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Guest blogger from Indonesia - peranakan meat roll - roujian

Cut open meatroll on rice
Mama R. is a heroic woman. She sacrificed her live to raise a handful of lovely and great (but sometimes a bit tommyrot) ladies, she left home, she worked hard, baking and cooking to make a living for the family. Still today she sacrifices her life and her health for her students and for her family. What a great women. I was so honored that she let me watch her prepare a typical peranakan dish in her kitchen. Peranakan are the Chinese descendants that immigrated to South East Asia (in particular to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore). Their culture, mixed with the local culture that they found in their host country and their traditions as well as their cooking style mixed. The result is a mind blowing kind of cuisine that I feel in love with the first time I tasted it. It combines everything that is good about the mixing cultures, the hotness and the richness of spices of South East Asia, mixed with the influence of the south Chinese cuisine (many peranakan settlers came from the Guangdong region) that very much focuses in the freshness of the ingredients. One got to taste it to believe it. Many food stalls in Jakarta, Singapore and KL offer this kind of food and if you are out hunting for a snack, give it a try; it’s more than worth it. So you can imagine my joy when I was invited to watch Mama R. cook one of my favorites, the roujian. It is a kind of a meatroll steamed in a tofu skin. I always wonder how the meat ball / meat loaf / meat roll made it so popular that in nearly every cuisine of this world you will find a version of it, don’t you? Back to the roujian. As we are feeding a big and hungry family (me included), we take a lot of ingredients. Here it goes

Pieces of meatroll with rice and tempe
  • 3 kg minced meat
  • 300 g of minced prawn meat
  • 15 spoons of saltwater
  • 9 spoons of sesame oil
  • A lot of bawang goring (Indonesian style fried onion) – I guess we put 1 – 200 g of onions in there, but I might be wrong, just don’t go easy on that stuff is all I can say
  • 9 spoon of cooking wine (it alternatively could be brandy instead of cooking wine
  • Radish diced 500 g
  • Carrot diced 500 g
  • 3 egg whites
  • 9 spoons of cornstarch
  • 3 spoons of tapioca starch
  • 2 spoons of ground black pepper
  • 3 spoons of five spice powder

First of all we are mixing all the meat, using our hands. That is some hard work. Next to that, we are slowly, bit by bit pouring the salt water to the mixture; this is going to make the meat dough rich, silky and creamy. After that we are adding the sesame oil corn starch, the tapioca starch, the bawang goreng and the cooking wine. Mix everything again well through. Then we add the radish and carrots that we cut in in dices, the egg whites, and all the other ingredients. Now we are going to knead that meat dough well through until we got a smooth and silky texture and all the spices and liquids are well mixed into the meat dough. 
Mixing the meat pie
Now we are taking the square tofu skins. One by one we are going to fill the skin with some meat dough and then we are rolling them up in the shape of a short, fat sausage. After we did that, we are placing it into a steamer. When the steamer is full, we will steam the roujian for about 15 minutes to perfection. There you go. Don’t forget to add some homemade chili paste to the meat roll, it tastes amazing.
Filling the tofu skin
Rolling the tofu skin up
folding the corners in
rolling the meatpie up
meat roll in the steaming basket


  1. Interesting. I never heard about tofu skins.

  2. I also only discovered it when I was living in Asia. But I can recommend it. It’s actually very versatile and ideal for many things. I can make sausages with it when I don’t want to work with the stomach of an animal. Now you giving me some new thoughts: Got to work on a Tofu skin sausage (Actually the above is already something in that sense anyway). Thanks for the input. I can imagine a Weisswurst in Tofu skin :)

  3. Tofu skin will also be a perfect sausage skin for those who might consider vegetarian sausage :-) I love Roujian aka chun kien aka Peranakan ngo hiang :-)

    1. I have not yet tried yours :(. But next time, you can make some and I make some non veggie German sausage in a tofu skin, promised.

  4. KLingt ganz toll,- ich mag ja die Kombi Fleisch/Krabbe auch sehr gerne. Und Tofu Skins, da werd ich mal Ausschau halten danach. Leider ist mein Asia- Mann nicht mehr auf dem Arkt, ich hoffe wenigstens er hat seinen Laden noch...

    1. Ich bin normalerweise immer ein bisschen vorsichtig mit dem ganzen Meeres Zeugs. Vor allem schon weil die Weltmeer ja echt nicht mehr so toll bestückt sind. ABER die Kombi hat mich überzeuge und von der Meisterin, da schmeckt es so gut dass man da nicht nein sagen kann. Das mit dem Tofu Skin wird allerdings schwierig, sogar der Arne von den Veggie Diaries hat es nicht gekannt. Dabei gibt’s die hier überall. Also erst mal einen Vorrat mit nach Deutschland nehmen.

  5. My mom's cooking is one of the best in the world :) Apart from chun jian, I also like her homemade prawn meatball and noodle. Next time you are in Indonesia, you can invite Mama R to be your guest blogger for her delicious noodle :) - one of Mama R's daughters -

  6. Hello one of mama R's daughters. I have to agree with you. And yes I would love to feature her noodles, the chicken with the wine and many, many others. I think I have to make a new blog for all of her recipes :). Looking forward to my next trip

  7. Thanks for sharing a nice blog for ! Peranakan Information Peranakan Information .