While wings and sliders might be common appetizers diners on the mainland are familiar with, there is another pre-dinner favorite that has long been a Filipino food staple in Hawaii — lumpia. Lumpia is the Filipino version of the spring roll. These vegetable- and meat-filled delicacies are wrapped in an egg-based shell and either fried or “served fresh.” Often served with a savory peanut sauce, lumpia makes the perfect starter for any occasion. According to Plantation Grindz, one of the leading Filipino restaurants in Kahului, HI, the history of this food is as varied as its ingredients.
A History of a Filipino Food Classic
The lumpia is derived from the Chinese spring roll. Similar in size and shape, this menu item is popular in Indonesian and Filipino cuisine. The origins date back centuries, as the Chinese originally sought to create a meal that incorporated all the fresh vegetables available in spring after a winter of consuming mostly preserved foods. It is believed that Chinese immigrants from the Fujian province brought this dish to Southeast Asia, and that it’s popularity spread from there.
There is no one universal version of the lumpia. Common ingredients include bamboo shoots, carrots, sprouts, shaved chicken, pork or prawns; however, there is also a popular banana-filled version that is on the sweeter side. These ingredients are sealed in a crepe-like rice or flour wrapper that is then coated with an egg wash and fried. A sweet and sour dipping sauce is served with this Filipino food classic for a savory yet sweet finish.
If you’re a diner looking for an exciting entry into Filipino cooking, the lumpia is a delicious dish you’re sure to love. Plantation Grindz is the go-to spot in Kahului for these delectable finger foods. Call their team at (808) 873-3663 for more information on this and all their other Filipino food favorites.