[Updated as at 26/09/2023] All eyes will be on the Melbourne Cricket Ground as the Collingwood Magpies face off against the Brisbane Lions in the AFL Grand Final. There is certainly plenty of excitement in the air as many look forward to spending this weekend with friends and family in anticipation for this match.
Food is the universal language of love. If you are looking for something different to serve at your AFL party, you have come to the right spot! Here are some simple Asian appetizers, Asian starters and Asian savoury snacks that will go perfectly with a cold one!
Almost every Asian country has their interpretation of the spring roll recipe. One of our favourite version is the Lumpia- Filipino fried spring rolls filled with ground pork and mixed vegetables. Serve them hot at your next AFL gathering as an appetizer or finger food, with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. Everyone is familiar with this Asian finger food- you’d be guaranteed to receive praises all around!
The best bit about this recipe? You can prepare the spring rolls and freeze them way ahead. If kept properly, frozen spring rolls can last for months in the freezer and serve them as an Asian entrée at another dinner party. Just make sure that you thaw them to room temperature before deep-frying.
- 1 pack spring roll wrappers
- 1 kg ground pork
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 inch (2 cm) ginger, peeled and minced
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder, optional
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 170 g cabbage, thinly sliced
- Sweet chilli sauce, for dipping
Prepping the Lumpia
- Using a knife, cut the square wrappers in half so that you have two stacks of rectangular wrappers. Place a damp paper towel over the wrappers to keep them from drying out as you work.
- Combine the pork, cabbage, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, chicken bouillon powder, eggs, and ground black pepper in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix the filling well so that the seasonings are evenly distributed.
- Place one of the rectangular wrappers vertically on your work surface with the short edge facing you. Place a heaping teaspoon of the filling on the wrapper about half an inch from the edge closest to you. Grasp the bottom edge of the wrapper and roll it up and over the filling, continuing to roll until 2 inches of wrapper remain.
- Dip two fingers into a bowl of water, then moisten the last 2 inches of wrapper with your fingers. Finish rolling the lumpia, then rest it on its seam. Continue rolling with the rest of the filling and lumpia wrappers.
- At this point, you can freeze your rolled lumpia if you wish by placing them in freezer bags and then into your freezer.
Cooking the Lumpia
- To cook the lumpia, fill a large frying pan with about 1/2-inch of vegetable oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Gently place the lumpia into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes total (if frying frozen lumpia, it will take 1 to 2 minutes longer).
- Place the fried lumpia on paper towels and serve immediately with sweet chilli sauce.
Fried anchovies and peanuts
For those who loves savory Asian snacks, this one’s for you!
Deep fried dried anchovies (ikan bilis) and peanuts are a popular bar snack in Singapore and Malaysia. It’s just the thing to have with a light cold Tiger or Heineken beer. The salty and nutty flavours make this combo truly addictive.
It's easy to make- Most people scatter just salt and pepper while some serve it with shallots and some sambal.
- 180g medium sized dried anchovies
- 140 g raw peanuts
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 long red chillies, coarsely chopped
- 2 tsp sugar
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
- Preheat oven to 100C. Rinse dried anchovies under cold water, drain, spread on an oven tray and roast until dry and crisp (about 8-10 minutes).
- Heat oil in a deep-fryer or deep-sided saucepan to 140C. Deep-fry anchovies in batches, stirring frequently, until crisp and golden (3-4 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper, set aside.
- Add peanuts to oil and cook until golden and crisp (4-5 minutes), drain on absorbent paper and set aside.
- Pound onion and chilli in a pestle and mortar until it forms a smooth paste. (Alternatively, you may use a food processor).
- Heat extra oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add onion paste, stir occasionally until fragrant (4-5 minutes). Stir in fried anchovies, peanuts and sugar before seasoning to taste with sea salt. Cook for another minute, cool to room temperature, and serve.
Korean Fried Chicken (Chimaek)
If you are an avid Korean drama fan, it’s nearly impossible to watch a modern K-drama without a scene of the main characters digging into some delicious Korean fried chicken (simply known as “chikin”) and washing their sorrows down with beer.
In all honesty, we find that Korean fried chicken beats the colonel's fried chicken.
- 1.6 kg chicken wings, washed and drained
- ½ tbsp salt
- ½ tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- ⅔ cup potato starch or corn starch
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Cut off the tip of each wing before chopping the wing in half.
- Put the chicken in a bowl. Season with salt, ginger, and ground black pepper (by hand).
- Put the potato starch in a bowl and dip each wing in the powder to coat each piece individually.
- Put 4 cups of cooking oil in a frying pan or pot and heat it up for 7-8 minutes over high heat.
- See if the oil’s ready by dipping a test wing into it. If the oil bubbles, it’s hot enough to start frying. Slide the coated wings one by one into the hot oil and cook for about 12-13 minutes, turning over a few times with tongs.
- Take the wings out of the oil and shake them off in a strainer. Turn off the heat, and let the wings sit for a few minutes.
- Reheat the oil and fry the wings again for another 12-15 minutes until golden brown and crunchy.
- Strain and serve hot.
We hope you have some lovely plans ahead for the long AFL weekend. If you have been inspired to try some of these recipes at your AFL party, please tag us on Facebook and Instagram!, we’d love to see your creations!