heat and add the vegetables and continue to stir-fry until tender, roughly 2-3 mins.
Add the sauce of your choice (I used the Hoisin sauce for this one because I wanted a sweeter flavor); stir until all the ingredients are glazed. Season with a little salt and pepper, to taste. Stir-fry until everything's coated and the sauce has dried up.
Once cooked, add a few drops of sesame oil (optional).
Set aside and cool down for a few minutes. Wait until it’s cool enough cause it will break the wrapper if it’s too hot. It should be pretty dry but if not, just drain. It shouldn't be wet.
How to make the roll:
Completely thaw the lumpia wrappers before using. Note that the wrapper has the tendency to dry out so to avoid this, place a clean damp dish towel on top of the wrappers after thawing. Just lift up the towel everytime you get a new wrapper for rolling and then put it back in place to keep some moisture in.
Have a bowl of water ready. You will use it to seal the edges of the wrapper together.
Place about 1 heaping tablespoon of the turkey filling on one of the corners of the wrapper as shown. Spread the filling to make it easier to roll them.
Start to roll, tucking the sides inward as you go.
Put a little water to seal the edges securely.
You may cook this right away or leave in the fridge and cook it the next day. You can even freeze these.
Now, you can either deep-fry it (recommended) but if you’re health conscious you may bake it, too (which I tried to know if it would work). I must admit, the deep-fried ones taste better though baking is a good alternative.
Deep-fry in hot oil (about 350 F) until golden brown. Oil should just about cover the rolls. If the oil is hot enough it should not take long. Cook the lumpia in batches. Allow enough room for each to roll in the oil for an even browning.
Use tongs to lift the cooked lumpia and transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the extra oil or place them in a sieve or strainer lined with paper towels too. I normally line the rolls straight (vertically) on the strainer to allow the oil to drain better. Below are the rolls after they've been cooked and drained. Don't they look gorgeously golden?
Alternatively, you can bake it in a 375F degree oven and bake until golden brown. Remember, it's already cooked, you just need to brown the skin or wrapper. Don't forget to brush a little oil on the spring rolls before you bake them.
Of course, it’s not complete without the sauce or dip – choose either the sweet chili sauce or do your own Filipino sauce by combining vinegar, crushed garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. Dip the rolls in the sauce! Yum!
Wonderful as appetizer or even as a main dish eaten with hot rice!