Sambal Ikan Bilis (I)

Sunday, 30 October 2011

The good news is, anchovy stocks have doubled because their predators – the type that doesn't have legs – have declined sharply in numbers. This is where we, the two-legged predators, need to step up our efforts. Eat more anchovies, people!

I don't know about you but I don't need much persuasion to eat sambal ikan bilis. The salty little fishies and deep-fried peanuts make a perfect ménage à trois with the sweet and spicy sambal.

Pickled Green Papaya

Monday, 24 October 2011

The world is divided into two parts: those who love pickles, and those who hate pickles.
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Bubur Cha Cha (Yam & Sweet Potato in Coconut Milk)

Friday, 21 October 2011

Coconut milk is the most important ingredient in bubur cha cha, so I've got a photo of a coconut tree:
Nice tree, eh?
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How does Miranda Kerr get her million-dollar bikini body?

Fried Wontons

Monday, 17 October 2011

Fried wontons are different from wontons in soup, apart from the fact that they're fried.

The filling for boiled wontons should have dried sole (大地鱼, aka 铁脯). The fish is toasted till brown, crisp and fragrant, then chopped into little bits. If it's not available, deep-fried shallots are a good substitute. With either of these ingredients in the filling, wontons cooked in soup would have a rich, intense aroma they wouldn't have otherwise. In Hong Kong, the motherland of Wonton Soup, the stock used is made with dried sole, amongst other things.

Nyonya Fried Rice

Friday, 14 October 2011

Fried rice is one of those things. It may be a great chef's finale for a grand Chinese banquet. Or it may be something rustled up by a hungry youngster snooping round the kitchen when Mum is out.

Brilliantly executed, fried rice is sublime. If not, it's (usually) at least edible.

Nyonya fried rice is easier than the Chinese version.

10-Minute Kaya (I)

Sunday, 9 October 2011

If you Google "kaya hours of stirring", you'll find people (like here and here) who really do stand beside their pots of kaya, stirring away for hours on end.

I greatly admire patience, dedication and tenacity but sadly these are virtues I don't possess. So I make kaya the quick way, in 10 minutes.

Buah Paya Masak Titek (Peppery Papaya Soup)

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Buah paya masak titek is a Nyonya soup. It has a spicy kick from white peppercorns. And it's sweetened with the umaminess of papayas, prawns, salted fish and dried prawns.

My recipe is inspired by The Best of Singapore Cooking and Cooking for the President.

The recipe from The Best of Singapore Cooking is too salty. It uses too much salted fish bones and dried prawns, in addition to salt and a chicken stock cube.