I grew up eating homemade Ngo Hiang at almost every festive meal – the Chinese New Year’s eve dinner, Easter lunch, Christmas Eve dinner, New Year’s Eve dinner and birthdays.  My siblings and I never grew tired of eating Mum’s scrumptiously prepared sausage-esque roll.

Ngo Hiang is a unique dish omnipresent in Malaysia, Singapore and many parts of Indonesia and in Cebù in the Philippines.  In my hometown, Kuching, we called this tasty sausage roll, Ngo Hiang. Some bloggers claimed this dish to be either Hokkien or Teochew. In my ear, Ngo Hiang sounds very Teochew, as “ngo(h)” is five in Teochew, whilst “go(h)” is five in Hokkien. “Ngo hiang” means five-spice (powder) and that is also how the sausage roll – Ngo Hiang – has been christened 😀

In West Malaysia and Singapore, the dish is dubbed as loh bak. In this post, I will refer to this dish as Ngo Hiang, which I’m most familiar with.

1. Ngo hiang  

By the way, this is one of the best pot-luck dishes, where minced pork and prawn (or fish) are mixed together with some vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, seasoned with the hallowed five-spice powder (ngo hiang hoon) before rolling inside a bean curd skin and deep (or shallow) fried.

I did it my way….

While Mum makes the finest Ngo Hiang – succulent, luscious, tasty and mouth-watering, I had to make do with what I could find here in Belgium to simulate Mum’s feat.  The most challenging stunt is to accommodate the palates of my three guys – my most priced critics 😀

While Mum would slog away self-mincing the pork shoulder, with a mix of pork belly (for flavour and extra sappiness), fresh prawns, fish, onion, garlic, water chestnut, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, spring onions and flat-leaf parsley using a BIG Chinese chef’s knife or Cleaver on a thick round Chinese wooden chopping board, I used ready minced meat – a mixture of veal and pork or poultry and chopped the other ingredients separately on my little bamboo chopping board.  

I know the ingredients I used may differ from Mum’s, but the bean curd skin is sine qua non (a prerequisite) in making an authentic Ngo Hiang.

2. Ngo hiang

The bean curd skin (or bean curd sheet or tofu skin) is really lightweight, and depending on where it is sold, the one I had was a 45gm salty sheet folded in 18 parts. 

3. Ngo hiang

By the way, this was bought for me by a girlfriend on my request when she made a home trip back to Kuching not so long ago 😉

X, if you are reading this post, the Ngo Hiang I made recently which I brought over to A’s “laksa à volonté” get-together came from the packets I got from you. Cheers, friend! 😀

Boy, were the bean curd skin delicate – I meant really delicate, as they tore quite easily if handled gracelessly. I guess the saltiness in the bean curd sheets resulted in them being quite brittle.  A simple trick I learnt from my Mum is to wet a clean kitchen towel and gently pat on the bean curd sheet to remove the excess saltiness, plus also making the sheet more workable or pliable.

4. Ngo hiang

How I made my Ngo Hiang, and trying to replicate my Mum’s recipe…

Ingredients –

(Makes 25 suasage rolls)

  • Minced meat (I used 1 kg mixture of ready minced veal and pork)
  • Fresh prawns ( I used 500g frozen prawns, defrost, shelled, deveined and chopped roughly)
  • Fish (I did not use)
  • Water Chestnuts (I could not find these, hence I did not use them)
  • Shiitake Mushrooms (I used 8, soaked in hot boiling water until plumped)
  • Carrots (I used 3 carrots, skinned, washed and diced finely)
  • Flat-leaf parsley (I used fresh coriander in lieu)
  • Spring onions (I used 5 stalks)
  • Onion (I used 1, chopped finely)
  • Five-Spice Powder (Like sesame oil, please use sparingly – a little goes a long way…I used 1 tsp.)
  • Chicken stock cube (I used 1 whole cube)
  • White pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste (I did not use as I have used one whole chicken stock cube and please bear in mind that the bean curd skin is quite salty)
  • Sugar (I used about ¼ tsp)
  • Sesame Oil (Again, use sparingly. I used ½ Tbsp)
  • 2 x 45g bean curd skin (Cut along the folds)
  • Chinese Rice Wine (optional – I did not use)
  • Egg (optional – I did not use)
  • Corn flour (Depending on the texture of the meat mixture, if the mixture does not hold together, you may need to add some corn flour. I used 1 tsp)

Mix and combine all the above ingredients in a big glass bowl and cover with a cling film. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.

5. Ngo hiang

That’s about it!

Next, the fun part – assemble all the ingredients and accessories: the meat mixture, the cut bean curd skins, the binding agent (I used a mixture of corn flour and water), a scooping spoon, and a work surface and – simply, start the ball ROLLING!!!

6. Ngo hiang

A picture is worth a thousand words! (X, no excuse for not making this yourself. These steps are specially made for you 😀 )

7. Ngo hiang8. Ngo hiang9. Ngo hiang10. Ngo hiang11. Ngo hiang12. Ngo hiang13. Ngo hiangIMG_0173

Then I shallow fried the sausages, until the meat was cooked and the bean curd skin turned golden brown and crisp.

