Everything to Know About Ngohiong – The Cebuano Spring Rolls
Aside from its best tasting Lechon, the Queen City of the South has a way lot more to offer. Cebu will not just delight your eyes with its world-class tourist destinations; it would also give your tummy a boost!
Ngohiong (“ngo-yong“) is one of the most popular local delicacies in Cebu. It is a Cebuano variant of the Chinese spring rolls. On the outside, ngohiong looks like the typical Filipino lumpiang shanghai, but its inside reveals something more unique. The ingredients used in preparing ngohiong are singkamas, ubod, onion, garlic, seasonings, and a powder made from five special spices. Coming from China, the powdered spices used to prepare the dish are cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds, Sichuan pepper, and cloves. Depending on preference, ground meat or shrimp may also be added to your ngohiong. The ingredients are mixed, tossed, wrapped in rice-paper rolls, and deep-fried to get the perfect crisp.
At home, ngohiong can be prepared in an hour or even less (see recipe below).
Ngohiong is an affordable yet delicious dish found throughout Metro Cebu. It is sold in Chinese restaurants, eateries, stalls, and turo-turo. Typically, ngohiong is served with the starchy, sweet, sour, and spicy dip sauce. For Cebuanos, puso is a perfect match for this dish. With ngohiong’s taste and price, it makes a good meal and snack for students, workers, and tourists alike.
To get the best out of your Cebu trip, here are the top 5 ngohiong places that you would not want to miss in Cebu (in no particular order)!
Definitely one of the best ngohiong places in town, Doming’s Ngohiong’s specialty is perfectly seasoned that it tastes so good with or without sauce. The large crowd that flock the place during lunchtime is more than enough evidence.
TJRB’s is a popular place that serves greaseless ngohiong that is utterly delicious. TJRB’s Ngohiong has a huge crowd following, thanks to its special ngohiong recipe. If you wanna give it a try, just ask any local for directions to the “ngohiongan atbang Sacred Heart.”
Ask a random Cebuano about the best place to try ngohiong, and they would very likely reply, with no contest, the Chinese Ngohiong. Thanks to its flavored rice paper, its signature sauce, and its secret recipe. Also known as “Chinese Ngohiong sa San Carlos,” this carenderia has been running since 1990 with quality eats proven and tested by its ever-so-loyal customers.
Ed’s offers tasty and crunchy ngohiong best paired with their special tangy sauce. Its unique blend of ingredients has quite been an attraction to avid fans, making Ed’s Ngohiong equally competitive as the rest on this list.
Last but definitely not the least, Golden Cowrie is a casual dining restaurant that offers ngohiong comparable to the ones found in hawker stands. And that is not a bad thing. Despite being served in a more comfortable place, Golden Cowrie still manages to preserve the original taste of Cebu’s ngohiong. So if you are a non-local looking for an excellent place to enjoy such local delicacy, Golden Cowrie is the perfect place for you!
Hidden Gem | If you happen to be one of us, people of the North, check out Chinese Ngohiong sa Lacion for they serve the best ngohiong in this part of Cebu. Just a nudge away, they’ll surely satisfy your cravings by delivering them right at your doorstep! (Visit their page for more details.)
Your Cebu getaway can never be complete without experiencing the Queen City’s local delicacies. Aside from its famous lechon, you just couldn’t miss the delicious and pocket-friendly ngohiong. Definitely one for the books!
Want to give ngohiong a try? Here’s the recipe:
Ngohiong (Cebuano Spring Rolls)
Category The Food Diary
- rice paper or lumpia wrapper
- ½ kg ubod, sliced in small strips
- ¼ cup singkamas (jicama) sliced in small strips
- ½ kilo minced pork
- ¼ kg minced prawns
- 4 stalks spring onions, chopped
- 3 tbsp five-spice powder
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, minced
- freshly ground black pepper
- soy sauce
- 2 cups cornstarch
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1½ cup water
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- ¼ tsp five-spice powder
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 1. In a wok sauté add a small amount of oil then sauté garlic and onions.
- 2. Add the pork then cook until brown in colour.
- 3. Add the minced prawns, spring onions, ubod (coconut palm heart) and singkamas (jicama), season with five spice powder, salt, soy sauce and black pepper. Mix well to combine then turn heat off, place mixture in a colander to drain excess liquid and let it cool. Reserve the liquid.
- 4. While waiting for the mixture to cool, prepare your batter my mixing them all together in a shallow dish.
- 5. Once mixture is cool to handle wrap them into rehydrated rice paper or lumpia wrappers. Dip each wrapped mixture into the batter then deep fry in a 180C preheated deep fryer until golden brown in colour, this will take around 3-4 minutes.
- 6. Place deep fried Ngohiong in a wire rack to drain excess oil.
- 1. In a small saucepan mix all ingredients (except the egg whites) together with the reserved liquid.
- 2. Gently simmer for 2 minutes or until sauce is thick.
- 3. Gently pour egg whites while mixing making fine white strands, remove from heat then serve with Ngohiong