One of my kids’ favorite dish is their granny’s Ngoh Hiang or Lor Bak, which seems similar to sausage, with minced pork and prawns rolled up in dried bean curd sheet, steamed then deep fried to golden brown. The vegetarian food stalls offer a vegetarian version with mock meat and mashed taro/ yam, and smells just as delicious as the meat version due to a common seasoning ingredient : 5-spice powder.
My first attempt ended up with a yam roll that has somewhat a softer center than the commercial version as the ingredients are held together with only mashed yam, that doesn’t really firm up with cooking. I will try my next vegetarian Ngoh Hiang with added flour that will help the rolls to firm up after steaming. But I will most likely go back to the version without fillers, even after affirming that adding flour helps to make a firmer roll that is easier to slice and serve. After all, home cooking is all about making wholesome food with real ingredients, never mind if the food ends up looking uglier, I always have patterned plates and edible garnishes to come to the rescue!
Meatless Ngoh Hiang
120g taro yam, steamed and mashed 3 dried chinese mushrooms, softened and finely chopped 1/2 small carrot, finely chopped 1/2 tablespoon 5-spice powder 1 tablespoon vegetarian oyster sauce a dash white pepper 1 tablespoon oil, for cooking fillings 3 tablespoon oil for pan frying the rolls 1 sheet dried bean curd sheet**
** I used only 1/4 of a packet of the dried bean curd sheet with my small serving recipe that makes 3 x 30cm rolls. Cut out the size you need, or increase ingredients proportionately to use it up. Always remember to wipe gently but thoroughly the surface with a clean damp cloth to remove a layer of salt that is used to preserve the bean curd sheet.
Start with a clean hand or wooden spoon, mix mashed yam, chopped mushrooms, carrots, with 5-spice powder, vegetarian oyster sauce, and white pepper to a uniform mixture.
Scoop out 1/3 of the fillings, and spread it on the bean curd sheet that has been wiped over with a clean damp cloth. Roll it up swiss roll style for about 2 rounds, slice off the remaining beancurd sheet, and place the roll on a plate, seam side downwards.
Repeat till you get 3 rolls.
Place them in a steamer and cook for 10 minutes.
After steaming, the rolls becomes more translucent. Let them cool completely before pan frying them in a skillet with 2 tablespoons of oil, seam side down first till the skin turns crispy and golden brown.
Place fried yam rolls on a layer of kitchen towel to absorb excess oil. Then slice the rolls with a very sharp knife (I used a bread knife) and serve immediately.