Popiah ( Malaysian Spring Rolls )

by Angie Liew
 
Popiah, Teochew for “thin pancake”, is a thin paper-like crepe or white pancake wrapper stuffed with a filling made of cooked vegetables and sometimes meat.  When deep fried, the crispy roll is known as spring roll, but if left raw is known as Popiah.
 
Popiah is very popular in Malaysia and also many Asian countries.  It is eaten as a snack or as an accompaniment to the main meal.  It is of southeastern Chinese origins, from the Fujian province.  It is derived from the spring roll eaten during spring when there was an abundance of vegetables.

 

Popiah ( Malaysian Spring Rolls )

Recipe by Huang Kitchen, Angie Liew
Popiah, Teochew for “thin pancake”, is a thin paper-like crepe or white pancake wrapper stuffed with a filling made of cooked vegetables and sometimes meat. When deep fried, the crispy roll is known as spring roll, but if left raw is known as Popiah. Popiah is very popular in Malaysia and also many Asian countries. It is eaten as a snack or as an accompaniment to the main meal. It is of southeastern Chinese origins, from the Fujian province. It is derived from the spring roll eaten during spring when there was an abundance of vegetables.
Course: Snacks

Ingredients

  • 24 fresh popiah wrappers
  • Fresh lettuce leaves, wash and drained dry

Fillings:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 50 g dried prawns, washed and chopped
  • 900 g turnips, or yambean or jicama or sengkuang in Malay; Julienned
  • 50 g french beans, sliced thinly
  • 1 carrot, 50g, julienned
  • 2 firm beancurd, fried and sliced into thin strips / dice into small pieces
  • 200 g bean sprouts, boiled briefly and drained dry
  • 2 pinch eggs, beat with a pinch of salt, fry into thin omelettes and cut into long, thin strips)
  • 50 g shallots, sliced finely and fried till crispy
  • 100 g peanuts, fried and then crushed

Seasonings:

  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
  • 1 cup water, or water from soaked dried prawns

Sauces:

  • 1/2 cup sweet sauce, or hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup chilli sauce

    Instructions

    • Heat up oil with oil ( 1/4 cup ), shallow fry beancurds until light brown. Dish out, drain on kitchen paper and cut into thin strips or diced into small pieces.
    • In a very hot wok, heat 2 tablespoons oil till just smoking. Add dried prawns and fry till lightly golden. Add the minced garlic and fry till golden brown.
    • Add turnips, french beans and carrots. Stir fry till heated through. Add the salt and sugar. Mix thoroughly.
    • Add the water. Reduce heat and simmer until the turnip turns soft, about 30 minutes.
    • Turnip should now be cooked but still crunchy. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
    • Sprinkle ground white pepper, mix well and turn off heat.
    • Push everything to one side of wok to drain off sauce. When cool, transfer filling to a bowl minus the sauce.
    • To wrap the Popiah, lay a piece of Popiah wrapper on a flat board. Spread a little sweet and chili sauce on it. Place a lettuce leaf over the sauces. Spoon 2 tablespoons filling onto the lettuce. Top with fried beancurd, omelette strips, cooked bean sprouts, fried shallots and crushed peanuts.
    • Roll one side of wrapper to cover the filling, then fold up the two sides and roll up. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 
 
Pick the smaller size turnip which tends to be younger and hence sweeter and less starchy
 
 
The turnips are julienned, never shredded to make Popiah.  It is painstakingly cut into batons by hand to provide the right consistency and texture with each mouthful.
 
 
Firm beancurds (tau kwa) are first shallow fry till light brown. Then drained to remove excess oil.
 
 
The fried tau kwa are diced into small pieces or sliced thinly into small strips for the topping.
 
 
French beans are added to add sweetness to the fillings.  They are rinsed, sliced thinly and fry together with the turnips.
 
 
Fresh lettuce leaves are washed and drain dry before using to line the Popiah skin.
 
 
 
Dried prawns are chopped, carrot julienned, french bean sliced thinly and garlic chopped … before fry with the turnips.
 
 
Bean sprouts are rinsed, cooked and drained dry ….. for the topping
 
 
Eggs fry into thin omelettes and cut into strips for the topping
 
 
Prepare the sweet and chilli sauce and also toppings for the Popiah … Fried garlic, fried shallots and crushed peanuts.
 
 
 
It is much better if the Popiah wrappers is freshly made rather than frozen for ease of folding and better taste.
 
 
To roll Popiah:
Spread sweet sauce followed by chilli sauce onto Popiah skin
 
 
Add 1 piece of lettuce onto the skin
 

 

Add the simmered vegetables onto the lettuce
 
 
Add the bean sprouts, eggs, shallot crisps and crushed peanuts( optional ) as toppings
 
 
Fold the bottom of Popiah skin to cover the fillings
 
 
Then fold the side corners before rolling again
 
 
The Popiah is rolled and folded neatly into a package …. and you’re done.  The Popiah is ready to be eaten!
 
 
It can also be  sliced into bite-sized pieces.  Pop a mouthful of each piece using your fingers or chopsticks.  The Popiah is filled with incredibly fresh and truly delicious vegetables!
 
 
So enjoy!

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