Category Archives: Author

It’s TummyTroll’s… 2nd Anniversary!

Holaaa! TummyTroll turns 2 today :) Time really flies… It seemed like just yesterday when TummyTroll turned 1 on 8th April one year ago. Just a quick recap on the blog’s ups and downs the past year:

Hawker Favourites

TummyTroll found its niche in recreating Singaporean/Malaysian local dishes! In addition to our favourite Chai Tao Kway, Kaya Puff and Chwee Kueh recipes in the first year, we made a couple of other local dishes from scratch as well:

Minced Meat Noodle / Bak Chor Mee (肉脞面)

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Penang Prawn Noodle Soup / Hae Mee (虾面汤)

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Singaporean Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodles (福建炒虾面)

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Spicy Dried Shrimp Rolls / Hae Bee Hiam Rolls (蝦米香)

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TummyTroll is on Instagram!

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Setting up an Instagram account was probably one of the most significant moves TummyTroll had taken. Really grateful for all the support and encouragement on Instagram so far :) TummyTroll’s Instagram account was only set up last November. Which means it’s only 5 months old as of now! We’d been updating Instagram much more often than our actual blog because it really is much faster – Almost all of the photos are taken with our smartphones then swiftly edited with some photo editing apps. It is possible to even upload content while we are on the go, making it much more convenient. It is also a much easier platform to communicate and connect with other like-minded food enthusiasts!

Detractors & Difficulties

Let’s be honest to admit this – It is not easy to maintain a blog like this. Not at all!

At the end of the day, the cooking is really just one step of the entire process. Prior to that we also have to purchase food ingredients, and get down to food preparation (which can be really complex and time-consuming for certain dishes… Think Duck Confit). After that, we have to invest a lot of time and effort into taking photos and editing them, writing detailed recipes and instructions, then uploading them onto the necessary platforms.

All along TummyTroll was established to share our learning journeys with our friends and families… For our own fun really! We then started writing recipes because our friends found the step-by-step guides useful when they tried to recreate a taste of home. We are really doing this as a hobby, but unfortunately we’d also had some detractors who doubted our cooking abilities, our recipes, and even our passion for food. It is, to say the least, pretty disheartening. No need to turn nasty if you don’t agree with what we are doing! Be more loving, people! ;D

Detractors and difficulties aside, it’s really been a pleasure seeing TummyTroll grow, and growing together with it as well! Thank you for taking the time to read this entry to the end :) We will also take this chance to announce: We are on hiatus again! Well, we’d love to blog about our food more often, but the final exam period is coming up and we need to study hard for now… Haha, guess our blog also follows the student calendar. Fret not as we’ll still be updating the Instagram account constantly, so do follow us there too! Exciting new changes are coming up on TummyTroll, and we’re excited to announce it when Summer finally arrives. Till then, farewell! :D

Love,
#phangchewfat
On behalf of the rest of the TummyTroll contributors

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Short Recipe: Apple Compote (Prelude to an apple tart)

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The apple season a while back transformed supermarket fruit shelves into a palette of different shades of red (and green). The visual appeal had drawn on TummyTroll to cook something out of them. #phangchewfat had her go at the apples with some rustic-looking Salted Caramel Apple Tartlets, while I opted for a simpler apple tart. This is the first of two recipes documenting the process of making an apple tart, starting with the making of the filling!

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We’re eating… Poached Eggs (and Eggs Benedict/Florentine)

Hello, it’s Sunday again! Are you already heading out to cafes to have your brunch fix? If not, you might still be in time to make some Hollandaise sauce and poached eggs for a homemade Eggs Benedict / Florentine or with steamed asparagus :D Last week we had a step by step recipe to making Hollandaise sauce, so this week we’ll try to demonstrate the poaching of eggs. However, as I am not 100% expert at poaching eggs yet, I will not post up the recipe. I have a friend LY who used to poach eggs repeatedly until he mastered it and it took… Quite many attempts? Poaching eggs is definitely a science! For now, here are some brief but imprecise steps to poaching eggs: Continue reading

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Hollandaise Sauce

(Above: Eggs Florentine)

Hollandaise sauce, with its unique buttery and tangy flavour profile, packs a pack like no other. We usually see it on our Sunday brunch menus with the likes of Eggs Benedict / Florentine / Royale but the truth is it’s so versatile it can accompany a variety of ingredients, including chicken, fish, beans, vegetables and even pasta! Furthermore, it’s considered the base for other derivative sauces like the famed Béarnaise. Personally, I love it on simple plain toast… Much better than just boring butter on toast isn’t it? The best thing is that it’s actually quite easy to recreate at home – No more tasteless watery Hollandaise sauces in overpriced cafes! Making your own is definitely more rewarding! :)

