Category Archives: Taste

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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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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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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Step-By-Step Recipe: Baked Apples with Red Wine & Cinnamon

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Winter is fast approaching and the skies have turned ebony black so much faster than I have expected. Temperatures have also dipped so quickly – Looks like it’s another painful long winter in the UK this year! To combat the perpetual cold and gloominess, I have turned to one of my go-to-desserts that combine 3 of my favourite food items into 1 dish: Red Wine, Apples and Cinnamon! When served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, the sweet, sticky and slightly alcoholic dessert really hits the spot!

What’s more, it also leaves half a bottle of red wine for me to gulp down as plain water – No, I mean to sip and enjoy in the night. ;)

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Minced Meat Noodle / Bak Chor Mee (肉脞面)

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Bak Chor Mee, which means “minced meat noodles” in the Chinese Hokkien dialect, is often hailed the unsung hero of Singapore’s hawker food scene. A typical tourist in Singapore would definitely try to have a taste of Chilli Crab, Chicken Rice and even Char Kway Teow (Fried Flat Rice Noodles) – But Bak Chor Mee? Who would go out of the way to try minced meat noodles and list it on their “Top 10 Must Dos” in Singapore? Perhaps, noodles tossed in a myriad of seasonings and topped with random condiments might not make this dish sound the most exciting: After all, such variations could be found all over South East Asia and even East Asia. So what makes this humble food that used to be sold from street-side carts so special?

The answer is: It is really one of the most uniquely Singaporean dishes we can find. There are always similar versions of whatever can be found in Singapore in other neighbouring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand et cetera (just think the regional Satay or different types of Laksa in every state of Malaysia). But minced pork noodles the way we eat it in Singapore, can hardly be found in the same form anywhere else in the world (well correct me if I am wrong, but that’s what my research tells me!) And if you ask any Singaporean what their favourite Singaporean hawker food dishes are, Bak Chor Mee is probably one that pops up often enough.

Today, TummyTroll aims to recreate a taste of home by making Bak Chor Mee in our very own kitchen in the United Kingdom. We are definitely not your Tai Hwa or Seng Kee, but we think our rendition is authentic enough to please the average Singapore’s tastebuds (which are not that easy to please at all if you ask me haha). We hope you’ll enjoy our step by step guide to making Bak Chor Mee at home, illustrated with photos of the process and some tips along the way – Makan! :)

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Three Cheese Smoked Salmon Rolls

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Christmas is still more than a month away but do these salmon rolls already make you think of the fancy dinner parties that are often thrown during the Christmas period, with all the delicate finger food displayed on long tables? I actually thought of making these after picking up a Waitrose magazine promoting their Christmas food packages, and cheese-filled salmon rolls were actually one of their more popular items. The advantage of making this at home is of course the lowered prices, but also the choice of your favourite cheeses paired with a smoked salmon you prefer! Hence I decided to try being slightly more creative with these classic salmon rolls, with the combination of three cheeses namely ricotta, mozzarella and pecorino romano! The interplay of different cheese textures is also interesting – A much less boring alternative to the usual salmon rolls with just cream cheese!

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