Singapore GP - Chili Crab & Char Kway Teow

The Singapore Grand Prix, always delivers in style and excitement. However, this year's race, despite the sparkling lights, awesome grid line up, and promising race prospects ended in a blaze of glory before even turn one. Watching Hamilton float around the track in front felt like nothing new and Vettel may very well have lost himself the championship. But unlike the race which was disappointingly brief in it's excitement, these dishes are anything but boring. 

It is hard to say what is truly "Singaporean" cuisine. What I do know is that Singaporean cuisine is vibrant, complex, and incorporates many different cultures including influences Malay, Chinese, Indonesian, Indian, Peranakan and Western traditions. I tried my best for this race to find some definitively Singaporean dishes. See what you think!

Kaya Toast and Soft Boiled Eggs

Kaya Toast and Soft Boiled Eggs

Everywhere you look you find Kaya Jam being a singularly Singaporean thing. It is an extremely popular breakfast of a coconut/egg jam (??) spread on toast and is generally served with soft boiled eggs and soy sauce. Turns out to be pretty delicious. 

 

I've also found that wrapping things up in pretty little packages seems to be a common thread, so I also made Popiah, which is a fresh spring roll with sautéed veggies and crunchy goodies all wrapped inside.

 

Popiah

Popiah

Last but not least for main courses, noodle dishes and seafood including Chili Crab show up in a good amount of the research I did. Though Char Kway Teow is not solely Singaporean (it stems from Chinese cuisine), it is very common and well known in Singapore (according to... the internet -- where I get most of my facts!) Chili Crab seems on the other hand to be properly Singaporean and though it has both Malay and Chinese influences it appears to be defined as a Singapore dish. 

 

In the end, my indecision and over zealousness at 99 Ranch paid off with a whole day of Singapore dishes! You can reap the rewards with lots of options and ideas to choose from. 


This race post will come in four installments:

Breakfast: Kaya Toast
Lunch: Popiah (Fresh Spring Rolls)
Dinner: Chili Crab and Char Kway Teow
Cocktail: Singapore Sling 

 

Singaporean Chili Crab

From Serious Eats

1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 to 3 shallots, minced (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2-inch knob ginger, grated (about 2 tablespoons)
6 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
4 Thai chiles, minced
2 whole Mud or Dungeness crabs (about 1 pound each), (steamed, cleaned and cracked)
2 cups homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup hot-sweet chili sauce (ABC chili sauce is a great choice)
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
Rice or steamed chinese buns to serve on side

1. In small bowl, stir cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water; set aside. In large wok with lid (or Dutch oven), heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in shallots, ginger, garlic, and chilies. Cook until fragrant, stirring, about 1-2 minutes.

2. Add broth. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Add crab pieces and cover pot loosely, reduce heat and gently simmer, until crab is heated through, about 2 minutes.

3. Remove cover and stir in tomato paste and chili sauce. Simmer 1 minute and season to taste with salt, sugar, or chili sauce. Stir in cornstarch and bring to boil to thicken.

4. Remove from heat and stir in egg. Stir in green onions. Ladle into serving dish, and serve.

Char Kway Teow

Adapted from Taste.com.au

1/2 pound chicken thigh fillets, chopped
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon cornflour
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 fresh red thai chilli, finely chopped (or more if you like some heat)
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
3 cups baby bok choy, sliced in half (or quarters if large)
10 green prawns, peeled, deveined
1 to 1 1/2 pounds fresh flat rice noodles
1 cup bean sprouts
4 green onions, ends trimmed, cut into 2 inch lengths
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce

1. Combine chicken, oyster sauce and cornflour in a bowl.

2. Heat the oil in a wok over high heat until just smoking. Add chilli, garlic, and shrimp paste, and stir-fry for 1 minute or until fragrant.

3. Add the chicken mixture and stir-fry for 3-5 minutes or until brown and just cooked through.

4. Add the noodles and stir-fry for 3 minutes.

5. Add baby bok choy and continue to stir fry for 2-3 more minutes, cover to produce some steam, cook until noodles and bok choy are just tender. 

6. Add prawns and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until prawns curl and change color.

7. Add the bean sprouts, green onions, soy sauce and additional oyster sauce and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediately.