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Having lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost 25 years, I have been exposed to the rich international cuisine that is one of the marks of its cultural diversity. Food from Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific are plenty.
It was in the Bay Area that I tasted my first mochi ice cream, fried ice cream and garlic ice cream.
So when I first heard of deep-fried halo-halo being served as a specialty in a restaurant in La Union, I immediately became a doubting Thomas.
How can this shaved ice-based snack be fried and still give me the cool and refreshing pleasure of this popular Filipino delicacy filled with all the sweet ingredients? And so began my kitchen adventure for my deep-fried halo-halo.
It's just perfect for the warm summer weather!
12 pcs. lumpia (egg roll) wrapper
1 boiled saging na saba, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup garbanzo beans
1/4 cup kaong (sugar palm fruit)
1/4 cup nata de coco (coconut gel)
1/4 cup ube jam
2 tbsps brown sugar
Oil for deep-frying
You favorite flavor ice cream
Place a slice of the saba and 3 to 4 pcs each of the garbanzo beans, kaong and nata de coco on top of two lumpia wrappers. Add a half-teaspoon of the ube jam on top of the other ingredients.
Fold and roll the wrapper like you would normally do for your regular lumpia. Moisten and seal the edge of the wrapper.
Heat oil. Sprinkle brown sugar over the oil. Deep-fry the egg rolls in batches until nicely browned and crispy. Remove from heat, let cool before slicing each egg roll diagonally.
Arrange the sliced egg rolls on a saucer or ice cream bowl and top with a scoop or two of your favorite ice cream. If desired, garnish the plate with additional banana slices, kaong, nata de coco and ube jam.
Rene Astudillo is a writer, book author and blogger and has recently retired from more than two decades of nonprofit community work in the Bay Area. He spends his time between California and the Philippines.
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