Tuesday 17 February 2015


Five spice powder is a mixture of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns and fennel seeds. The aroma and flavour is quite heady and can taste medicinal if too much is used. In tempered amounts, though, it gives an interesting exotic edge to any dish that it is added to.

These rolls are called lot (or loh) bak in Malaysia and are particularly popular in Penang. Pork strips are sometimes used instead of minced pork meat but the ingredients and process are similar.

In the Philippines, these rolls are called quekiam or kikiam in the vernacular. It has become a popular street food. Home made kikiam is far superior, of course, and can be tailored to your preference.

Bean curd sheets or taupe are made from the skin that forms on the surface when soy milk is boiled. It can be bought from Asian shops. It comes in big circular pieces which is then cut into squares. It is used as a wrapper in the same way a spring roll wrapper is used. In this recipe, the roll is steamed first before frying.

If you can't find the bean curd sheets, you can wrap the meat mixture in spring roll wrapper or just dust patties or rolls with corn flour before frying.

The rolls can be frozen, fully cooked, then re-heated in the oven as rolls or sliced and refried.

These are perfect for appetisers or as part of a dinner spread.

Makes 6 medium sized rolls (6-8 servings)


1/2 c. chopped red onion
1 tsp. cooking oil
pinch of salt
500 gms. minced pork
1/2 c. chopped carrots
1/2 c. chopped white radish (daikon)
1/4 c. chopped spring onions
1 T crushed garlic
1 tsp. five spice powder
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 T brown sugar
2 T light soy sauce
1 T fish sauce
2 T shao sing wine or sherry
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
2 T corn flour (corn starch)
bean curd skin for wrapping
cooking oil for frying


Put the chopped red onion in a bowl and mix in the 1 tsp. of oil and dash of salt. Microwave for 1 minute on high or sauté in a pan until softened.

Put the rest of the ingredients, except for the bean curd skin and cooking oil, in a large mixing bowl. Add in the softened onions and mix very well until the mixture is pasty. Leave aside for at least half an hour for the flavours to develop.

Divide the mixture into 6 portions and form each into 1 1/2" diameter rolls and wrap in squares of the bean curd sheet.

Line a steamer rack with Chinese leaves (Napa cabbage). Steam on medium heat for 30 minutes . 

Let rest on racks until cool.

Deep fry until brown and crisp.

Let rest before slicing.

Ingredients for the sauce:

1 c. water
2 1/2 tsps. corn flour (corn starch)
1/4 c. light soy sauce
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. sriracha
1 T rice vinegar


Put the water in a sauce pan. Add the corn flour and stir until dispersed. Add the rest of the ingredients.

Bring to a boil while stirring. Simmer until thick, about 2 minutes.

Serve with the kikiam slices.

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