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Ngoh (Ngo) Hiang (五香), also known as five-spice meat roll or loh bak (五香滷肉), is always a favourite during Chinese New Year. While the Teochew version comes with yam (taro), this is the Hokkein version of ngoh hiang I love and grew up on. Eating them reminds me of my late father as this dish was his specialty.
This recipe is largely based on how my dad used to make them (and verbally imparted by my mum), with some tweaks of my own. My father’s secret to making delicious ngoh hiang was to use minced pork belly instead of lean pork. Don’t worry about the fats, as they will sort of be rendered out during deep-frying, and using a fattier cut will result in a more flavourful and moist filling. Also, request the market seller to grind the meat only once so that the resultant pork roll will have a nice bite and texture. I prepare and marinade the meat filling the night before, then fold and cook them the next day. You can also keep the excess in the freezer until ready to deep-fry. The results are definitely rewarding at the end of the day as home-made ones are far superior, in my humble opinion, to the ones sold commercially.