On Masterchef, Tweets and Lamb Spring Roll – by guest blogger Malou Perez-Nievera

It is with great pleasure that I present this post, the second of my Guest Blog Series. It gives me yet another opportunity to share with you a figure-friendly, global dish: a Lamb Spring Roll, Filipino style. YUM!

During the airing of MasterChef, I got the opportunity to connect with many people that supported me from all over the world. Occasionally, I’d randomly reply to messages on my social media—I wanted to show my appreciation and introduce myself. That’s how I met Malou Perez-Nievera. I will let her tell you the story but we connected on twitter; I learned about her passion for food through her posts on www.skiptomalou.net and thought her eclectic dishes would be interesting for you guys so I decided to bring her on board.  

I was very excited when I first read her recipe for a “Lamb-pia”, a lamb spring roll, which is her own twist on a Lumpia. You see, growing up inVenezuela and having a Chinese uncle in the family, I was very familiar with Chinese food and one of my favorite dishes was Lumpia. When I first moved to theUnited States, I remember being disappointed that Chinese restaurants only carried Eggrolls and not Lumpias. And it’s true, they are not the same; but, as I’ve learned, the latter are mostly found in Filipino and Indonesian restaurants throughout America, despite their Chinese origin.

So I am ready to try the non-fried, healthier version of a childhood favorite and hoping that you decide to try it at home too. I look forward to getting your feedback.   Take it away, Malou!

 On Masterchef, Tweets and Lamb Spring Roll

It is such a great honor to be a guest here in Alejandra’s blog: Cook Global, Eat at Home. It’s hard to believe knowing that my “accidental” meeting with Alejandra was all because of a tweet. Yep, it was through social networking wherein most of your thoughts and comments go unnoticed… well, until those rare moments when you actually make a connection.

You see my family watched MasterChef with so much gusto that you would think the contestants were our best friends. The judges’ mean remarks and comments would hurt us as much as it did the contestants. My favorite contestant since day one of the cooking challenge, was yes you bet, Alejandra! So when Chef Joe Bastianich made a harsh comment about her, I tweeted about it and here’s the series of tweets:

@malou_nievera: how could Joe Bastianich say that to Alejandra???#masterchef

 @Ale_Schrader It was harsh! Got choked up :) RT @malou_nievera how could Joe Bastianich say that to Alejandra???#masterchef

 @malou_nievera @Ale_Schrader i know right? i thought that was mean. and also alejandra seems to be a friendly competitor… i like her!

@Ale_Schrader: That’s me!

@malou_nievera I thought it was you when I looked at your profile but i said nah.LOL! OMG  l am rooting for you in Master Chef 

So that was our “accidental” meeting. And in the next few days, I came to know my favorite contestant through 141 characters at a time. One thing led to another, until here I am guesting in her blog. The instructions were clear: pick a lighter, figure-friendly recipe from anywhere in the world.

So for today, I opted to share with you a Filipino dish. This is one of my favorite Filipino food to prepare, it is called Sariwang Lumpia (Fresh Spring Rolls). Filipinos have different kinds of lumpia (spring rolls), the most popular one is called Lumpiang Shanghai. It is filled with pork and rolled in a thin wrapper and deep fried.  But the healthier version is what we call Lumpiang Sariwa (or Fresh Lumpia). The word “fresh” means it’s not fried. It is made mostly of vegetables and rolled in a thin crepe that is soft and refreshing to the palette. 

To further make it healthier I thought of sharing with you a recipe I developed for Meat and Livestock Australia using Australian Lamb. I was tasked to develop recipes for home cooked Filipino dishes using Australian Lamb and here’s one of them.  Australian Lamb is fast becoming a healthy meat option because of its low fat content, yet it is rich in flavor and very tender. So this dish I am sharing is a spin off of our traditional Filipino dish lumpia which I call Lamb-pia.

