POPIAH – THE ORIENTAL SALAD

On the recent Deepavali holiday (5 Nov), DS and I invited three friends to our home for a Popiah (fresh spring rolls) feast.  This was the second time this year we hosted our friends to Popiah.  It is a healthy Chinese food that DS and I enjoy eating.  It is like an oriental salad because most of its ingredients are vegetables.

My mum used to make Popiah during Qing Ming Festival (usually occurs on the 5th of April) but not anymore for many years now.  The massive amount of work involved in the preparation has stopped my old-age mum who is now 78 years old, from continuing to do so.  The preparations are not only time-consuming, but also strenuous to the hands.  If not for these reasons, I would love to have more Popiah feasts during the year!

For us to host a popiah feast, preparations normally have to start from the night before.  The first part involved grating and cutting of the main ingredients to be cooked.  These are turnips, carrots, cabbages, french beans, dried mushrooms and tau kua (hard beancurd).   Normally, DS would help me in this part of the preparations.

Grated turnips
Thinly cut French beans, cabbage and dried mushrooms, as well as grated carrots

I would stir fry all the above ingredients (including tau kua not in the pictures) to mix them well in a wok before transferring them to a slow cooker for overnight cooking in a Slow mode.  It takes many hours for these ingredients to be well cooked

All ready for the feast! On the table, we had Popiah skins (which one of our friends specially bought from a famous Popiah shop in Joo Chiat), cooked ingredients, sweet sauce (specially bought from Malaysia), ground peanuts, fresh lettuce and parsley, thinly cut fresh cucumbers and fried eggs, sliced prawns, chili and garlic paste (separated).  I feel that prawns and eggs can be optional but all the other ingredients are essential in making the Popiah delicious, although one may opt out the garlic paste.

The completed Popiah looks like this.  Not bad right? 🙂  Our friends were actually much better at it.

Here’s DS’s demonstration on rolling a popiah

While we enjoy eating Popiah, we only make it once in a blue moon, on special occasions for friends.  On normal time, we can easily get it from the coffee shop next to our block and it costs S$1.20 each.  Two rolls each are good enough as a light meal for us as we use this method to cut down our calories intake. 🙂

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