May 2011 | KitchenTigress

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 with Chilli Paste)

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

I'm guessing you don't, so here's the story:

3,000 years ago, China was ruled by an emperor who knew diddly squat about everything. As with all useless emperors, he had a wicked concubine. His was called 妲己.

Marmite Pork Ribs

Love it or hate it? I've never had Marmite before, and I can't wait to find out.

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.

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.