Mock poh piah

A long while back, I was brainstorming ideas for dishes that would meet the requirements of a Failsafe diet, i.e. free of additives, low in salicylates, amines and flavour enhancers, and yet have an Asian flavour. At that point, my only guide were the recipes in books by Sue Dengate, founder of the Food Intolerance Network, and because they were entirely geared towards an Australian diet, I really wanted to find some flavours closer to home.

During the brainstorming, poh piah was one of the traditional dishes I thought could be adapted. Of course, by leaving out the sweet flour sauce, bee cheo, and chilli, key components of the taste of poh piah are gone, but at least the shape and form of the dish provides variety in what could easily become a very limited diet.

Poh piah pretend

The photograph in the title header of this blog shows the surprisingly successful result of a ‘quick and dirty’ mock poh piah. Forget the time complicated and time-consuming methods of cooking the filling and making the egg skin, this is actually a simple stir-fry of bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, carrots, spring onion topped with hard-boiled egg and wrapped in an eggy crepe (no recipe, sorry, simply made by approximating the batter consistency and using a higher proportion of egg than usual) ^_^.

To imitate poh piah more closely, cut the vegetables for the filling into strips, and use the same basic ingredients for the filling: bamboo shoot and bangkuang/jicama, streaky pork, prawns and taukwa/firm tofu. Fry chopped garlic, add organic miso as a replacement for Chinese fermented bean paste, taucheo, before adding the other ingredients to simmer as per these instructions.

In the end, I guess it’s not really much of a poh piah at all (though closer to the real thing than ‘mock duck‘ is anything like real duck, I’d say!), perhaps more similar to the various types of rolls pictured in Japanese bento cookbooks. However the familiar poh piah-like textures of the vegetable strips and springy egg skin really broke the monotony of my daily rice & stir-fry meals.

[17/1/08 Update: Lunch in a Box often does ‘leftover remakes‘, so check out what happened when leftover mock poh piah went into a bento.]


7 Responses

  1. eh, at least tell me what are the ingredients that go into a crepe and what sort of fry pan i should use for one leh,,… non-stick or chinese wok also can?

  2. my basic crepe recipe is 1 cup (usually wheat) flour, 1 egg, a tablespoon of oil/butter, then I ‘agak-agak’ the milk (approx 1 cup). the consistency should be like that of pouring cream. if you’re not sure, then just test out one crepe and adjust flour/liquid as necessary. sorry can’t be more precise, I cook the agak-agak way lah~~!

    if you leave the batter to stand for 30 mins-1hr, it absorbs the ingregients properly and thickens. often I’m in too much of a rush/ too lazy to do that and I find the first crepe’s texture is always not so good. also for the first one, the heat of the pan may not be right yet so I adjust.

    as for pan, I use a normal non-stick skillet (but I still brush with oil/butter in between, it gives a nice brown colour). there are crepe pans with shallow edge to allow easy flipping/lifting but I’ve never tried those.

    think it’s easier to shape the crepe with a pan that has an edge instead of wok cos when you tilt the pan to spread the batter around, the edge will help create an even round shape.

    It’s Pancake Day on Feb 4th in UK! So there might be plenty of feature articles on UK cooking websites coming up :). Here’s Delia Smith on pancakes:

  3. hey niceties,
    thanks for the recipe, that is perfectly good enuff for me, and i really mean it. :) as usual, i’m going to replace the milk with either water or my usual ‘grain milk’ when i get the chance. i’m busy with running some event now, but once that’s over on 2 feb,1st on my list is the coconut milk yogurt i’ve alw wanted to do and then pancakes / crepes.

    and, guess what, from lily’s wai sek hong page, i think i hv found roughly what your grandma’s “glass” in the pandan cake recipe means. i’m going to be brave, get the cheapest eggs and give your grandma’s recipe a try! definitely before april cuz that’s my hubb’s birthday cake!

  4. yah, any type of soy or grain milk also can.

    hey, pls tell me what you figured out about the ‘glass’ measurement from Lily’s Wai Sek Hong :)!!

  5. oh! thanks!!! lily’s blog has a recipe for pandan cake using the same amt of eggs as your grandma’s recipe. i compared that with a coupel of other blogs ( and Happy Home Baker’s generic recipe for sponge /chiffon cakes, and i found that the proportion of flour : eggs is somehow quite similar in all the recipes. so i am confidently going to use lily’s amount of flour for your grandma’s recipe. and see how it goes! if fail, we learn. but if succeed, hey, we have a keeper!

  6. HI!
    It appears we have many things in common — sensitivities!
    I have to watch my diet very closely, too, and LOOOOVE Asian food of all kinds, so I really appreciate your recipes! I can’t really express my appreciation fully. But I will simply say — THANKS!

  7. Harmonious1, you are very welcome. Writing this blog is one way for me to create something positive out of the frustrating condition of having food sensitivities :).

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