Asian Food photography Cook It Yourself
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fishhead curry illustration

Did you say Cook It Yourself ?

Most Singaporeans and Malaysians have probably never cooked and probably will never ever need to enter the kitchen. This page has been created for the sake of those Singaporeans and fellow Malaysians in "exile" in the West. As we all know, food is what they miss the most from home. To make their days somewhat brighter, we try our best to gather for them authentic recipes. So, go ask your mom or aunt for her secret recipes and e-mail them to us now !! Many out there will be very grateful !

Just what exactly is authentic ? well, this is what I think it means, take a look. For those of you who're not familiar with Singapore food, you may like to take a look at the list of popular hawker food and those living overseas may want to look at the Shopping tips before you begin.

If you are looking for good cookbooks, take a look at our Cookbooks page to see what readers have to recommend.

Finally, for those of you who're wondering just how much those poor souls miss their favourite food, take a look here! and if any of your friends or relatives are overseas at this moment, don't forget to mail them sambal blacan and bak kwa once in a while!

Mom's Blakang Mati Recipe Collection

M eet my mom! While I'm typing this, Mom is in the kitchen making Po Piah and Tahu Goreng for lunch! Mom is visiting me here in Amsterdam, cooking for me dishes that I've been missing since my visit home last year. We are not babas, but Hokkiens. The Malay influence comes from our kampong background. Call it Blakang Mati style if you like.

Not all recipes are provided with measurements. Most Asian mothers cook by estimation, one reason why it's difficult to get hold of certain "authentic" recipes. You'll pick that skill up pretty fast.

  • Fish head Curry - This is a dish that we're all proud of.
  • Chicken Rice - A very simple dish yet good ones are hard to come by. This recipe includes chili sauce and soup.
  • Nasi Lemak - Coconut rice complete with Sambal Ikan Bilis, deep fried fish, etc. A very common breakfast and certainly my favourite.
  • *Sweet Spicy Chicken - Rich spicy sauce great with rice.
  • Tom Yam - I'm sure this well known hot and sour Thai soup needs no introduction.
  • Tahu Goreng - fried bean curd with thick peanut sauce.
  • Rojak - A very typical Singaporean dish, kind of salad with a thick peanut sauce.
  • *Laksa - thick rice noodle in a rich curry sauce.
    You could turn this dish into Laksa Yong Tao Foo by adding ingredients like kankong, fried sweet bean curd, bitter gourd, pig skin creative!!
  • Chili Crab - one of the two unofficial national dishes of Singapore.
  • Sambal Kangkong - Spicy vegetable with dried shrimps. Kangkong is probably the most popular vegetable throughout Southeast Asia.
  • Hokkien Mee - I believe this is the way my mom does it, good luck :-)
  • Clay Pot Rice - My sister's clay pot rice, it's great, as far as I could remember !!!
  • Hor Fun - a very popular dish that requires a very strong stove. Specially for Sundeep Goel.
  • Fish steamed with yellow bean paste. One of the dishes that's good with Teochew Muay - plain rice porridge.
  • Mee Goreng - a very popular Indian hawker dish, fried yellow noodles.
  • Tahu Telur - Indonesian (Sanur style) fried tahu (beancurd) with eggs, served as a salad with sweet sauce.
  • Opor Sotong - Squid in a thick spicy coconut sauce. My favourite squid dish.
  • *Chai Tow Kway - both dark and light types.
  • Soto Ayam - Malay/Indonesian chicken soup.
  • Asam Prawns - Spicy and sour prawns great for improving your appetite.
  • Black Pepper Crabs/Prawns - Personally I think this dish is a lot shioker than the much talked about chili crabs!!
  • Oyster Omlette - The typical hawker tends to make it a little too greasy, use a non stick pan and cut down on oil.
  • Mee Rebus - One of my favourite breakfast items, unfortunately it take about 2 hours to prepare! See Mee Reboos below for a simplified version.
  • Lily Chestnut Chicken - a steamed dish full of flavours! A typical easy home cooked dish.
  • *Fried Rice - it's such a simple dish i'm surprised so many asked for a recipe, so here it is ... be creative and use whatever you find left over in your fridge!
  • Sour Lime Prawns - This dish is hot and spicy, the fresh lime juice makes it somewhat refreshing!
  • *Spiced Fried Coconut Rice - This yellow fried rice is a simplified version of an Indian dish, another good way to make use of left over rice.
  • *Ngoh Hiang - Ngoh Hiang means Five Spice. Hokkien fried meat roll wrapped in bean curd sheet. It's a must for all festive celebration!
  • *Beef Rendang - A Malay Classic! Spicy beef in a thick rich sauce best eaten with lots of rice. Mom seldom made rendang since beef wasn't available at the market. However, we get to taste it whenver our Malay neighbours celebrate a wedding.
  • Kiam Chye Aar - Duck soup with preserved mustard, home cooked soup at its best!
  • *Jiu Hee Eng Chai - Squid and Kangkong with Hoi Sin Sauce.
  • *Chut Bee Png - or You Fan in Mandarin, it's glutinous rice with pork, sausages, mushrooms and sometimes also peanuts. It's distributed to relatives with red eggs to celebrate new addition to the family.
  • *Pisang Goreng - Banana fried in batter. My favourite after swim snack.
  • *Tee Kar Chor - Pig leg with black vinegar and ginger, a special dish for woman after giving birth ... thanks to my sister that this dish becomes a regular at home.
  • *Hokkien Hae Mee/Prawn Noodles - yet another easy to prepare hawker favourite!
  • *Chicken Curry - This is picnic food to me. My father used to take us in his boat to nearby islands and mom would prepare a pot of chicken curry to bring along. Hm!! nothing like chicken curry eaten at the beach!!

