Hey, This is not Italian Meat Rolls, It Is Chinese Meat Rolls Called Ngoh Hiang

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INTRODUCTION

This post is sharing the Chinese version of meat rolls or Ngoh Hiang. It is different from the meat roll in Western cuisines such as the Italian meat rolls. Usually, minced meat (usually pork) and prawns were used and wrapped in a dry bean curd sheet.

Meat roll is an extremely popular dish for Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese households. The number of recipes available are the same with the numbers of Chinese grandmothers meaning every household have their unique recipe and all claims that theirs is the best. Depending on the dialect groups, meat rolls can be also be called ngoh hiang (five spices or 五香) or lok bak (卤肉)or hay g’ng (虾卷)

This recipe of mine, again is based on my recollection of what my late mother have prepared and the various meat rolls that I have tasted throughout the years.  I have purposely prepared this  meat roll for the noodle dish Lor Mee, a common Hokkien dish in Penang.

Usually, we prepared more meat rolls than required and stored in the refrigerators. When we wanted to serve the meat rolls, we will re-heat it.  Chinese meat rolls traditionally are commonly prepared for religious ceremonies or important house gatherings. The process  of preparation can be slightly laborious and usually ladies in the house were called to help with the preparation.

 


MEAT ROLLS OR NGOH HIANG DEFINED

As per Wikipedia: 

Ngo hiang (Chinese: 五香; pinyin: wǔxiāng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: ngó͘-hiong), also known as heh gerng (Chinese: 虾卷; pinyin: xiājuàn; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: hê-kǹg) or lor bak (Chinese: 五香滷肉; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: ngó͘-hiong-ló͘-bah) is a unique Hokkien and Teochew dish served in many of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore’s hawker centres and in Cebú in the Philippines, in addition to its place of origin in eastern China. In parts of Malaysia the dish is known as loh bak or lor bak.

It is essentially a composition of various meats and vegetables and other ingredients, such as a sausage-esque roll consisting of minced pork and prawn (or fish) seasoned with five-spice powder (Hokkien: 五香粉, ngó͘-hiong-hún) after which it is named, rolled inside a beancurd skin and deep-fried, lup cheong, cucumber, century egg, ginger, deep-fried egg, deep-fried beancurd, fishball and many others. It is usually served with chili sauce and a house-special sweet sauce. Many stalls in Singaporean food courts and hawker centres sell fried bee hoon with ngo hiang; this combination is common for breakfast and lunch. In Indonesia, people enjoy ngo hiang with sambal sauce. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngo_hiang)

 


WHAT IS REQUIRED

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  • 1 kg of minced meat – In this illustration, I have used minced pork. However, minced chicken breast can also be used.
  • 250 g of prawns cut into small chunks – you can also mince the prawns. I have opted to use chunked prawns instead of minced prawns as  I would like to have some prawns being seen in my meat rolls.
  • 200 g of fish paste (optional). I have used this to enhance the seafood fragrance and improve the binding properties of all materials inside the meat rolls.
  • 4-5 spring onions chopped into small pieces
  • 1 big onion chopped into small pieces
  • 10 water chestnuts peeled and cut into small pieces. The purpose of water chestnuts is to let the meat rolls have some feel of crunchiness when eaten.

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  • half cup of corn flour – purpose is to enhance the springiness of the meat roll;
  • 1 cup of wheat flour – purpose is to enhance the stickiness of the ingredients. Without wheat flour, the meat rolls can be rather loose.
  • 1 egg – purpose to increase the stickiness and fragrance of the meat rolls.
  • 1 tablespoon of salt 
  • 3 tablespoons of light soya sauce to taste
  • 2 teaspoons of five spices powder (optional). Though the name is called Ngoh Hiang (five spices), my family seldom put these spices as our family members do not really like the aroma. However, most of the meat rolls that I have tasted do put these spices.
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame oils
  • 5 teaspoons of white pepper
  • 5 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 12 sheets of bean curd sheets of 6 inches x 6 inches big

 


STEPS OF PREPARATION

Mixing the ingredients…….

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  • In a big mixing bowl, place all ingredients together. Use a big spoon to stir until all ingredients are well mixed. As some of the ingredients can be very fine (such as five spice powders, white peppers and etc.), you can also add the ingredients in stages if you find that it is difficult to mix well by putting all the ingredients all at once.
  • The final picture is the well mixed minced meats and it is considered as well mixed when the colour is even and consistent. The minced meat can be rather sticky due to the addition of egg and wheat flour.

