Ngoh Hiang/ Lor Bak/ 五香

Ngoh Hiang/ Lor Bak/ 五香

Ngoh Hiang is a delicious seasoned meat roll that is also filled with crunchy vegetables like jicama and carrots. Its beancurd skin is deep-fried for the extra crispiness. This recipe explores tips to retain its juciness even after frying and to prevent oil splatters.

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Preparation 40 mins
Cooking 20 mins

Appetizer

Lor Bak, Kikiam, Heh Gerng, Bak Kien, 蝦卷

Malaysian, Singaporean, Indonesian

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Nutrition per Serving

295 kcal
9 g
24 g
10 g

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Ngoh Hiang or Lor Bak is a five spice pork roll, a favourite fried food dish in Southeast Asia especially Singapore and Malaysia. Sometimes served as an appetizer, Ngoh Hiang is also popular in the Philippines, Indonesia and also Thailand. This dish is very famous for its crispy skin and flavourful filling. It is made with a variety of ingredients such as meat, crunchy vegetables like carrots and a mixture of sauces. Every bite is delectable especially when dipped in the accompanying sweet or spicy sauces. In this recipe, make the best crispy delicious Ngoh Hiang that even your grandma will definitely approve!

Why choose this Ngoh Hiang recipe?

In this recipe, I used both minced pork and pork strips because Ngoh Hiang ends up too mushy for my liking when made using only minced pork. The addition of the pork strips contributes to a better mouth feel.

A mix of minced pork and strips
A mix of minced pork and strips

This recipe also shares techniques to keep the skin crispy while keeping the filling juicy. Most importantly, making this five spice roll is a fun activity for the family just like in dumpling making.

Origin of Ngoh Hiang

Ngoh Hiang simply means five spices in the Hokkien dialect, referring to the spice mix that is added to the filling. Originating from eastern China, it is no surprise that this dish is popular among the Chinese descendants especially among the Hokkien and Teochew community. In Singapore, it is more fondly known as Ngoh Hiang while Malaysians call them Lor Bak. Kikiam is what it is known as in the Philippines.

Bean curd skin

Salted bean curd skin is most commonly used to make these five spice meat rolls. It is soft and pliable making it easy to roll and shape. However, if you are living in US or Europe, bean curd sheets which are soft may be used and there is no need to soak before using.

Removing salt from bean curd skin

The skin of the meat roll uses a special salted bean curd skin/sheet which has a salt coating. Using a wet kitchen towel, wipe the salt off the bean curd skins after cutting them into smaller sizes to be used as wrappers. Ngoh hiang will become too salty if there is too much salt on it.

How to wrap?

Use corn starch slurry to glue the bean curd skin together.

Wrapping Ngoh Hiang
Wrapping Ngoh Hiang

Secret to juicy and crispy Ngoh Hiang

Steaming them first helps to lock in the moisture. However, it is best to discard the excess water after steaming.

Steamed Meat Rolls
Steamed Meat Rolls

Ensure the rolls have a dry surface before frying. This is when the secret ingredient cornstarch is used. It soaks up any excess liquid to prevent oil splatters and makes the meat rolls extra crispy.

Coating with Cornstarch
Coating with Cornstarch

Other alternative ingredients as filling

Other than jicama or yam bean, water chestnuts can be used instead for an equally crunchy texture. If you enjoy eating yam, add small yam cubes to the filling. Fish paste or prawn paste can be also added.

Halal Ngoh Hiang

This recipe can be adapted to make it halal. Use chicken instead of pork. As advised, combine minced chicken along with chicken strips to prevent it from having a mushy texture.

Simple sauces

Ngoh Hiang is always served with a sweet sauce which may be spicy or non-spicy. I like to prepare a simple sweet sauce which is mildly hot by combining 1 tablespoon of Hoisin sauce and 1 tablespoon of Sriracha. Dilute the sauces with 2 tablespoons of water.

The pink sweet sauce is another accompanying sauce for the dish. It is made by boiling water with knotted pandan leaf and sugar. Food colouring gives the signature colour and it is thicken with some cornstarch slurry.

