Lumpiang Pabo Turkey Spring Rolls

From the rice-stuffed roast turkey that I cooked for my husband’s birthday dinner, I was able to salvage enough meat which, after mincing, measured about four cups. It wasn’t exactly easy picking the meat stuck to the carcass but those are the tastiest part of the turkey. That’s true for any poultry and even pork and beef–the meat closest to the bones is the tastiest of all. Plus, of course, I didn’t want to waste any part of turkey considering how much it cost. I’ll tell you what I did with the bones next time.

So, anyway, I used half of the minced turkey meat to make some potato salad and I reserved the other half to make lumpiang pabo or turkey spring rolls, Chinese style. I had some of the turkey-potato salad for lunch and we had the lumpiang pabo for dinner. In a bowl, mix the turkey meat with the vegetables and egg. Season with salt and pepper.

Separate the lumpia wrappers. Place a tablespoonful of the filling near the center and roll, tucking in the sides as you do. Wet the edges with a little water to seal. Make sure they are well-sealed so that the oil does not reach the filling. You want the filling to cook in the heat without allowing the oil to touch it. Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan. The cooking oil should be at least two inches high for even browning. When the oil starts to smoke, add 4-5 lumpia and cook until golden brown. Let the lumpia roll in the oil to brown every part of the wrapper evenly.

I should mention that it is important that the oil be hot enough before adding the lumpia. This ensures that the wrapper will brown in a very short time, minimizing the chance that the oil will seep through and into the filling. See, if the oil is not hot enough, the wrapper will soften, tear, and allow the oil inside the lumpia. You don’t want that.

Cook the lumpia in batches to prevent the temperature of the oil from dropping. This also allows you to move the lumpia around to achieve that evenly browned color. They look so much nicer that way. As each batch of lumpia cooks, use tongs to lift them from the oil and transfer them to a plate lined with several layers of absorbent kitchen paper. In the alternative, arrange them diagonally in a large sieve to let any excess oil drip off.

You may cut each lumpia in half before serving.

For the sauce, well, I cheated a little because I was in a rush. On schooldays, I want dinner ready when the kids get home from school at around 5:30 p.m. An early dinner is a better idea than a late afternoon snack and a late dinner after that. So, what I did was to pour about a cup and a half of bottled sweet chili sauce into a bowl, and add salt, rice vinegar, and a little water. I stirred the mixture until blended and voila! I had instant sweet and sour sauce.