17 Mar2009


Our first meal in Bacolod, the night before, featured some wonderfully flavorful lumpiang ubod. They were unusual for me in that the filling was rather dark, and they had a seriously garlicky punch but a very smooth and modulated filling. They weren’t shrimpy or fishy at all as lumpia ubod can be sometimes, and they were small enough to consume in 3 or four bites. They came with no sauce and overall were a really pleasant surprise. I have featured my mom’s style of lumpia ubod before, here, but if you want this more “tanned” version, it is actually rather easy to do… and tastes terrific. And thanks to Manang Laida for allowing me to watch her cook it. Again, as with the bicho-bicho, I do not give away the exact proportions of ingredients in deference to Manang Laida, who has been preparing this for decades. But if you read closely and have a good hand in the kitchen, you can figure this out for yourself. :)


Because this is such a commonly prepared dish in Bacolod, the markets have all of the necessary ingredients at the ready, from freshly made wrappers to portions of ground pork or shrimp and of course, freshly chopped ubod, so this was particularly easy to pull together at a moment’s notice. Start off by heating some vegetable oil in kawali or wok, then add chopped garlic and saute until slightly colored.


Add some peeled chopped shrimp meat, chopped shallots and saute a few minutes before adding some ground pork and saute some more…


Add the chopped ubod, which was surprisingly rather haphazardly sliced, not the anally retentive julienne that I thought might make it look nice, but rather a several second chop, chop, chop with a large cleaver at the market (yielding this jujitsu shred) and let this simmer for several minutes as the ubod renders a lot of liquid. Add a bit of soy sauce (a surprise for me) and several tablespoons of light brown sugar (even MORE of a surprise for me, but we were in Negros, land of sugar, after all!). Cover and let this cook for say 10-15 minutes until the liquid is rendered then reduced, but the pan not totally dry.


Asked if soy sauce was a common addition, Manang Laida said she has been cooking her lumpia ubod this way for decades… And the brown sugar was also not unusual for her… and I must admit gave the ubod that special yumminess factor that I couldn’t pinpoint earlier. And it wasn’t sweet, per se.


Once the ubod is cooked, remove it from the pan, keeping the liquid which packs a flavor wallop.


To assemble, Manang Laida spreads some of her “secret” sauce made of smashed raw garlic and some of the leftover pan juices directly on the wrapper.


She adds the cooled ubod filling…


…and expertly rolls it up. Wrap each lumpia in wax paper and its ready to eat. Absolutely delicious. More intensely flavored than a pale lumpia ubod. Less fattening that the versions which literally stew in rendered pork fat. Wonderful. No spring onion or lettuce leaf.


And here, a photo of our tutors for the day, Manang Laida on the left and Manang Lilia on the right. Oh, and here’s an amusing tidbit. As the manangs were explaining the different dishes, they were speaking in rat-a-tat Ilonggo, which of course, I do not understand. But somehow, as a cook, I figured out 80-90% of what they were saying and was rapidly taking notes. Then Manang Laida looks at one of our Ilonggo hosts and said, “he can’t speak a word of Ilonggo, how does he understand what I am saying?…” Heehee. Food is a universal language. :) Thank you SO VERY MUCH to Tita MM who assembled our tutors, obtained the ingredients and allowed us to mess up her kitchen that wonderful afternoon in Bacolod.



  1. Ging says:

    Delish! Bacolod here I come. Woooohooooo!!!

    Mar 17, 2009 | 6:23 am


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  3. Ann says:

    WOOOHOOO!!!!Thank you Manang Laida and Manang Lilia, Tita MM and MM for sharing all these recipes. I will try it out one of these days. I can almost taste it now :)

    Mar 17, 2009 | 6:37 am

  4. Maria Clara says:

    A million thanks to Manangs Lilia, Laida, and you. Greatly appreciate sharing your first-hand knowledge lumpia ubod cooking the Bacolod way and the revelation of their kitchen secret-the addition of soy sauce and brown sugar. I will buy all the cookbooks specializing in Filipino cookery and I bet you my bottom dollar down nowhere in those cookbooks will indicate this. That’s how I like my lumpiang ubod no greens at all!

    Mar 17, 2009 | 6:41 am

  5. Maria Clara says:

    Tita MM and Gaita Fores thanks a lot.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 6:45 am

  6. Fabian M says:

    i think Bacolod has to be the next foodie destination i want to go to

    Mar 17, 2009 | 6:56 am

  7. Mimi says:

    less ingredients do make simple pleasures special and memorable…i would have imagined a melange of more ingredients, but it seems that less is more in the case of ilonggo-style ubod. will try to make this, but may i ask approximately how many grams of ubod that is? my eyeball estimate would say a kilo and a bit more? also, no salt and no pepper? thanks, mm.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 7:11 am

  8. natie says:

    what a delightful post–now if i could only find fresh ubod in NY chinatown..

