Monday, September 21, 2015

Lumpiang Hubad

Or, cooking without a recipe...

When I was little, I used to watch a Chinese cooking show (yes, in Chinese!).  I was fascinated because the food always looked good and seemed easy to make - imagine 2 or 3 dishes all done in 30 minutes!  Of course I was young and did not know the magic of TV... but what amazed me even then was that no measuring instruments were used.

So how did she cook then?  Well, she would always say... a bowl of this, half a bowl of that, two bowls of this...  a pinch of salt... that sort of thing...  Of course when I followed instructions for my first dish (ever!), it was a dismal failure!  How was I to know that I should have used a standard bowl?  We had several, all of different sizes at that, and I used them all!

How's that memory relevant now?  Well, these days, there is such a thing as cooking without a recipe!  Or precise measurements.  Such as this dish...

Lumpia is the Filipino spring roll.  Lumpiang Hubad is literally "spring roll that is naked".  In short, it is just the filling of the spring roll.

There are many variations of the spring rolll - a meat filled version "Lumpiang Shanghai" and the vegetable version "Lumpiang Gulay" or simply "lumpia".  The vegetable version has many variations too, depending on the vegetables used.  It is usually a mix of cabbage, carrots, green beans, bean sprouts, singkamas (jicama), with a little ground pork and/or chopped shrimp.  My favorite version is the one with mostly bean sprouts with a little carrot and green beans, with quite a bit of meat and shrimp.

We make this without using a formal recipe at all, or exact measurements.  While we always buy the bean sprouts (it's the main ingredient after all), everything else is depending on what can be found in the fridge.  This particular time, it was only a lonely carrot.  And about 100 grams of ground meat and 6 pieces of shrimp!

So, how does one go about cooking without a recipe?

Well, it always begins with sauteing garlic and onions.  Then stir-frying the ground meat and the chopped shrimp.  Then the vegetables (rinsed, dried and sliced into similar size) are thrown in.  If the mixture is too dry, then water is added gradually.  Then it is seasoned to taste (in this case, very lightly with soy sauce and pepper, no salt because the dish is for my mom, remember?)

Easy, right?


No comments:

Post a Comment