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What’s On Your Holiday Table?

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

I remember watching Christmas movies and realizing that the food that they had on their dinner table wasn’t the same food we had at our family table. My mom would make her favorite Filipino dishes while we would ask her to sprinkle in a little bit of American classic dishes. Every year it turns into a smorgasbord of our favorite things. This year we decided to make an array of different lumpia flavors as our appetizers.

Lumpia is a Filipino spring roll, and depending on your family the filling would be different. Our classic lumpia would typically be ground pork, shredded carrots, bean sprout and cabbage.

There is also lumpia Shanghai which is just seasoned ground pork rolled like a taquito and cut into 2” rolls. This year my mom is adding an option of ground chicken, a shrimp and cream cheese filled lumpia, Pancit lumpia, and of course the classic pork lumpia.

Today I’m sharing my family’s pork lumpia recipe which makes about 25 pieces.


1 package of Spring roll wrapper

1 lb of ground pork

2-3 shredded chariots (or one bag of pre-shredded carrots)

1 lb of bean sprouts

1/2 a head of cabbage

Garlic salt

Garlic powder

Vegetable oil


Soy sauce

Sweet chili sauce for dipping.

First make the filling:

Add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil.

Sprinkle a table spoon of garlic and let it simmer for 30 seconds until it’s golden brown. Then add in the ground pork and 2 table spoons of soy sauce, let it cook until it’s all brown. Add in the shredded carrots, shredded cabbage sprinkle garlic salt and pepper. Stir and cook for a few minutes then add in the bean sprouts cook for a few more minutes. Don’t over cook the bean sprouts. It should stay pretty crunchy, not soft. Put the mix in a strainer to stain out the sauce and let it cool down.

Prep the wrappers:

The frozen wrappers usually comes all stuck together in a block. You’ll need to peel apart each layer. Once they are all peeled place one wrapper on a plate in a diamond shape I front of you.

Roll the Lumpia:

Place 2 spoon fulls of the mixture about 2 inches from the bottom corner.

Fold over the bottom corner upward over the mix. Roll once upward then fold over the side corners inward.

Roll the wrap up towards the top corner add a little water to the top comer to help keep it sealed.

Once all the lumpia’s are wrapped deep fry it until light golden tan.

Lumpia is a major part of our Christmas, but This year our main entree is the Christmas crab. Many countries have seafood for their Christmas dinner. I didn’t realize how common this was until I was an adult, and that having crab for dinner was a special treat. Crab was pretty common in my house, it’s one of my mom’s favorite dishes. My mom’s recipe is pretty simple, all she does is steam the crab for 25mins, then place the whole crab on a serving platter on the table. We would break the crab in half and crack off the legs while using a nut cracker to crack open the legs. Then dip the meat in a garlic butter sauce eat it over a spoon full of rice.

Besides the lumpia and crab, our table is full of amazing and delicious treats like, chicken pancit, pork afretado, white rice, and our American classics like mashed potatoes, honey baked ham, and beef stew. I love that our table represents a Filipino-American fusion so that our family traditions can still continue through delicious food and family time. And just like that, we made Christmas dinner.

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