Saturday, October 6, 2012

Chicken and Jicama Lumpia

I taught a cooking class today and had a lot of fun. The topic was Asian Appetizers so I pulled out one of my classic appetizers that have always met with great success when I gave parties - Chicken and Jicama Lumpia and it also contains beansprouts and onion and the only flavoring is salt.  I got this recipe from an Indonesian friend of mine many years ago and it makes a filling for Lumpia (which is another name for eggrolls). However, for the class, it was much easier to make little triangles with Wonton Wrappers rather than the usual shaped eggrolls. I often make these for Chinese New Year.  But in this smaller shape, I think they make better appetizers.  These are served with either Thai Sweet Chili Sauce or Banana Ketchup from the Phillipines which are the perfect accompaniment for the mild meaty and crunchy filling.  As with all kinds of eggrolls, the filling is cooked first, cooled and then put inside the wrappers.  Because we were making small triangles, we cut up the poached chicken and vegetables in smaller pieces than if you were making eggrolls.  They are quite easy to make and were a big hit with the class.

Chicken and Jicama Lumpia

2 chicken breasts, poached in water (to cover) for 20 minutes
1 medium Jicama, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 medium Onion, chopped
2 handfuls of bean sprouts, washed and cut into small pieces
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil (I used Canola)
Salt and Pepper to taste

2 packages of triangular Wonton Wrappers
Water in a small bowl for sealing
Vegetable Oil for frying

Shred chicken and then chop into small pieces.  In a large frying pan, heat the 2 Tablespoons of oil.  Put in oil and cook until just softened.  Add Jicama and cook until Jicama is slightly softened and onions are just beginning to turn color. Add in bean sprouts and chicken and cook until just wilted.  Season to taste with Salt and Pepper, tasting as you go.  The mixture should be slightly on the salty side.

To make Lumpia:

Take one wrapper at a time. Place it on the cutting board (or plate) and put about 1 heaping teaspoonful of filling into the middle of the Wonton Wrapper.  Dip your forefinger into water and wet the entire edge of the Wonton and bring the sides together to make a triangle.  Press the edges together tightly.  Repeat until all are done (they may be frozen at this point on a cookie sheet).

In a large frying pan, heat about 1/2 inch of oil until slightly smoking.  Put in as many Lumpia triangles as you can and fry on one side until brown and turn over with tongs to get the other side browned.  It will go fast.  Take out and place on a paper towel covered plate or cookie sheet.  Repeat until all Lumpia are cooked. Serve with Sweet Chili Sauce, Banana Ketchup or some Kecap Manis or Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce and/or Sriracha Chili Sauce.

 Five Element Analysis

Chicken, the Wheat Wonton Wrappers and the Bean Sprouts make this a primarily Wood Element appetizer.  However, the Jicama and the Banana Ketchup adds the Earth Element and the onions bring in the Metal Element.  The Sweet Chili Sauce or Sriracha add some fire and if you use the Indonesian Kecap Manis would bring in just a hint of the Water Element.  However, either the Fire and Water Element will need a bit more support, so serve these with tea for some more Fire and another dish that contains a Watery food. Otherwise, this appetizer is a little more balanced than you would expect!

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