Lamb-pia (Lamb Spring Roll)

 Lumpia filling

Ingredients

Australian Lamb flanks sliced into strips
1 medium cabbage, sliced into strips
2 medium carrots, sliced into strips
1 medium singkamas, sliced into strips
4 pcs garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp oyster sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a cooking pan, saute onions and garlic with olive oil. Add lamb slices. Stir for a few minutes until lamb turns brown. Add in all sliced vegetables and season with oyster sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes or until done. Set aside and let it cool.

Wrapper

Ingredients

1 c flour
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup water

Directions

Mix all the ingredients together. Whisk it gently altogether until there are no more lumps. In a thick pan, pour a thin layer (about 1/4 c) of the batter. If you have a crepe maker, it comes in handy but a non-stick pan will do. You just have to spread the batter thinly into the pan. Let it stand for a minute and flip it over. The wrappers cook fast. Don’t get frustrated if your wrapper is not perfectly round or if it breaks, it happens. Make sure not to use your fingers too, you’ll burn them. Repeat the procedure until the batter is consumed.

Peanut sauce

Ingredients

1/2 cup of light soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar (you could adjust it accordingly)
2 tbsp peanut butter1/2 cup water
1/4 c cornstarch dispersed in water (make sure to have no lumps)

Directions

Mix all the ingredients together : soy sauce, water peanut butter and sugar into a saucepan. When boiling, add the cornstarch mixture, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Remove from heat when the sauce begins to thicken.

Assembling

On a flat surface, put the wrapper on first. Layer it with lettuce. Scoop a handful of the lamb filling. Roll them up together. You must be gentle as the wrapper is too delicate. You may also use wax paper to line the crepe, that way the wrapper will not tear up.

14 thoughts on “On Masterchef, Tweets and Lamb Spring Roll – by guest blogger Malou Perez-Nievera

  1. Alejandra,
    This is so far one of the best gifts that I have (yep it’s my birthday). I am so thrilled to be a guest blogger in your blog. And what great timing indeed.
    I hope your readers will enjoy the recipe I shared. Thank you for giving my this unique opportunity!
    BTW, I will always be your fan!!!
    xoxo,
    Malou

  2. Hi, Alejandra! I would like to congratulate you for being in the Top 9 of MasterChef Season 2. I’m a big fan of yours and how I wish you’ve made it to the Tops 3. You did really good, and for me, you’re a winner! :-*
    I’m so thrilled to see Malou here! Congratulations to you both for such a wonderful guest post!

  3. i love lumpiang sariwa (fresh lumpia) just reading this post brings me back memories of childhood. and even as an adult, i would actually look for it in a Filipino restaurant menu and would pick it first in a party (if it’s being served)

    this is one of the reasons why i love Filipino food and being a Filipino!

    congrats Malou!

  4. Masterchef US season 2 is only just now starting to air here in the Philippines; I’m trying not to Google it and spoil the suspense, although I do see a hint at the top of your page! Congratulations on being on the show and I look forward to watching you in action!

    Many thanks for having Malou as your guest-blogger: she is a fabulous blogger, always hitting the right notes of nostalgia and creativity with her dishes. This lambpia is a perfect example!

  5. What a wonderful recipe that takes lumpiang sariwa to the next level. I would have never thought of using lamb in place of the ground pork. I love lamb. Fantasic as usual Malou and happy birthday!!

  6. What a wonderful story, Malou and Alejandra:) I just started watching MasterChef when I had to go to Serbia to take care of my mom. I am still here, but when I come back, I’ll watch the whole season, all at once!
    I have never had lumpia, but then I haven’t met a spring roll I have not liked:)
    I can’t find all the ingredients here (the least of my problems would be lamb:), so this dish will have to await my return to California.
    I wish you both the best! And Malou, I still have not forgotten about our recipe exchange – I am making that adobo as soon as I am back:)

  7. This is a great story Malou, and again Happy Birthday :) Your spring rolls are gorgeous! I do not really get to watch the show but my kids do…I will have them record it for me and check it out :)

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