Make Christmas Feasts Special With These Lumpiang Longganiza Triangles
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Make Christmas Feasts Special With These Lumpiang Longganiza Triangles

Make Christmas Feasts Special With These Lumpiang Longganiza Triangles

Food & Entertaining | December 22, 2021
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Inspired by the humble Ilocos Empanada, these Lumpiang Longganiza Triangles are simple, easy to make, and a sure winner in your Christmas feasts.

Whenever Filipinos plan for a casual Christmas party with friends, relatives, or officemates, they often decide on the default “potluck”. Unless the boss or a generous tito decides to foot the bill of a catered meal, potlucks are the easiest and most economical way to make sure there’s enough food to last throughout the games and the singing that inevitably follows.

Noche Buena Must-haves

If it’s a Filipino-themed menu, two items are sure to be present—the first being a huge bilao of pancit. Whether bought from an old-reliable restaurant, ordered from the newest food-preneur on Instagram, or specially cooked by someone’s mom or lola, everybody makes a beeline for the pancit.

It doesn’t matter whether they are egg noodles or canton, rice noodles or bihon, mung-bean vermicelli or sotanghon, or a combination of canton and sotanghon. Pinoys will always gravitate towards the pancit. What’s more, this well-loved dish is inexpensive, filling, and just so delicious and fun to eat—with its merry mélange of stir-fried noodles, chicken or pork, shrimps, and veggies.

A new take on the well-loved pancit: Crispy Pancit with Shrimp and Mushroom Medley. Recipe by Nina Daza-Puyat.

The second constant on the table is some form of lumpia—whether fresh or fried, meat or vegetable. Many adults like fresh lumpia, especially if the wrapper is homemade and filled with tender strips of ubod. But the most popular lumpia for Filipino parties would have to be the crispy, bite-sized Lumpiang Shanghai. They are loved by kids and adults alike—omnipresent at parties in the simplest homes to the fanciest tables, here in the Philippines or in Filipino gatherings abroad.

Did you know that Lumpiang Shanghai, with its sticky sweet and sour sauce, is loved even by American celebrities like Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz? In fact, Taste Atlas, a travel guide of international food, rates our very own Lumpiang Shanghai as the Number 1 dish under the Best Rated category of What to Eat in the Philippines!

Lumpiang Shanghai is the most popular variety of lumpia, the crispy deep-fried Filipino snack that evolved from Chinese spring rolls. Even though lumpia appears in numerous variations, the Shanghai version is characterized by a savory filling which combines ground pork or beef with carrots, onions, various seasonings, and (occasionally) shrimps,” the site reads.

Lumpiang Longganiza, served with Banana Catsup on the side

Inspired by a Classic

These two classic Filipino party viands were my inspiration when I created this triangle-shaped lumpia with a twist. Veering away from the common Shanghai type of filling (my version has chopped water chestnuts, which add a subtle crispness to the mix) I turned to a local regional specialty—the Ilocos empanada. With its unique combination of grated green papaya and boiled green monggo, garlicky longganiza, and a whole egg perfectly cooked in the center, it is a handheld snack that has been loved for decades by locals and visitors alike.

For me, this merienda favorite is a culinary masterpiece that has been perfected by the many Ilocano manongs and manangs scattered all over the city plazas of Laoag, Vigan, and other towns. Its iconic orange crust—much like a crisp rice cracker—is instantly recognizable by anyone who has fallen in love with this treat.

Unfortunately, it is quite tedious to make at home. I found a good recipe online and learned that the dough itself is easy to make, but it’s the rolling, shaping, and the keeping-the-egg-in-the-center part that makes it quite challenging. I then decided that using a store-bought lumpia wrapper would be the next best thing.

While concocting my recipe, I remembered the Lumpiang Shanghai’s favorite partner—the pancit. I thought it might be a good idea to add vermicelli or sotanghon to the filling to use as an extender and to give it more bulk. What’s more, all ingredients used for this filling are cheap—except for the meat sausages, and guess what? This recipe can feed up to 20 hungry guests!

The combination of starch, meat, vegetables, and egg in one bite, turned out to be truly scrumptious and quite satisfying! It’s good with vinegar, too, but even better with sweet banana catsup. Don’t take my word for it—just go ahead and try it yourself!

Lumpiang Longganiza Triangles

Photos from Nina Daza-Puyat

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A proud home cook and cookbook author, Nina is in love with the cooking process. She believes there's something magical about bringing random ingredients together to create a cohesive dish that's delicious, nourishing, and satisfying. She likens cooking in the kitchen to a dance, with its many movements, rhythmic sounds, and stimulating smells, all working together in perfect harmony and synchronicity.
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