    Mar 17, 2009 | 7:24 am

  9. smiles4angels says:

    yummy! wow i’m starting to miss my mom’s lumpia.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 8:16 am

  10. Sanojmd says:

    Oh my, it’s gonna be a hunt for coconut shoot in the Asian store this weekend.. Will definitely try that extraordinary recipe. Whoa, I’m sure it’s good even without the greens! Thanks MM and also to the Manangs.. : )

    Mar 17, 2009 | 8:52 am

  11. marissewalangkaparis says:

    I’d really like to learn how to do that. My only hurdle will be where to get good wrappers. The eye opener for me was the sauce-leftover being spread over the wrapper. We used to buy some lumpiang ubod that size and color in a parlor owned by an Illonga near the Scout area. It was yummy and you could eat it in two or three bites. So that’s how they must have done it.

    Really want to get to know how to do that……bettyq..to the kitchen….first gotta find good ubod…and the haphazard julienne of the ubod made me laugh…..exactly how mine comes out no matter how careful I am…teeheee…..

    Mar 17, 2009 | 8:59 am

  12. Ann says:

    marissewalangkaparis…I know that parlor you are talking about, my mom used to order from that parlor too, I think her name was Malou. Was looking forward to have some of that kind of lumpia when I went home last year but they were not there anymore and my mom said they have been gone for a long time already.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 9:11 am

  13. Mari says:

    Her name is Marilou who has a twin, Marilee, who used to run a dressmaker shop beside the parlor. Last I heard they are still in the neighborhood but no longer in business. The apartment where their businesses were situated has long been gone. It is now a building with a number of restaurants. Everyone in the scout area knew them since the 70’s pa yata sila. Yes, they sold yummy snacks. Memories from the past!

    Mar 17, 2009 | 9:43 am

  14. Mila says:

    Those look delicious! I can imagine the aromas in the kitchen when manang is cooking, garlic, sugar, onions! I wonder if she’s ever tried frying the lumpia after all her preparations.
    MM, I once had to interpret an Ilongga talking to a peer who came from Zamboanga, who told her story to a Bisaya. Four dialects/languages!

    Mar 17, 2009 | 10:36 am

  15. vina says:

    MM, you don’t know how much all these make me proud be from Bacolod/Negros!

    Mar 17, 2009 | 11:33 am

  16. erleen says:

    Hi MM! There is no link for your mom’s ubod recipe.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 11:38 am

  17. betty q. says:

    MarisseWK: …as soon as we get back home, I, too, will try to coax the lady I bought ubod the ubod from some time ago to bring it in again…she said it costs quite a bit. But after MM’s post (MUCHAs GRACIAS, again MM!!!! and to Manang as well!!!!), I think several ladies here will be on the hunt for fresh ubod too that I hope will be enough to convince Ale P. to bring it in. …got sidetracked again..as I was saying, if you have difficulty finding fresh made thin lumpia wrapper, I called my Ate if she has a suki. She said she does in the palengke and it is made in front of you to order. …if you don’t mind driving, I will ask her where the palengke is….I know it is one of those in Q.C…near UP? or Fairview perhaps?…I will get back to you!

    Mar 17, 2009 | 12:23 pm

  18. Marketman says:

    bettyq, yes, I hear some markets have freshly made wrappers in Metro Manila, but I haven’t found one yet… erleen, link is live now. Mila, the dialects are so wildly different, and they are one narrow strait apart from Cebu to Negros!

    Mar 17, 2009 | 12:26 pm

  19. Ariel says:

    Does anybody know if we can buy “ubod” or “ubod in a can” in stores in California? It looks so simple too cook and do you have instructions on how to make the sweet/sour sauce. Thanks MM this looks better than the fresh lumpia from Goldilocks.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 12:29 pm

  20. Maria Clara says:

    Ariel: canned ubod can be found at Smart & Final stores and it is labeled as heart of palm. It is not good in lumpia fried or fresh. It is good in salad though like the Brazilian green salad. I find the frozen ubod from Philippines disappointing too which can be found at any Seafood City frozen section. If you happen to be in Maui or Oahu Whole Foods carry the fresh ones over there or you can go to the plantation and buy it. Ask your hotel concierge and they can direct you to the plantation. It is not coconut ubod it is from a palm tree but it tastes like our very own ubod and it is called Hawaiian Heart of Palm.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 12:40 pm

  21. betty q. says:

    Well, if you feel like going on a field trip, MM….my Ate said that in Nepa Q Mart and in Commonwealth Market, there are two ladies there who makes fresh lumpia wrapper. She cannot say exactly which aisle…she said just ask around where the lumpia wrapper makers are.

