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A picture paints a thousand words

In Eats, Singaporean on July 8, 2010 at 1:00 am

Ironically, this will be my first post without a single photo to show. Blame it on my intermittent internet connection that, for one week, I haven’t been able to successfully upload any photos via wordpress. Or is it a temporary problem with wordpress? Hmmm.

I was really looking forward to finally being able to show off all the ‘funny’ stuff I eat at home that I have been struggling to describe over the past year to my non-Asian friends. Yes, I’ve diligently taken a shot of everything I’ve eaten so far since touching down in Singapore, and each time risking my head bitten off by a bunch of angry Singaporeans dying to tuck in the food while it’s hot off the pan… yet now I’m unable to upload a single one of them. Arghhhh!!!

At the rate I’m going with Project Cravings-Terminator (daily eating missions with not a single repetition hah), these unposted photos would soon overflow like orchard road canal and be swept aside and forgotten at some point. So for now, here’s a list of foods I’ve eaten in the past 7 days….as a sketch of a few of the monster food cravings that 11 months in cheese-potato-bread-pasta-eating Europe has sparked! A little nutrition advice for you: do not resist your favourite foods for too long because it only comes back to haunt you in horrifying proportions!

Day 1: Chee Cheong Fun (Breakfast), Pandan Waffle, Shanghai Sheng Jian Bao, Red Rice, Teochew-style steamed threadfin, veggie stirfry

Day2: Century egg and pork porridge(Breakfast), Rojak, Satay Bee Hoon, Sugar Cane Juice, Peanut Soup, Ah Balling, Tau Huay

Day 3: Yong Tau Foo (Brunch), Scandinavian Cheese-Tasting Session (brought back 8 cheeses from Scandinavia!), Char siew bao

Day 4: Thosai (Breakfast), Roti Prata (Breakfast), Teh Tarik (Breakfast), Seafood Hor Fun, Sambal kangkong, Prawn Omelette, Cereal Prawns, Chilli Crab, Chrysanthemum tea

Day 5: Curry Puff (Breakfast), Handmade noodles, Ongol Ubi, Getuk Ubi, Jackfruit, Dragonfruit, Persimmon, Papaya, Watermelon, Red Rice, Sambal long beans, Yong Tau Foo Soup, Century Egg with pickled ginger!

Day 6: Soon Kueh (Breakfast), Bittergourd, Mapo Tofu, Taugeh Stirfry, Steamed rice

Day 7: Soy Milk and cereal (Breakfast), Chapati, Butter Naan, Thosai, Indian Fried Rice, Mushroom curry, Gobi Manchurian, Mango Lassi, Paneer Masala

Day 8: Kaya Toast (Breakfast), Shui Jiao Mian, Lapis Sagu / Jiu ceng gao, Mian fen guo (handmade noodles)

What a list for week #1 of home! How many of these foods do you know? (Click on the links if you’re curious to take a peek at what they are!) Wish that I had been able to upload the photos and tell you about my beloved foods one by one… but it’s difficult at the moment as I re-immerse myself into the million-plans-a-day-8am-to-12midnight hectic Singaporean lifestyle. I promise, the day I get POWDERFUL internet, my collage of photos would come up here with a gigantic TAG for ‘Eats’. 😀

Four weeks to go, lots more cravings to satisfy!

Breakfast #1: Chee Cheong Fun | 猪肠粉

In Eats, Recipes, Singaporean, Singaporean on July 1, 2010 at 1:07 pm

One question that I’ve constantly been asked by my classmates is that IF I don’t eat bread or muesli for breakfast, then what is it that I eat?? Well, I can’t possibly expect people who have been eating bread for centuries and muesli for decades to make any sense of tau sar pau, roti prata, char kway, tau hway, chwee kueh, png kueh, you tiao, hum chee peng, chut bee png, can I? Explaining myself is always synonymous to ramming my head against a wall. Each time, it is a look of polite confusion or mock disgust at how I could eat sweet / salty / hot / spicy / funny coloured stuff for my breakfast. So most of the time, I just say I eat ‘rice, sticky rice and soy products’ or if I’m in a lazy or not-too-good mood, I say ‘I eat bread, cheese and spreads like you do, and a lot of other things too‘… and most often people are satisfied with the first half of my comment.

After my first long night of jetlagged sleeplessness, it was wonderful to wake up to one of my favourite breakfast foods that mom had bought from the supermarket (SGD$2.30/1.20 euro for 4 rolls – serving size 1-2 rolls). Chee Cheong Fun (dialect) or zhu chang fen (mandarin) literally means pig intestines noodles. It’s actually rice noodle rolls made of rice flour, water and a little oil that is steamed in thin sheets and rolled up in such a way that it resembles pig intestines. Most of the time it has little bits of mushrooms / shrimp / chicken / pork rolled in between the sheets, but mine was with a little bit of spring onions. It has the texture of very smooth rice noodle sheets, eaten warm with a generous scoop of sweet soya sauce and chilli sauce, and a sprinkle of sesame oil and sesame seeds. Great way to start the day!

I’ve also just found out that it’s possible to make it in a microwave too!

Here’s an easy Chee Cheong Fun recipe from notquitenigella:

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups rice flour
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

Method:

  1. Mix ingredients together.
  2. Pour a thin layer (about 1-2mm) into a microwave-safe flat container.
  3. Microwave on high for 2 min until just set.
  4. Sprinkle your desired chopped up filling and roll up.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 until you’ve used up all the batter.
  6. Serve with a sprinkle of soya sauce, chilli sauce and sesame oil!

Disclaimer: I have not tried this recipe myself, but it does sound quite fool-proof. I’ll give it a shot when I’m once again 9987km away from NTUC fairprice / Bukit Timah Market! 🙂

Update: Upon meeting another foodie Singaporean, K, here in Wageningen, we decided to put Chee Cheong Fun to action after raving about how much we miss it when we’re away from home 🙂 Hereby delighted to declare that this recipe is awesomely SIMPLE and DELICIOUS.

Because it tastes so good when it’s warm, we could barely resist gobbling it before the proper photos were taken!