14. Ngo hiang15. Ngo hiang16. Ngo hiang17. Ngo hiang

We had these gems as starter for our Sunday lunch.  An absolute winner 😛

I cut the sausage on the bias and served with some sliced cucumbers and tomato

I cut the sausage on the bias and served with some sliced cucumbers and tomato

Serve with a squirt of spring roll sauce or sweet-sour sauce or hot and spicy sauce or any sauce of your preference.  YUMS!

Serve with a squirt of spring roll sauce or sweet-sour sauce or hot and spicy sauce or any sauce of your preference. YUMS!

One of the best pot-luck dishes, ever!   The sausages freeze very well. Before serving, just bake in a pre-heated oven of 160 deg C for a few minutes, or until the meat warms through.. :-P

One of the best pot-luck dishes, ever! The sausages freeze very well. Before serving, just bake in a pre-heated oven of 160 deg C for a few minutes, or until the meat warms through.. 😛

Oh by the way, my eldest sister and BIL came to visit us last week and guess what?  She brought 20 freshly made bean curd skins from a factory somewhere in Kuala Lumpur.  Thanks, big sis! Now, I can’t wait to start making MORE Ngo Hiang 😉

I am linking this post to the following events –

1)      Little Thumbs up using the ingredient, “SOY or SOYBEAN” organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and hosted by Mich of Piece of Cake at this post.


2)      Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish ReadsThinking, Reading, Photographing

Weekend Cooking

3)       Cooking with herbs challenge October 2013 hosted by Karen of Lavender and Lovage. I used the following herbs: Fresh Coriander, Spring Onion and Onion


Happy Sunday and have a great week ahead 😀



  1. X says:

    Will surely try your recipe one day since my boy loves it! Also looking forward to more ngo hiang from your sis’s new skin 🙂

  2. Nasifriet says:


    Yup, you’ll see those on 17/11… 😉

    btw, did Daisy share this link to u?

  3. X says:

    No or I’ve yet to check my mail. Why?

  4. X says:

    Typing error lah! Ignore “or” pls… Looking forward to 17/11!!! 🙂

  5. Nasifriet says:

    No, nothing. Will explain when we meet next 😉

  6. Nasifriet says:

    No worries, ignored and deleted with a strike 😀
    C ya…

  7. X says:

    Got it on FB 🙂

  8. Beth F says:

    Oh my! These sounds absolutely wonderful! I’m adding this to my list of recipes to try.

  9. Diana Gale says:

    Very nice! It is amazing that you were able to make such delicious rolls so far from home!

  10. Your ngo hiang looks really good! I love ngo hiang but its so much work to make so I shall just admire yours 🙂

  11. Nasifriet says:

    Thanks, Beth 😀

    I hope you can find bean curd skins from an Asian store in your vicinity…

  12. Nasifriet says:

    Thanks, Diana. This is one of the many D.I.Y dishes, reminiscing my childhood days, and most of all, reliving my Mum’s recipes and passinng these on to my boys 😀

  13. Nasifriet says:

    Cheers, Mich 😀
    Hard work or not, if my palate is screaming for my childhood dishes, I’d go all out to go through the obstacles and hurdles to win this race. That’s just me, I guess 😀

    It’s worth it…. 😛

  14. Doreen/mui says:

    Hi Nasifriet,
    Ngo Hiang is my family favorite.
    Yours sure looks inviting!! Wish I could have a few slices now :p

  15. Nasifriet says:

    Thanks, Doreen

    And with my family, too 😀

  16. Zoe says:

    Hi Nasifriet,

    I like to refer them as Ngo Hiang as I grew up knowing them as Ngo Hiang. Can’t depend on these restaurants to enjoy lo bak (also known as Ngo Hiang – LOL!) as they are sold in small portion here and expensive.

    I see that yours are the healthy version with carrot in them. I like to make mine with water chestnut and can only find the canned ones in Melbourne.


  17. Nasifriet says:

    Hi Zoe,

    Like you, I can only find the canned ones in Belgium, hence, I omitted them and substitue those for carrots – not the same, but, yes, you are right, a healthier and more colourful version 😀

    I’ll be making these again this weekend with the beancurd skins I got from my sis recently…

  18. […] 34. Five-Spice Sausage Rolls (Ngo Hiang) by Nasifriet: What a wonderful recipe for one of my favourite Asian recipes, and with helpful step-by-step photos for ease of making them too! […]

  19. Who doesn’t love Ngoh Hiang? I heard adding mashed beancurd into the filling mixture will improve the texture but I have not tried it myself before… Try it if you are making this again. 😀

  20. melharry says:

    Nyamai nyak..just like mom’s. Mom made mine special with fish and prawns…nyummy too. She add all the ingredients for me except for meat ajak…tapi instead pakei ikan and udang.

  21. Nasifriet says:

    Thanks, Alvin. I’ve never heard about adding mashed beancurds, but I’m curious already 😉

    I’ll definitely give it a try the next time I make these rolls 😀

  22. Nasifriet says:

    I’d love to have only fish and prawns, but you need to add quite a lot of other things to give it more texture, because meat and shellfish have different textures. Shellfish can be quite dry if cooked or left too long…

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