BY PATRICIA BIANCA S. TACULAO
As more people shift towards healthier lifestyles, there has also been an increase in demand for healthy ingredients and snacking alternatives. This put mushrooms, particularly oyster mushrooms, under the spotlight as a filling and nutritious crop that also has the potential to provide farmers with a source of income.
Mushrooms are fat-free, low-sodium, low-calorie, and cholesterol-free. They’re also packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It’s also rich in nutrients like antioxidants, beta-glucans, B vitamins, copper, and potassium.
The most common mushroom consumed for snacks is oyster mushrooms. These offer several opportunities for value-adding since they can be transformed into different snacks such as chips, chicharon, and more. But mushrooms aren’t just meant as garnish or snacks as these can also be turned into the Filipino favorite lumpia.
To make mushroom lumpia, first prepare the ingredients which include flour, celery, salt, carrots, garlic, onion, egg, and pepper.
Next, carefully cut the mushroom stems or stalks before dousing the caps with warm water to remove insects or foreign objects. This should be done quickly to avoid cooking the mushrooms.
Dry the mushrooms by placing them on a paper towel or parchment paper.
After the mushrooms have been washed and dried, transfer them to a food processor or blender. In the absence of both appliances, the mushrooms can just be finely chopped using a kitchen knife. The other vegetables such as onion, garlic, and carrots can also be ground along with the mushrooms.
Once the mushrooms and vegetables have been thoroughly combined, it’s time to add flavor by sprinkling salt and pepper to taste and adding chopped celery for aroma. Other spices can also be added to enhance the taste.
Mix the ingredients well before adding in an egg to combine them. When they achieve a sticky texture, it’s time to add in some flour to make sure that the mixture will hold its shape when placed inside the lumpia wrapper.
Next, spread the lumpia wrapper on a flat surface and begin putting the mushroom mixture on it to create a filling. Once the desired amount of filling has been added to the wrapper, carefully fold the wrapper and secure the sides to keep the filling from falling out during cooking.
Then, heat a pan of oil over the stove to cook the lumpia in. Fry the mushroom lumpia until it reaches a crispy, golden brown texture. Remove the lumpia from the pan and allow it to cool before serving.
Lumpia isn’t the only dish that can be made with this mushroom and vegetable mixture. Using a different wrapper and steaming it instead of frying will result in mushroom siomai, an equally filling, delicious, and healthy meal.
Mushroom lumpia or siomai is a healthy meal that can be enjoyed as is or with rice. It’s also a good way for farmers to earn an extra income.
Farm businesses shouldn’t overlook the potential of value-adding. With the right crop and idea, this could become a breakthrough product that could spell success for their farming ventures.