Edit: Chili prep illustration added.
My eyes almost popped out of their sockets when I ran into the photo of an innocent looking lumpia with a whole chili head sticking out of one end. Dynamite, that’s what they call it at the restaurant where it’s served. It also appears to be popular in Bacolod. It looked simple enough so I figured I’d give it a try.
Because it was mostly experimental, I figured I’d try it using cheap cheese first. I raided the supermarket for a block of processed cheese food (Kraft Cheddar), a pack of finger chilis a.k.a. siling pangsigang, and lumpia wrappers. I assembled it much like you would regular cheesesticks then fried a couple.
Fantastic! Crisp, spicy and gooey, it created a wonderful flavor explosion that was as dangerous as it was satisfying. Dangerous, because a wayward chili seed can have you running for the nearest faucet to wash your mouth out. It’s a simpler, crisper and definitely cheaper version of Jalapeno poppers. Planning to try it out with either mozzarella, monterey jack or cream cheese next time. Make some with the instructions below, then grab a beer and the remote control for quality TV munchy time.
Dynamite Cheesesticks v. 16 March 2011
1 block (250g) cheddar cheese
1 to 2 packs (20-30 pcs.) lumpia wrappers
20-30 pcs. siling pangsigang / finger chilis
oil for deep frying
- While wearing rubber gloves, make a lengthwise slit, from almost the top of the chili to the bottom, being careful not to slice through the other end. Slice half of the top, so that you can unroll the chili while still keeping the top intact. Scrape out the seeds.
- Stuff the chili with cheese.
- As it lies flat on a plate, fold one side of the lumpia wrapper. Lay the stuffed chili on the wrapper, keeping the head on the folded part. Fold the wrapper over, roll once, fold the other end inwards, then continue rolling tightly. Dab the wide end with a small amount of water then seal.
- On high heat, deep fry the rolls until browned. Monitor the frying well so you can remove them before large amounts of cheese spurt out.
- Let drip on paper towels and serve.
NOTE: If you’re preparing this just for yourself, you may want to totally remove the top and seal the whole stuffed chili inside the lumpia wrapper, to lessen the chances of the cheese spurting out. But if you’re serving it to guests, it’s more fun to keep the tops on, so they look like little sticks of dynamite.