Monday, April 13, 2009

Miscellaneous Food: Preparing Popiah - A Pictorial

You've heard people say that a lot of work is involved in popiah...well is it?

Well, it's all in the preparation because popiah is eaten, essentially, well, raw. But as the first photo shows, you must always peel your Chinese sausages. Then, you dice them into teeny tiny segments. Little even rectangles, from about 10 sausages. Oh yes, and buy the small fat ones, with lots of flavour (and fat).

While you are waiting for the skins to come off (boil them, then plunge the sausages into ice-cold water), you might want to start de-seeding chillis. How many chillis?

How about this many chillis? The large ones only though, the small chilli padis you can leave whole and just de-capitate their stems. Then you grind all the chillis in a blender, with a handful cloves of garlic and a large knob of ginger.

Chilli is very important to popiah, it gives it a good kick. What are vegetables without a good kick, after all?

Then you take a large turnip and shred it through a grater. Alternatively, you can slice it by hand. Repeat with four more turnips. Repeat with two heads of cabbage. Repeat with 10 stems of Chinese leeks. Repeat with 5 large carrots. Repeat with two cans of preserved bamboo shoots. Repeat with a dinner soup bowl of shallots. Repeat with a handful of french beans. Repeat with a large flat skin-on piece of pork shin. You are getting the idea aren't you?

Fry the shallots in a shallow pool of oil, till they are soft and fragrant. Put the ingredients in a large pot and saute well, starting with the stiffer ingredients first. If you look at the carrots here carefully, you can tell that half the bowl is sauted and the other half is raw. The half on the left is sauteed, you can see they've become lighter, wetter and slightly smaller in texture. Saute all the ingredients together and continue to let the mixture cook in its own juice for an hour.

Where is this all going? You'll see!

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