Saturday, August 9, 2008

Happy Sg National Day!

fruit platter

Happy Singapore National Day to all my Singaporean friends! It's one of my annual quirks to celebrate this day by wearing red & white and making some red & white themed food (Singapore's flag colours). No, I don't always want my food to be a particular colour - this is my usual Sg National Day quirk, and the Olympics the previous night was just unfortunately timed closely together with National Day. Anyway, this morning we started off with a simple fruit platter of red delicious apples and a chinese pear. There were only 2 apples and 1 pear, but cut up, it looked like a lot.

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For lunch, I surprised YH with fried hokkien mee. I've never made it before, so was quite pleased with the results. I used one of the ever faithful Prima Taste ready-to-cook pastes, but it was for the soupy hokkien prawn mee, not the fried version, so it did require slightly more effort to put together. I'd recommend all the Prima Taste range - they do an amazing job at enabling home cooks to produce pretty authentic dishes.

hokkien mee
The first attempt was ok, but the noodles were a little soggy. I'd cooked them just right and forgot I had to refry them. I told YH to imagine we'd bought it take away and by the time it arrived back wrapped in the traditional banana leaf and newspaper, all the juices had made the noodles soggy. ha. We ate while watching the 239km men's cycling event on tv. The way the cyclists helped carry water to pass to fellow teammates, and how cyclists chatted to their competitors along the way was amazing. Who knew cycling could be so interesting? We learnt that they cycle in small and big groups to make it easier aerodynamically and saw them take turns to lead. Like birds flying, I guess. The second plate I fried up was better. I made a fresh batch of noodles and stopped boiling them before they were fully cooked so they continued cooking when I fried them. I think this added the starchiness to the dish because the 2nd plate was more gooey (as fried hokkien mee often is). I also didn't use the authentic mix of white and yellow noodle because well, I don't like yellow noodles. Here's a pic of the 2nd attempt:

hokkien mee2

For dinner, I surprised YH with chicken curry with roti prata (sort of red & white in colour?) and rojak. He was very happy - think he's not eaten prata for quite a while. I pulled out the 'ol Prima Taste pack again for the curry, but didn't add all the coconut mix into it.


I wasn't about to attempt making my own prata, so I bought a packet of frozen prata. The brand is called Chinatown, and it's made in Singapore. Surprisingly for frozen food, it works really well. There are two cooking options - fried in a frying pan, or oven baked. I've tried both before, and I would recommend the frying pan version. The results in the oven aren't as good, and seriously, added a light spray of canola oil into the frying pan won't make any difference considering how much oil is already in the prata. It only takes a few minutes for the prata to puff up wonderfully. It sinks pretty fast on the plate, but for a few moments it is this wonderful puffed oval shaped bread in the pan.


I cut up some pineapple, green apple and cucumber for a simple rojak, mixed in some rojak sauce and topped it with some crushed peanuts.


Time for dessert again, and the konnyaku jelly made another appearance - this time, with strawberries inside. I wanted to have a red & white theme, so I sprinkled some sugar on top before serving. Of course the sugar immediately dissolved, but it made the jellies much nicer tonight - sweeter and actually edible.



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