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Thursday, 17 January 2013

Ngaku Chips (Arrowhead Chips)


WARNING! Do not try this if you are on a diet especially low carb diet. Highly addictive, nobody can save you. Got it? In spite of prior knowledge of how dangerous these chips are, I still had to give it a go. Thanks to Wendy for the very informative post on how to make your own ngaku chips and save some money :)


RM12.00 bought from the ngaku chips auntie. Imported Doritos corn chips are cheaper.


Last year, my brother gave me a bottle of ngaku chips (something like the one above) together with some other goodies just before Chinese New Year. I stared at the chips and the chips stared back at me. And you can guess the outcome. I tore off the cellophane tape, removed the lid and lustily devoured the chips. Ngap..ngap...ngap...the whole container gone within 30 minutes (or was it 20?). I told you it is dangerous. Very dangerous.




Buying ready made ngaku chips is a lot more convenient but you have to be prepared to pay the price. I reckon it is expensive not because of the ngaku (it is cheap) but due to the labour cost. If you are really into ngaku chips, I highly recommend that you make it yourself if you can spare the time.

Sometimes, the commercial one smells of stale oil because some unscrupulous suppliers use recycled oil. When I dug into the bottle of commercial ngaku chips you saw up there, I was taken aback by the smell. A world of difference from the one I prepared myself. I won't be buying any more of the ready made stuff :)

I admit that it's a lot of hard work  requiring lots of time and patience. You'll realise this once you start peeling, slicing, drying and frying the chips. Like this :


This is how ngaku/arrowheads look like.

Peel using vegetable peeler.
I used a mandolin to slice. Not very well done.
Place a kitchen towel on a plate or tray and line up your ngaku slices.
Place another kitchen towel on top and use your palm to press the slices to soak up the moisture.
Fry in hot oil.
Drain on kitchen towels or newspaper.

By now, you'll sweat buckets standing at the stove and at some point regret that you started it. And the face of the ngaku chip auntie flashes before your eyes. She is staring at you with a satisfied look on her face and saying "See! That's why I'm selling at RM12.00 per bottle. Hmmph!".

All that hard labour will barely burn enough calories to make up for a measly helping of chips. Trust me. This stuff goes straight to your belly, hips and thighs. I know. I measured.



For this maiden attempt, I bought only a small amount of arrowheads. Just a small bag and I paid only RM2.10 for it. If there had not been so much wastage from my far from perfect slicing (and munching heh...heh.....), I could have made more than enough to fill the bottle which cost me RM12.00. See the margin? Sure, we need to consider the cost that the auntie incurred - wages for workers, oil, containers and distribution costs etc but still, it makes for a very healthy profit margin. Too healthy in fact.

I did encounter some technical glitches when preparing these chips, mainly with the slicing part. I guess using a mandolin does take some practice and my blade wasn't sharp enough. At some point I had to use a knife. Other than that, it is actually very simple. And one more thing, while you are slaving away, you must ban everyone from walking into the kitchen because they will start pinching the chips :)

The recipe below is taken from Wendy and you MUST check out her posting for detailed instructions and troubleshooting. Happy frying and don't say I didn't warn you :)









Ngaku Chips (Arrowhead Chips)
Recipe Source : Table For 2 .....or More

Ingredients :

1. Arrowheads, as many as you like
2. Salt
3. Oil for deep frying

Method :
1. Rinse the arrowheads and air dry them (or use a tea towel to dry them)
2. Peel the arrowheads and slice them thinly.
3. Dry each slice of the arrowheads using kitchen towel.
4. Heat oil in a wok and add some salt into the oil. Or you can salt the chips after frying them.
4. Deep fry in hot oil by dropping each individual slice of the arrowhead into the hot oil.
5. The chip is ready when there is no more visible bubbling of the oil surrounding it.
6. Remove from oil and drain on kitchen towels.

