I think yesterday must be my 4th time making Ngoh Hiangs in a month. No, the Chinese Lunar New Year is not around the corner but rather its the simplicity in crafting up those delicious deep fried meat rolls in a unique beancurd skin that compels me to make even more. After learning the fundamentals from Chef Malcolm Lee of The Candlenut Kitchen at the ToTT Cooking Studio, I have been on a Ngoh Hiang making craze with my journey to always create that juicy roll of meat and crunchy roots.
The recipe for making Ngoh Hiangs are very simple. Most ingredients can be bought at the local Supermarket with the Ngoh Hiang Skins itself purchasable at a wet market. There is a difference between Ngoh Hiang skins and Dried Beancurd Sheet (Tau Kee) as the former itself is very thin. I guess another reason why I made so many is because my mum went to buy 10 packets at the market and for every session of 500grams meat, I used only 2 packets. Gee..that’s alot of Ngoh Hiangs.
There are many variants on how this traditional delectable snack or full fledged dish is made. Some omit the use of mushrooms or carrots, and for me I very much enjoyed Chef Malcolm’s creation though for all my recipes I do not use pork belly like he does. Judging from what I have made so far, the most important factor for the Ngoh Hiang is a well balance mix of meat, prawns and for the occasional crunch and burst of sweetness, carrots!
For my recipe, carrot play a very important role. Its inclusion creates that sense of freshness and quells down the meatiness of the dish itself, differentiating the textures throughout the filling also gives a surprise bite and the orangey hue is without doubt a beautiful contrast.
My homemade Ngoh Hiangs
Makes 12-15 Medium Ngoh Hiangs
- Minced Pork, 500grams
- Peeled Prawns, deveined, 30 medium pieces
- 6 Large Shitake Mushrooms, sliced finely
- 12 Water Chestnuts, peeled and chopped
- 1 Large Red Onion, peeled and sliced
- 4 Large Carrots, Julienned finely
- 2-3 Stalks Spring Onion, chopped
- 4 dashes pepper
- Light Soya Sauce, 4 tablespoons
- Cooking oil, 4 tablespoons
- Egg, 3 pieces
- Sugar, 1 tablespoon
- Ngoh Hiang Skin, cut into sheets of 25cm x 20cm or a standard sized rectangle
- Oil for deep frying
- Mix all the ingredients mentioned in Section A.
- For each sheet of cut Ngoh Hiang Skin, dip it into a bowl of water and place on a plate.
- Spoon 1.5 tablespoons of the filling onto 1/3 from the shortest side or until a sufficient length of overlapping skin is able to cover the filling.
- Fold the edges in, roll the Ngoh Hiang up. Ensure that the filling is slightly tight within the beancurd skin.
- Steam the Ngoh Hiangs for 8 minutes.
- Remove from steamer and set on a rack to dry for about 15 minutes.
- Further dry the Ngoh Hiangs with a paper towel.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer.
- Fry each Ngoh Hiang for about 4-5 minutes ensuring a nice golden brown all around.
- Serve hot with Sambal belachan!
And for the additional sparkle, you can dress up the Ngoh Hiang by plating it well. (In picture: My Ngoh Hiangs after the session at ToTT Cooking Studio)