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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Sharing Culture through Lumpia #FoodieReads

When my cousin shared that her bestie had written a book, I ordered it. Immediately. I always want to be that girl who supports friends and family whenever possible. I knew nothing about it other than that it was written by someone connected to someone I love. Done.

On the Page

Craisie Misadventures Around the World by Craisie Daze is a conversational retelling of Daisie's troubled childhood all the way through her education and career as an engineer who travels the globe for work and fun.

Daisie travels to Singapore quite a bit for work. It's somewhere I have always wanted to go...for the food! She wrote, "[I] did manage to go out to the mall across the street and it was there that I discovered Chicken Rice. It’s this amazingly simple dish that I fell in love with in Singapore and ate almost every day since it was only about $2 US." That sounds like a perfect culinary find.

In France, she shared, "The next morning, and every morning afterward in France, we had croissants with hot chocolate.  The croissants were served with butter, cheese, and Nutella. The teens really loved the Nutella, but I didn’t like the nutty flavor." How can someone not like Nutella?

And I chuckled my way through the passage about her being chided in the Sistene Chapel. I think everyone gets shushed through there. I don't know why they bother. It's awe-inspiring no matter what the chatter around you.

What I thoroughly enjoyed about this memoir was her candor and true attitude of making lemonade from lemons. Daisie's life hasn't been easy, but she takes the hits with grace and humor. If she is ever in town visiting my cousin, maybe one of these days I'll get to meet her in real life. And, if I do, I can imagine the stories.

On the Plate

I was inspired by this passage: "I absolutely love Filipino food. I had a good friend in middle school who was Filipino, and I spent a lot of time at her house. I didn’t know all the names of the dishes then but once I moved to San Jose, I got very familiar with them. Between my roommate Pauline and the Mamas at my church, I could identify most Filipino food if not by sight but by taste. The Mamas even taught me how to roll lumpia and make Adobo and Pancit for the many fundraisers we had. I don’t make my own lumpia, but I still make Adobo and Pancit regularly."

I have shared how to roll lumpia with my kids and with several friends. I am always proud to share the process and my culture through food. But I don't know how to make pancit. Maybe Daisie can teach me!


Makes 2 to 3 dozen

  • 1 pound ground pork

  • 1 cup diced onions

  • 1 cup diced celery

  • 1 cup diced carrots

  • 1 cup chopped green beans

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

  • lumpia wrappers (I found ours frozen at a local Filipino market - they told me to get the round ones), defrosted and separated

  • water

  • oil for cooking (I used canola oil)


In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Add in the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until the onions are slightly softened and the carrots are fork tender. Stir in the pork and cook until no pink remains. Spoon the filling into a colander - over a bowl - and let drain until nothing drips when you press down on the filling. Now you're ready to roll.

Keep the lumpia wrappers covered so they stay pliable while you roll and have a small bowl of water nearby to seal the lumpia.

Place a lumpia wrapper on a plate. Place about 1-1/2 Tablespoon of filling on the wrapper. Fold in the edges and roll it as tightly as you can without breaking the wrapper. But, if you happen to tear one, don't worry. Double wrap it and that one will just have extra crispy goodness around it!

Wet the edge of the wrapper and you complete the roll and place the lumpia, seam-side down, while you finish wrapping the rest.

To cook, heat oil in a rimmed skillet. Use tongs to gently lower the lumpia into the hot oil. Turn them as they brown and crisp. Once they are nicely crisped, remove them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Move to a serving platter and serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.

I added this post to the May #FoodieReads link-up.

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Margaret Wuestenenk
Margaret Wuestenenk
6 days ago

These look interesting!


Wendy Klik
Wendy Klik
May 02

It is fun to read books written by someone you know or know of. Is this a memoir of sorts? How much fun is that!!

Camilla M. Mann
Camilla M. Mann
May 03
Replying to

Sort of. More like a bunch of stories from her life from childhood to, I am guessing, her forties.

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