Category Archives: Spicy

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: 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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Short Recipe: Asian Style Wild Alaskan Salmon (Guest Post from #koolala)

For this entry we have a special guest post from my good friend #koolala, who recreated a Jamie Oliver salmon recipe with much finesse. We decided to feature this recipe for TummyTroll as we felt that it was a simple, easy dish that students like us could easily whip up even with our limited culinary skills; yet nutritious, refreshingly creative and most importantly delicious! Thank you #koolala :)

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The above is Asian Style Wild Alaskan Salmon, a dish adapted from Jamie Oliver’s recipe of Asian Style Salmon. Like typical Southeast-Asian cuisine, this dish derives strong flavours from garlic, shallots and ginger. The chilli and lime enhance the flavours further and give it a more refreshing taste as well!

Garlic, shallots and ginger usually go well with salmon; they add much “fragrance”. For those who prefer simpler and plainer dishes, Jamie Oliver’s recipe would be just right as the flavour of the marinade is relatively milder. However if you prefer strong flavors like me, you may add more garlic or shallots. Do not use them excessively though, or they will dominate the delicate taste of the salmon. Without further ado, let’s look at my adaptation of the recipe! :) Continue reading

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We’re eating… (Slow Cooker) Beef Rendang

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I grew up eating Malay food thanks to my ibu (mother) who was great at making all sorts of curries, sambal udang (sambal prawns), and even kueh kueh. When I came over to the UK, I found myself missing Malay food a great deal. Although the many Malaysian and Indonesian restaurants could readily serve up a nasi lemak or two, what I’d been missing wasn’t just another conventional curry. I craved for ibu‘s Beef Rendang, a special treat, her signature dish that she made very rarely due to the extensive preparation and long hours that went into the dish. I wanted to recreate a taste of her spicy, rich and warming rendang… And perhaps find a way to recreate memories of home as well? :) Continue reading

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We’re eating… Paprika Pork Loin Chops (with Cheddar Sauce)

In a highly globalized country like Singapore, we grow up with all kinds of international cuisine readily available to us no matter at $3 or $300 per meal. There’s an interesting phenomenon of how we execute a “Singapore-style” take on certain foreign cuisines. American and European cuisines are commonly lumped together as “Western Food”, and we have since adapted these into our own versions, the most prolific being Hainanese-Western cuisine (with the likes of Prince Cafe, The Ship etc). There’s a long history behind this interesting evolution but we’ll leave that for the history books. We’ll just focus on the food for now! Continue reading

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Step-By-Step Recipes: Aglio Olio

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Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino, or commonly shortened to Aglio Olio, is a minimalist dish with maximum gratification. You have a plate of spaghetti which looks deceptively plain, but a bite of it unleashes the distinctive robust flavour of the garlic, with the heat of the chilli, both brought together by a delicate olive oil. What’s more surprising is that there are only four ingredients in this dish, and the name itself is the ingredient list!

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Fried Carrot / Radish Cake, Chai Tao Kway (菜头粿)

This last instalment of TummyTroll‘s special Chai Tao Kway week brings us to the final step of frying the radish cake which had been steamed and left overnight to chill, with lard (for those seeking the authentic flavours) and preserved radish chai poh. With the likes of egg, beansprouts and a whole cast of seasoning and sauces. Ready to roll! :) Continue reading

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Step-By-Step Recipe: Making from scratch… Carrot / Radish Cake, Chai Tao Kway (菜头粿)

Oops… #chubkaichun and I have just done it again – Incomprehensible craziness, sheer insanity! How else could we explain why we made Carrot Cake from scratch? I hope we’re not leaving your heads scratching already… (okay I’ll stop trying to be punny). Kicking off TummyTroll’s special Chai Tao Kway Week, this first post of the series will showcase the steps to making the steamed “cake” or kueh / kway in Chai Tao Kway. We believe this is the hardest part of the whole process – The subsequent frying, preparing of preserved turnip, rendering of lard etc. prove to be easy relative to this!

For the uninitiated / non-Singaporean or Malaysian readers, this isn’t the nutty cream cheese frosted Carrot Cake that you’d find in boulangeries and cafes. This is Fried Carrot Cake, arguably one of the most beloved hawker dishes in Singapore and Malaysia (and even Thailand I’d heard), with its origins in South China. Grated radish is combined with rice flour and steamed into a solid cake-like form, left overnight for better texture, then fried with a myriad of seasoning and “poor man” ingredients like preserved turnip, lard, eggs and beansprouts. It’s an explosion of the senses with its thundering fragrance and unique mouth-feel! And for many like us living overseas, a genuine reminder of how home tastes like… :”)

P.S. Some people call it Fried Radish Cake, some call it Fried Carrot Cake, and it’s used almost interchangeably back home. It should be more accurately termed as Fried Radish Cake since hawkers don’t actually put carrots in them, but we’ll use it interchangeably in this series. Please forgive us if you’re a little confused!

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