Notes on tips learnt from Wendy :
1. According the Wendy, she did not dry the arrowhead slices and her chips turned out fine.
2. Drop the arrowhead slices vertically into the deepest part of the oil. It will sink at first and then rise to the top.
3. Don't overcrowd the chips when frying and make sure they don't overlap or they will stick together.
4. Be patient, wait until the chips are properly fried before removing from oil or else they will be soggy.

You will notice my chips are slightly browner than the ones sold commercially. I prefer them that way because they taste better. But that's just me.


This goes very well with cold beer.

I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover.

72 comments:

  1. Nice? My daughter would love this - she loves all things deep fried...all the kerepeks. My missus planted...but yet to harvest.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, your missus planted ngaku! Then your daughter can try making these chips. I should try planting some too. The leaves could be decorative.

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  2. Hi Phong Hong, totally agree with you.. this is the most dangerous, highly addictive snack. LOL
    I dare not even go near the stores that sell this and never once attempt to make this. So far so good, last year I never touch this snack, so this year will be the same too. :)

    Actually RM12 is a bit sky high but JB more cut throat some sell RM15 to RM16. *rolling eyes*
    But if want to eat better to make at home cos the oil is cleaner. Your look very nice but I look see, look see enough. LOL

    Have a nice day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amelia, you are very wise to stay away from it! Not only is it bad for waistline, also bad for the pocket if buy from the stores. Wow, I thought RM12.00 is already expensive, JB is worse! Ok, good for you that you have so much willpower :)

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  3. Me short cut. peel , rinse , slice straight into the wok . while those in the wok are cooking, I peel new ones. faster and easier that way.

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    Replies
    1. I should try your method. Didn't think of it that way hee..hee...

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  4. Kena betul betul rajin baru boleh buat kerepek arrowhead ni.Jika kurang rajin takut tak siap.Semalam Cm guna food processor untuk memotongnya dan hasilnya kurang memuaskan.Tebal tapi dah habis :)....malam ni nak sambung balik:)

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    Replies
    1. CM, saya penat buat benda ni. Saje gatal nak cuba tapi memang sedap! Mudah ketagih :)

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  5. Gud thing i do not like ngaku chips haha. Never quite developed the taste for it, i tried mind you! I was like, everyone loves it, why i dont? Heehee now i breathe a sigh of relief. One less assault on the hips and waistline heehee. But i love set chili tapioca chips though...you gonna make that anytime soon? Love the humour in yr post PH :)

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    1. Esther, you are a strange one! But good for you, these chips are not the best thing for our figure. Chilli tapioca chips? Challenge accepted!

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  6. This is so interesting! I've never seen nor tried arrowheads. I could gobble them up in seconds. Hahaha! YUmmy!

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    1. Shirley, then you must not try! They are incredibly addictive and there's no such thing at stopping at one bottle. The moment you finish, you will reach for another. It calls out to you :)

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  7. Hi Phong Hong, yes very addictive. I love my clean kitchen too much, so never fry chips in there. I'll do it at my mum's place if I want to. My kind neighbour always give me 2 bottles and I get unlimited supply if I drop by her place when she is frying them. Very lucky, leh. BTW she fries about 20kg a day and her maid will pull a long face.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I say, Kimmy! You are so lucky hah! hah! Wah, 20kg a day is no joke. I fried just a small batch and I felt so tired. I take it that your neighbour sells the chips. Hah! Hah! You prefer to "dirty" your Mum's kitchen. Just joking, I'm sure you cleaned up afterwards :)

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    2. Hi Phong Hong,it's for family and giveaways. My mum has 2 kitchen in the house, more convenient.

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    3. Oh, I see, I see. Her family and friend are very lucky :) I wish I had 2 kitchens too hee..hee...

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  8. Hi Phonh Hong
    You have been hard working....slicing, and frying....but can it be kept and 'hide away' from everyone till CNY? If this is in front of me, I will non stop munching and munching away.

