Wow, we certainly have been on a roll (haha, geddit?) in cooking Nyonya food recently. Badum tss!
We’ve been wanting to make lobak (five-spice meat rolls) for a long time – and we were elated to find bean curd skin and water chestnuts at our local grocer!
There’s many iterations of this dish (also called Ngoh Hiang or literally five spices in Hokkien). Some put scallion, pork tenderloin chunks, jicama, salted egg yolk and even fish paste into their lobak.
We like ours with chunks of juicy fresh prawns, carrots, and water chestnuts for that refreshing crunch!
The five spice powder is the main ingredient, which gives the roll the umami fragrance. We ate this with Lingham’s chilli sauce.
* For Muslim friends, feel free to substitute pork with chicken.
* We first marinade the minced pork with seasoning, before preparing the other ingredients. This provides enough time for the flavours to penetrate the meat. We separate the prawns to ensure they remain succulent after we fry the lobak.
* We finished all the lobak rolls within the day. However, if you make a bigger batch, you can steam them to cook the insides before keeping them in the freezer. Just thaw and fry them for future meals.
* Be sure to use UNSALTED BEAN CURD SKIN! We cooked once with salted skin – and it was so unbearably salty. If yours is salty (taste first), use a damp kitchen towel to gently wipe away the excess salt before making the rolls.
* When deep-frying, ensure that you do not burn the skin. You can also double fry to get that nice crispy skin.
Check out our Instagram post here for videos and step-by-step instructions.
Lobak [Recipe]Course: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Intermediate
Recipe for the delicious Chinese five-spice meat rolls.
400g minced pork/chicken
400g prawns with shells
5 water chestnuts, skin removed and diced
3 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated with stems removed and diced
1/4 medium carrot, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 tsp five-spice powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp light soy sauce
dash of white pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornstarch
80g unsalted dried beancurd skin, cut into 15x15cm sheets or your preferred size
2 eggs, yolk only
cooking oil, enough to deep fry
- Combine the minced pork with seasoning. Cover ad leave to marinade as you prepare other ingredients.
- Combine with prawns
- Deshell and devein prawns and cut into small cubes. Combine the minced pork with prawns, water chestnuts, mushrooms, carrots, garlic and shallot.
- Prepare skin
- Cut the beancurd skin into 15x15cm sheets or your preferred size. If you’re using salted beancurd skin, wipe gently with a damp kitchen towel first to remove excess salt.
- Let’s roll!
- Place a handful of filling at the bottom of a beancurd sheet with a least 3m gap at the bottom. Fold to bottom and roll the filling upwards tightly to make meat roll. Seal the top by dabbing some egg yolk along the edge. Fold the excess skin on the sides and “glue” them to the roll by dabbing some yolk. Repeat until filling is finished.
- Fry time!
- Heat up cooking oil in a wok over high heat. When oil is hot, reduce fire to medium heat and fry meat rolls until golden brown and crispy. Remove and place on kitchen towel or drainer to remove excess oil.
- Cut the meat rolls diagonally when they have cooled down. Serve with sweet chilli sauce or hoisin sauce.