Growing up, whenever I visited Montreal, me and my family would always go to this one Chinese restaurant and Hei Zho was always a must. It's just a nostalgic dish that always reminded me of quality family time. Learning that this specific dish was part of Teochew culture just made me happier. Growing up, people always asked if I spoke chinese. I always said yes, but not the typical Mandarin or Cantonese. I speak Teochew, which is a chinese dialect originating from the Chaoshan region. Not many people know about this dialect, so it makes me happy that I can share a part of my culture with the world.
Hei Zho is a deep fried shrimp and pork roll wrapped with bean curd sheets. There are also varieties which also include crab meat. It is a dish that is first steamed, then cut into several pieces and deep fried. In the restaurant it is typically served with a plum sauce, however at home if I don't have it I will use Thai sweet chili sauce. I always thought this dish was super hard to make, so I never attempted it. After watching several videos, I learned that it was actually quite fast and easy to make!
The recipe below was adapted from Spice and Pans & What To Cook Today.
To speed things up in this recipe, I highly recommend you invest in a mini food processor. I recently found this cordless and rechargeable one and it has changed my life! The mini food processor is both compact and pretty affordable! I used to hate chopping up garlic and getting a food processor has changed my life.
Notes and Tips:
- These can be premade and flash fried to freeze for a future date. Just refry or air fry to reheat it.
- Microwave a small amount of filling in the microwave for 30 seconds to check the seasoning and adjust the taste if needed.
- You can probably substitute ground chicken, but the taste might be slightly different.
- If you run out of bean curd sheets, you can shape them into meatballs and deep fry
- Be sure to use cornstarch, not corn flour
- Tapioca starch can be substituted instead of cornstarch if necessary
- I use Squid brand fish sauce. If you use a different brand, the level of saltiness may vary.
- Try to use Light soy sauce, for this recipe I used regular soy sauce from Lee Kum Kee
Hei Zho (Teochew Fried Shrimp And Pork Roll)
- 1 ½ lb white shrimp peeled and deveined 600 grams
- 1 lb semi fatty ground pork
- 400 grams
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon white pepper
- 5 teaspoon ground chinese 5 spice
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder optional
- 1 tablespoon shaoxing rice wine optional
- 4 tablespoon corn starch + more for frying after
- 80 grams of water chestnut 9 pieces OR jicama
- 2 large eggs whisked
- 8 oz dried bean curd skin sheets 227 g
- 5 garlic cloves
- Vegetable Oil For Deep Frying
- Sweet thai chili sauce or plum sauce for dipping Optional but recommended
Shrimp and Pork Filling
- Mince the garlic with a knife or a food processor.
- Combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, shaoxing rice wine, chicken bouillon, fish sauce, white pepper, black pepper, Chinese 5 spice, and the minced garlic together and stir until combined.
- In a large bowl, combine the mixed seasonings with the ground pork, stir to combine then set aside.
- Peel and devein your shrimp if they are not already peeled and deveined. Separate ¼ of the shrimp and slice them into smaller pieces about 1 cm. Mince the rest of the shrimp up with a food processor or knife until fine.
- Combine the sliced and minced shrimp with the ground pork mixture. Using gloves, stir to combine by stirring in one direction with your hands until it is well combined.
- Add in the diced up water chestnuts and combine.
- Once combined, add in 4 tablespoon of cornstarch. Stir and combine ensuring that there are no clumps.
- Whisk/beat the eggs together, then combine the eggs with the shrimp and pork mixture until fully combined.
Creating the Shrimp and Pork Rolls
- Boil water on high heat for your steamer and lay a sheet of perforated parchment paper if your steamer allows.
- While your water is boiling, carefully open and separate the bean curd skin from each other. Cut the bean curd sheets about 6x8 inches big. If your bean curd sheet has excess salt on it, wipe it off on both sides with a damp towel/napkin.
- Using chopsticks, spread some of the filling onto the edge of the bean curd sheet along the long side. Try to keep about 1 inch of space on both ends of the sheet.
- With your fingers, lightly wet the bean curd sheet where there is no filling, then tuck the roll forward and fold the sides in like a burrito or vietnamese summer rolls. Continue to roll forward until it is sealed up.
- Place the finished roll flap side down on parchment paper or a lightly oiled plate. Repeat with the rest of the filling.
Cooking the Rolls
- Once the steamer is ready, carefully place the rolls inside without touching each other and steam on medium heat for 15 minutes or until cooked.
- Once cooked, carefully remove the cooked rolls and let them cool slightly, then heat up some oil to prepare to deep fry.
- In a bowl, pour about 1.5-2 cups of cornstarch.
- Once the rolls have cooled, cut them into bite size pieces on a bias (on a slant) and roll the cut pieces into the cornstarch and shake off any excess corn starch.
- Once your oil is ready carefully place in the lightly floured pieces and fry until golden brown.
- Place the golden pieces onto a paper towel or a cooling rack to drain any excess oil.
- Serve immediately with sweet chili sauce or plum sauce!
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