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    Replies
    1. Mel, I just fried a small batch. Nobody else was home so I sapu the whole lot! If make to keep for CNY, must put under lock and key :)

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  9. I have done up a batch too during the weekend, i totally agreed with you on the hard works involved , i end up using knife to slice up 1 kg of arrowhead instead of using the madoline, and yours looks nicely brown, whereas mine nearly 50% are too brown or burnt, but they still end up in our tummies, just couldnt resist them once started munching.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sem, if the oil is too hot it will become too brown. Just need to adjust the flame. But somehow the very brown ones taste a lot nicer :)

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  10. Would make a great tea time snack. Yummy chips

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    Replies
    1. Vimitha, it's great in front of the TV too :)

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  11. I agree with you, this one is super scary!! I can eat the WHOLE box myself...

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    Replies
    1. Hah! Hah! Mich, join the club! I should not tempt myself again, somehow my tummy becomes a bottomless pit when it comes to ngaku chips :)

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  12. I bought a pack of kuih kapit for RM17 from Giant, Taiping? We were lucky enough to have these ngaku chips in our recent trip. My hubby loves it very much but we couldn't finish them so my mum has the rest, haha! We can't find arrowheads in Sydney, sigh sigh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessie, maybe it is good they don't have it in Sydney. If not, then it will be too much temptation!

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  13. Oh i like this chips very much. Unfortunately i never see this in Perth ....have to wait to go back to Msia.

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    Replies
    1. Li Shuan, better don't eat it. One piece is all it takes for disaster to strike!

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  14. Ohhhhh.... I'm so jealous! Can't get fresh lotus root here what more arrowhead! My husband loves this chips to bits. He was the one who discovered it when we were still living in Malaysia. He went to the Pasar malam on his own one day and bought 12 bags( huge ones too!! ) home. Told me that the aunty who sold those chips to him was so taken with him that she gave him special price.. Lol! I thought he was conned and went to check the price the following week and I discovered that he did indeed get a good price for his 12 bags of chips. The aunty was stoked that she got her first Caucasian customer and a man at that too:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shereen, your husband is your secret weapon then! Next time when you come back to Malaysia, let him do the buying. Then can get good discounts on a lot of items, provided the vendor is a nice aunty hee..hee...

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  15. Never heard about this arrowhead... I'd like to try this yummy chips!!

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    Replies
    1. Francesca, lucky for you, or else you will get addicted hah! hah!

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  16. Phong Hong,

    Do you konw that the arrowheads chips are very very.... much dangerous than what you expected haha...he.... he .Once you have started eating them, you can never stop. You take care .lol

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  17. Crispy and delicious tea time snack...loved it.

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    Replies
    1. Vidya, it is too addictive even for tea. Stay away from it! Hah! Hah!

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  18. for me,no need to ban everyone from walking into the kitchen,
    because i will be the one non-stop pinching the chips while cooking hahaha...
    i want to use your method to make crispy potato chips,must yummy too...:p


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hah! Hah! I also pinched some will cooking. Yah, potato chips woudl work the same way too. But also as dangerous :)

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  19. Phong Hong, I LOVE LOVE LOVE arrowhead chips but I am not going to make it myself. So much work lah! I bought 6 containers already and now only two left. LOL!

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    Replies
    1. Quay Po, I can bet before CNY the other 2 bottles will also kaput!

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  20. Hi Phong Hong,
    My favourite! I always tell myself to make my own each year, and every year I'll be buying a few containers from the market! haha! No time to make my own, as I am always busy with other CNY cookies. Looks like this year, I'll be the faithful customer again!
    With the amount of work involved, I think RM12 is reasonable!
    I always TRY not to open the containers before CNY, if not, come CNY, there will be only empty containers left! hahaha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joyce, perhaps, perhaps! The RM12.00 price tag and the hard labour of DIY chips will hopefully help keep me off the chips :) It's quite hard to resist opening the containers hah! hah! Keep them out of sight :)

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  21. parcel me that jar with chips :)

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    Replies
    1. Hah! Hah! PT, if can can find strength to make this again!

