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Ngoh Hiang

Ngoh (Ngo) Hiang (五香), also known as five-spice meat roll or loh bak (五香滷肉), is always a favourite during Chinese New Year. While the Teochew version comes with yam (taro), this is the Hokkein version of ngoh hiang I love and grew up on. Eating them reminds me of my late father as this dish was his specialty. He was an awesome cook by the way, and this recipe is my tribute to my father.

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This recipe is largely based on how my dad used to make them (and verbally imparted by my mum), with some tweaks of my own. My father’s secret to making delicious ngoh hiang was to use minced pork belly instead of lean pork. Don’t worry about the fats, as they will sort of be rendered out during deep-frying, and using a fattier cut will result in a more flavourful and moist filling. Also, request the market seller to grind the meat only once so that the resultant pork roll will have a nice bite and texture. I prepare and marinade the meat filling the night before, then fold and cook them the next day. You can also keep the excess in the freezer until ready to deep-fry. The results are definitely rewarding at the end of the day as home-made ones are far superior, in my humble opinion, to the ones sold commercially.

Step-by-Step Photos: How to fold the ngo hiang

How to Fold Ngoh Hiang
Wipe bean curd skin on both sides with a slightly damp clean cloth to get rid of the excess salt.

How to Fold Ngoh Hiang
Measure and cut the bean curd skin to 15 x 10 cm (6 x 4 in) pieces.

How to Fold Ngoh Hiang
Place about two and half tablespoons of meat filling in the lower half of the bean curd skin, leaving a small gap at the bottom and at the sides.

How to Fold Ngoh Hiang
Fold the bottom flap up, and dab the side edges with egg white.

How to Fold Ngoh Hiang
Fold the sides over the meat filling.

How to Fold Ngoh Hiang
Roll the meat roll tightly towards the top.

How to Fold Ngoh Hiang
Secure the remaining corner with egg white to seal the roll.

How to Fold Ngoh Hiang
While I prefer to use egg white, my family uses the meat filling to seal the edges. The choice is up to you.

How to Fold Ngoh Hiang
This is another method of folding ngoh hiang.

How to Fold Ngoh Hiang
Just roll the ngoh hiang without folding in the sides, then use egg white or meat filling to secure the sides as you roll.

Ngoh Hiang (uncooked)
Which ever method you use, repeat folding until all the filling is used up. By the way, this is my set up for steaming the ngoh hiang, before deep-frying. Line the steamer with parchment paper and make sure the ngoh hiang do not touch one another.

Ngoh Hiang Recipe (Five-Spice Meat Rolls)
Deep fry in batches and enjoy!

28 comments on “Ngoh Hiang”

  1. This is definitely a must-have during CNY!

  2. I love these – my mom used to make them.

  3. A traditional and homely dish. Yummy!

  4. Delicious! What I would be looking forward to during CNY.

  5. Hmmm, I don’t think I have tried the Teochew version (with taro)? I also enjoy Hokkien Ngoh Hiang and have not had homemade ones for a very long time.

  6. I love this, but never made it myself…thanks for the recipe Wiffy. Looks delicious with the crispy bean curd skin,
    Hope you are having a wonderful week :D

  7. looks most impressive! I want to wish you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!

  8. I have tried to make this according to the provided recipes. It is so amazing and delicious! Thanks

  9. Can I use dried bean curd skin? If can, how to soften it up? Or is there another type of bean curd skin to use? Thanks Wiffy I’ve been enjoying your blog! ^^

    • it’s not the dried bean curd sticks (tau kee) which are used for braised pork belly. The one for ngoh hiang is flat, like a piece of paper, as you can see in the step by step photos. I got mine from NTUC, it’s 40 grams per pack.

    • Thanks! Yes it’s flat but dry right? Do I have to soak it first before using, or straight away cut & wipe with clean damp cloth? I bought one before but I soaked it, so it became very soggy & impossible to handle… Sorry for silly questions!

    • no need to soak. Just wipe and cut to desired sizes :) If you soak, guess just have to let it air dry before use.

    • Thanks! ^^

  10. Is it a lot nicer when u steam before frying? I usually just fry it. I want to try your method but afraid of the splattering water as I have no patience to wait for it to dry :p

    • You can skip the steaming part, not a problem. Besides slightly enhancing the taste and texture, I find that the rolls keeps better in the freezer after steaming.

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