Monday, September 26, 2011

Lumpiang Ubod of Silay


I've always had a fondness for the Ilonggos. A child of the 70's, I still had the opportunity to experience the ways of my grandparents where cooks served families generation after generation and children had yayas (nannies) that can be trusted. This is always an assurance that your children are well taken care of and most of all, loved. I should ever be so lucky as to have the same for my children.

My yayas were mostly from Iloilo (I had quite a number of them, I was a brat). Out of the many, I only remember one. Her name I vaguely remember, though. Gloria, I believe. No matter how mean I was to her, she would always cradle me to sleep and kiss my wounds (battle wounds from too much rough playing) when they hurt. She gave me nothing short of love and kindness. She stayed with me for some time and just as when I already trusted her with my child’s heart, she left. She was the last yaya I allowed myself to love. I was 5 years old.

These memories take me back to the Visayas, the City of Silay. Silay boasts itself for being the seat of arts, eco-tourism and culture. It is one of the major tourist destinations in the Philippines and is located in Negros Occidental. The city is known for its beautiful ancestral houses, steam locomotives, abundant cultural heritage, wild forests and hometown delicacies, namely, the lumpiang ubod.

Lumpiang ubod is loosely translated as heart of palm spring rolls. The wrapper is not fried and is made fresh. What makes it so special is its unique taste and texture. The heart of palm can be tough at times so you have to use ones that are still young, so to speak, otherwise it’ll just be too hard to eat. Relatives from Negros Occidental would send fresh lumpiang ubod by air cargo on the same day for birthdays and other special occasions. As we get older and time marches on, the things we take for granted often pass like the sands of time, which can make us long for the familiar tastes and smells that remind us of our childhood. It’s fortunate that many of my relatives have shared and exchanged their precious ‘secret recipes’ with one another so I can share it with you as well.


1 cup pork, diced finely

½ cup pork oil

½ tablespoon garlic, minced

2 medium sized onions, sliced finely

¾ cups shrimp, blanched, shelled and sliced finely

1 pork cube

1 shrimp cube

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

4 cups ubod (heart of palm), sliced into julienne strips

Salt and sugar to taste

Spring Onion stalks for garnish

1 head garlic, very finely crushed to a paste

Let the pork boil in water until the fat is rendered. Fry pork in its own oil until meat is slightly browned then set aside the meat.

In the still hot pork oil, saute garlic and onions. Add the shrimps and pork, pork cubes, shrimp cubes and oyster sauce. Stir until everything is hot, add the julienned ubod. Let it simmer until ubod is tender. Lastly, season with salt and sugar and let cool.

Lumpia sauce:

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons soy sauce

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup water

Mix the first 4 ingredients and set aside. Boil water and add cornstarch mixture. Continue stirring until cornstarch has cooked, you can tell it’s cooked when the mixture is transparent.

Spread the lumpia sauce on a piece of lumpia wrapper (the store bought ones should be fine). Add the finely crushed garlic and put about 2 tablespoons of the cooked ubod mixture in the middle of the wrapper. Insert a stalk of spring onion, then roll. It is best served immediately.

1 Response to Lumpiang Ubod of Silay

February 11, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Thanks for sharing the recipe! I was craving for it for a long time and I couldn't find anything remotely close to Lumpia from Silay until I tried your recipe. Thanks again!

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