Drinks and Desserts

Singapore recipes from all over

Sambal and Sauces

  • Chili Sauces - 3 common chili sauces here for Malay chicken rice, Hainanese chicken rice and Blachan sambal for clay pot rice.
  • Ruddy's Sambal - same as the one under Ruddy's Kitchen. It an all occasion dip.
  • Sambal Limau - another sambal from Ruddy. ( it's hmmm...and hot !) you should try this one.
  • Garam Masala - a common mixed spices used in a variety of dishes.
  • Kaya - Traditional coconut egg jam. It reminds me of those days when I used to go to the coffee shop early in the morning to buy the freshly made kaya that comes in a recycled Planta can!! Chia Jin Ngee's grandma's recipe!
Kueh Kueh and Snacks

  • Pulut Serikaya - The popular green and white nonya kueh.
  • Curry Puff - samosa type snack filled with potatoes, sometimes chicken and eggs with curry flavour.
  • Nonya Poh Piah - kind of spring roll, but not deep fried.
  • *Ban Jian Kway - Peanut pancakes. The name suggests that it's of Hokkien origin. But similar pancakes could be found in many different cultures ... one of my childhood favourites!
  • Pandan Chiffon Cake - We didn't have a oven, so my mom never baked any cakes, this is one very popular one from The Best of Singapore Cooking by Mrs Leong Yee Soo.
  • Tapeh - Fermented Pulot (Glutinous Rice), a Malay and Indonesian speciality. Contributed by Doris.
Special Confinement Food for Women (the first 45 days?)
Below are 4 documents handed over to me from Garry Tan. They are more than just food actually, and good reference for all parents-to-be. But first read this disclaimer text:

"Got the recipes, checklist and advice from a friend who got it from a friend. It was circulating in printed format so I got it scanned into a word document and translated to softcopy. I am sure many would find the information contain herein comforting if somehow, they are unable to find their confinement maids - ie. overseas attachments etc...

Some sections are written for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents who are going to deliver at KKHospital (ie. admission requirements etc) whilst some are written for the general public (ie. confinement menu). Individual with specialised needs are advised to see their dieticians or consultants. Author shall not be responsible in anyway for furnishing this information (Phew!).....;))"

In short, at your own risk.

Other Asian Recipes

Indonesian Recipes

Indonesian Meal in a restaurant
A meal in a restaurant in Indonesia ... yummy!!

  • Sambal - It's a wonderful dip! An all occasion sauce.
  • Pindang Seruni - It's lamb rib soup with a fresh sour taste. Served as a main dish with rice or as a starter.
  • Bakwan jagung - Corn pan cake, great as a side dish or a snack.
  • Masak Sepit - Beef a la Sepit. I've just tried it, it's wonderful!!
  • Rendang - Beef Rendang.
  • Balado tahu Telor - Tofu (Bean curd) and eggs in fried pounded chillies.
  • Satay Guring - Satay not on a stick ! from Madura, Surabaya, East Java.
  • Buntut bumbu kemangi - Ox-tail with Indonesian basil soup.
  • Sroto - Chicken soup Banyumas style. Similar to Soto Ayam but only better. Included is the recipe for Sambal Rawit. Banyumas is a small village in the middle of Java.
Authentic Korean Kitchen

I have just met Sang Hyun over the net and I'm glad he's agreed to contribute some of his recipes. Thank you Sang Hyun!


  • Oxtail Soup - The real thing brought to you by Lee Sang-Hyun
  • Korean Bulgogi - marinated grilled beef.
  • Jobchae - starch noodle with vegetables
  • Kochoo jeon & Don jeon - KOCHOO JEON means hot pepper Jeon, and DON JEON means circle shape Jeon ("Don" means coin).
  • PA JEON - Green onion Pancake. Pa Jeon is very popular food in Korea. It is wonderful party dish and good appetizer served with oriental wine.
Recipes from all over

These recipes are collected from all over, they may or may not be "authentic", many are reinterpretation of the originals. Specially for those of you who are adventurous! Enjoy!

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