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Spring Rolls

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 mini popia.

Fresh springrolls

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.

Fresh springrolls ingredients

  • 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 parcel.
  • 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.

Cook's Tips:

  • 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 crunchy bite.
  • 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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