Traditional Home Cook Food 

NGOH HIANG - 五香

NGOH HIANG, another Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore Beef Rendang tussle regarding country of origin ?  "Ngoh Hiang is a unique Hokkien and Teochew dish widely adopted in Indonesia, Malaysia, the��Philippines (where it is known as kikiam in Tagalog pronunciation), Singapore, and Thailand; in addition to its place of origin in eastern China.
It is essentially a composition of various meats and vegetables and other ingredients, such as a sausage-like roll consisting of minced pork and prawn (or fish) seasoned with five-spice powder (Hokkien: 五香, ngó-hiong-hún) after which it is named, rolled inside a beancurd skin and deep-fried, lup cheong, cucumber, century egg, ginger, deep-fried egg, deep-fried beancurd, fishball and many others. It is usually served with chili sauce and a house-special sweet sauce. Many stalls in Singaporean food courts and hawker centres sell fried bee hoon with ngo hiang; this combination is common for breakfast and lunch. In Indonesia, people enjoy ngo hiang with sambal sauce.
The Philippine versions were originally introduced by Hokkien migrants and are generally known as kikiam. However, the variant called ngohiong from Cebu has diverged significantly from the original dish. Instead of using beancurd skin, it uses lumpia wrappers. A street food dish also sometimes called "kikiam" or "tempura" in the Philippines is neither of those dishes, but is instead an elongated version of fishballs. The street food version of kikiam was made from pork not fish"- Wikipedia

Indonesia has it own version of Ngoh Hiang. One well known shop is Ngo Hiang Khas Bogor Asli Gang Aut at Suryakencana St No.309 A, Sukasari, Bogor Timur, Bogor City, West Java 16131, Indonesia. The Ngoh Hiang is deep fried - looks like Goreng Pisang. The shop is famous among tourists as there are few competing eateries along the streets that sell good hot food in clean eating environment. Most shops and street hawkers sell food to the local community who may not be well to do - living simply in a quiet city. A stone's throw away from the Ngoh Hiang shop is The 101 Suryakencana Hotel where my group stayed, located at 179-181, Bogor Tengah, 16141 Bogor, Indonesia –  rated 4 stars, very good for facilities, cleanliness, comfort and value for money by Booking.com. Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast at the hotel and take a leisure 15 minutes walk to the Ngoh Hiang shop for early lunch - Not with heels. 

Bogor Indonesia Ngoh Hiang
Bogor Indonesia Ngoh Hiang Shop Seating
Bogor Indonesia Ngoh Hiang Shopfront

Made at Home Ngoh Hiang - Lavish yourself with additional ingredients to the basic ingredients of Ngoh Hiang that are commonly sold at eateries and adjust to suite your taste and healthy dietary needs. Ngoh Hiang fillings: Chicken minced meat, instead of pork, tiger prawns, water chestnut, carrot, shallot or yellow union, garlic, spring onion, Chinese parsley, black fungus, mushroom, an egg , five-spice powder (五香粉), minimal salt, pepper, sesame oil, Hua Tiao Chiew 花雕酒-rice wine and corn flour. The water chestnut should be cut to bit sizes that give you a nice crunchy chew and savor your home-made Ngoh Hiang with bigger cuts of prawn than those at eateries. The dried bean skin can be bought from the supermarkets, and markets for just $0.80 per packet that can be cut into 20 or more pieces of Ngoh Hiang-size wraps. The dried bean skin which I bought the first time from the dry food and spice stall at the market (Kebun Baru) is refine, non brittle and non salty. In the past, I bought the dried bean skin conveniently from NTUC Fairprice, which was a little irregular in shape, crumpled and hard at the edges; relatively rougher skin texture; some gone to waste due to its brittleness and I had to clean away the saltiness, more at the edges. Fairprice sells at $1.00, nicer coloured print plastic packaging while the market purchase cost $0.80, similar size in plain plastic packaging. It is contrary to the saying “一分钱 一分货“. 

Ngoh Heong Ingredients Unmixed
Ngoh Heong Bean Skin Home Made
Ngoh Heong Wrap Home Made.

After wrapping the fillings into rolls, steam, deep fried or pan fried the Ngoh Hiang. Some like to eat the Ngoh Hiang steamed, especially the elderly and others who avoid deep fried food for better gut health. Striking a balance between steamed and deep fried, you may choose to pan fry or oven bake the steamed Ngoh Hiang (only when the Ngoh Hiang skin is dried up). Eat the Ngoh Hiang by itself, as dish for lunch or dinner or make a healthy wholemeal bread sandwich with 2 rolls of pan fried Ngoh Hiang, Kale (Google to find out the health benefits of Kale) and Cherry Tomatoes.

