A few weeks ago, [S] and I were walking to the playground near our home, when we met a neighbor who was mowing the lawn. She wore headphones and no shoes. She stopped the lawn mower to say hello. And we are happy she did. A few days later, she joined us for an outing to the playground, library, and mall. Last week, she visited the misters atop the mall roof with us. In between our outings, she dropped off a plate of frozen homemade lumpia.
For those unfamiliar with Filipino food, lumpia is a common snack. It is a spring roll, filled with cabbage, carrots, onion, garlic, and/or minced meat (pork, beef, chicken, shrimp), which may be served fried or uncooked (depending on the ingredients). “Just use any kind of oil and fry on medium heat until golden brown,” she instructed me.
The lumpia were filled with pork, carrots, celery, onion, salt and pepper, and a bit of soy sauce. While they could be fried frozen on medium heat, I cooked them partially thawed. Oishii!
Earlier this year, I discovered a labor intensive method of making authentic Chinese egg rolls, which Russell and I both agreed were restaurant worthy. Have I made them again? No. It was a lot of work and required a significant amount of clean up.
In my experience, one of the best ways to wait out a storm is to cook or bake. Such a task provides a constructive way to pass the time, while ensuring prepared food is at the ready in case of a power outage. In preparation of Chaba, we stopped by our local market and purchased ground pork, green onions, and dumpling wrappers. My hope was to make a tasty batch of goyza, Japanese dumplings.
The traditional goyza taste profile is pork, green onion, garlic, ginger, and a hint of sugar. One can find a plate of goyza at the prepared food sections of markets or at any Japanese restaurant. In the end, we made 55 dumplings, cooked 22 and froze the rest. They were served with a sauce made of rice vinegar, soy sauce and a drizzle of sesame oil. The taste? Better than anything I had hoped for. The cooking method–fry, steam, fry–yielded perfectly cooked dumplings with a crispy bottom. Interested in trying it for yourself? Here is the tutorial I used.
It’s time intensive, yes. But I also found the process therapeutic. Perhaps it was because [S] was being minded by her Father. Or maybe because it was something new. Whatever the reason, I predict future dumpling making on rainy days.