I am Hokkien and one of my favourite Hokkien dishes is Popiah. I am sure most, if not all, of my Asian readers know what Popiah is. For the benefit of the others, Popiah is a kind of fresh spring rolls filled mainly with vegetables (like turnip, carrot, cabbage, french beans etc) and other ingredients like eggs, prawns, chinese sausages.
I like the warm feeling when every family member comes together during the preparation and making of the spring rolls during a popiah session. It is not difficult to make but the cutting and shredding of the vegetables and ingredients can be quite tedious and tiring. As such, the work is usually distributed among the family members including the kids and this is when the fun begins.
After all the ingredients and fillings are cooked and layout on the dining table, everyone will gather around the table and start the DIY Popiah wrapping according to his own preference - with/without chili, more/less bean sprout etc etc. I really enjoy the energy and excitement in the house whenever we have Popiah sessions. It is a lot of work but definitely rewarding.
Ingredients (Make about 35 rolls)
1kg Popiah Skin
2 tbsp cooking oil
4-5 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped)
5 carrots (Skinned and shred)
1 cabbage (Cut into thin slices)
4 turnips (Skinned and shred)
500g french beans (Cut into thin slices)
4 big bean curd
6 tbsp bean paste
500g bean sprouts
5 chinese sausages
Dried Sole Fish (Deep fried until brown and crispy, grind into powder)
Remove the heads and ends of the bean sprouts. Blanch in boiling water. Put aside.
Hard boil the eggs. Remove shell and slice.
Cook prawns in boiling water. Remove shell and slice into thinner pieces. Keep the water.
Boil the chinese sausage. Remove skin and slice thinly.
Cut bean curds into smalle pieces. Heat wok and fry but do not brown the sides.
*Suggest that the vegetable be stir fried in 2 batches due to the big portion:
Heat oil using the same wok. Stir fry chopped garlic. Add all the sliced/cut vegetables and fry for couple of minutes. Add bean paste and bean curd. Fry for another minute.
Transfer the mixed vegetable into a large pot. Add prawn water and simmer over medium heat until vegetable is fully cooked. Add salt to taste.
To assemble, brush sweet sauce and/or chili sauce on popiah skin.
Add bean sprouts, egg slices, prawn, chinese sausage and coriander. It is really up to you what to add and how much to add.
Spoon 2 big spoonful of the mixed vegetable on top of the ingredients. Remember to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. The wet filling will make wrapping difficult and skin will tear easily.
Top with ground peanuts and the ground sole fish. Add fresh lettuce leaves.
Fold the skin from the bottom and then the 2 sides. Roll it up. (See step-by-step picture)