Asian Dishes, Poultry

Singapore Hawker Wings

This is a recipe which is so good that you’ve got to make a big batch of it. I only made 1kg and it wasn’t enough so today, I’m marinating the other half so I can have more wings tonight!

If we ever get to travel again, and if you ever visit Singapore, you have to come down and try the food at our Hawker centres at night. Certain Hawker centres have stalls they sell bbq fare at night. Now, this is not US Texas style bbq we are talking about. Singapore style bbq is a plethora of seafood and satay grilled over charcoal. And there’s got to be wings! Marinated and skewered over a rotisserie like apparatus, these wings are flavourful and crispy and juicy all at the same time!

I managed to make these at home using the grill function of the normal oven. The other trick is to skewer the wings till they are straight using wooden skewers (unless you have the metal skewers). And one last thing is to marinade the wings as Long as you can, preferably overnight.

For the marination which I used for 1kg of wings:

1. 2 tbsp oyster sauce

2. 2 tbsp light soy sauce

3. 1 tbsp gochujang sauce (this is my own twist.)

4. 1 tbsp fish sauce

5. 1 tbsp sesame oul

6. 1 tbsp finely minced garlic

7. 1/2 tbsp finely chopped onions

And that’s it. Marinate as long as you can and then skewer the wings and using the grill setting, grill till the wings are nicely browned and crispy. Serve with homemade sambal and calamansi limes.

This is 1kg of wings (about ten wings) which I would leave in the fridge and forget all about it until it’s time to eat!
These are the wings. After they’ve been grilled you can chop them into two pieces. We love the wingtips here – they’re crispy and so yummy!
Asian Dishes, Poultry
Chicken in Spicy Coconut Cream

I posted this many many years ago as one of the first few posts. This is Malay comfort food cooking because it has all the elements that we love – spicy, tangy and creamy.

I made this again recently because I had just bought these small bird’s eyes chillies that are actually quite hard to find here. These smaller versions are found easily in Malaysia and other parts of Southeast Asia, but the only kinds of bird’s eye chillies that we can find in supermarkets are the longish Thai ones.

These small ones pack a punch but the best part is you can eat them whole without realising as you put a spoonful of rice, chicken and gravy. 😅

Start by blending an onion, three cloves of garlic, a handful of bird’s eyes chilli and fresh turmeric till fine or semi-fine. For last night’s version, I chose Super fine.
Fry in oil till fragrant. Throw in two smashed lemongrass. Add water, and chicken pieces. Let it simmer till chicken is cooked.
Once chicken is cooked add a packet of coconut cream (200g) and aromatic leaves like kaffir lime leaves and turmeric leaves. Add assam pieces (tamarind fruit). Season with salt. And that is it.

The flavour is super hot, tangy (from the tamarind) and creamy (from the coconut). Eat with hot rice and a side of stir fried greens and you’re set to go. 😃

Asian Dishes, Bread and Batter

Chapati

So finally I’ve decided to make chapati. With a mixer with the dough hook attached, this is a painless exercise.

The tricky part now is getting that ball of dough to a flattened round shape. Which of course I couldn’t, but the Helper did a much better job than me.

The recipe I followed couldn’t work because of the humidity level here. It’s like almost 98 percent humidity all the time. So I’ll give the original, and what it should be if you love in the tropics.

Original: 2 cups whole meal or atta flour, 3/4 cup warm water, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp vegetable oil

My recipe that worked: 2 and 1/4 cup atta flour, 3/4 cup water, 3/4 tsp salt and 1 tbsp olive oil

Add all the ingredients in the mixing bowl, dry ones first. And then slowly incorporate water till a soft dough is formed. Line a bowl with olive oil and coat the dough with it. Leave to rest. I read that the longer it is allowed to rest, the softer the dough will be.

Even though I bought this wonderful mat from Amazon, I couldn’t keep to the round shape. 🤭
Place on a hot griddle without any oil or fat. I even bought this flat Indian chapati griddle a few months back before the lockdown. The dough will puff up. And when it does, flip over.
There’ll be pockets of coloured areas which is exactly how it’s supposed to be.
Serve with dhal.