Ngoh Heong Wrap Home Made
Ngoh Heong Cut Home Made
Ngoh Heong Sandwich Home Made

POPIAH 薄餅

Popiah is a Fujianense/Teochew-style fresh spring roll. Popiah is often eaten in the Fujian of China (usually in Xiamen) and its neighbouring Chaoshan and by the Teochew and Hoklo diaspora in various regions throughout Southeast Asia) and in Taiwan (due to the heavy Hokkien influence), during the Qingming Festival.
A popiah "skin" (薄餅皮) ) 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 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
It is eaten in accompaniment with a sweet sauce (often a bean sauce), or a shrimp paste sauce (hae-ko), and optionally with hot chilli sauce before it is filled. The filling is mainly finely grated and steamed or stir-fried turnip, jicama (known locally as bangkuang), which has been cooked with a combination of other ingredients such as bean sprouts, French beans, and lettuce leaves, depending on the individual vendor, along with grated carrots, slices of Chinese sausage, thinly sliced fried tofu, chopped peanuts or peanut powder, fried shallots, and shredded omelette. Other common variations of popiah include pork (lightly seasoned and stir-fried), shrimp or crab meat. Seaweed is often included in the Xiamen versions. Some hawkers in Malaysia and Singapore, especially in non-halal settings, will add fried pork lard. As a fresh spring roll, the popiah skin itself is not fried.
Two common ways of eating this are holding them like a burrito, which some prefer, while others cut the popiah roll into slices and pick them up with chopsticks - Wikipedia

Popiah Stall Keelung Taiwan
Popiah Skin Maker
PM Denmark Visit Popiah Skin Stall

The Grandma home made traditional Popiah prepared for children and grand children visiting her during the first day of Chinese New Year. Everyone has to made own Popiah with freedom to pick and choose varying quantities of favourite ingredients; more chilli...     
It is labourious task, going to the market to buy foodstuff during the pre-festive season among the crowd; chopping, cutting, peeling, de-shelling...the ingredients; cooking a large metal pot (size use at Popiah stall) of Jicama or locally known as bangkuang (also a key ingredient for Chinese Rojak) would require help from family members (usually daugthers). Shaving of the skin and cutting the globe-shape bangkuang root vegetable into strips to fill up the the pot is another daunting task. The simple white root shape vegetable is packed with health and nutritional benefits of Protein, Fiber,Vitamin C, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and contains small amounts of vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and copper - Healthline.com. 

Grandma Home Made Popiah Metal Pot
Grandma Home Made Popiah Slow Cooker
Grandma Home Made Popiah Condiments

After cooking the bangkuang, some portion are transfered to the slow cooker and then to a bowl on the popiah wrapping table. You could include carrot strips and small pieces of tau-kwa (bean curd) and cook with the pot of bangkuang. Other Ingredients : Slightly boiled green sprouts without the roots, fried egg strips, slices of lup cheong (Chinese sauage), prawns, Chinese lettuce, Chinese parsley, and of course the egg popiah skin or white popiah skin which is commonly use by the Popiah sellers. Condiments: Sweet sauce, sambal chilli, lightly roasted garlic bits, peanut bits. 

Grandma Home Made Popiah All Ingredients
Grandma Home Made Popiah Prawn Egg Lup Cheong
Grandma Home Made Popiah Skin
Grandma Home Made Popiah Ingredients on Skin
Grandma Home Made Popiah BangKwang on Skin
Grandma Home Made Popiah Serving

Popiah with such home-made ingredients can hardly be found in any hawker centre, coffee shop or restaurant these days. The last similar home made popiah was sold at the Alexandra Market ( long demolished) located next to the Alexandra Post Office, between Alexandra Road, Prince Philip Avenue and Prince Charles Crescent. The popiah stall on bicycle parked in the centre of the food centre started selling in the afternoon after the morning hawker stalls closed for business. Customers were lining up to get the specialty popiah. The market sold other authentic traditional Lor Mee, Prawn Mee, Chay Kway Teow, Chye Tao Kueh, You Char Kueh, and many others. There was a famous Cheng Tng Ice Kacang stall operated till late nigh by a young man Ah Huat and his wife. Soccer interest group would bet with Huat on the Malaysia Cup matches score; when he won, he received cash and when he lost he paid by the dessert bowls he sold. Ah Huat rode his treasured motorcycle and his wife rode pillion at the back seat. A sad day, Ah Huat met an accident and pass away. His wife continued the business at the Red Hill market.    

