Delightful Hokkien ngoh hiang
It was originally a Teochew dish, but the Hokkiens here created their version of the ngoh hiang over 50 years ago. We speak to three Hokkien ngoh hiang masters in our midst today.
So, what is the Hokkien version of the ngoh hiang, or for that matter, what is the Teochew version?
"The Hokkien version does not use mashed yam stuffing," says Mr Ng Kok Hua of China Street Fritters at Maxwell Hawker Centre.
The meat rolls are thinner and packed with just fat and lean pork seasoned with five spices and wrapped in bean skin.
Neither will you find the artificially coloured pink gooey sauce that lends a sweet umami flavour to the fritters - the Hokkien version is brown and more savoury.
The prawn fritters in Hokkien ngoh hiang are made from a fluffy batter and bean sprouts are used to introduce some sweetness and crunch.
"Which is why the fritters are made on the spot upon order or the bean sprouts will turn the fritters soggy if left to sit," says Mr Teo Ho Soon of Hup Kee Wu Xiang Guan Chang, which is also located at Maxwell Hawker Centre.
That said, both Hup Kee Wu Xiang Guan Chang and China Street Fritters offer similar items, and they include egg cakes, meat rolls, pink sausages, century egg, tofu and fish balls.
The fare served by China Street Fritters are generally well fried for texture and robustness.
Its liver rolls are less intensely marinated and the taste of the ingredients shines through.
The dishes of Hup Kee Wu Xiang Guan Chang have a subtle difference, but their meat rolls also come with a thin stick of lard inside to hold the roll together and have a stronger five-spice flavour.
And just like their competitor, they hand make only four items: Pink pork sausage, meat and liver rolls, and egg cakes. The rest comes from suppliers.
Also interesting is the Hokkien-style prawn fritter offered by Five Spice Prawn Fritter.
This item is made on the spot upon order and this accounts for the wait time.
The wriggly caramelised strings of bean sprouts on the fritter is magical - sweet, crunchy with a faint hint of roastiness, coupled with the light fluffy batter and fresh prawns.
China Street Fritters
Maxwell Hawker Centre, Stall 64
- Noon-8pm, closed on Mondays
- Tel: 9239-6464
Hup Kee Wu Xiang Guan Chang
Maxwell Hawker Centre, Stall 97
- 11am-8pm, closed on Mondays
- Tel: 8113-7015
Five Spice Prawn Fritter
Block 5, Tanjong Pagar Plaza,
- 11.30am-2pm, daily
- Tel: 9857-2732
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