Mastering My Family’s Filipino Spring Rolls Was a Rite of Passage

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones. This week, in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, food stylist and recipe de…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones. This week, in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, food stylist and recipe developer Amelia Rampe remembers her favorite Filipino dish, lumpia.

Growing up, an important skill for me was learning how to make lumpia (Filipino spring rolls). But what is lumpia, anyway? They’re a Filipino version of spring rolls made with lumpia wrappers and typically filled with ground pork, carrots and onions, cabbage, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. The mixture is either sautéed in a skillet for a pre-cook or simply scooped into neat balls of uncooked meat. A few tablespoons of the mixture are added to each wrapper before each one is tucked and rolled neatly. Once all the rolls are formed, they’re pan-fried until crispy and hot. Learning how to make the filling, filling the wrappers just so, and folding them without causing them to break is no easy task. I had to get through the most basic tasks before I could graduate to the assembly stage. 

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My Grandmom’s Potato Chip Cookies Are Just As Quirky as She Was

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

The first time my grandmother asked me to help her make a batch of potato chip cookie…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones.


The first time my grandmother asked me to help her make a batch of potato chip cookies, I thought she was nuts. At 10 years old, I had only ever eaten chips straight out of the bag, as a snack. “Potato chips in cookies?” I asked. “But...aren’t cookies meant to be sweet?”

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After 8 Years of Marriage, I’m Teaching My Husband How to Cook

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. The beat of the knife hitting the cutting board is slow and meth…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones.


Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. The beat of the knife hitting the cutting board is slow and methodical. I say nothing. My husband is chopping garlic, and this is his pace, and after a year of biting my tongue about his speed, I accept it. After eight years of marriage, I’m teaching Jay how to cook.

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A Fractured Relationship—& the Kebab That Filled the Cracks

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

Some of my most visceral childhood memories involve going to the butcher’s market wit…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones.


Some of my most visceral childhood memories involve going to the butcher’s market with my father—dozens of nearly identical shops, each no larger than a service elevator, tightly stacked up against one another like a deck of cards. These excursions usually followed Sunday prayers at our local gurdwara, the beating heart of a bustling Delhi bazaar. Around us, processions of herders displayed their livestock like prized show horses. Lilies curled and crisped under the hot Indian sun. A pack of parched stray dogs found relief in an unlatched water tanker. I would grip my father’s hand tight as the butcher’s blade sliced through the lamb’s neck like butter, wincing at the blood and sinew.

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Three Generations of Fathers, One Timeless Afro-Peruvian Breakfast

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

I was born in Peru, but I’ve been an immigrant most of my life. Still, no matter wher…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones.


I was born in Peru, but I’ve been an immigrant most of my life. Still, no matter where I’ve lived—Peru, the Dominican Republic, the U.S.—Peruvian cuisine has defined my identity.

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A Nourishing Soup To Heal the Cracks

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

Back in April of last year—when ambulance sirens screamed hourly of yet another coron…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones.


Back in April of last year—when ambulance sirens screamed hourly of yet another coronavirus casualty in a climate fraught with PPE shortages and simmering with racism against Asian Americans—my Korean immigrant mom headed to work the COVID-19 shift every day at Manhattan’s VA hospital.

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Grief, With a Side of Baked Ziti

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

They say everyone has their own love language, their unique way of showing people tha…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones.


They say everyone has their own love language, their unique way of showing people that they care. For my mom, that language was, unmistakably, food.

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Dreaming of Mom’s Golden-Crisp Bread Rolls… 4,000 Miles From Home

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

My mother often tells the story of how, as children, my sister and I would come home …

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones.


My mother often tells the story of how, as children, my sister and I would come home from friends’ birthday parties absolutely famished and declare that we hadn’t eaten anything at all. We’d then, she says, clamber onto our dining chairs and wait as she whipped us up something delicious in a matter of minutes: the fluffiest of cheese omelets with a sprinkling of cilantro and chile; shahi tukda that always managed to walk the fine line between cloying and scrumptious; or the thing I looked forward to the most—my favorite snack of all—the bread roll.

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A Beloved Syrian Dessert & the Inheritance of Loss

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

Back in early February, before the world as we knew it changed, I hosted 20 people at…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones.


Back in early February, before the world as we knew it changed, I hosted 20 people at my home in Chicago. Crowding around a dining table packed to the edges with my favorite Syrian Jewish dishes, we ate and talked about the Syrian war. It was a benefit luncheon I was hosting to raise money for displaced people of the nearly 10-year old conflict that has, for most of its duration, been a blip on the map of global crises.

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A Chocolate Cake That Celebrates Mothers—Lost & Found

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

In the first months after my husband, Erik, died while mountain climbing in 2014, I s…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones.


In the first months after my husband, Erik, died while mountain climbing in 2014, I spent much of my time shuffling about my sister’s house in a teary, sleepless haze. I wore rumpled variations of pajamas or sweats every day, and I had no appetite—everything I tried to eat tasted like the color grey. Prior to the accident that took his life, before I knew the term “young widow,” I had loved food.

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