Alexandra Market
Alexandra Post Office

CURRY CHICKEN

On the first day of Chinese New Year, 年初一,my mum would whip up 2 dishes for the family : Curry Chicken and Hokkien Noodle. When I was small, while my mum was washing clothing with both hands scrubbing the soiled clothes on the wooden laundry board , I would have a piece of paper and pen taking orders (about ten items) to buy ingredients from Alexandra market, 1 km away from our home at Alexandra Road/Prince Philip Avenue. There was only one stall selling curry paste owned by an Indian lady clad in Saree. The golden hue colour curry paste was wrapped in banana leaf, like nasi lemak packet. My mum a Peranakan (Nonya) would remind me to request for more chilli. Various times I would walked back home sweating along the way with 10 eggs, one egg broken (eggs were wrapped in newspaper), 2 hand bags of grocery and fishball noodle, Chye Tau Kueh ... breakfast for the family. Good curry paste in colored sealed plastic packet can easily be found at NTUC Fairprice, Giant, Seng Shiong and Prime supermarkets. 

Curry powder contains a variety of anti-inflammatory spices, including turmeric, coriander, and chili powder. Consuming curry powder may benefit heart health by reducing heart disease risk factors like high cholesterol and triglyceride levels and by improving blood flow - Reference: Healthline.com/nutrition/curry-benefits. You can further spice up your curry with garlic, ginger and shallot. For healthier eating, add broccoli as accompaniment or cook some with the curry chicken dish. Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable, has bounty of nutrients: vitamin K, vitamin C, chromium, folate, vitamins A, B6, B2, and E, phosphorus, manganese, copper, and potassium, magnesium zinc, iron, calcium, contains plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and it is high in Fibre - Reference: heatlth.com/food/health-benefits-broccoli.

Curry Home Cooked Ingredients
Curry Chicken Home Cooked Raw
Curry Chicken Home Cooked Completed
Home Cooked Chinese New Year Hokkien Mee

HOKKIEN MEE

This is my mum's receipe for the traditional Hokkien Mee that she prepared for the family every first day of Chinese New Year , a departure from the usual sotong, prawn and fish cake hawker centre style Hokkien Mee. Though it looks pretty simple, I believe it could be her Peranakan tradition passed down from generations to cook Hokkien Mee and Curry Chicken for Chinese New Year. Her younger brother, my uncle (舅舅- Ah Ku in Hokkien and Teochew dialect) and his family who used to live at the old walk up Clarence Lane SIT flats had Hokkien Mee and Curry Chicken too during the Lunar New Year.  Then, the yellow noodle used was round. Those days, broader less hot red cut chilli were commonly added to the Chinese food; Hokkien Mee, Prawn Mee, Fishball noodle...  Chilli Paddy were a scarcity at the wet market then, hardly consumed even with the Malay food, except the Malay Rojak.

RED BEAN SOUP-紅豆汤

Hong dou tang (紅豆汤, pinyin: hóng dòu tāng) or red bean soup is a popular Chinese dish served in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. It is categorized as a tang shui 糖水 (pinyin: táng shuǐ) (literally translated as sugar water) or sweet soup. It is often served cold during the summer, and hot in the winter. In Cantonese cuisine, a red bean soup made from rock sugar, sun-dried tangerine peels, and lotus seeds is commonly served as a dessert at the end of a restaurant or banquet meal. Common variations include the addition of ingredients such as sago (西米, pinyin: xī mi), tapioca, coconut milk, ice cream, glutinous rice balls, or purple rice. The two types of sugar used interchangeably are rock sugar and sliced sugar (片糖) ... Wikipedia 

In Singapore, Red Bean Soup were traditionally sold with other popular hot Chinese dessert, Green Bean Soup, Sweet Potato Soup, Cheng Tng, Black Glutinous Rice and Tau Suan (Mung Beans), Lian Chee Suan (Lotus sticky soup) by street hawkers on push cart at old estates, markets and Chinese Wayang before they were moved to hawker centres. 

Cooking at your own home, you can have variations of and additional ingredients, with lotus seeds, small pearl sago, red dates, small amount of cane rock sugar cube 冰糖 (more flavour than plain white sugar) and boiled with Pandan leaves. 

"Red beans — including small red beans and dark red kidney beans — are a good source of iron, phosphorus and potassium. They're also an excellent low-fat source of protein and dietary fiber. Red beans also contain phytonutrients" - https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/multimedia/health-foods/sls-20076653?s=5 

Red Bean Soup
Red Bean Soup in Pot
Red Bean Soup Ingredients

CG Ang 2021-01-21

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