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Spicy Dried Shrimp Rolls / Hae Bee Hiam Rolls (蝦米香)

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Chinese New Year (‘CNY’) is already in full force, and I figure that these are the three possible reactions you might have towards the picture of the Spicy Dried Prawn Rolls / Hae Bee Hiam (蝦米香) above:

1. No more, just NO MORE – They were good while they lasted but I am already harbouring a sore throat from over-consumption…
2. NO, just give me some! A handful will do, or just a couple! What is CNY without these?!
3. Excuse me, but what are these?

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TummyTroll Specials: An overseas student’s Chinese New Year

TummyTroll’s homemade prawn roll snacks (hae bee hiam)… More on this later ;)

Have you ever wondered how Singaporean students abroad celebrate Chinese New Year away from family and friends? Our celebrations might be much more toned down with barely a decoration or two, but you would be surprised at how creative many of us are when it comes to CNY! Here are some things I have noticed across most student celebrations:

1. Almost all of us use our trusty rice cookers for “steamboat” because this REALLY works very well
2. Mahjong (yes, those with the tiles) and card games always find their way into our celebrations
3. Can’t get your hands on yusheng, pineapple tarts and other festive goodies? We DIY and make them from scratch! Continue reading

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Step By Step Recipe: Singapore Fried Prawn Noodles / Hokkien Mee (福建炒虾面)

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Last week at TummyTroll we made our very own Prawn Noodle Soup from scratch: The soup stock alone took almost 2 days, and we made enough soup stock to feed more than 20 people at a party! There was still half a pot of soup stock left and that was enough reason for us to fry up some Singapore Fried Prawn Noodles, or Hokkien Mee, the next day! Although we did not manage to find the thick rice vermicelli, or bee hoon, that is more commonly used in the favourite local dish, we used the thin variety and it was still a delicious plate of noodles due to the flavourful soup stock base, fresh ingredients, and the spicy sambal chilli with a kick! All that was missing was perhaps the opeh leaf for the extra touch of authenticity, and the wok hei for that extra  oomph! Nonetheless here is the recipe to one of Singapore’s most beloved hawker dishes: Continue reading

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Penang Prawn Noodle Soup / Hae Mee (虾面汤)

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After having studied in the UK for almost two and a half years now, I still think about hawker food back home on those cold lonely days but the cravings are usually curbed after I attempt to make some dishes from scratch (think our recent Bak Chor Mee or Kaya Puffs from a little while ago). Prawn noodles, however, was something I never put myself to – It is Hae Mee (prawn noodles in the Hokkien dialect) for goodness sake! It’s not just something that can be made out of a Prima Paste packet (well you can, but it won’t quite be the same). In my heart it has a certain artisanal quality that I never thought could be recreated at home unless highly skilled and truly desperate. Hence, when TummyTroll was put to the task of making Hae Mee for a party of 20 over people, we were elated at the prospects of eating authentic prawn noodles, but also fearful: What if our prawns were not fresh enough? What if the soup turned out to be tasteless?

Well, as we have discovered, all these worries were unfounded… Clichéd as it might seem, as long as you put in sufficient hours and effort, prawn noodles, or any other seemingly arduous dish would always turn out good, as it did here! If amateur student cooks like us can make Hae Mee from scratch, everyone else can definitely do it too! We hope that this step by step recipe would serve as a useful photo guide for all the homesick souls out there who are craving a bowl of prawn noodles! Enjoy :) Continue reading

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We’re making…Homemade Chicken Stock Cubes

TummyTroll Stock Cubes!!Many of us would not realize that stocks are often unsung heroes of most dishes that actually play a major role! A ragu, or Italian meat-based sauce, for example, requires a beef stock to boost its meaty flavour. Stock can even define the flavour of a dish – A rich prawn stock is absolutely crucial to the Singaporean classic hawker dish Fried Hokkien Mee. Although commercial stock cubes are available to the home cook, I find the flavour of many of these stock cubes somewhat artificial, not to mention the heavy dosage of salt and MSG can be quite unhealthy as well! Continue reading

Step-By-Step Recipe: Panna Cotta

Don’t let its plain appearance fool you. Each spoonful of panna cotta carries the rich flavour of dairy cream which gives way to a delicate mouthfeel as it melts in your mouth. This elegant dessert is quintessential to Italian restaurants, and no wonder – this is a very lovable dish which, as I have come to discovered, is extremely simple to make.

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