Sunday, June 13, 2010

Popiah Skin


Today, I am posting a recipe for homemade Popiah Skin aka the thin wrapper skin for Chinese Spring rolls. Popiah is a word derived from the Hokkien dialect. A good popiah skin must be thin and elastic. They should be strong enough to wrap the vegetable fillings without breaking apart. Fresh Popiah or spring rolls are popular in Malaysia and Singapore.


Anyway, my late grandmother was brilliant at making paper thin popiah skin. I recalled when I was a kid, I used to watch her painstakingly stirred and kneaded the batter until it turned elastic. I have tried using the same method in the past; but, it was too laborious for me. So, this is a simplified method, thanks to the modern mixer. :-)

There are only 3 key ingredients for the batter. You just need to beat the batter until it’s smooth and elastic. You will need a bit of practice to be able to coat the batter onto the griddle quickly in a circular motion using one hand. Click on the above video to see how I do it. In order for the batter to stick to the griddle, the temperature for the griddle has to be just right, about medium hot. I am sure you will need to fiddle with the heat adjustments a little before getting it right. Well, I will admit it is a bit of work, but I hope you will have a go at making the Popiah skin. Tomorrow, I will post the fillings to assemble a fresh delicious Popiah. :-)


Popiah Skin/Wrapper
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

800 g All-Purpose Flour, sifted
1 ½ tsp Sea Salt
800 ml Water

Method

Combine all the ingredients in a stand mixer bowl. Stir the batter with a wooden spatula, wrap with a cling film and let it rest for at least 3 hours.

Beat the batter for about 15 minutes, or until the batter is smooth and elastic.

Place the griddle or a flat cast-iron pan on a medium heat. Once the pan is hot, lower the heat slightly. Using one hand, coat the batter and rub onto the pan. Then use the other hand to peel off the wrapper when it is cooked.

Makes about 50 pieces (7 to 8”)


Author

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40 comments:

  1. wow this is amazing!! i've never seen it made before...the ones you made looks perfect, exactly like the ones i see in taiwan all the time! looking forward to see the fillings ;)

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  2. Thank you so much Angie!!!! This one looks simple, but wouldn't the skin get stuck to the pan since there is no oil in the whole process???

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  3. @Vivienne: Thanks for the compliment.

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  4. @Quinn: No oil is needed, you just need the right temperature for the batter to stick to the pan and they should come off easily. Use a wet cloth to remove any bits from the wrapper.

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  5. Thank you so much for this recipe! I love popiah, but have never been able to make it as I can't find the right kind of popiah skins here - but now thanks to you, I can make them myself! :D

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  6. Thank goodness for kitchen aids! Angie, I never ever would have thought it possible to make this - but popiah is one of my favourite vegetable dishes ever. I will bookmark and try one day. The video was a great idea.

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  7. Hi angie,
    Wow! Ur popiah skins looks really good! Can u advise wht type of stovetop u used to heat the pan - gas/ electric/ induction?

    Thks,
    Lissa

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  8. this is absolutely the popiah skin recipe I've been looking for all this time. Most have eggs in it and it's all so different from what I'm used to back in Penang and the grandma days. You've made it possible for me to enjoy popiah again w/o having to go hunting for this in the markets (haven't found any good ones so far). Thank you!

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  9. Wow Angie, you are really good at it ! When I was a child, I used to pass by a popiah shop and watched them made right before my eyes ! When I grew up, I don't see them anymore, I guess the trade slowly died away - too laborious. I will definitely try out your recipe one day, nowadays it's very hard to find fresh popiah skins ! When I do find them, they are very expensive !

    By the way, can I use non-stick frying pans, I don't have a griddle. How can I store the popiah skins so that they can last longer ? How long can I keep them ? Can I freeze them in the fridge for future use ? Thanks for sharing your recipe. -- MiniMe

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  10. @Anonymous{MiniMe}: Yes, you can use a non-stick pan. I prefer to store the popiah skin covered with a damp kitchen cloth at room temperature. I am not sure whether you can freeze the Popiah skin but I think it should be okay. You probably need to steam it first before using. Thanks.

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  11. Hi angie,
    Wow! Ur popiah skins looks really good! Can u advise wht type of stovetop u used to heat the pan - gas/ electric/ induction?

    Thks,
    Lissa

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  12. WoW!!I did'nt know it was that easy to make popiah skin.. Thanks Angie for sharing. :))

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  13. @Anonymous {Lissa}: Thanks. I used both gas and electric stovetop.

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  14. I never thought it was so easy to make the skin.. thank you for sharing this recipe. Will definitely bookmark this recipe... thank you once again.

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  15. Hi Angie, I am making this today. I hope it will be successful. Can I just use my aluminium pan? I hope it works.

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  16. I love making my own wrappers for everything. I made some for my duck with pancakes, my springrolls, nems and samosas. I much prefer it to store bought. I will try your way and hope it works out as i love tot ry new recipes all the time. I love your blog....

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  17. This is so awesome. I've seen this made before, but haven't tried it myself. Yours all looks so perfect.

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  18. Hi Angie, great recipe,
    however, i have problems.
    1. the end of the skin always too dried and hard, it would not stick when i roll it into popiah, sometimes it breaks cos too crispy, i think maybe it's too thin but i don't know ho to make it as thick as the middle side.

