I was invited to host a cooking session to showcase Singapore delicacies to the international friends here. I was stuck at that task for a couple of days. The variety of Singapore food is so great that it is very difficult to choose a few to represent Singapore uniquely.
I remember there was a tussle between Singapore and Malaysia on the dishes which are unique to their country. Chicken rice, Chili crabs and Yu-sheng were some of the prized cuisines that were debated. Were there any conclusions? I think the line should not be drawn so clearly and good food should be shared and enjoyed.
So in planning for my cooking session, I decided to go for home-cooked food. Food that are common and popular in Singaporeans' homes. So popiah it is!
In Singapore, it is quite popular to host popiah parties at home during festive occasions or gatherings. It is fun to get family members and friends to get their hands busy to roll their own wraps with their preferred filling. It is simple to make and does not require the host to be busy in the kitchen and miss out the action in the main hall.
Recipe (For approx 30 spring rolls)
A) Vegetable filling:
2 medium Turnips, shredded
2 large Carrots, shredded
1 handful of Green beans (optional) , shredded
1 medium Cabbage (optional) , shredded
2 cloves of Garlic, chopped
2 tbsp of Dried Shrimps, soaked (optional)
3 tbsp of Oyster Sauce
3 tbsp of Light Soya sauce
1 tsp of Salt
1/2 tsp of White Pepper
B) Other filling:
Hard boiled eggs, chopped
Boiled shrimps, halved
1 cup of Beansprouts, blanched
1 cup of unsalted peanuts, toasted and ground and add 2 tbsp of granulated sugar
1 handful of Cilantro, use only the leaves
Chili paste (optional)
Spring roll skin (For a twist, crepe is fine too!)
In a wok, add cooking oil. Fry garlic until light golden.
Add dried shrimps and fry until fragrant.
Add in carrots, green beans, cabbage and turnips.
Add seasoning. Simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust accordingly.
To wrap the spring rolls, lay a piece of spring roll skin on a plate with one corner pointing downwards, spread 1/4 tsp of sweet paste and chili (if desired) on 1/4 of the skin.
Sprinkle ground nuts, eggs, beansprouts on the spread.
Place few cilantro leaves and shrimps.
Top it with 2 spoonful of vegetable filling.
To roll, fold the roll like an envelope, with the downward pointed corner to fold up and two corners at the sides to fold in. Roll the spring roll forward to meet the top corner.