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Ngoh Hiang Recipe


Ngoh Hiang (Chinese Five-Spice Pork Roll) recipe

Makes about 10 six-inch rolls
Recipe by: Danielle of Bon Vivant


1 pound/ 455 grams minced pork (preferably the shoulder for its higher fat content)
½ pound/ 228 grams fresh shrimp, shelled and minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons light soya sauce
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
10 to 12 water chestnuts (about 11 ounces/ 300 grams), washed, peeled and smashed with a pestle
3 green onions, finely chopped
½ a yellow onion, minced
3 tablespoons self-rising flour
Dried soya bean skin (available in frozen, ½ pound packs from Chinese grocery stores), cut into 4 by 6-inch rectangles
Corn oil
Sweet dark soya sauce or Kecap Manis for dipping


Mix the pork and minced shrimp in a large bowl and add the egg, stirring to mix. In a separate bowl, stir together the soya sauce, salt, white pepper and five-spice powder until smooth, then add it to the pork/shrimp mix.

Stir in the water chestnuts, green onions and yellow onion, mixing as you go to distribute the ingredients evenly. Finally, sift in the flour and mix until no traces of flour are visible.

Lay out the prepared skins on your work surface. Arrange a heaping tablespoon of the prepared pork mix along the longer edge of the skin, leaving a ½-inch gap from the surrounding edges. Shape the meat into a slim sausage, it should be about 1 inch tall and 1½ inches wide. Add more pork if needed.

After shaping the meat, roll the skin starting with the edge closest to you, tucking in the side edges as you go. Roll until the meat is fully ensconced within the skin, then place it, seamside down, on a plate. Repeat until you’ve used up all the pork. (For a great step-by-step visual, check out The Little Teochew’s images of how to roll ngoh hiang at the end of this post).

Lightly grease a steamer tray and steam the rolls for 8 to 10 minutes, until the skins turn translucent and the rolls feel firm. Remove and set aside on wire racks to cool. At this point, you can divide the rolls into batches and freeze them in plastic wrap for up to 3 months. To cook, defrost the rolls in a 350F/ 180C oven for 10 minutes before frying.

To finish the rolls, heat a non-stick saucepan large enough to hold 2 to 3 rolls comfortably and add enough oil to thinly cover the surface of the pan.

Add the rolls one at a time – I recommend cooking a maximum of 3 at one go, so as not to overcrowd the pan – and fry on medium high heat until the skins turn a crisp dark brown. Leave to cool on paper towels or a wire rack before slicing and serving. Wipe down the pan with paper towels after each batch before cooking the next.

Slice the rolls into 1-inch chunks and serve warm or at room temperature with the dipping sauce.

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34 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. June

    I love these, they are always served during festive seasons in my family. I guess my family makes the Hokkien version but the idea of combining both is delicious!

    • Thanks June! Seems like this is the go-to festive dish for lots of Singaporean Chinese families, including my own, probably because it can be made ahead of time and frozen. Love recipes that allow you to do that!

  2. Everytime visiting this blog, I find new recipes around the world! Soya bean skin is a Japanese ingredient too, so I feel something to share with the Chinese counterpart! Ngoh Hiang is really interesting to look at and eat. Definitely worth a try. Thanks a lot, Bee and Danielle :)

    • Thanks for your sweet comment, Lacquer Spoon. That’s the very reason why I have guest bloggers from different cultures/countries to share their recipes. They know their foods the best, and it’s always so interesting to learn about culture and recipes from others. I love yuba in Japanese cuisine!

  3. Hi Danielle/Bee, thanks for the link up! Similarly, I did not know what “Loh Bak” was until Lee Mei (My Cooking Hut) told me so. For obvious reasons, my family makes the Teochew version with yam, but it’s brilliant how Danielle’s mom made a version she can call her own. I agree cooking should be creative. A beautifully presented dish!

    • Ju – for my family, we use yam for the vegetarian version of loh bak, often made during the vegetarian month, lunar calendar 9th month. Not sure if Singaporeans observe the same festival.

  4. My late mother-in-law makes good Ngoh Hiang, Teochew style. And yes, she would also make many tens of rolls, steam them, freeze them then pass them to me and my family so that whenever we want to eat them, just deep-fry them. :D

  5. Kate

    It’s interesting to know that kecap manis is used as the dipping sauce. In Malaysia, loh bak is served with chili garlic sauce and also a 5-spice flavored sticky sauce, which is so good. You first dip it in the sticky sauce, and then the chili sauce, so it’s double-coated. I need to go out and get some loh bak now. LOL.

  6. I’ve never heard of these before, but they sound addicting! Crispy outsides, flavorful insides,and pork – what more could you ask for?

  7. Shrimp in pork sausage?! Interesting.. I have to try this recipe..Can you make this with chicken or beef? or is it usually pork?

    • Hi Asha, this is traditionally made with pork and I’ve not encountered any other versions with beef or chicken. I suppose you could try a mix of either of these meats with pork – it’s important for the ground meat to have a high fat content as this will keep it moist and tender when cooked. I know that Bee has a similar recipe where she uses chicken and pork ( and her family makes a vegetarian version as well where they substitute yam for meat.

  8. I love the idea of these. The pork filling is just savory enough… a question though, (it might sound stupid,) would this dish be inferior with canned water chestnuts? I have never been able to get my hands on the fresh variety.

  9. Jabe

    Oh, this looks delicious! I have seem similar dishes (lumpia) such as this at restaurants, but never thought it was this easy to make! My question is, what kind of sauce, if any, would you recommend for this as well as any accompaniments, i.e veggies or side dishes? Thanks for making these recipes accessible. Jabe in USA

    • Hi Jabe, if you can get your hands on it, I highly recommend a sweet dark soya sauce called Kecap Manis to dip the pieces in. It should be available at any good Chinese grocery store, like Ranch 99 (in the Bay Area). For accompanying dishes, anything goes, really. At home, we serve ngoh hiang alongside stir-fried vegetables (like broccoli or bok choy), soups and of course, steamed rice.

  10. I’ve been chomping down on this without a care in the world, without realising that there were different dialect variations! It’s definitely worth trying this out now that you’ve brought it to attention (I’m ashamed yet that it’s a bit of local culture I wasn’t aware of).

    Amazing recipe, can’t wait to try it out and let mom have a taste!

  11. I was also wondering, how did ngoh hiang become a part of the Singapore tradition where it’s sold with fried bee hoon noodles? It’s become the staple in stalls where several fried dishes are laid out, and customers can choose their favourite dishes.

  12. Kusinera

    Will the over all taste of this dish change if I substitute Chinese five spices powder for Chinese five spices sauce (in a jar)?

    Thanks for your help!

  13. Kel

    I followed this recipe. The ngoh hiang turned out great. Its a must try. I didn’t add green onions though. I actually went down to the market and asked if they had green colored onions.. Lol.. I only realized they were spring onions after I read the ” The Little Teochew’s images of how to roll ngoh hiang”.

  14. Mabel

    hi your ngoh hiang is awesome! but is it a must to steam before fry? my grandma also fry without steaming and freeze it. any difference?

  15. Elynn

    Is it alright to substitute plain flour and baking powder if self-raising flour is not available?
    May I know proportion for them? Thanks ! This is a wonderful recipe! :)

  16. Christina

    I tried the recipe twice. Once with corn flour and once with self-raising flour. Both are nice but the one with self-raising flour holds the meat together.

  17. wilhelmina

    Thanks for your very informative and helpful website. One question, I have the dried soya bean skin, do I have to soak them in water before I can cut them? Thanks in advance.

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