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During Chinese New Year, among the must-have food in our home such as Yam Cake, Radish Cake, Savoury Glutinous Rice, Cheng Tng (a sweet dessert with Ginkgo Nut & Lotus Seed) and Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake, is this Five-Spice Meat Roll (also locally known as ‘Ngoh Hiang’).

It’s quite a time-consuming food to prepare but the result is well worth the effort. Usually served as a finger food or as an accompaniment to a Chinese meal, it is a hot favourite among family and friends.

As this dish has become significantly a part of our Chinese New Year celebration, I intentionally do not make this on normal days or during other festivities. I believe my gals will continue this tradition with their own families some day too 😉

FIVE-SPICE MEAT ROLL (‘NGOH HIANG’)

Ingredients
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(A) The Filling :
1 kg minced shoulder pork (with some fats)
1 kg minced prawns (diced roughly)
15 water chestnuts (diced)
1 small carrot (diced – optional)
1 stalk of spring onion (minced)
1 stalk of coriander (minced)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon 5-spice powder
2 tablespoon light soya sauce
1.5 tablespoon oyster sauce
½ tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cooking wine (花雕酒)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pepper
3 eggs
2 tablespoon cornflour

(B) The Wrap :
2 packs dried beancurd sheets (豆腐皮)

(C) Oil for deep-frying

Method

1)     Combine (A) in a large pot, cover and leave it in the refrigerator to season for an hour.
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2)     Meantime, wipe the beancurd sheets gently with a damp cloth three times on both sides to remove excess salt & oil.

3)     Fold and cut each beancurd sheets into four quarts and then cut each quart into half (total 8 pieces from each beancurd sheet).

4)     Lay a beancurd sheet on a flat surface. Put a heaped spoonful of the filling on it and roll it up like a spring roll. Twist both ends to seal.

5)     Put the rolls on a greased plate into a hot steamer and steam for 10 mins until the filling is cooked.

6)     Remove from steamer and leave to cool on a rack (also to dry the “skin”).

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The steamed meat rolls

7)     Heat sufficient oil to fry rolls until “skin” is golden. (**Alternatively, pack the meat rolls in several freezer bags and keep them frozen until ready to cook.

The rolls can be deep fried as soon as it is made. However, steaming it first will cut down both oil and time for frying. Steamed rolls can also be frozen upto 2 weeks.

The rolls can be deep fried as soon as it is made. However, steaming it first will cut down both oil and time for frying. Steamed rolls can also be frozen upto 2 weeks.

8)     Serve warm with a sweet & tangy plum sauce or a sweet thai chilli sauce.
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I’ve come across recipes that included diced firm beancurd or yam in the filling. I’ve yet to try it but like the idea as the meat can be quite dry after being fried. I will certainly try it the next time.

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