Thursday 13 May 2010

Teochew Ngoh Hiang

In the past, making "Ngoh Hiang - 五香" is always one of my Dad specialty dish. During festive occasion such as Chinese New Year he and mum would make a huge quantity to distribute to our relatives or served it to those who visit us during New Year. But now when he is no long around, we don’t really get to eat this special treat as often as we do.

As the process of making Ngoh Hiang is rather tedious and time consuming due to the variety of ingredients, mum has not being making it for a long time. But finally she is making it today after much pestering from me and my brother. So while helping her with the preparation, I decided to note down the recipe and share it with those who is interested too.

From the photo above you can see that making this dish requires a list of ingredients such as prawns, minced meat, water chestnut, yam and most important the beancurd sheet for wrapping the ingredients. And for this Teochew style of Ngoh Hiang, yam (taro) is actually added to enhance the flavour and texture of this dish.


"Five Spice Powder - 五香粉" is another important ingredients for making a good ngoh hiang. This spice is blended with 5 different type of spices such as "Cinnamon", "Cloves", "Peppercorns" and etc. By adding this it gives a special fragrant and taste to the meat roll. For more information and photo of this powder, click here.

(Yield: 16 rolls | Preparation: 20 minutes | Cooking: 10 minutes)

1 Packet Beancurd Sheet (豆腐皮)
600g Minced Pork, with some fats
500g Prawn, roughly diced
1 Medium Size Carrot, finely diced
10 Water Chestnuts, finely diced
15 Shallots, thinly sliced
100g of Yam, cut into small cubes
2 Eggs
2 Stalks of Spring Onion & Coriander, roughly diced
3/4 Tablespoon of Fried Shallot Crisps
*3 Tablespoons of Plain Flour or
10 Pieces of Butter Crackers/Cream Crackers

1 Tablespoon of Five Spice Powder
1 Tablespoon of Light Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon of Cooking Wine(花雕酒)
1/2 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Teaspoon of Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Pepper

1. You can cook the diced yam either by microwave it on Medium High 3 minutes and give it a stir after each minute or steam it over the stove on medium heat for about 5 minutes till slightly soft to touch. Set it aside to cool off.

2. Next in a big pot or mixing bowl, add in the minced pork, diced prawns, carrot, water chestnuts, cooked yam, shallot, spring onion, coriander, egg, dried shallot crisps and flour/ground butter crackers.

3. Mixed all the ingredients together with the above-mentioned seasonings preferably by hand to bind everything together. (the final mixture will be a bit sticky and dry, if it is too wet, add in more flour/butter crackers to bind it)

4. Leave the combined ingredients in the fridge for about 20 to 30 minutes to rest the ingredients and let it developed a better flavour before wrapping.

5. After settling the ingredients, use a damp cloth to slowly wipe off all the surface of the dried beancurd sheet to remove excess salt and oil on it so that the end products will not taste too salty.

6. Next fold the clean beancurd sheet into quarter rectangles, then cut each long rectangle into another 4 small equal rectangle which makes a total of 16 small individual sheets of wrapper.

7. Spoon meat mixture into each beancurd sheet and wrapped tightly like a spring roll, leaving the seam side facing down.

8. While rolling half of the portion, heat up the steamer, brush a thin layer of cooking oil on the steamer rack before arranging the Ngoh Hiang on it so that they won't stick on the rack after steaming.

9. When the water boils, put in the steamer rack with the Ngoh Hiang and steam it over medium high heat for about 15 minutes for the 1st batch and 10 minutes for the subsequent batches if your steamer is not able to steam all the Ngoh Hiang at one go.

10. After steaming leave them to cool off before freezing them for later consumption if you are not going to finished all of them in a day or two.

11. When the Ngoh Hiang is cooled, heat up a pot with suitable amount of oil, deep-fry the Ngoh Hiang on medium low heat till both side turn golden colour then increase the heat to High and fry for a few second before removing it and drained well.

12. When it is slightly cooled off, slice them diagonally with a sharp knife into thick chunks then served it with some sliced century egg and pickled ginger to enhance the flavour.

1. You need to use a damp cloth to wipe off the salt and oily surface from the dried beancurd skin before wrapped so as to reduce the salty taste of the Ngoh Hiang.

2. You can use either plain flour or "Butter/Cream Crackers"(which gives more flavour to the dish) to bind the ingredients together before wrapping.

3. If you are using Butter Crackers, placed them in a ziplock bag and pound it with a rolling pin if you do not have any mortar and pestle at home.
Whenever we had this dish, it will always bring back some of our childhood memories and it reminds us of our dad and his special homecook dishes. We can never forget the taste of this homemade Ngoh Hiang which we love it so much because it is full of love from the one who prepares and makes it.

