I love spring rolls. Be it fresh or fried. I just love how the different ingredients come together in a wrap just like the Mexican burrito except that you get a sweeter crunch of vegetables that makes you want more and more. I can probably eat 4-5 big rolls in one go. And when I say big, it’s really BIG – so big, that you need to use both hands to hold it up 🙂
Popiah is a Fujian/Teochew style fresh spring roll commonly found in Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan. Popiah skin is a soft, thin, paper-like crepe made from wheat flour. You can get popiah skin from most wet markets in Singapore which is normally sold by weight.
Making popiah is relatively easy, perfect for any family meals or when you’re hosting guests. You just need to prepare the ingredients, lay them out on the table and then have your guests wrap the popiah in any way they like with whatever ingredients they want.
Popiah Recipe (makes about 20 rolls)
400g of fresh popiah skin (about 20 sheets)
900g jicama/yam bean (locally known as bang kwang), finely grated
1 large carrot, finely grated
3-4 pieces fresh shitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper
2 pieces firm tofu, diced & panfried
200g bean sprouts, blanched
2-3 eggs, hardboiled & roughly mashed
5 Taiwan sausages, panfried & sliced
200g small-size grey prawns, shelled & deveined, blanched
roasted peanuts, grounded
1. Heat oil in wok and saute a teaspoon of minced garlic till fragrant. Add in the jicama, carrot and shitake mushrooms and stir fry for a few minutes till they turn slightly soft. Add water and season with soy sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for at least half hour. (add water if mixture dries up, otherwise the bottom part may get burnt)
2. Prepare the rest of the ingredients and lay all out on the table.
3. To assemble the popiah, lay a piece of popiah skin on the plate and spread sweet sauce and sambal chilli on the skin. Top with all the ingredients in whatever way you like. Wrap and enjoy!
Just remember to squeeze off excess liquid from the jicama mixture before you add them to the popiah, otherwise the popiah skin will end up getting wet and is likely to tear before you can roll it up.
Some traditional recipes use Chinese sausage (lup cheong) but I opt for Taiwan sausages instead because they are less greasy.
For the jicama filling, if you prefer a richer flavour, you can use chicken or vegetable stock instead of water and add more salt/soy sauce to your preference. I prefer to keep it plain as the other ingredients will add flavours to the popiah.
If there are leftover ingredients, simply store them in the fridge for next day. Do note refrigerated popiah skin will feel hard and cracks easily so it is best to steam them to make them soft again for wrapping.