There’s no better way to serve minced meat than to marinate it, roll it up with soybean sheets and deep-fry it to a gorgeous crispiness. This is Penang’s iconic lor bak which in Hokkien literally means “sauce meat.”
The “lor” is a term used for the smooth, sticky five-spice flavoured egg and cornstarch sauce that goes with a plate of lor bak. The “bak” refers to the deep fried minced pork meat rolls that are marinated before being rolled with thin soybean sheets and deep fried.
While lor bak is believed to have originated from Fujian, China, it is a well-known dish here usually prepared by the Teochews and Hokkiens.
These traditional pork rolls, more popularly known as ngo hiang in Singapore, are made from minced pork seasoned with five-spice powder, wrapped in soy skin and then deep fried till crispy. A lor bak hawker stall will also offer a variety of other deep-fried goodies such as prawn fritters, spring rolls, fish fillet fritters, beancurd century egg with pickled ginger .
The variety differs at each stall but each plate of these golden deep fried goodies will be accompanied by cooling slices of cucumber to balance out the dish. Some stalls will also offer blanched baby octopuses, Chinese waxed sausages, sausages and spring rolls.
The crispy meat roll is best eaten dipped in the sticky fragrant lor sauce for contrasting flavours and textures. The sauce is made of a medley of egg whites, five-spice powder, cornstarch, tapioca starch, soy sauce, pepper, salt and sugar.
This can be your favourite snack any time of the day or a starter for your lunch or dinner. Here are some stalls in George Town for you to explore.
Kheng Pin Cafe, Penang Road (11am-3pm)
Hoe Ping Cafe, Jalan Kampung Malabar (12pm-8pm)
Corner Coffee Shop of Presgrave Street and Lebuh McNair (6pm-11pm)