 


Rolling the minced meats…

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  • In a flat surface, place a dried bean curd sheet. Use a wet hand to lightly pat the bean curd sheets. The purpose is to make it more flexible as too dry the bean curd sheets can be easily broken.
  • Placed about 150 grams of minced meats on top of the dry bean curd sheets.
  • Make a small roll, fold in the sides, used some of the minced meats or water to apply to the sides and corners of the bean curd sheets. Roll the minced meat until the end of the bean curd sheets. With the minced meat or water at the sides, it will help to  bind the bean curd sheets together.
  • If you runs out of bean curd sheets, you can shape the remaining into a ball and deep frying it. Please refer to the section below “When you runs of bean curd sheets”.

 


Steaming the meat rolls….


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  • In a steamer, place some water and bring to boil.
  • Transfer the meat rolls to the steamer and steamed for 15 minutes. Use a skewer/toothpick to penetrate one of the rolls and ensure that the skewer/toothpick  comes out clean.

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Deep frying the meat rolls……..

This step will involve frying the meat rolls. However, if you do not want the meat roll to be deep fried, you can also served it after steaming by cutting into small slices. Traditional ways of preparation will require the meat rolls to be deep fried such that the bean curd sheets will become crispy and golden brown.

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  • In a deep pot, have some oil until smoking hot. As a test of whether the oil is adequately hot for frying, place a wooden chopstick into the hot oil. If bubbles start to come out, it means that oil is ready for frying.
  • Place the meat rolls into the hot oil and deep fried until golden brown. Note that as the whole roll is already cooked, therefore the purpose of this step is just to ensure that bean curd sheets are crispy and the color is golden brown, therefore, the timing of the deep frying is rather fast usually less than  5 minutes.
  • Take out the meat rolls and place it in a plate with an oil absorbing paper on the plate.
  • Cut into small pieces when serving. Condiments can include sweet chilli sauce or plum sauce.

 


 

 

 

 

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What would happens if you runs out of bean curd sheets….

It is rather difficult to estimate the exact quantity of bean curd sheets that you need. At times, you may run of bean curd sheets as not all rolls are of the same sizes. In that case, you can shape the minced meats into small balls and roll it in the biscuit crumbs before deep frying (steps as above).

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  • Have some biscuits and grind it as fine as possible. Add some corn flour to the biscuit crumbs.
  • Shaped the minced meats into small balls and roll the balls in the biscuit crumbs.
  • Placed in the hot oil until the skin of the balls turns golden brown. Take out and place in an oil absorbing paper.

 


CONCLUSIONS

Meat rolls are a common household dish among Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese.  There are many recipes and each family will claim their is the best. Making meat rolls can be laborious but the moment you put it in your mouth, the taste is worth every efforts preparing it. Meat rolls are usually prepared for religious ceremonies and is served in restaurants as one of the cold dish. It is also used for noodle dishes such as lor mee. A detail post on the preparation of lor mee will be released soon. Preparation of lor mee will require  the use of these meat rolls  and meat balls as the ingredients.

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Hope you LIKE the post to day. Have a nice day and cheers.

 

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What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 17-7-2013

 

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I am trying out this format whether it works or not.

On 17-July 2013, white rice served with:

1 Spinach pork rib soup 菠菜排骨汤
2 Fried Bean Curd and Fish Cake with Chinese Celery 豆干鱼饼炒芹菜
3 Pak Choi Soup 大白菜排骨汤
4 Long Bean Stir Fried with Minced Meat and egg 长豆肉碎炒蛋
5 Grilled Saba (mackerel) with lemon  柠檬烤鲭鱼

Seem like today we have a lot of food. Again, my wife’s godmother cooked the Pak Choi Soup and gave it to us.  We can’t finished most of the dish and therefore, it is likely that we will be having porridge for lunch “getting rid” of these leftover food before I cook something new for the dinner.

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Dish is nothing special that really worth mentioning. May be the bean curd and fish cake with Chinese celery. I have a lot of Chinese celery and it is unlikely that I can use all purely for garnishing purposes. I remember used to fried minced meat with Chinese celery and I thought I will try the method to fry some taukwa (bean curd of less moisture content) and fish cakes. The conclusion is it a good combination. extremely simple dish.