Thank God that I have a chance to learn from my mum the ingredients and steps on making our favourite dish that might be vanish one of these day if she is no longer around. Furthermore I must admit cooking and learning from mum is actually another way of bonding our relationship too.


  1. Ellena, I really wanna try my hands at making Ngoh Hiang for me and Aaron. I need to ask, do we need to soak the bean curd sheet first cuz the ones in Australia, they are hard and brittle unless you soak it. Also, after steaming, do we need to like drain it dry on a wire rack and cool it down really well before frying it? Is the yam a must? Aaron doesn't quite like yam. I feel like using Butter Cracker but not quite sure which one you are referring to. Can you show me a url with a picture in it? Having asked all that, I love the idea of these being freezable so I can make one recipe and deep fry it whenever I like. Do I need to thaw them before deep-frying again if they are frozen? Thanks so much Ellena!!!

  2. Hi Quinn,

    Thanks for your comment and let’s go through your queries ok :)
    1. Em.. you don’t get those brittle type beancurd sheet, that’s for either cooking dessert/braised meat de, it’s not for wrapping ngoh hiang. The one that i refers too is those soft sheet type, which you can get from most Asian supermarket which i bought b4 when i was in Oz.

    2. After steaming the Ngoh Hiang, just leave it on another wire rack/plate to cool off completely before deep-frying to avoid moisture.

    3. No.. yam is not a must, it is just an extra ingredients to enhance the flavour. You can replace it with more water chestnut or carrot for that crunchy texture :)

    4. I have already include the photo of the cream/butter crackers for your reference in the blog post. You can get it at any supermarket over there too :)

    5. You can thaw the frozen Ngoh Hiang in the fridge the night before so that by the time u want to deep-fry it the next day, it will be just nice.

    Hope I have reply to your queries :)

  3. Fab site, two thumbs up! :p

  4. You did, thanks a million for the explanation and teh shot as well. I known it as cream crackers, that's why! I hope I can find the right beancurd sheet for this. What is it called in Chinese? Can you type it in Chinese so I can write it out and just shove it to the face of my grocerer to read for himself?

  5. Hi James, thanks for your pop-by :)

    Quinn: Yup yup..they have a few names over here. So cream cracker/butter cracker is the same :p I already add in the chinese name of that beancurd sheet for you, hope you can find it over there. If not i can send it to you :) Let me know ok :p

  6. Wow, this looks incredible! Ellena your food always looks fabulous!

  7. I love this! esp with chili sauce. Adding cream crackers is new, should be really fragrant and delicious...yum

  8. I always love Ngoh Hiang and my late aunt made the most wonderful Ngoh Hiang but no one learns from her. She never steamed them but deep fried them immediately. Is it true that in the past they deep fried Ngoh Hiang and do not steamed them (as there was no fridge)? Thanks for this very detailed recipe.

  9. Wow!! I was keep looking & had a few of this recipe BUT this's a very GREAT ngoh hiang recipe with complete details! Many txs for your kindliness to sharing this recipe here! Hv a gd Day!

    Sharon M.

  10. Hi, I m going to try and make this as i'm having party this sat. keep my finger cross that its will not be destroy in my hand with your delicious receipes!! Any advise for newbies like mi?

  11. Hi Sherene,

    Don't worry this is a pretty simple and easy to follow recipe. Perhaps you must remember to clean the beancurd wrapper so that it won't be too salty.

  12. Hi,
    I managed to do it but can we skip the steaming and put it straight to freeze? I had tried steaming it but its turn out soggy. i can freeze some of the uncooked one into the fridge, is it ok? how long can we keep in the fridge?

    (note : this is a wondeful receipes, really thanks for much!!)

    I m thinking to cook your young coconut prawn dish on sat itself (party day) u think its easy at 1st attempt??

  13. Hi, so glad that I found your blog. So nicely done and full of delicious recipes.
    May I know can I skip the steaming part and pan-fry the Ngoh Hiang directly?

    1. Emmm can, but then it might take a longer time since it is thick and if possible, deep-fry will be easier than pan-fry.

  14. First time making Ngoh Hiang with your recipe and it was a success ! And it tasted so good ! thanks for the recipe !


  15. Thanks a lot for the recipe! This was the first time that my daughter and I attempted to make ngoh hiang, and they were delicious. I look forward to trying out more of your recipes!

  16. This looks quite amazing, thank you for sharing! Am going to test out the recipe this CNY. :)


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