This week was Malaysian Hawker Favourites with recipes by Rohani Jelani. I found this book while holidaying in Malaysia, and at the equivalent of $AU 3, I couldn’t give it up, besides it had some of my favourite Malaysian dishes in it. Sadly it only has one vegetable dish, so this time I made a bread dish (roti canai) to go with the meat dish, and I made a starter. The recipes were slightly more fiddly than I expected, and I didn’t plan my time out as well as I should have, but the meal of spring rolls, Chicken Rice and Roti Canai was amazing. Sadly I forgot to take photos of the spring rolls because we were far too interested in eating them at the time. I remembered to take photos of the other two dishes.
Fried Popiah (Fried Spring Rolls)
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 100g peeled prawns of skinned chicken breast, diced
- 1 bangkuang, peeled and finely shredded
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely shredded
- 10 french beans, tops and tails removed, then thinly sliced at an angle
- 150g finely shredded cabbage
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 0.5 teaspoon salt
- 0.25 teaspoon white pepper
- 20 sheets of frozen or fresh spring roll wrappers (12.5cm square)
- Oil for deep frying
- Sweet Chilli sauce
- 3 tablespoons plain flour
- 2 tablespoons water
- Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat and stir-fry the garlic until golden brown, about 1 – 2 minutes. Add the prawns or chicken , and stir-fry for 1 – 2 minutes until they are firm and cooked. Add the vegetables and stir-fry until they wilt, about 10 minutes. If the mixture is wet, increase the heat and stir-fry until the excess moisture evaporates. Season with sugar, salt and pepper.
- Spread the vegetable mixture in a layer in the wok, and sift the cornflour over it. Then toss and mix well. The filling should be quite dry – a moist filling will cause the spring roll skin to tear. Transfer the filling to a plate and set aside to cool.
- If using frozen spring roll wrappers, thaw them to room temperature first. Gently separate the spring roll skins and keep covered with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying out and becoming brittle.
- Make the Sealing Paste by mixing the flour with the water to form a thick, gum-like paste.
- [redacted instructions from the book – go here to find out how to fold spring rolls]. Once the filling is used up, lay the rolls neatly on a tray and cover with cling film or a clean damp cloth. Prepared spring rolls can be made several hours ahead and kept refrigerated until needed.
- Before serving, heat the oil in a saucepan or wok over medium to low heat and deep-fry the spring rolls until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes (if the oil is too hot, the skins will be rough and blistered). Drain on paper towels and serve warm with a bowl of Sweet Chilli sauce.
Notes on this recipe:
- If you can’t find bangkuang, you could probably swap it for zucchini, celery or turnip, just make sure it’s grated/sliced finely
- I took shredded to mean grated – with the exception of the cabbage which I sliced very finely
- I used chicken mince instead of chicken pieces as I thought it’d spread more evenly through the dish
- We fried these in sun flower oil
Claypot Chicken Rice
- 500g chicken, skinned and cut into bite-sized chunks
- 3cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of black soy
- 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 0.5 teaspoon ground black or white pepper
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 400g (2 cups) raw long-grain rice
- 560mL (2.25 cups) water
- 3 tablespoons Cripsy Fried Shallots
- 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
- 1 sprig coriander leaves, chopped
- sliced chillies
- Place the chicken in a large bowl and pat dry. Mix the grated ginger with 1 tablespoon of water and squeeze to extract the juice. Discard the pulp. Combine the ginger juice, soy sauces, oyster sauce, sesame oil, salt, pepper and sugar together and then rub into the chicken. Set aside for 20 – 30 minutes to marinate.
- Wash the rice thoroughly and drain. Place the rice and water in a claypot and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes until most of the water has been absorbed.
- Place the marinated chicken on top of the rice and drizzle 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in. Cover the clay pot with a tight-fitting lid and cook on low heat, undisturbed, for 20 minutes.
- Flake the rice with a fork, cover, and allow the rice to cook for another 15 minutes. Serve and garnish.
Notes on this recipe:
- Using a saucepan with a tightly fitting lid works for this dish as we did because we don’t have a claypot. You can also use a rice cooker.
- There is 50 minutes of cooking in this dish, make sure you plan other dishes appropriately.
- We used kecap manis instead of black (dark) soy, which probably made the dish a little sweeter than it would have been otherwise – it worked though
- We only garnished with crispy fried shallots, that also worked, the garnish is, as garnishes are, optional
Roti Canai (Crispy Pancake)
- 300g (2 cups) plain flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 0.5 teaspoon sugar
- 20g (3 tablespoons) softened butter or oil
- 1 egg, beaten
- 60 mL (0.25 cup) milk
- 3 tablespoons of water
- 150g (1 cup) plain flour
- 65g (0.25 cup) softened butter or oil
- TO make Dough 1, combine the flour, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the softened butter or oil and mix with your fingertips. Beat the egg and milk together in a 1 cup measuring cup, and then add enough water to make 250 mL (1 cup) of liquid).
- Slowly add 180 mL (0.75 cup) of the egg-milk mixture to the bowl. Mix to make a fairly soft, pliable dough. If the dough seems dry, add the remaining liquid a little at a time. Stop adding the liquid once the dough starts to blend.
- Knead the dough well on a lightly floured surface for 10 – 15 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Shape into a thick roll and divide into 8 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball. Coat generously with more softened butter or oil and set aside for 1 – 2 hours. To make dough 2, combine the flour and butter or oil in a bowl and mix until the mixture forms a soft, smooth dough *. Divide into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Cover with a clean cloth and set aside.
- TO make a roti, flatten one Dough 1 ball into a disk about 7cm in diameter. Place one Dough 2 ball in the centre of the Dough 1 disk and wrap the disc around the ball.
- On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll the ball into a rectangle about 13 x 15 cm
- Roll the dough up lengthwise
- Flatten the dough into a thing sheet again. Now roll it up from the short end to make short, fat roll.
- Cut the roll into 2 equal halves.
- Sit the dough on its side, then roll each piece out thinly with a rolling pin to get a thin disc (12cm diameter) lightly marked with concentric circles.
- Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil on a griddle and cook the roti over medium head for 2 – 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Transfer to a flat surface and, using cupped hands, deftly press the roti from the outside towards the centre a couple of times to fluff the layers. Serve hot.
Notes on this recipe:
- It’s fiddly, but not overly so
- * If your Dough 2 doesn’t form a soft smooth dough with these ingredients (mine didn’t), I used the left over milk, egg, water mixture to help it along
- I used oil instead of butter just to see what it would be like – it was tasty.
- The fluffing of the layers thing didn’t work for me, but it was still clearly layered
- We ended up cooking ours for less time over a higher heat