April 3, 2010

Fresh Spring Rolls/Popiah

Popiah is another popular snack in my hometown, Malaysia. It is a light paper-thin crepe wrapped with shredded jicama, string beans, cucumber, prawns, and fried shallots. The skin is made of wheat flour and water. Making popiah skin is labor-intensive as it involves standing in front of a hot griddle and using the palm of the hand to dip into the flour mixture and press the dough on the griddle with a "pull and dip" rythmn. We would normally buy fresh popiah skin in the local wet market by the pound. You can purchase frozen popiah skin or pastry wrappers in local Asian markets. I like to serve this dish at a party as this allows my guests to have fun in making their own spring roll.
Ingredients (A):
1 cup prawns
2 cups jicama, julliened
1 cup french beans, sliced thinly
1 cup firm beancurd, julliened
1 cup cooked beansprouts
½ cup shallot, sliced
2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
oil for stir fry
Ingredients (B):
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup cucumber, julliened
½ cup toasted peanuts  (skins removed and finely grind)
1 head lettuce
cilantro, shredded
chee hou sauce or plum sauce
chilli sauce (optional)
popiah skins, thawed at room temperature
Seasonings (C):
salt and sugar to taste
2 tsp. white pepper powder
2 Tbsps. light soy sauce
1 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1.Wash and cut all ingredients. Toast and grind peanuts finely.

2. Heat 1/2 Tbsp. of oil in pan over medium heat. Add prawns and cook until it turns red in color, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove shells, cut in half and remove black thread on top of the prawn. Cut prawn into thin slices.

3. Heat some oil on a skillet and pour some egg mixture to form a thin omelet. Turn over to cook the other side. Do the same to the rest of the egg mixture. When cool, cut in thin slices.

4.In the same skillet add 1 tablespoon oil and 1/2 of the shallots and garlic. Fry until shallots are soft and aromatic over medium heat. Add jicama and cook until it reduced in volumne. Remove and place in a larger pot. 
5. Using the same skillet, add some oil and brown beancurd on both sides. Remove beancurd and saute string beans till it is cooked but not soft. Add this to the jicama mixture.
6. Reheat the larger pot and add the seasonings (salt, pepper, soy sauce, oyster sauce) stir in to mix and simmer over low heat for another 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings, remove from heat.
7. In another saucepan, heat enough oil and fry the rest of the shallots and garlic till crisp and brown. Drain on paper towel to remove excess oil.


To assemble:
8. Set out the vegetables, sauces, and garnishing into separate containers on the table.

9. Place thawed popiah skin on a flat surface or a plate. Brush the popiah skin lightly with chee hou sauce or chilli sauce in the center. Tear a piece of lettuce away from the middle vein (this will make it easier to roll and not poke through the skin). Place lettuce about 2" away from the side of the skin.
Spoon about 1 tablespoon of jicama ingredients on top of lettuce, squeezing out excess gravy. Arrange the other ingredients (eggs, prawns, cucumber, peanuts, cilantro) Sprinkle top with some fried shallots. Roll up from front, fold the sides, tucking in firmly and roll up firmly. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

Terrie said...

You're GREAT to make all such yummy dishes. Love your detail description and photos. Thanks for sharing.