    Marisse…don’t know if Nepa Q mart is closer to where you are. But my Ate buys hers from Commonwealth for she is closer to that palengke.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 1:49 pm

  22. solraya says:

    I buy this lumpiang ubod in Magallanes Shell. It is my comfort food whenever I go south of Metro, I stop by at that Select store. It goes in 2 sizes there. I prefer the smaller ones. Easier to pop 3 lumpias in succession, even when driving :)

    Mar 17, 2009 | 3:12 pm

  23. kakusina says:

    You can buy fresh ubod in the bigger wet markets like Cubao or Nepa-Q. You’ve got to use it ASAP or it loses its natural sweetness and crunch. My maternal aunts who live in Iloilo City have a really big backyard with coconut trees.When they want lumpiang ubod, they cut down a coconut tree just for its core, and straight to the kawali. They saute the ubod with garlic, onions and boiled and shredded chicken, not shrimp, and use home made wrappers. Really good. They also use chopped ubod, mixing it with water, ice and sugar for a refreshing and unusual punch. I was born and bred in Manila but my mother is Ilonggo and I love Ilonggo food.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 4:12 pm

  24. Celina says:

    Please………..the lumpia in Goldilocks in not to be compared to Bacolod Lumpia. It is much tastier and heavier on the garlic. They add raw garlic to the sauce before wrapping. Nothing of that sweet cornstarch sauce found in Manila lumpias around. MM, you must try the fresh lumpia of Emma Lacson form Silay next time. If you have friends going to Bacolod, order some. It is worth the trouble. Namit gid.

    MM, even if you do not speak Ilongo, it is easier for a Cebuano to understand the gist if Ilongo rather than the other way around.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 6:23 pm

  25. Diwata08 says:

    Nepa Q-Mart in QC used to make lumpia wrappers right there in the market when I was younger. It was located near the tomato vendors. I wonder if they are still there? I used to while away the time watching in awe waiting for my Mom to finish her market errands…

    Mar 17, 2009 | 6:38 pm

  26. Cookie says:

    I love, love this lumpia. My husband is Ilonggo and everytime we go home, my mother-in-law orders a box just for us and I can eat this the whole day!! love it!!! I will try to make this – too bad have to use canned ubod!

    Mar 17, 2009 | 9:00 pm

  27. titashi says:

    thanks so much MM for sharing this! i’m excited to try this, i am now also on the hunt for those fresh ubod and lumpia wrappers : )

    Mar 17, 2009 | 9:09 pm

  28. paoix says:

    amazing! this is the filipino food culture at its best. thanks for sharing marketman!

    Mar 17, 2009 | 9:42 pm

  29. Mangaranon says:

    I can eat fresh lumpiang ubod everyday and not tire of it.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 10:02 pm

  30. corrine says:

    My mom who is a largely self taught cook had a stroke 11 years ago. Her sense of taste since two years ago has been disappearing. Lumpiang bacolod is one of those food that awakens her central nervous system. So, I indulge her with it on special occassions because the store in Pasay is quite far from our house. O, hail Bacolod lumpiang ubod! :)

    Mar 17, 2009 | 10:47 pm

  31. betty q. says:

    as Lee would say, MABUHAY SILA MANANG LAIDA AT MANANG LILIA!!!!!! Marami pong Salamat!

    Mar 17, 2009 | 11:14 pm

  32. luna miranda says:

    i think it’s the garlic that gives lumpia from Bacolod/Negros its distinct flavor. my mom says that if garlic is bitin, the flavor is different. in my family of FBI (full blooded ilonggo), we use soy sauce instead of salt.

    Mar 17, 2009 | 11:35 pm

  33. Gabriella says:

    In Divisoria/Recto, there are tons of produce that are being sold around 9Pm in the evening that’s when all the produce from the rural areas arrive in manila. Be there no later than 11 otherwise you wont get the good ones. It is dirt cheap and fresh. There a a husband and wife who sells fresh ubod by the slabs for 80 pesos per kilo. The core which is lightly sweeter is more expensive than the base of the ubod. They are located somewhere in the middle island of the street. It’s crazy, no where to park your car so make sure you wear your comfortable shoes and grundy clothes because its quite a crazy place. From asparagus to mushrooms to shredded young langka to common vegetables you can get from the any market. Its an adventure to go there but hey if you really like fresh veggies, its a great place to go. Maybe you can go to chinatown for some dimsum before going to recto. Hope everyone would take an adventure to go there.

