Hokkien Popiah

This is the kind of popiah that I grew up eating. It has garlic sprout, carrots, cabbage, taukwa (firm beancurd), prawn and fishballs. Wrapped together with lettuce, Chinese coriander and ground peanut with sugar. My mom’s version would even have beehoon and oyster cake, together with some kind of seaweed that they called “ho thi” in Hokkien wrapped altogether❤️. This is what we called 润饼. This dish is also a very common Hokkien dish for the Chinese in Philippines often served during Chinese New Year.

When my mom cooked this, she will share it with my aunties. She would pack tubs and tubs of it to send to them because everyone loves it. I never really got to learn it from her, so after she passed on, I knew I would never be able to eat it her exact recipe again. Hence I tried my best to recreate the dish based on my memory. It is a simple dish but tedious, because it requires a lot of chopping and grating. During her time, she didn’t own any food processor except a grater, chopping board and a knife. So you can imagine how much time it required to cook this dish on top of taking care of 5 children and household chores without any hired helper. So that’s how you know that this dish was made with lots of love.

Surprisingly, not every Hokkien person knows about this dish, I have searched around Singapore hoping to find one and buy it instead of making it, however my search came up empty. So in order for my kids to be familiar with the food that my mom used to make for me, I make it every now and then. I am blogging it today so that someday they can cook it for themselves. I once jokingly told them that they should maintain my blog if ever I passed on, so that they can still enjoy the home-cooked meals even after I’m long gone.

My quantity might be a bit much for you, so you may just halve or a third the recipe. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 600g chopped garlic sprout
  • 500g French beans
  • 1.5kg grated carrots
  • 800g grated fishball
  • 1kg chopped prawns
  • 1kg thinly sliced cabbage

Assembling

  • Bunch of Lettuce
  • Bunch of Chinese Coriander
  • Ground Peanut with Sugar – the amount of sugar depends to your liking, though for me I prefer the ratio 1:1 🙂
  • Spring roll wrapper


Method

Note- It is necessary to keep on mixing as you sauté, ensuring each ingredient is well distributed as you cook.

  • In a heated wok, drizzle some oil to sauté the garlic sprouts for a minute or two, followed by the prawn. Prawn is added first to ensure that it is fully cook as it gets harder to mix when all of the other ingredients are added in.
  • Add in the French bean, sauté for about 2-3 minutes
  • Add in the cabbage, mix for about 3-4 minutes
  • Add the carrots, mix for about 3-4 minutes
  • Add the taukwa and fishball, mix thoroughly and continue cooking until all the ingredients are softened and cooked
  • Salt to taste

Assembling

  • Lay the spring roll wrap on the plate
  • Place 1 or 2 pieces of lettuce, followed by a sprig or two of Chinese coriander
  • Place 3-4 tablespoon of the cooked mixed vegetables. ( depends on how well you can wrap. Note that you should avoid scooping in the liquid vegetable broth to prevent the wrap from breaking) . By the way, for the broth, I usually will just scoop some on a bowl and drink it.It is a very nutritious and tasty broth. Try it.
  • Sprinkle some peanut and sugar mixture on it and wrap. I usefully start wrapping it from the bottom right corner going to the center , then upper left corner going to the center overlapping the one from the bottom right corner. Then grab the left bottom corner and fold it towards the center, then the right top corner to the center. For kids I would usually just wrap it along with cling wrap so that they can just unwrap it as they eat.

If you can relate to this dish, leave a comment! I would like to hear from you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: