How to cook Singapore Popiah (Fresh Spring Rolls)
A popiah “skin” is a soft, thin paper-like crepe or pancake made from wheat flour. The method of producing the wrapper involves making an extremely wet and viscous dough. A ball of this dough is held to the right hand, then quickly “rubbed” against a hot steel plate in a circular fashion, and lifted. Through this process, a very thin layer of the wet dough adheres to the plate and begins to cook. The upper surface of the crepe is then usually cleaned of excess pieces of dough using the dough ball through a dabbing process. When the dough has been cooked to completion, it is peeled off of the hot steel plate before being removed. The rubbing is typically done over two or three plates at once, which allows the baker to continuously produce crepes and gives the proper time for each crepe to be properly cooked.
In Singapore there are “popiah parties,” where the ingredients are laid out and guests make their own popiah with proportions of ingredients to their own personal liking. Careful attention has to be paid to each element of Singapore Popiah dish. Below is the recipe which you can try at home.
Similar foods in other cuisines include the Filipino variant referred to as Lumpiang Sariwa.
Singapore Popiah (Fresh Spring Rolls) by Pinoy Recipe dot net:
Singapore Popiah Recipe (Fresh Spring Rolls)
- 2 tablespoons crushed chilli flakes or 6-8 red finger-length chillies deseeded and ground
- 8 cloves garlic crushed with a little salt
- 4 tablespoons Tim Cheong or Kecup manis
- 6 large lettuce leaves
- 1 small cucumber peeled and finely shredded
- 100 g 2 cups beansprouts
- 1 cake tau kwa pressed tofu 100g(3 1/3 oz), deep-fried until golden, diced
- 2 hard-boiled eggs peeled and chopped
- 2 lap cheong simmered 3 minutes, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons oil
- 1 small onion halved, thinly sliced across
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 teaspoons tau cheo salted soy beans
- lightly smashed 100 g 3 1/3 oz pork loin,
- very thinly sliced 100 g 3 1/3 oz prawns, peeled, heads removed
- 250 g 8 oz boiled or canned bamboo shoot, finely shredded
- 1 bangkuang (300g / 10 oz), finely shredded
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 125 g 1 cup plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 300 ml 1 1/4 cups water
- 5 eggs lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons oil
- Note: Tim cheong or sweet black Chinese sauce, is a fragrant sweet sauce used in many marinades and sauces; substitute kecup manis, a sweet soy sauce.
- To make the Wrappers, place the flour, salt and water in a bowl and mix to form a smooth batter.
- Then add the eggs and mix well. Heat a 20-cm (8-in) skillet, add 1/2 teaspoon of the oil to grease the skillet. Add 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the batter and swirl the skillet to spread the batter in a thin layer.
- Cook over moderate heat until the batter sets, about 30 seconds. Flip the batter and cook on the other side for a few seconds. Remove from the skillet, place on a serving plate and cover with a damp cloth. Repeat to make 10 Wrappers.
- Heat the oil for the Filling in a wok or saucepan. Stir-fry the onion and garlic over low to moderate heat until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the tau cheo and stir-fry 1 minute. Increase the heat, add the pork and stir-fry until it changes colour, about 1 minute. Add the prawns and stir-fry 1 minute, then add the bamboo shoots, bangkuang, soy sauce and pepper.
- Stir the mixture and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until cooked through. Add 1 tablespoon of water if needed. Transfer the cooked mixture to a bowl and allow to cool.
- To serve, transfer the Filling and Wrappers to the dining table. Place the chilli, garlic and sweet black sauce in small sauce bowls on the table. Arrange the lettuce leaves, cucumber, bean sprouts, tau kwa, boiled eggs and lap cheong on a large plate.
- Smear one side of a Wrapper with chilli sauce, garlic paste and sweet black sauce.
- Add half a lettuce leaf, some of the Filling, cucumber, bean sprouts, tau kwa, egg and lap cheong. Tuck in the sides of the Wrapper and roll it up. The Popiah can be sliced into 3-4 pieces if preferred.
- Repeat to make the rest of the Popiah.