While I was there, I noticed how Fusion Cooking seemed to be getting bigger in the country. What better place indeed than Singapore (where East meets West) to experiment with putting together Eastern and Western cooking techniques and ingredients ? As it is, Singapore food is mostly a mélange of S.E Asian cuisines (e.g. Indian, Chinese, Indonesian, Malay, Straits Chinese, Thai...) and add on our British Colonial legacy (English tea and what naught), you see that we are used to and highly enjoy experimenting with different foods.
And in the last few decades, an increasing number of Singaporeans have studied, worked and lived overseas, large numbers in Australia, the UK, USA, New Zealand, Canada etc. We have acquired a taste for certain Western foods and are more than happy to incorporate them into our daily eating. And eating is almost a religion in Singapore. No laughing matter.
I told myself thus that once I've gone through my repertoire of traditional Asian and Western European fare, I should start working on mixing techniques and ingredients from both and see what I can come up with. I am also quite interested in African cuisine (both Arab and Black) and am wondering quite a bit about how to make vegetarian dishes more interesting. It is a pity Hubby and myself we are so fat and so in need of a big diet. We should really just be eating soups and salads for the next few months.
Anyway, I was back Monday and was already entertaining on Sunday. It was a beautiful day and we ate out on the terrace. Hubby made a Lebanese Hoummous Dip and a Greek Red Pepper Dip. I prepared the Sangria, the Lemongrass Beef Salad, the Roast Duck with Honey and Spices, the Thai Pineapple Rice and Pommes de Terres à la Sarladaise.
The Salad was a mix of Vietnamese lemongrass marinade on French-grilled Beef and Western salad. I basically prepared a salad using salad leaves, cucumber, red onions, salt, pepper, lots of olive oil and lime juice and a touch of Balsamic vinegar. Then I heat up a very hot grill and grilled an Entrecôte steak on it with the usual salt, pepper and Herbes de Provence. The cuisson is rare when I took it off the grill and started to slice it. Then I marinated the beef slices in a marinade made of vegetable oil, fresh lemongrass, shallots, garlic, red chilli, light soya sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, lime zest, galanga and a touch of rice wine all mixed or pounded into a paste. Just before serving, place the marinated beef slices on top of the salad and garnish with some fresh coriander leaves. (Optional : bean or rice vermicelli)
We saw a 3kg Canard de Barbarie from France in the supermarket on Saturday and decided on the spot to go for it. To save time, I have decided to cook it the French way and not the Chinese (too much work) but using a Chinese marinade.
First of all, heat up the oven to 180ºC. Clean the duck and stuff it with some spring onions, bashed garlic, 2 star anises and a cinnamon stick. Rub salt, pepper, paprika, a bit of ground cloves and ground cinnamon on the duck. In a bowl, prepare a marinade using a generous amount of sherry, some honey, light soya sauce, sesame oil, wine vinegar, Hoisin or Plum sauce, chilli powder and ground ginger, pepper, cinnamon and cloves. Mix well. Brush the duck with the marinade, leaving enough to continue brushing the duck with from time to time in the course of the next 2 hours (20 minutes of cooking time for every 500g of duck).
Before serving, brush the roasted duck with one last layer of the marinade, let it cool for a few minutes and then carve it.
I have taken a few pictures of some of the food I've eaten in Singapore and will put them up in another post. I've also attended a Thai cooking class when I was there and have improved my knowledge of how to make a few simple dishes. And this Summer we'll be holidaying in Florence, am looking forward to learning more about Italian cooking. Vive la bouffe!