How to make: Roti John


When Speedy saw Bobby Chin making Roti John in an episode of Cafe Asia, he promised he'd make Roti John at home. And he did.A popular hawker food in Malaysia and Singapore, Roti John is a sandwich and omelet in one. Beef, eggs, chopped shallots and chili paste are stirred together and spread on a split French baguette. … [Read more...]

How to cook: Sambal fried rice

Sambal fried rice

Sambal is a chili-based sauce. It is found in the cuisine of many Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. To make sambal, chilis are crushed with other spices, sometimes with shrimps and fish, and ground to a paste.To make this fried rice, I combined sambal oelek (available in … [Read more...]

How to cook: Hainanese chicken rice


Last night, there was a replay of the No Reservations episode shot in Singapore and, suddenly, I missed Singapore. I love the vibrancy of that city-state -- the food stalls where the food is so good it seems silly to go to pricey restaurants, the shops in the air-conditioned underground tunnel, the food, the train, the … [Read more...]

How to make: Kaya toast, Singapore’s national breakfast dish


I spent my last day in Singapore taking the train from the airport to the Singapore IT Expo (SITEX) and back. There was a "left baggage" service where I dumped my bags for a fee so I could spend the morning hunting for camera lenses at, hopefully, bargain prices.SITEX was one crowded place and the day was terribly … [Read more...]

How to cook: Beef rendang, a savory and spicy stew

Beef rendang, a savory and spicy stew

This is an updated version of my beef rendang recipe.A traditional dish in Malaysia, beef rendang traces its origins from the Minangkabau ethnic group of the highlands of Western Sumatra in Indonesia.Beef rendang is everything that a stew should be. It has a thick and well textured sauce, a warm color and all the … [Read more...]

How to cook: Hard boiled eggs with chili tomato sauce


If you're looking for an inexpensive dish that can be served with rice for breakfast, lunch or dinner, look no farther. This tasty egg dish is a winner.What is it made of? As the title says, hard boiled eggs and chili tomato sauce. How is it made? Boil the eggs, remove the shells, deep fry then braise in chili tomato … [Read more...]

How to cook: Bak kuh teh (meat bone tea, pork bone tea)

Bak kuh teh (meat bone tea, pork bone tea)

Bak kuh teh is a soup but it is traditionally served with rice and a dipping sauce made of light soy sauce and crushed chilis. It is made with pork ribs and spices simmered for hours with soy sauce and sugar until the meat is literally falling off the bones. Bak kuh teh is found in both Malaysian and Singaporean cuisines … [Read more...]

How to cook: Ikan Moolie (fish in coconut gravy)

Ikan Moolie (fish in coconut gravy)

Rich and spicy, this dish might look like fish curry but it isn't. It has no curry powder although turmeric, one of the spices that make up curry powder, is an ingredient and responsible for the bright yellow hue. Any white fleshy fish can be used. I suggest tilapia, dory, river cobbler, snapper (maya-maya) or grouper … [Read more...]

How to cook: Nasi goreng (Indonesian / Malay fried rice)

Nasi goreng (Indonesian / Malay fried rice)

Back in college, there was a restaurant in the Diliman area called Rasa Singapura. That was where I had my first taste of nasi goreng. It is tempting to categorize this entry under "Singaporean recipes" but nasi goreng more properly belongs to Malaysian and Indonesian cuisines. It is fried rice cooked in much the same way … [Read more...]

How to cook: Chicken satay


We were supposed to host a barbecue yesterday but our intended guests begged off at the last minute leaving us with a lot of chicken, pork and cocktail drink mixers.No problem. We mixed the drinks anyway, had our fill of Margaritas in our new Margarita glasses last night, and then we grilled the pork teriyaki and … [Read more...]