Friday, July 9, 2010
This one is made with yam.
This one is made with sweet potato.
I really have to thank Bee of Rasa Malaysia for introducing this dish. Recently, she shared a droolworthy Vegetarian Loh Bak recipe on her other food site, Nyonya Food. Loh Bak is what Penangites call our Singaporean Ngoh Hiang. In her vegetarian version, yam is used in place of meat. As you know, I have made Teochew-style Ngoh Hiang (With Yam) on several occasions, but it never ever crossed my mind to make a yam-only, meatless version.
Of course, I wasted no time in trying this out. Coincidentally, because I also had sweet potato leftover from making Mini Vegetable Frittata, I decided to experiment with it too.
The one deviation I made was in not using Five Spice Powder for the seasoning. I am not particularly fond of it, so I used mushroom powder instead. Some of you cautioned that mushroom powder contains MSG under the guise of other less suspecting ingredients. Perhaps that could be why my Ngoh Hiang tasted so savoury and yummy despite being meatless. Haha!
The yam version is a lot more meat-like due to its denser, chewier texture. Eaten warm, the creaminess of the insides contrasted really well with the crispy skin. My husband liked it a lot. I can't wait to make more of these again, and add chopped bits of braised chinese mushrooms. Whaddya say?
If you don't fancy yam (like my helper and kids), try the sweet potato ones. The sweet-salty-crunchy combination of sweet potato-beancurd skin-turnip strips is quite something. :)
So here you go, Vegetarian Ngoh Hiang inspired by the wonderful Nyonya Food, which I am quite sure you will all enjoy. :)
When you mix the yam or sweet potatoes with the turnip strips, be gentle. Don't mash them any further. You should cut them in thick strips as shown in Nyonya Food, not what you see in my picture above ... I used up my sweet potato from Mini Vegetable Frittata, which is why they are in small cubes.
Roll TIGHT. The sweet potato rolls are golden orange even without frying.
These are the yam ones, pure and white, and ready for frying.
Fresh from the pan. I know it's hard to resist but you've got to let them cool first.
Just take a deep breath ... and by that, I mean, enjoy the aroma. :)
For the recipe, hop over to Nyonya Food. Note these pointers from me first, though:
1. Bee told me that the beancurd skins she gets in USA are frozen and have no taste. But they are very tough and need to be sprinkled with water before usage. In Singapore, the beancurd skins we get in local markets are quite pliable but very salty. Use a clean, damp cloth to gently wipe both sides before rolling. Rinse the cloth and squeeze very dry after wiping each sheet.
2. I used mushroom powder instead of Five Spice Powder for the seasoning. One to two sachets should be sufficient for this recipe.
Take your pick. I'll take both.