KitchenTigress: October 2011

Sambal Ikan Bilis (I)

The good news is, anchovy stocks have doubled because their predators – the type without legs – have declined sharply in numbers.

Hey, that calls for us – the predators with legs – to step up our efforts.

Eat more anchovies, people!

Pickled Green Papaya

When life gives you green papayas, pickle them! Pickling is a great way to add flavour. Green papayas are bland and tasteless but they become sour and spicy after they're pickled. They also have a lovely crunch.

Bubur Cha Cha

Bubur cha cha is a very colourful dessert found in Singapore and Malaysia. You get white coconut milk, orange and purple sweet potatoes, green and red tapioca jelly and grey yam all in one bowl. It may be served hot or cold, and is delicious either way.

Tips for making bubur cha cha:

Fried Wontons

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.

Nyonya Belachan Fried Rice

Leftover rice is great for making fried rice.

But, contrary to popular opinion, freshly cooked rice is perfectly OK too. All you have to do is use a bit less water than usual. That makes the cooked rice harder and less sticky, as if it's been drying out overnight. If you can, steam the rice instead of boiling it in an electric rice-cooker. You'll get rice that's firmer and more chewy.

10-Minute Kaya (I)

toast sandwiched with kaya and butter
Making kaya the old way takes 2-3 hours of stirring.

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.

What's the difference between quickie and longie kaya?

Buah Paya Masak Titek (Peppery Papaya Soup)

Buah paya masak titek is a Nyonya soup. It has strong umami flavours from prawns, papayas, salted fish and dried prawns. It also has a spicy kick from white peppercorns.

My soup 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.

Ikan Tempera (Nyonya Sweet & Sour Fish)

Ikan Tempera is the Nyonya version of sweet & sour fish.

Anything fried and topped with a sweet & sour sauce is good, right?