Sesame seaweed chips don't look impressive but are very tasty and addictive!
Ming left for Melbourne last night and Wey was so desolate he didn't eat dinner. He actually cried on the way back from the airport, a rare thing for him to do. Said Ming is the perfect brother. Before I knew it, I too burst into tears when we arrived home. Hub gave me 20 seconds of sympathy and quickly went into the house for refuge.
I got busy straight after dinner, making Nee's momo cookies (didn't turn out satisfactory as I made them too big). As I was frying the flour in my outdoor kitchen, I could hear fireworks in the distance. Cool wind blew at me and I nearly dropped everything as I felt a wave of pity (that I have to make Chinese New Year cookies on my own) and fear (that in old age it'll just be me and Hub celebrating CNY). Yes, MP, it's hard to celebrate CNY when the kids are not around. Thank God there's still Wey. Now if only I had that 4th child.
Today I made chigu (Chinese arrowroot, a kind of bulb) chips and sesame seaweed chips. Again, I got the seaweed chips recipe from Nee, the master baker. Instead of sesame oil, I added white sesame seeds for extra flavor and bite and the chips went so fast I had to tape the canisters so Hub and Wey can't get at them. Of the kuih momo, chigu chips and seaweed chips, seaweed chips are the easiest to make. A packet of spring roll 'skin' (wrapper) and nori (Japanese seaweed sheets) can make plenty of chips and that's basically all the ingredients you need, if you don't add sesame seeds. I didn't make any prawn crackers this year (very toned down CNY) so the seaweed crackers will make up for that.
Sesame Seaweed Chips
1 packet popiah or spring roll skin/wrapper*
2 packets nori
white sesame seeds
salt & white pepper (mix 1 t salt to 1/2 t pepper)
oil for frying
2-3 egg whites, whisk lightly (do not use water to substitute; wrapper n nori won't stick)
* Do not get the Lotus brand because the wrappers are about 2 cm smaller length and breadth than the nori sheets. Pertama brand is perfect.
1. Peel and separate all the spring roll wrappers. Cover with a tea towel.
2. Lay 2 pieces wrapper side by side. Brush egg white on left wrapper(work quickly!). Sprinkle sesame seeds on the left wrapper, then lay a piece of nori on that wrapper. Brush right wrapper. with egg white. Dab the salt & pepper mixture lightly with two fingers and quickly smear it all over the right wrapper. Lay the salt & pepper wrapper over the nori, pressing down firmly.
3. After you've finish sandwiching all the wrappers, fold each into 3 and use scissors to cut into 3 equal strips. Turn the strips short side towards you and cut into 1 cm small strips.
4. Heat 4-5 cups of oil in a wok. While waiting for the oil to heat up, separate the strips of sandwiched seaweed. When oil begins to smoke, turn heat to low and throw in a handful of the seaweed strips, using a pair of chopsticks or tongs to stir and separate the strips. Do not cook too many strips each time. Continue stirring so that both sides of the strips get cooked and when they just begin to brown, lift the chips out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Remember that the chips will continue to cook & brown after it's lifted from the oil so don't cook them too brown.
5. When cool, pack the chips in a canister.
note: if you prefer to use sesame oil like Nee, brush it on the nori and smear the pepper & salt on the nori instead.