Popiah (Fresh Spring Rolls)
These shrimp- and tofu-filled spring rolls are a popular street snack in Ipoh. This recipe first appeared in our October 2011 issue along with Jayanthi Daniel’s article Hungry City.
- 2 1⁄4 cups canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 10 oz. jicama, julienned
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. sugar
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground white pepper Kosher salt, to taste
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 5 oz. dried spiced bean curd, julienned
- 1⁄2 small yellow onion, very thinly sliced 1/2 cup small dried shrimp, soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes and drained
- 6 8″-square wheat spring roll wrappers, preferably Spring Home brand
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. sriracha chili sauce, plus more to taste
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. hoisin sauce, plus more to taste
- 1 small head green leaf lettuce
- Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add jicama, sugar, white pepper, and salt, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup water, and bring to a boil; cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool.
- Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 10″ nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggs; cook, flipping once, until a firm omelette forms, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, roll up like a cigar, and very thinly slice crosswise; set aside. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in skillet, and add bean curd; cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 8 minutes; set aside.
- Heat remaining oil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Add onions, and fry until crisp and browned, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer onions to paper towels to drain, and set aside. Add shrimp to oil, and fry until crisp and browned, about 2 minutes; transfer to paper towels to drain, and set aside.
- To assemble, arrange 1 spring roll wrapper on a work surface so a corner faces you. Brush bottom third of wrapper with 1⁄4 tsp. each chili and hoisin sauces, and place 1 leaf of lettuce on top; put 1⁄4 cup jicama, 1 1⁄2 tbsp. sliced omelette, and 1 tbsp. each bean curd, fried onions, and fried shrimp on lettuce. Lift bottom corner of wrapper over filling; pull wrapper back against filling to tighten. Fold in sides, and roll forward to form a 5″-long roll, about 2 1⁄2” thick; repeat with remaining wrappers, chili, hoisin, lettuce, jicama, omelette, bean curd, onions, and shrimp. Transfer rolls to a serving platter, and cut each crosswise into 4 pieces. Drizzle with more chili sauce and hoisin, if you like.