Are there moments when you sit down to a dish and would say “oh that’s not what I have ordered”? Especially when you are ordering from an unfamiliar menu and you have already formed a preconceived picture of the dish in your mind from the description by the waiter before it is served. You are not alone.
This is especially true, when you are travelling and unfamiliar with the local taste and eating habits. To make matter worse, you don’t speak the language. Even if you do, it may turn out not authentic to your taste. Nearly every food court in Sydney sells “Hainan Chicken Rice” (a popular Singaporean dish). No matter how long you have been living away from Singapore,but still have a clear idea about what real Hainan chicken rice is and because you know right away how authentic it is in your memory. I suppose there is no food other then what you grew up with that you know as authentic. In my family,I would say authenticity in food is quite subjective.
Likewise, my son who grew up eating Australian-concept of Chinese food from a young age would say “that’s not Chinese food” when he was travelling in China. Can you imagine the puzzled look on our Chinese host when we had dinner in Macau.
By the way, one of his all time favourite soups is a combination of long and short soup. You may ask what's that? It is simply by having wanton and noodle together in a soup. Commonly known in Singapore as wanton noodle soup. Before you can make this combination soup, here is the recipe for making wanton aka short soup.
Recipe For Short Soup (Wanton Soup)
2 litre chicken stock
3 shallot finely chopped
1/2 tsp sesame oil
500g pork mince
1/4 small cabbage finely shred
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp corn flour
30 wanton wrappers
1 egg beaten
salt and pepper tpo taste
Combined pork mince with salt, soy sauce, sesame oil and grated ginger. Place a teaspoon of pork filling slightly below centre of wanton wrapper. Brush around edges of wrapper with egg. Fold wrapper diagonally in half to form triangle. Press edges to seal around filling. Brush on the front right corner of each triangle and back each left corner, Bring the to two moistened corners together. Pinch to seal.
Drop the wantons into boiling water, cook until they float to the top, about 15 minutes; drain. Put the drained wanton in hot stock and top with shopped shallot.