KitchenTigress: May 2011

Teochew Steamed Fish Head

What do char kway tiao, or luak, bak chor mee, and Teochew style steamed fish have in common, apart from being Teochew?

Don't know? What if I remove steamed fish from the list, and add or nee, chai tow kway and yam mooncakes? Is it obvious now?

Ladies and gentlemen, all these Teochew dishes have lard – lots and lots of glorious lard!

Sambal Kangkong (Water Spinach in Chilli Paste)

Sambal kangkong is a vegetable dish that even vegetable haters love. Kangkong, a green leafy veggie with hollow stems, is stir-fried with sambal over extreme high heat. Best eaten piping hot, good sambal kangkong is crunchy, spicy and smoky.

Did you know there's a connection between kangkong and the God of Fortune, aka 财神爷?

Marmite Pork Ribs

I wander up and down the aisles in the supermart looking for Marmite. It's not with jams and spreads, nor sauces and condiments. Baking products? Nope, not there either. Where else could it be?

You'd never guess! Marmite, together with its best friend, Bovril, is sitting next to the cough syrups, plasters and ENO.

Ayam Panggang (Sambal Grilled Chicken)

Roast chicken with nicely browned skin, slathered with lots of sambal. How does that sound?

First, roast a chicken till nicely golden brown. Then, lather the tanned chook with lots of sambal that's full of spices and enriched with coconut milk. Next, stick it back in the oven. As the spicy paste bubbles away merrily in the heat, it caramelizes and forms a crust, transforming the ordinary roast chicken into – TADAA! – ayam panggang.