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Teochew Five Spices Rolls


What’s special about it is the wrapper is made with tofu skin. It contains lots of plant-based protein. It is delicate and slightly translucent. Check the fridge second in your local Asian market and see if you can get it or not. I don’t know any replacement but this is a roll so you can use spring roll or egg roll wrappers. Of course, the texture and taste will come out differently.

Cut the big tofu skin into 6*9 inches sheets and set it aside.

Cut 1 lb of pork shoulder into bite-size pieces then blend in a food processor roughly. This recipe usually is made with pork belly but I think that is too fatty. I recommend using pork shoulder. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use store-bought ground pork, the texture will be slightly different but the taste will still be delicious.

Transfer the pork into a big mixing bowl. Crack in 1 large size egg. Add 2 tbsp of minced garlic, 1 tbsp of minced ginger, 1 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of fish sauce, 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of 5 spice powder, 1/2 tbsp of fish powder (大地鱼粉), and 1/4 cup of sweet potato starch. Stir the filling within one direction for a few minutes until the meat becomes sticky.

Fish powder (大地鱼粉) is a special Teochew seasoning, which is made from flounder. You can check this video to learn how to make your own. It is packed with a pungent umami flavor, which adds a strong characteristic to this dish. I know you probably will ask me, I don’t have it, can I skip it? That is a question that puzzles me all the time whenever I make these traditional recipes. Technically, you can skip it but you are also losing a touch of the local spirit.

Peel the Jicama skin and dice it finely. Dice the white part of the scallion as well. Add owl of them to the meat filling. Stir within one direction until well combined.

Jicama, also known as Spanish turnip, you can get it in Walmart or Spanish markets. We call it 沙葛(shā gě). However, if you don’t have it, you can use water chestnut, carrot, or daikon radish.

Put some filling on one side of the tofu skin. Use 2 little spatulas to shape it into a long log. Roll it over and slightly dap some water on the rest of the sheet. Roll up the rest and pack it tight. When you put it aside, be sure the tuck the end under. Continue to finish the rest.

When the tofu skin is dry, it feels like plastic but after you let it sit for a while, the moisture will soften it. Now we can pinch both ends rough just so the filling is exposed.

Heat up the oil to 320 F. Add the five-spice rolls one by one. You can pan-fry or shallow fry them if you want to use less oil. I just happen to have full wok of oil that I used yesterday.

Be sure to keep the heat at low or medium-low. Do not fry them on high heat because the tofu skin burns quickly. Some people will steam the meat rolls first and deep fry them after. But I think that is too many steps. All you need to do is to control the heat at low and don’t burn the outside before the inside gets cooked.

This will take about 8-10 minutes. And you are done. Serve it as an appetizer or a side dish. You can also top it on noodle soup and congee.

1 comment

  • Hello
    Love, love your videos. Thank you sharing all these delicious recipes. I cannot find the video for dried flounder fish powder. Is the video/ recipe still available ?
    Thank you !

    Lyn on

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