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These super yummy Lobak (Five-Spice Meat Rolls) are made with beancurd sheets, pork tenderloin, and spices. They are deliciously crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Also very easy to prepare.
Lobak (Five-Spice Meat Rolls) are often served by the Nyonyas during festivals and celebrations on the island of Penang. These Five-Spice Meat Rolls are also known as ngoh hiang in the Southern part of Peninsula Malaysia. They are equally loved there by the nyonyas of Melaka and Singapore. At this time of the year, trays and trays of these delightful meat rolls are made and served during the Chinese New Year celebrations.
The common ingredients that make up Lobak are thin, translucent beancurd sheets and strips or coarsely ground pork seasoned with five-spice powder. Variations come in the form of add-ins like green onions, water chestnuts, bang kuang (jicama), and sometimes even shrimps. I like to keep mine simple with just pork, green onions, and spices.
Some people prefer a more fatty cut of meat but I like to keep it lean but still tender. For this purpose I use pork tenderloin which cooks easily and quickly.
Lobak (Five-Spice Meat Rolls) in Four Seasons Platter
I made these meat rolls as part of my Four Seasons Platter representing Autumn for our Chinese New Year feast. Since I had many dishes to prepare for the dinner, I actually assembled these meat rolls the day before and kept them in the refrigerator. I deep fried them just before dinner so that they remain crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
Similar Tools Used in Making These Lobak (Five-Spice Meat Rolls)
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Hamilton Beach Deep Fryer with Cool Touch, 2-Liter Oil Capacity
Proctor Silex Professional-Style Electric Deep Fryer 1.5-Liter, Stainless Steel
Winco UT-9 Coiled Spring Heavyweight Stainless Steel Utility Tong, 9-Inch
- Combine pork tenderloin strips, five-spice powder, salt, ground pepper, sweet dark soy sauce, sesame oil, green onions, and egg in a medium bowl. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Place a piece of prepared beancurd sheet on your work surface. Wipe with a damp towel to soften.
- Spoon a generous strip of marinated meat mixture onto one edge of a piece of 7 in x 7 in beancurd sheet, leaving about an inch uncovered on each side.
- Roll neatly into a cylinder. Place seam side down onto a plate.
- Heat sufficient vegetable oil in a deep fryer or pan to about 325˚F (165˚C). Carefully lower prepared meat rolls into the hot oil and deep fry turning until golden brown. This should take 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.
- Slice each roll at a diagonal and serve immediately with sweet chili sauce.
Lobak (Five-Spice Meat Rolls) are best eaten warm with sweet chili sauce. Sliced cucumber is often served as a “cooling” counterpoint to these “heaty” and yummy meat rolls.