Until a few years ago I had never tried Loh Bak before, and I had my first taste at a wonderful little canteen style Malaysian restaurant in Malaga called “Sense Lah”. It was one of those little gems of a restaurant owned by a guy from Penang called Patrick who had a hearty asian laugh, and one day Patrick pointed out that he was the only Malaysian restaurant in Perth that served Loh Bak, so I tried it and I was hooked.
I have made Loh Bak at home a few times, and this recipe is very good, but I will always fondly remember Patrick’s version – unfortunately for me he has now retired and Sense Lah has closed.
The dish consists of a mixture of minced pork, prawn, carrot, water chestnuts and seasoning in a beancurd wrapper and then deep fried. When I have seen this dish in asia, some of the hawkers steam it first and then deep fry it – this may help the rolls to hold their shape better in the oil, but I haven’t tried this method yet.
200g raw prawns deveined
250g minced pork
3 tablespoons grated carrot
6-8 water chestnuts finely chopped
2 tablespoons coriander leaves finely chopped
2 spring onions finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
1 tablespoon light soy sauce (this is quite salty, so you may not need the pinch of salt above)
1 egg beaten
1 pack of dried beancurd skins (available at chinese supermarkets)
1 teaspoon corn flour
Mix together all of the ingredients except for the beancurd skins and cornflour. While the mixture is standing, cut the beancurd skins to a uniform size – they will have ragged edges – cut them to approximately 15cm squares. Mix the cornflour with a tablespoon of water to make a thick paste.
To make a roll, take one of the squares of beancurd skin and wipe it with a new damp clean cloth to soften it slightly. Put 2 tablespoons of mixture in the corner of the skin and roll it up tightly towards the other corner, tucking in the sides as you go. brush some of the cornflour mixture on the edges to ‘glue’ them together otherwise it will burst open in the hot oil. Continue making rolls until all of the mixture is used up. You should be able to make approximately 10 rolls.
Heat oil in a deep fat fryer to 180 deg C. Fry the rolls for 3-4 minutes each until golden. Serve with a dipping sauce such as sweet chilli, hoisin, or make your own with fish sauce, lime, sugar and chilli.
Tell me if you liked them please.