Home-Made Hokkien Style Ngoh Hiang (五香)

Ngoh Hiong 2

Ngoh Hiong 1

Ngoh Hiang, or 五香 in Mandarin, is a mixture of minced meat and vegetables seasoned with five-spice powder (hence its name), rolled up in beancurd skin, steamed and then deep-fried. The local Teochews and Hokkiens love this dish equally, especially for its easily identifiable 5-spice fragrance.

Personally, I love that ngoh hiang is a dish which, when home-made, allows for ample room for customisation according to one’s own taste and preference. One could add in either more meat or vegetables as one wishes. It is also possible to grill it as opposed to deep-frying it to concoct a healthier version of this local delicacy (although I believe many would frown upon this option). As a local Teochew with a Hokkien husband, I have decided to try out my mother-in-law’s recipe, yet adapt it to add in more crunch and juiciness. Henceforth, I wouldn’t say that this is the most authentic Hokkien style ngoh hiang, but I dare say the combination of ingredients here makes for a really palatable dish to look forward to!

Ingredients:

  • Corn starch: 2 tbsp + 3 tbsp
  • Minced pork: 500g
  • Fresh prawn: 250g, de-shelled, deveined, chopped finely
  • Fish paste: 2 small packs (about 300g)
  • Tau Kwa: 400g, mashed up
  • Water chestnut: 10, chopped finely
  • Carrot: 1, peeled, chopped finely
  • Shitake mushroom: 150g, chopped finely
  • White onion: 2, chopped finely
  • Shallot: 150g, chopped finely
  • Cream cracker biscuits: 8, crushed into fine powder
  • Spring onion: 3 stalks, chopped finely
  • Parsley: 3 stalks, chopped finely
  • Eggs: 3, yolks and whites separated
  • 5-spice powder: 2 tbsp
  • Salt: 2 tsp
  • Pepper: 2 tsp
  • Sesame oil: 3 tbsp
  • Fish sauce or light soy sauce: 5 tbsp
  • Sugar: 1.5 tbsp
  • Shaoxing wine: 2 tbsp
  • Beancurd skin wrappers: 10 pieces of 20cm x 20cm each (about 80g in all)
  • Oil: 400ml

Method:

  1. Add 2 tbsp corn starch into minced pork and mix till even.
  2. Mix in prawns, fish paste, tau kwa, water chestnuts, carrot, mushroom, onion, shallot, crackers, spring onion and parsley.
  3. Stir in 3 egg yolks, 3 tbsp corn starch, salt, pepper, sesame oil, fish sauce, sugar and wine. Mix well.
  4. Brush egg white onto beancurd skin. Place 3 heaped tbsp of mixture onto skin at the top. Roll it in, wrap up the sides and continue rolling to the other end. Seal by brushing the edge of skin with egg white.
  5. Repeat step 4 for the rest of the mixture and skin wrappers.
  6. Steam ngoh hiang over high heat for 10 – 15 min, till wrappers turn translucent.
  7. Heat oil in wok. Shallow fry ngoh hiang for 5 – 8 min on each side till golden brown.
  8. Remove from oil. Place on kitchen paper towel to absorb the oil first.
  9. Slice into thumb-length pieces to serve.

Ngoh Hiong 3

Tricks:

  • The amount of fish sauce added into the meat mixture has been reduced here to take into account the added saltiness from the beancurd skin wrappers.
  • Instead of shallow frying, you could also deep-fry the rolls or grill them in an oven. Grilling requires a much longer time though, taking up to 20 min for each side of the roll to brown. Alternatively, eating the steamed version of the ngoh hiang (without frying) would be just as delicious.
  • Adding in tau kwa (not tofu) helps to make the dish a juicy one to bite into.

Serving:
Makes 20 medium-sized ngoh hiangs

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