Sunday, March 21, 2010
Is there a duplicate for Singapore Food?
If not perhaps as rich in regional dishes as countries like China or India, it is reasonable to say Singapore can boast of quite number of dishes that we can claim as our own. Some of them, such as Hainan Chicken Rice, Bak Kut Teh, Fish Head Curry may have come from the villages of our ancesters but over the generations they have become distinguishly Singaporean. Some of them are linked with certain festival, while others are derived from local produce or evolved from local custom. Likewise our Nonya food betrays a distinct local flavour, where after making Singapore their home, the Perankans soon learned to use the herbs and spices found in the regions into their cooking. Although, the Chinese influence is still most apparent during the feast days. To this day, I can not help but associate Kiam Chai Ark (salt-pickled vegetable and duck soup), Tu Tor T'ng ( pig stomach soup) Chap Chai T'ng (Mixed vegetables soup) Ngoh Hiang (Five Spiced Meat Roll) and Heh Chi'ng( Prawns Fritters) with Lunar New Year's eve and the ancestor-worshipping feast days during the Lunar Calendar Year. Like many Overseas Singaporeans, it is difficult at times, to obtain or buy some of the ingredients from where we are now living. The fact that there aren't many "die die must have" ingredients available in the market does not mean that we have to wait until we balek kampung to taste them. Of course, nothing taste better than the original , but with our metaphorically attitude that "boh hu, heh mah ho" (better than nothing), I have been trying, testing and correcting recipes with locally available ingredients to keep alive the memory of my childhood...to be continued.