You can also serve it with some sweet Thai chilli sauce or garlic chilli sauce.

Freezing Ngoh Hiang

After steaming, use a kitchen towel to dab excess liquid from the rolls. Lightly coat them with cornstarch before storing in an air tight container. Freeze up to 1 month for the best flavours.


Ingredients

Servings:  
350 g
pork belly
300 g
pork
2
garlic clove(s)
3
shallot(s)
50 g
carrot(s)
100 g
water chestnut
30 g
scallions
1 tsp
five spice powder
1⁄2 tsp
white pepper
1 1⁄2 tsp
sugar
1 tbsp
light soy sauce
1⁄2
egg(s)
2 1⁄3 tbsp
corn starch
1⁄8 tsp
salt
4 tbsp
water
1
salted beancurd sheet
oil for deep-frying

Steps to Prepare

Ngoh Hiang/ Lor Bak/ 五香 Step 1

Step 1 of 7

    • 350 g pork belly
    • 300 g pork
    • 2 garlic clove(s)
    • 3 shallot(s)
    • 50 g carrot(s)
    • 100 g water chestnut
    • 30 g scallions

Mince garlic, shallots, carrot, scallions and pork belly. Then, dice the water chestnuts into small cubes. Cut pork shoulder into thin strips. Put all prepared ingredients into a bowl.

Ngoh Hiang/ Lor Bak/ 五香 Step 2

Step 2 of 7

    • 1 tsp five spice powder
    • 1⁄2 tsp white pepper
    • 1 1⁄2 tsp sugar
    • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
    • 1⁄2 egg(s)
    • 1 1⁄3 tbsp corn starch
    • 1⁄8 tsp salt

Combine soy sauce, 5 spice powder, white pepper, sugar, egg, cornstarch and salt in another bowl. Then, add minced pork and pork strips into the sauce mixture. Mix well. After that, add chopped water chestnuts, scallions, garlic and carrots. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Best to leave it overnight.

Ngoh Hiang/ Lor Bak/ 五香 Step 3

Step 3 of 7

    • 4 tbsp water
    • 1 tbsp corn starch

Prepare cornstarch slurry by mixing cornstarch and boiling water evenly. Set aside.

Ngoh Hiang/ Lor Bak/ 五香 Step 4

Step 4 of 7

    • 1 salted beancurd sheet

Cut salted beancurd sheets into size of 25 x 20cm. For smaller rolls, cut them into 15 x 15 cm squares. Then, wipe off the excess salt with a wet kitchen towel and set aside. Wrap pork filling immediately. Otherwise, cover the cleaned beancurd sheets with a damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying.

Ngoh Hiang/ Lor Bak/ 五香 Step 5

Step 5 of 7

Spoon some marinated filling onto a beancurd sheet. Wrap the filling and place it on an oiled plate. Do leave a gap between each roll to prevent them from sticking which may result in tearing.

Ngoh Hiang/ Lor Bak/ 五香 Step 6

Step 6 of 7

Steam the raw Ngoh Hiang for 12 to 15 minutes over low to medium to heat. Serve them immediately if you prefer steamed Ngoh Hiang.

Ngoh Hiang/ Lor Bak/ 五香 Step 7

Step 7 of 7

    • oil for deep-frying

To fry, allow the steamed Ngoh Hiang to cool for 30 minutes. Heat oil over medium heat. Lightly coat each roll with some cornstarch before deep-frying them for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool for 5 minutes before cutting into smaller pieces. Serve warm.

Published: March 26, 2021


1 Discussions

MARY CHENG GO
a month ago

MARY CHENG GO

For later day consumption, can I freeze the cooled steamed ngohiang and just fry it when ready to eat?

Grace
a month ago

Grace

Yes, possible. Remove excess water and pat some cornflour on them before freezing. We added the tip in the last paragraph above.

MARY CHENG GO
a month ago

MARY CHENG GO

Thank you Grace. Appreciate your reply and adding the tip.

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