    2. The dough really need a nice beating to become elastic, or else, it's just a watery dough. however, the dough i made still lacking of elasticity like yours although i give it a nice 15 minutes of spinning in dough mixer. I wonder where i did wrong. should i beat it before leave it for 4 hours of leave it 1st then only beat it?

    please help me, thanks

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  19. @GreenVege: Thanks for trying out the recipe.

    1. You have to cover the Popiah Skin with a damp cloth to keep it moist.

    2. The dough can be quite tricky depends on the humidity. However, you can add 1 Tbsp of oil into the dough and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Then beat the dough for 15 minutes or slightly longer until smooth and elastic. Good luck!

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  20. i tried again, this time i reduce d water slightly and d dough seems good enough.

    however, when i rub it onto a pan, the middle is thicker than the side, is this normal?

    the end also did not peel off from the pan, and the dough kinda stick to the pan for a bit.
    i wonder which 1 is d problem, the metal pan? the heat? (i use medium low fire) or the dough itself?

    could you please show me the picture of d wrapper close up from every angle? i want to observe the color, thickness and texture.

    oh yea, the skin i made is crispy when hot but after it cool down, it becomes soft and has a chewy texture.

    thanks a lot for helping me =)

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  21. @GreenVege: The middle of the skin is usually thicker than the side. If the end of the skin did not peel off, it has to be the heat problem. I am afraid I don't have any close up pictures from every angle. The color and thickness are shown on all the above pictures.

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  22. It's white in the picture but mine is brownish. Any solution for heat problem? usually for 1 kg of flour, how many popia skin could we get? i get roughly around 45-50 pieces for 1 kg

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  23. @GreenVege:The popiah skin should be white and not brownish. My recipe used 800 g of flour and yields about 40 to 50 pieces. (About 7 to 8-inches in diameter.) As for the heat solution, I find that cast-iron pan is better because it heats evenly and consistently.

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  24. The dough is fine. but now i have this problem

    1. The edge is sticking to the pan(im using stainless steel pan). It's hard to peel it off. The cooked site is white-brownish but the uncook side yellowish. I saw in youtube they use the same pan like me but they dont have this problem, i wonder why. Any idea Angie?

    2. The skin is elastic, chewy and smells like wheat. T^T not soft at all

    3. The skin too thick. i tried to reduce the heat, and yes, i could make thinner skin but it took 1 minute to cook it. I saw those people in youtube, they took averagely 20 second only before the skin peeled off from the pan.

    Making the skin really ma fan T^T

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  25. @GreenVege: Making popiah skin is never easy; you need lots of skill, patient and practice to get it right. Btw, I have never use stainless steel pan for making the popiah skin, so I can't really comment on that.

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  26. i found d answer on the net though. Too cold and it sticks, too hot it will burn. i wonder if its true, gonna give it a try after this. i'll tell u how it goes though.

    oh ya, the crispy popia will turn soft if we stack it together like in the picture?

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  27. after wasting 3 kg of flour (200 gram per try), i finally get the answer. The temperature of the pan is d keypoint. too hot, it will burn, too cold, it will stick on the pan.

    and beating it up is important too, need to beat ti long enough until if u hold it on ur hand, it will take a nice round shape when u hold it on ur palm and did not fall in between ur fingers.

    it's worth to try everyone. u might want to adjust to water from 750ml-850ml depending on d humidity level.

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  28. after numerous amount of trial and error, i realise that we DONT need to rest it for 3-4 hours cos this is non raising bread.

    usually we rest the dough for raising bread because the yeast needs time to get into action and release carbon dioxide(which makes the holes in d bread).

    To make a fine popiah skin dough, just put it in a dough mixer for about half and hour. The movement of the dough will break the protein and form a 'Glutein'. a string-like polymer which does not dissolve in water. After give it a nice amount of glutein (which is related to beating speed/time), it'll form a sticky dough. How to know if its sticky enough? Hold d dough in ur palm, it should have a round shape and the dough wont fall in between ur fingers.

    Oh ya, adding 10:3 of wheat and rice flour helps to get rid of the wheat smell too.

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  29. I just found your blog from hanamemories.
    but my version of popiah skin is by adding a or two tbs of white vinegar.
    rubbing it onto the pan is really challenging.
    I even burn my fingertip.

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  30. @Xana: Thanks for the comment. Yes, it’s not easy to rub the dough into the pan but I am sure you get the hang of it after several try.

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  31. Hi i had a problem of the dough NOT sticking to the pan. What did i do wrong? Thanks!

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  32. @Anonymous: There might be several reasons, please check out @GreenVege comments.

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  33. Hi, I made popiah skin today for the first time and it was very successful. I needed a little bit more flour compared to your recipe but I figured out what texture of the dough needed to be and adjusted accordingly. Thank you very much!

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  34. Hi,
    Can u please advise whether ur using the lodge logic 10.5inch round griddle pan?

    Thks,
    Grace

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  35. @Anonymous~Grace: Yes, I used the same pan as you mentioned.

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  36. Ive immediately ordered this pan from amazon. Hopefully i will finally succeed in making popiah skin. U make it seem so easy! But Ive tried many times in past and failed - so i know that is no mean feat!
    Thks for sharing ur recipe n ur youtube video on popiah making is really wonderful!

    Grace

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  37. wow!! this is superb!! thank you...thank you and thank you. I am so excited to learn this technique to make those yummy rolls. Following you henceforth..

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  38. How can I make wafer (ice cream type) which is brittle and at the same time melts in your mouth?

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  39. very nice, can you freeze the spring roll wrappers for future use say after a month? thanks

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