Tuesday, January 27, 2009


According to Infopidia - Popiah(also spelt Poh Piah), in Teochew for "thin pancake", is a thin paper-like crepe or pancake wrapper stuffed with a filling made of cooked vegetables and meats. When deep fried, the crispy roll is known as a spring roll, but if left raw it is known as popiah. The popiah is of southeastern Chinese origins, originating in the Fujian province. It is derived from the spring roll which was eaten during spring when there was an abundance of vegetables. The Chinese diaspora has spawned variants of the roll throughout Asia, intermingling ingredients from the local culture resulting in such likes as the Nonya version of the popiah.

I like to prepare this dish for the Chinese New Year cos it is eaten at room temperature except fpr the main filling which i will keep warm in the slow cooker. Friends and relatives who drop by to 'pai lean' - meaning respecting the new year - can enjoy rolling up a few rolls of this savory.


Filling :
3 lbs jicama shredded
1 lb belly pork, cut into thin strips
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp minced garlic
5 tbsp oil
Enough water to cover the shredded jicama
Salt and pepper to taste

2 heads green leaf lettuce
4 firm soybean cakes, cut into thin strips and fried 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 lb beansprouts, tailed and scalded
1 English cucumber, shredded finely
1/2 lb small prawns, shelled and steamed
1 cup crab meat
1/2 lb shallots, sliced and fried crisp
3 whole pods garlic, minced and fried crisp
4 eggs - make omelette and shredded fine
4 pairs of Chinese Lap Cheong - cut into thin strips and fried
Popiah skins (I used frozen Lumpia pastry - wrap with a tea towel and steam the pastry)
Chilly Sauce
Hoisin Sauce



Heat oil in a kuali and lightly brown garlic.
Add in pork belly and fry until fragrant, then add in shredded jicama .
Pour in enough water and when it comes to a boil, add in the seasonings.
Transfer to the slow cooker and let it cook until jicama is soft.
Adjust taste with salt and pepper.

To serve Popiah

Drain a cup of warm jicama and leave the rest in the slow cooker for future servings.
Put a popiah skin skin on a plate.
Spread the center section of popiah skin with chilly sauce and hoisin sauce
Place a piece of lettuce on the spread.and top with 1 heaped tbsp of jicama and then top with all the other garnishing ingredents. A little of each type of garnishing is sufficient.
Wrap up tight like you would for the spring roll.



Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

Thanks for doing all the hard work and being willing to share your knowledge on your blog. I'm a Malaysian residing oversea and I've often staisfied my craving for Malaysian food by making them from your recipes. Thanks.

I have 2 question regarding the Lumpia pastry.
1) Is that the frozen spring roll wrapper that you buy from oriental store?
2) If it is, do you have to separate them and steam them individually or do you steam them in a stack as taken out from the packaging?

Once again. Thanks.

Mary Bergfeld said...

I never knew that. I love to visit here. I always learn something new.

Hungry Gal said...

Hi Auntie Lily

i don;t eat pork what other meat could i substitute? ground beef, chicken?

Unknown said...


the lumpia pastry is from Philippines. the brand i buy now is Laguna but i used to buy Sarap which i do not see on the shelf anymore. Laguna is just as good.

You get them in the asian supermarket in the freezer.

Remove the pack, wrap with tea towel and steam, then remove piece by piece.

Unknown said...

hungry girl

use chicken, beef is too strong a flavor for this dish and does not go well with shrimp and crab but all these can be omitted and make a vegetarian roll.

Unknown said...

Hi Aunty Lily,

Wish you Gong Xi Fa Cai & Nien Nien How Yuen Wan Wan Lai!!!!
The popiah, u remind me of my mom. She used to make that on special occasion. This is one of my favorite food...thanks for uploading and I'll try it one day.

Anonymous said...

Jicama is pang kwang,I take it,
is it not ? Used to eat popiah
as street food in KL.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily

I have been following your blog faithfully. And tried many that have turned out well. Just last week, I tried your cheddar cheese pound cake and my family love it. Even my mum who doesnt like cheese.

I am really a sucker for this "popiah basah". Whenever, I go to KL I will buy this. They have this outlet called The Sisters Popiah which is really good. I can eat this the whole day long.

REcently, found a stall in Spore selling these. It is a cafeteria in a hospital(KK Children's Hospital) nearby my son's school. Each time, I come a bit earlier and buy about four to five. Just telling my hubby about this craze of mine. Both he and my son said that I should make my own. And I was complaining that it's not easy to get this recipe. Seems like God was listening last night, and has been kind enuf to answer my prayers....

Love and Respect

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,
I made popiah with frozen lumpia wrap (just like the one you bought) before but always had a problem with it: the popiah wrap turned dry and hard very quickly- even before I rolled it up. I steamed them on the stove for about 10-15 minutes. How long do you steam your popiah wraps? and how long do they stay soft at room temperature? Are they easy to peel off after steaming if I steam them in a stack?
I can never get tired of eating popiah and have made several times for friends and family. One of my Taiwan friend said it tastes much better and has more fillings than their Taiwan version. My hubby likes it too and calls it Chinese burrito. :) well, the concept is more like Chinese fajitas I think :)


Unknown said...


i will wrap the frozen skin in damp towel and steam until the skin is thawed. Do not peel the skin while it is very hot, otherwise it tears easily.

Anonymous said...

Popiah is one of those dishes where any of a wide range
of ingredients can be used whether protein or veg, I'll
probably use daikon in substitution of bangkuang and my Hellmann's mayo can also be added to enhance the
flavour in addition to, of course, both hot chilli and sweet sauces.

Anonymous said...


Jicama is a desirable veg to use but it’s kinda expensive in UK, so I sometimes substitute cheaper daikon lightly marinaded in rice vinegar and sugar, this dish is so versatile in terms of whatever ingredients can be included or excluded, depending on the depth of your pocket, can never tire of eating popiah, I must say.

Anonymous said...

Lily, I love popiah. In fact, we just had a popiah party @ home last week. For the fried turnip, I've also added taucheo, taukwa (i've added prawn n pork stock) to it. Its simply heavenly!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Lily,

Of all the cooking websites, I love yours the most!!! You're so detail in explaination. Easy to follow. You're heaven sent!!! Keep up the good work.

TiaMaya said...

Is there by any chance you have the recipe for vegetarian popiah like the Big Sister's Popiah.....

Your recipes are wonderful, every weekend I try a new recipe from your website and it turns out awesome always!!!!

Unknown said...


no, i have not eaten Big sister's popiah and if you like to make veg just omit all the stuffs like meat and shrimp.

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