Soft Nonya Spring Rolls with Spicy Plum-Hoisin Sauce

Poh Piah

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    8 to 10

    rolls

Appears in

Chinese and Malay cultures marry in this variation on the spring roll to present a precious culinary experience. Their shape resembles gold bars, and is designed to attract prosperity. The filling is a simple stir-fry, which is rolled with some crunchy salad ingredients into thin, tender crepes.

In Malaysia and Singapore, a layer of sweetness in the rolls comes from a sauce called tim cheong, which is available only in the region. I have devised an easy substitute for that tangy, soy-based sauce, using a combination of readily available hoisin and plum sauces.

Although jicama is not often thought of as a vegetable for cooking (or even a vegetable for Asian cuisine), it actually stays pleasantly crunchy after cooking. Store-bought fried shallots, sold in Asian markets, are a finishing touch to the rolls, or you can fry your own. In Southeast Asia these rolls are party food: Hosts prepare the fillings and the crepes, and then let their guests roll their own. It’s a fun start to the evening!

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Ingredients

Crepes/Wrappers

  • cups Water
  • 3 lg. Eggs
  • ½ tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup All purpose flour

Method

  1. Make the crepe batter: Whisk together the water, eggs, salt and oil. Fold the flour into this mixture. Let batter rest for at least 1 hour. (For large batches—just place all the ingredients in a blender and hit it!)
  2. Cook the crepes: Heat a non-stick 10-inch skillet (25cm.) over medium heat; wipe with an oiled paper towel. Lift the pan off the stove, add ¼ cup of batter and tilt pan to coat. Place the pan back over heat, and cook until the pancake’s edges become dry and begin to release from the pan. A light browning on the pancake is ok. Remove the cooked crepe by inverting the pan over a plate (you may need to loosen it with a shake or a push first). Repeat with remaining batter (crepes can be made up to 8 hours in advance). Stack the crepes right on top of one another: they will not stick.
  3. Wrap in plastic and keep covered until ready to use, they can be store in the refrigerator for a day or two then brought to room temperature before serving.

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