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  22. Hello Aunty PH! I think I will give this a miss ... Thanks to your warning! :)

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    Replies
    1. Alvin, very wise move! Don't go anywhere near these chips :)

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  23. Enjoy readilng your post. I'm sure everyone like this chips especially kids. Thinking of the works I think not this year...maybe next year? LOL

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Vivian! I think that is why at RM12.00, most people will still buy the chips. Too much work, very tiring hee..hee...

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  24. I tried it once and never again! too much work and I don't even get to eat much of it, the boys finished most of....thankfully?

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    Replies
    1. Jeannie, gave up huh? Better lah. Your boys saved you from the evil chips :)

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  25. Phong Hong...you started early and I have not started making this yet. It is much cheaper to make your own as this is addictive. I can't stop eating them too once I started and I have to be on low carb diet ! Eat first and worry later hahaha !

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    Replies
    1. Hah! Hah! Agreed! We always eat first, any consequences belakang kira!

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  26. Eh, I thought I have left a comment earlier, why gone missing ? Or I forgot to press publish, hehehe.. Aiyoo, sure by this time all your chips gone finished ! Make again and can I exchange with you with my almond cookies , hehehe..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Madam, you left comment when you reply my e-mail. See you so busy until blur hee..hee...Ya lah, all habis. Wait lah see if I got strength to make some more. Very geram your almond cookies. Hee..hee...

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  27. hi phong hong, even tho it's dangerous, i still be eating it..cos it's only once a year available. The ngaku chip here sells around RM11-14 per container, i see people buying loads and loads of nagku in tesco, not sure for selling or own consumption..whatever it is, one gaining profit and one saving money! so are you still making more? jaga badan!!

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    Replies
    1. You are right Lena, only once a year so it's no harm to indulge. And after CNY we can talk about diet and exercise hah! hah! I'll see if I have the energy to make more. My auntie told me she spent more than 2 hours sweating in the kitchen frying 2kg of ngaku.

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  28. Uh, oh...I could make these disappear in a flash! I adore all sorts of chips...yum!

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    Replies
    1. Lizzy, why are all the yummy things so bad for my weight? I envy you because you could easily plough through a few bags of these and still stay skinny!

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  29. Just drooling over the pics ...looks yum

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  30. Replies
    1. Jay, is it truly heavenly though it is a sinful snack!

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  31. Wow! perfect looking chips. good step by step clicks

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  32. I have tried making this once and I have stayed away ever since! It takes so much effort but it's like a must have for CNY isn't it?

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    Replies
    1. Can't blame you! It is a very time consuming snack that is much enjoyed during CNY :)

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  33. Phong Hong,
    Can I join you 'ngap, ngap, ngap...?
    My kids and I love this arrowhead chips. Ever tried to fried once... But it's a disaster :p
    Thanks for your sharing, I will try again heehee

    mui

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure, mui mui! We can all ngap! ngap! ngap! together :)

      Delete
  34. RM 12 is still cheap. I bought 2 boxes RM 18 each, T_T in KK. So hard to find this thing in KL. I'm Malay btw. A chinese auntie from my workplace introduce me to the chips, and I dreamt of it everyday since. Haha. So when I found it in KK, I just borong all. Cannot tahan. Setahun cari. T_T

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! I guess if you are thinking of eating one or two (or three!) canisters all by yourself, it is probably worth spending money buying because it is very time consuming to make it yourself. But if you want to belanja your relatives and need lots maybe more economical to sweat it out in the kitchen :)

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  35. Where can you buy the Ngaku to make the chips? At the wet market? Whats the price like now? It getting so expensive!! I bought mine at mid valley, a small tub and its already RM17!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Meifang! You can get at the wet market or at any of the hypermarkets. It is quiet cheap. But I don't see them at Aeon now. Usually available a few weeks before CNY.

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