The first mention of this dish was found in Sui Yan Shi San (随园食单), a Qing dynasty recipe book authored by Yuan Mei (袁枚). According to the reputable scholar, minced pheasant meat was rolled up in a layer of pork caul then deep fried. Since then, the dish has been prepared in a myriad of ways.
In the early 20th century, a chef named Dong Chen (董程) from the Shunde District of Canton replaced pheasant with chicken trimmings for which he had no other use. He also swapped pork caul with loin meat. After the trimmings ran out, the chef switched the filling to minced pork. This rendition gained tremendous popularity in Shunde and was named Feng Cheng Ye Ji Zuan (凤城野鸡卷). Feng Cheng (凤城) is another name for Shunde, while the Chinese name for pheasant (野鸡), also means “mock chicken”.
In post-war Singapore, the Pheasant Roll was a popular appetiser in Cantonese banquets. By then, the dish had evolved again: pork loins are used to roll up thin strips of Yunnan ham, preserved liver sausages, bamboo shoots, pork lard, celery and spring onions. The local rendition also incorporated the colonial flavours of Worcestershire and steak sauce.
Wok-Seared Pheasant Roll（凤城野鸡卷）