And here, I have to special mention a wonderful literary text titled The Village by the Sea. It’s been a literature text for secondary schools here for decades and it also happens to be the text that I did as a student decades ago. As a tribute, I will post these:

Asian Dishes, Poultry

Ayam Bul-Bul (Fried Chicken in Spicy Oil)

I posted this about ten years ago but without accompanying steps. This is my childhood favourite! And I’m going to make this the kids’ favourite too. It’s a dry chicken dish which is oh so fragrant! The only problem is I think my family is the only one who cooks this – as in my extended family. I scoured the net and save for one person who has the same name dish, it wasn’t exactly the same. So here goes!

Step 1: Deep fry wings that have been marinated in turmeric and salt. And yes, we love the wingtip here in Asia. I can never understand when overseas food programmes remove the tip. That’s like the best part! Crunchy!
Step 2: In a wok, gently fry finely diced onions, curry leaves and about two heaped teaspoons of fennel. If you have cumin seeds do half and half but I ran out of cumin seeds. Fry till onions are translucent and the whole oil mixture smells fragrant.
Step 3: Add cut dried chillies based on preference.
Step 4: Add the fried wings. Sprinkle some powdered chilli. I used smoked paprika here. Add a tablespoon or two (depends on how much wings you have in there) of brown sugar. Mix well.
Make sure to stir very well so that all the oily spice mixture is coated to the wings. Best eaten fresh and hot with rice or just on its own. We love to this so much, we always make a big batch so we could have it over and over throughout the day as a snack!
Ayam Bul-Bul
Asian Dishes

Saudi Kabsa Chicken

The Girl asked for Arabic rice today. I usually make mandhi rice or some form of Arabic rice other than the National Saudi dish- kabsa. Why? Because nobody has taught me how!

But today, I took out a recipe from this amazing book called Feast and followed to the T her kabsa recipe. This recipe called for meat, but I used chicken instead.

Here’s the recipe from the book:

I’ve decided to use the pressure cooker instead. First, sautée the green chilli and onions. Fry until onions are soft. Then add tomato paste and ginger garlic paste. Stir well and then add the chicken to brown. Once browned, add the tomatoes, spices and water. Then pressure cook till done.

Remove chicken and set aside. Grill the chicken in the air fryer or oven when ready to serve.

Add the soaked basmati rice, grated carrots and salt to season. Cook till done.

To serve, fry some sultanas and almonds and sprinkle over rice and chicken. And it’s done! A simple simple dish to make but very flavourful!

Firstly, soften onions and the sole split green chilli till onions are soft. Add ginger garlic paste and a tablespoon of tomato paste. Stir well.
Then add chicken which has been cleaned and quartered skin side down fill nicely browned.
When the chicken is browned, turn over the chicken pieces and add in the spices and tomatoes.

I used a pressure cooker next but you can just add some water and salt, leave it to cook. Remove chicken once they are tender.

Cover with foil and set aside till ready to serve. Just about serving time, grill chicken in an air fryer or a hot oven till they nicely grilled.

Add carrots and rice and cook. Now, this is where I failed badly. Because I used a pressure cooker, I couldn’t gauge the liquid amount. And so the rice was a disaster. It was too soft and mushy. So I made another batch of rice, cooking it in the rice cooker instead. I followed the same steps but omitted the carrots this time round because I had used up all the carrots I had for the failed attempt. The rice cooker is always the best choice! I will never cook rice in a pressure cooker again. What a waste of food and effort!

This was the second batch of rice from the rice cooker. I transferred it to a steamer to steam and keep warm.
To serve, grill the chicken in the air fryer. It gives that smoky flavour. Place rice in a serving platter. Put the chicken on top of the bed of rice. Sprinkle almonds and raisins that have been fried in a bit of oil and butter till
golden. Delicious!
And if there’s some leftover, pack a box for your loved ones. In this case, for my Mama who’s living all by herself, alone. 😌

I must say that this recipe is for keeps. I ground the cardamom myself. As well as the black pepper. I thinking making your own spices do make a difference to the overall fragrance of the dish. Try this Saudi National dish and your lockdown days will be a tad cheerier. Ma’assalama 👋🏽