I Love You Ngohiong!
First time I’ve read about ngohiong was some issue in Tug-ani (UP Cebu’s Official Student Publication). Ngohiong was one of the “student foods for lunch” in Cebu, much as like instant pancit canton to dormers. I got curious since it looks like lumpia but crispier, and its ingredients are mostly made out of veggies. What is ngohiong? Then when I transferred to Cebu in 2006, I got a first taste of it and fell in love—and craving for it!
Ngohiong is a lumpia-like food, deep-fried, oily, and served with spicy thick ngohiong sauce (with/or soy sauce). Its main ingredients are singkamas/turnip or ubod, then other not so secret ingredients. When it hits your taste buds, this deep-fried veggie lumpia tastes like it has meat on it, instead of veggies! Dip it in that spicy, savoury (and sometimes sour) ngohiong sauce, and boom! Lami-a gyud! It became one of my instant favorites.
By the sound of its name, it seems to be coming from Chinese or Vietnamese cuisine. However, the name seems to be very endemic to Cebu’s streets and culinaria tradition—not much seen in other places in Visayas and Mindanao.
Back in the days when I was still working in Cebu, it has become part of my weekly menu. I should have ngohiong every week. Most carenderias in Cebu serve this, with different versions and tastes though. Best served hot in lunch time when it is still crispy, together with some puso (Cebu’s heart/diamond-shaped rice).
Hinay-hinay lang on eating this though, since its deep-fried to perfection.
I have yet to cook ngohiong. A food-travel blogger has given me some advises though on how to cook it.
If you like to try one, there is one carenderia that specializes in ngohiong near University of San Carlos, along Junquera Street. It’s called Chinese Ngohiong. Local Cebuanos though have also other restos and places wherein you can eat ngohiong.