Sunday, July 26, 2009

Singaporean Food: Mom's home cooked food

Although I rarely get to eat Singaporean food, I had two Singaporean meals in one day. I must be the luckiest gal. Following the Singaporean cooking class at Rocksugar, I went to hang out with my mom. She had invited a bunch of people over for dinner: well, actually she didn't invite any of her friends, the guests were all my sisters' friends and mine. I tried to offer my cooking services, but she had it all down. My only responsibility was to refill her champagne glass.

Fried rice with egg, chinese sausage, mushrooms, bbq pork and mixed vegetables. Ok, so this isn't Singaporean, its Chinese. But it's close enough. I really like the corn in the rice, because it adds a sweetness to the savory rice dish. The fried rice was mainly an accompaniment to the other dishes that had sauces to it.

My mom made a Singaporean dish Mee Siam which is thin rice/vermicelli noodles, topped with shrimp and hard boiled eggs. First she fries the noodles in a wok, with the asian trinity: oil, garlic and shallots. The noodles are lathered with a spicy-sweet sauce. My friends (who have never tried Singaporean food before) loved this dish. I don't think its often that you see spicy gravy slopped over noodles.

One of Singapore's famous dish is Hainanese chicken rice. Anthony Bordain concurs. The chicken is simply boiled and served with rice. My mom also made another version: soy sauce chicken. Although this dish looks simple, I have not tried any other versions in the States that taste as good. The chicken was tender and juicy, and the soy sauce gave the chicken a salty taste.

The rice is cooked with the chicken broth and some garlic. I love this rice. You can eat it plain because it is already infused with great flavors. But of course, it tastes even better with the chicken, some dark soy sauce and a little chili.

The other Singaporean dish was rendang. I believe this dish originated from Indonesia and is commonly cooked with mutton. The sauce is thick and spicy, and my mom added some bay leaves for flavor. I remember that in primary school, we would buy a plastic bag of pipping hot mutton rendang for lunch at the school canteen. Because rendang is typically cooked for a good amount of time, the meat is always tender. My mom, being the forward thinking person that she is, cooked two versions for the guests. Beef rendang and tendon rendang (for us). I was so happy when LB told me that the tendon rendang was her favorite dish. It really isn't as scary as you'd imagine. The texture is chewy, but tendon is relatively tasteless. In addition, after being stewed in delicious curry gravy, you wouldn't even know that its tendon...

Sometimes, its more fun having friends over for dinner, instead of going out to a restaurant. It also helps if you have a good cook at home. Everything was delicious and I was glad to share this cuisine with my friends. Some day, I hope to be able to cook up a feast like my mom does.

1 comment:

blw said...

that was a delicious meal!