This is an old family recipe, pockmarked with water-damaged holes, that I dug out from my dusty files. I remember sitting around the kitchenplace dining table, helping to wrap these meat rolls up. Beware though, as this is extremely labour-intensive. So if you're like us, who have just 4 hands in total, this will take up to 3 hours to prep it all. The excessively-long prep time may be because I like my ngoh hiang finger food-sized, so wrapping them takes a much longer time than if you were to wrap big rolls. But I happen to think they're cuter this way. Even if you do end up eating a lot more of these crispy babies because they function like a snack food of sorts. On a more practical, and less fluffy note, wrapping them up into 3" lengths negates the need for post-frying slicing into bite-sized portions.
Also, although most recipes call for a ground pork base, I prefer combining the ground pork with turnip, for a sweeter, juicier finish. Another variant I see in some recipes is to add in diced Chinese black mushrooms for succulence and an earthy accent.
Ingredients (makes about 70 2.5" long x 1" wide mini rolls):
600gm pork belly (get the butcher to grind pork belly in front of you)
300gm prawns, deshelled and diced roughly
1 turnip, grated
1 carrot, grated
1 yellow onion, minced finely
1 leek, minced finely
4 water chestnuts, minced finely
Dried beancurd skin
1.5 tbsp light soy
1-2 tbsp Chinese Five-spice (I use 2 tbsp for a stronger flavour)
2 tbsp plain flour
Dash of white ground pepper
Optional: 1 tsp white granulated sugar
1) To prep the turnip, shred it onto a clean muslin, and leave it alone for about 5 minutes to release its liquid content.
2) Wrap it up and squeeze about 90% of the water out. You want to prevent the rolls from being waterlogged, but still get a juicy roll, so you'll have to retain a little bit of the turnip liquid.
1) Mix the pork, prawns, turnip, carrots, onion, leek, chestnuts, egg, and seasoning together in a large mixing bowl.
2) The end result should look like this post-mixing.
3) Dollop about 2-3 tsp of mixture onto a 4" x 2.5" length beancurd skin rectangle, and roll it, packing it tightly and sealing it with some egg white or water.
4) If not frying right away, steam, covered, for 7-10 minutes.
5) The cooked steamed rolls should look like this. Freeze for later use up to 2 weeks.
6) To serve, pop them into a gently bubbling oil to deep fry, until golden brown. They should float to the top when they're cooked. Drain on paper towels, to rid them of the oil, before serving.