Spring rolls are a favorite snack and appetizer, especially in Chinese
restaurants. In Malaysia, they are served for breakfast, teatime and also at
buffet functions. There are several kinds: popia basah, popia goreng and
Popia basah uses handmade skin, vegetable fillings and does not
require further cooking. Both popia goreng and mini popia use
frozen filo pastry and are deep fried.
Here, I am giving away my special popia goreng recipe. When I was
working as a cook at the seaside chalet near Redang Island, guests lined up to
enjoy this crunchy creation.
- 2 packets of frozen filo pastry skin (80 pieces). Thaw and leave in an
airtight container. Otherwise your pastry will be brittle and cannot be
rolled or shaped anymore.
- 2 cucumbers, cut lengthwise, deseeded and shredded. Then put in a sieve
to strain the liquid.
- 3 carrots, shredded.
I use the shredder disc in a food processor, if you do not have it, you can use
a mandolin. A mandolin is a manual shredder/slicer with variable thickness
option. Otherwise, the task to julienne the vegetables is quite overwhelming.
- 3 pieces of chicken breasts. Cooked in 1 cup of water and 1/2 tsp salt
and shredded. Keep the resulting stock.
- 3 pieces of hard tofu. Crumbled.
- A handful of shallots, peeled and sliced thinly.
- 1 tbs of black pepper, coarsely ground.
- 1 tbs chicken stock granules.
- Salt to taste.
- 6 tbs Thai chili sauce
- 2 tbs tomato sauce
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seed
Mix both types of sauce with a little water for a pouring consistency.
- Toss all filling ingredients in a big bowl, put in a large sieve in the
refrigerator for 30 minutes to dry the liquid.
- Carefully peel one piece of the pastry, spoon 1 tbs of the fillings
diagonally and roll it. Moisten the edges with a bit of water to secure the
- Repeat until all pastry pieces are folded neatly.
- Heat a flat frying pan. Fill half with cooking oil.
- When you can see a little smoke coming from the oil, quickly fry the
spring rolls, flipping to the other side when one side is golden brown.
- Drain upright in a bowl lined with paper towels.
- Serve hot immediately with the sauce.
- Never moisten your pastry more than necessary because the skin will
disintegrate and the fillings can leak out.
- When frying, the oil must not be too hot until the skin forms bubbles.
Frying with right temperature is the most important step in getting that
- Fried spring rolls should be placed on a rack when serving to preserve
the crunchiness of the pastry. This also helps to drain excess oil.
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