My kids loves Saba for its “omega 3” fatty acids. As it is very fatty, the meat are rather soft and tasty. However, for Saba, besides simple grilling, I do not have any other methods of cooking. I presumed frying is possible but not steaming. Cooking curry? I think it is a waste. I hope readers can share with me how do you usually cooked this type of fish.

Have a wonderful day ahead and cheers.

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What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 12-7-2013

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On 12 July 2013, white rice served with:

1 Ginger Chicken 姜丝鸡
2 Local Mustard Fried With Anchovies 小鱼炒芥菜
3 Bean Curd Stick Pork Rib Soup 豆支排骨汤
4 Bean Curd Omelette 豆干蛋饼

For dish 1 and dish 4, please click the links above to look at the pictorial illustrations in Guaishushu’s page.

 

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Today, I am cooking the local mustard for the first time and see if whether it is acceptable by my kids or not. Local mustard is a bit bitter and when I was young, I have never like the dish.  I have fried it with anchovies and while I cannot say that they like it, they never want to take another more after finishing the two spoons that I have given to them. For me, that is good enough since they are trying out new food items. My cooking objective is to let them try as many varieties as possible.

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My boy love bean curd sticks. I was shocked to know that he had taken bean curd stick soup for 2 consecutive lunches in school canteen. I promised him that I will cook this soup these few days and advised him to rotate the food that he had in school canteen daily. That is the reason why i cooked this soup today.

Today I have made a fruit dessert. I was communicating with an Indonesia blogger based in Italy and she had this “fruit soup”to break her fast yesterday (Note: She is a Muslim and she need to fast for month according the Islamic principles during the month of Ramadan)! Out of my curiosity, I asked her for the recipe and within 15 minutes, she published the recipe in her blog!

I told her since she acted so quickly, I will also make the dessert and upload a photo to her within half an hour!  This is what I have made.

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This some cut fruits of your choice served with fresh milk and to sweeten it, with condensed milk and some honey. It is usually served cold and I should say, it is extremely delicious and another way of serving dessert. You may want to learn more about this recipe from Ms. Elly Yusna Ibrahim’s blog here.

Lastly, hope you like it and have a nice day.

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What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 4-7-2013

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On 4 July 2013,

White rice served with:

1 White Carrot Pork Rib Soup 白萝卜排骨汤
2 Braised Eggs and Bean Curd  豆干卤蛋
3 French Beans Stir Fried with Shimeji Mushrooms 清炒四季豆及白玉菇
4 Braised bitter gourd with fermented black beans 苦瓜焖豆豉

A very normal day with simple dish. The braised bitter gourd was cooked by wife’s god mother and she usually braised the bitter gourd with pork belly and fermented black beans. Both white carrot pork rib soup and braised eggs and bean curd pictorial illustration have been posted in Guaishushu Fanbook page. Please click the above link.

For lunch, i have fried some rice and I name the fried rice as “Nameless fried rice (无名炒饭)”.

The pictorial illustration are here.

Good night and have a nice day.

What I cooked today (家常便饭系列)- 1-7-2013

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On July 1 2013,

White rice served with:

1 Braised luffa/tower gourd with egg* 蛋汁炆丝瓜
2 Winter Melon Pork Rib Soup 冬瓜排骨汤
3 Taukwa fried with minced pork 豆干炒肉碎
4 Blanched pak choi with Oyster Sauce 耗油鸡胸奶白
5 Green Chilli fried with pork tongue 清椒炒猪舌

In Singapore, school re-opened for the second semester. Therefore, I will be backed to my routine cooking. 2 dishes to highlight:

1. Taukwa (dried bean curd) fried with minced pork – This is the second time I cooked this dish. The first time is about 2 months ago and you can see my post on minced pork belly with taukwa here. The taukwa was being meshed and stir fried with minced pork and eggs. It is very soft because of the meshed bean curd. A dish which is equally good for porridges.

2. We have an exotic dish today. Exotic in that I have never bought this part of pig myself. One of my relatives from China have brought over some braised pork tongues and gave it to us. In fact, I have complained to my wife that I do not know how to cook and I will not eat the meat. She is not very happy because that  means she have to finish the entire tongue. When  I cut the tongue into smaller pieces, the aroma starts to emit, a nice soya sauce fragrance. By the time I cut the whole tongue, i do not have such fear anymore since the shape is totally different now. I put a piece in my mouth and found that it is very tasty and my wife is surprise to see that i am eating the dish at the dinner.