Chef Rivera’s Kicked-up Lumpia

Hula Grill executive chef Paul Rivera's Fresh Lumpia With Garlic Sauce Photo from chef Paul Rivera

Filipino Community Center (FilCom Center) will celebrate its 11th annual gala dinner and fundraiser, “Sharing Memorable Moments With Emme & Friends,” Saturday, Nov. 9, at the FilCom Center located in Waipahu.

The gala event is a benefit for the center, which serves thousands of people each year with programs for youths, senior citizens and families.

Rose Cruz Churma, president of FilCom Center, says, “We want to honor Emme Tomimbang, a highly esteemed veteran broadcast journalist, for her many contributions to the Filipino community and the community at large over the past several decades.

“Her dedication to foster goodwill in the community we live and work is much admired, and we are forever grateful for her tireless service to the betterment of the Filipino community.”

For more information, visit the FilCom Center website at

Chef Paul Rivera, executive chef at Hula Grill in Waikiki, will prepare a pupu for the event. Paul’s passion for cooking and creating meals came about at an early age when his family moved to Wahiawa from the Philippines, and he grew up making meals for his family to help his parents, who both worked. Paul graduated from Leilehua High School and after a career in the Army, earned his culinary arts degree at Kapiolani Community College. His impressive work history includes Waialae Country Club, Plaza Club and Sheraton Waikiki, to name a few.

Paul enjoys relaxing and spending time outdoors, playing tennis, jiu jitsu and surfing.

Here, he graciously shares one of his lumpia recipes with MidWeek readers.


For Fresh Lumpia:

* 3 pieces rice paper
* 3 ounces cooked mungo beans
* 1 ounce julienne-cut string beans
* 1 ounce julienne-cut snow peas
* 2 ounces bean sprouts
* 2 ounces julienne-cut carrot
* 1 ounce julienne-cut jicama
* 1 ounce julienne-cut red bell pepper
* 3 lettuce leaves
* 2 basil leaves, julienne cut

Wet rice paper on both sides with warm water. Place wet rice paper on cutting board and lay lettuce leaf on bottom of rice paper (6 o-clock area).

Add all ingredients on lettuce leaf. Fold over entire filling once. Take the edges of right and left sides and fold over center as straight as possible at 90 degrees. Continue to roll all the way and lay finished edge on bottom to help seal.

Cut in half on the bias and serve.

Makes three lumpia.

For Garlic Sauce:

* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 2 tablespoon minced garlic
* 1 cup vegetable stock
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 2 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon black pepper
* 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
* 1 teaspoon chili flakes
* slurry (cornstarch and water mixture), to thicken

Using a saucepot, add all ingredients and bring to a boil. Make a slurry by mixing cornstarch and a little water and dissolve into a liquid. Slowly add to sauce when boiling and cook until thick enough to coat back of spoon. Remove and pour into serving bowl.