Reviving Local Dialect Cuisines - a Culinary Journey Into Our Cultural Roots
By Pang Nyuk Yoon

 

The food of Singapore is a true melting pot of cuisines, having been influenced by the many immigrants of diverse ethnicities who made the city-state their home. The Chinese population in Singapore is comprised not only of the main Hokkien group, but also Cantonese, Chiu Chow, Hakka and Hainanese people.

It's these immigrants that author Pang Nyuk Yoon focuses on in her book, Reviving Local Dialect Cuisines. In the introduction to each chapter, she writes about what distinguishes each type of cuisine - the ingredients, preparation and cooking techniques used - and then gives recipes for popular dishes. The Hokkien chapter features fried Hokkien mee; fragrant yam rice; and braised duck with sea cucumber, while the Cantonese chapter gives us claypot rice; sampan congee; and braised bitter gourd and pork ribs with black bean sauce. The Chiu Chow instalment details the famous stewed cold crabs and fish porridge while the one on Hakka cuisine gives the equally well-known dishes of braised pork belly with mui choi, and rice wine chicken. The final chapter gives recipes for Hainanese chicken rice and mutton soup.