Singapore Eats

To travel is to experience a culture through food.

As much as I don't care for the daily sudden thunderstorms and tropical heat/humidity (my fight against frizz was an utter failure), Singapore has some of the most flavorful and memorable cuisine on this planet.

A get-together with good friends and good food is one of the best ways to reminisce and share the nostalgia.

Thunder Tea Rice [飯]
This dish originated from the subgroup of Chinese called Hakka. But it was one of the most memorable food I had during my visit... it was the healthiest thing I had in the land of kaya toast (made with coconut jam and a thick pat of butter), prawn mee (intensely seasoned noodles with prawns), and world famous grilled pork jerky just to name a few.

Since I've only had it once in Singapore and had no idea how to make it, I consulted the recipe at mylittlecyberspot. Chye poh is preserved turnip that's usually sold pre-diced in the refrigerated section; tau kwa is pressed tofu that you cut up into cubes. And instead of ikan billis (dried anchovies), I used dried shrimp. 

The hot tea (broth) is served and poured right before you eat the rice. The color is supposed to be a brilliant shade of jade, but I made the rookie mistake of letting it simmer too long it turned brown. Whomp whomp.

Satay Pork and Satay Tofu:
Satay is a popular street food throughout the Southeast Asia region. They're usually grilled pieces of marinated meat on skewers. To satisfy my curiosity and to give a vegan option for my guests, I tested the recipe using pressed tofu (much firmer than regular tofu) along with some pork.

Satay paste:
Recipe is modified from the satay chicken recipe from rasamalaysia.com. Instead of Kecap Manis (thick soy sauce), I used regular low sodium soy sauce and did away with oyster sauce. I had found a tin of satay powder in the pantry so I added a few teaspoons to the paste, just for good measure.

Marinate up to a day or two for maximum flavor. Soak skewers in water before putting the meat or tofu on to prevent them from burning. In a 375 F convection oven, the pork took about 9 minutes each side while the tofu took about 5 minutes each side. Grilling makes the meat char too easily which creates carcinogens. I can control the cooking much easier with the convection oven.

There is usually an accompanying sauce for these skewers. They vary depending the region you're in, and I decided to take a Vietnamese spin and marinated some cool cucumbers in chili fish sauce to serve with.

Cucumber in chili fish sauce: 
Hollow out the center of the cucumbers using a small spoon to get rid of the seeds. This will prevent the cucumbers from "sweating" and water down the sauce. Mix in chili paste (I used Siracha's garlic chili paste) with Vietnamese fish sauce. The mixture can be made in advance up to a day.

My travel bug has been thoroughly tickled after writing this post. Is yours?


Thanks Alicia for this awesome noodle dish called Chicken Mee Rebus


delwin said...

delicious as always

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