Popiah is one of those dishes that we do not cook for everyday dinner. Shredding the jicama (chinese turnip) manually took a lot of effort until I was introduced to a electric shredder. Wow, having the right tool really gets the job done so much faster and better. I have yet to find a gadget that will slice the french beans diagonally and precisely for me; still waiting for that magic invention. In the meantime, I have to slice each bean one at a time. Preparing all the remaining ingredients and garnishes for this dish takes an awful lot of time, which is why we do not cook popiah often, except for special occasions. Perhaps the cook is the problem, I need to hone my knife skills to slice and dice faster!
We had popiah last weekend since the twins were home for spring break. It calls for a special dinner, and we all love this dish.
- Prep time: depends on the gadgets and patience
- Cook time: 2 hours on stove top and 6 hours in slow cooker
- Serves: 10
- 2 chicken breasts and a pinch of salt
- 2 cups water
- 2 lbs jicama (chinese turnip), shredded
- 1 lb bamboo shoots, shredded
- 1 lb french beans, sliced diagonally and thinly
- 1 lb soya bean cake, cut into thin strips and fried till light brown
- 1/2 lb small shrimps, shelled and deveined
- 5 Tbsp canola oil
- 5 Tbsp minced garlic
- 5 Tbsp preserved soya bean paste
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 5 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp msg
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- 1/2 lb boiled small shrimps
- 4 Chinese sausage, sliced diagonally and fried
- 2 cups beans sprouts, blanched
- 2 cups cucumber, shredded thinly
- 1/2 cup ground peanuts
- 1 bunch of cilantro, washed and drained
- sweet thick black soy sauce
- 1 head curly lettuce, washed and drained
- 2 packages white popiah skin, thawed if frozen
- Bring 2 cups of water to a quick boil over high heat. Add chicken breast and boil for another 5 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove and shred chicken breast thinly. Reserve stock to cook filling.
- Mix soya bean paste, salt, sugar and msg until blended, set aside.
- Boil shrimps in 2 cups of water. Drain and reserve liquid to cook filling.
- Heat oil in a large wok. Add minced garlic and stir fry for a minute. Add soya bean paste mixture and continue to stir fry for another minute. Add shrimp liquid and bring to a boil.
- Add shredded/sliced turnip, bamboo shoots, and french beans. Add chicken stock. Boil for half an hour over medium high heat.
- Add fried bean cake strips, shrimp, and shredded chicken. Stir until contents in wok is well mixed. Adjust taste as desired.
- Transfer content in the wok to a slow cooker and set it to cook at low temperature for 6 hours.
- Prepare garnish as instructed above.
- Just before serving, remove popiah skin from packaging. Separate the sheets and stack them on a plate for streaming. Steam for 10 minutes over low heat. Note: Wrap a kitchen towel over the cover of the steamer to catch the steam so that the water condensed on the cover do not drip on the skin.
- Overlap two sheets of popiah skin on a large round plate
- Place a segment of lettuce leaf over the skin.
- Add two heaping tablespoonful of filling on the lettuce
- Top with shrimp, eggs, Chinese sausage, cucumber, beansprouts, and cilantro.
- Drizzle sweet black sauce and sprinkle peanuts over the filling.
- Roll the skin and wrap the filling like a burrito and enjoy!
The packaged popiah skin dries up and breaks easily. Keep skin covered with a moist towel after steaming. I haven’t had any luck wrapping a nice looking popiah, so I resorted to use a large lettuce leaf as a wrapper. It became a Chinese lettuce wrap!