    Mar 18, 2009 | 1:02 am

  34. Ariel says:

    thanks Maria Clara – I asked my suki filipino store and he said he can get it for me in chinatown every weekend. If I was in Maui or Oahu, forget the ubod, I will go for sushi or pokey. Even in Safeway in Hawaii you can get good sushi grade tuna.

    Mar 18, 2009 | 2:36 am

  35. Maria Clara says:

    Ariel: Where in California are you?

    Mar 18, 2009 | 3:10 am

  36. dee bee says:

    MM, my granny’s cook used to buy nice and thin lumpia wrappers from Arranque market, pero, he’s in heaven na, so can’t ask him from which stall seller. Sorry, not much help after all.

    Mar 18, 2009 | 9:41 am

  37. thea says:


    what is ubod in english? i’m in new york now and i want to look for ubod in the asian grocery…. :D

    Mar 18, 2009 | 10:42 am

  38. Crissy says:

    Is it canned hearts of palm? They are available in select groceries, though probably a poor substitute for the real thing. I recall the fresh lumpiang ubod I had at the L’Fisher restaurant some years back. It was nothing like I’ve ever tasted in Luzon, though I still hanker for those lumpia with “tail less” togue. Wonder if it can be reproduced in the States.

    Mar 18, 2009 | 11:22 am

  39. Katrina says:

    MM, even though Cebuano and Ilonggo are very different, I’m sure that your knowledge of Bisaya, and even Tagalog, helped you tremendously. My bro-in-law is Ilonggo, and he was able to pick up pretty well when we were in Davao; whereas I was nearly completely clueless!

    Mar 18, 2009 | 3:11 pm

  40. Maki says:

    oh.. i luv lumpia a lot.. any lumpia for me is lovable.. ^___^

    i tried ube lumpia for desert before and they tasted realy nice.. with condensed milk for the dip… ^___^

    Mar 18, 2009 | 5:36 pm

  41. Divine G says:

    At last “The Lumpia” we’ve all been waiting for. Thank you for being generous to all your readers. Thank you to Manang Laida and Manang Lilia. I still have to look for a fresh ubod in my part of the states. So for the meantime I would be using the canned version because I have a can in my cupboard. Thanks a lot.

    Mar 19, 2009 | 6:46 am

  42. Ann says:

    kamuning market has stalls that sell lumpia wrappers that they make on site.

    Mar 19, 2009 | 8:01 am

  43. Ann says:

    Tried the recipe using canned ubod, although not exactly the lumpia of my childhood, it is good to satisfy my craving. Had to eat it without the wrapper though….Thanks MM and Manangs, you made me one happy camper:)

    Mar 20, 2009 | 5:37 am

  44. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Thanks bettyq!! I will find time to pass by Nepa Q. That is more acessible to me than Commonwealth which is at the end of the world for me. Hope to find some good ubod there too. Will look for those wrappers….I don’t want to make them…yikes…too tedious….Thanks so much….Wow…hope I can replicate your recipe Manang!

    Mar 20, 2009 | 7:18 pm

  45. ted says:

    Ariel, you can get frozen ubod (heart of palm) from either Seafood City or Island Pacific if you are in the SF bay area. I think they may also be available at 99Ranch. They are in the freezer section and the brand name is by “Tropics” or “Tropical Islands”. They are julienned and frozen with water. You have to really thaw and drain them before cooking. You would probably need 4 to 5 packs of these to make lumpia for a family of 4.

    Mar 21, 2009 | 7:51 am

  46. mcf says:

    just cooked this recipe today..it was delicious!…just like what i tasted in bacolod last month!….could not have it imagined it was so simple to do!..love it!will try kansi next time……do you have the recipe?

    Jun 2, 2009 | 11:39 am

  47. thea says:

    hi marketman. i like the version of the one in yummy yummy, bacolod. it’s a pizza house in front of la salle. in their fresh lumpia ubod, they put chicharon to add crunch and texture, a napa cabbage and a small stalk of scallion. namit gid! sometimes we ask for extra chicharon :D

    Jun 18, 2009 | 6:27 am

  48. I Wei says:

    I took up MA in Linguistics at UP, and my professor said that when languages are being mapped out, the linguist can pinpoint the exact house where the language changes.

    Dialects understand each other; languages don’t.


    Jun 18, 2010 | 10:29 pm


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