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