In Singapore, everywhere you go, you are exposed to the smell of the many different styles of food. Both authentic as well as fusion. This makes Singapore a hotpot of flavours from all directions. A big part of it is Malay and Chinese cuisine.

Dutchy loves Satay

As a Dutchy, I had the fortune of being exposed to the Indonesian dishes and love the Satay Sause. First thing I tried was the Chicken Satay and quickly discovered that this Satay Sause was completely different from what I was used to at home. This fueled my curiosity to taste the other heritage dishes you get in hawker centres. At a hawker centre, my rule of thumb is only to order one plate, from the busiest stall with the longest queue and share. I have never been disappointed and quickly tasted a wide range of dishes.

My favourites so far are the Chicken Satay, Beef Kway Teow, Nasi Lemak, Carrot Cake and the sweet Ondeh Ondeh. I am sure that the list will definitely continue to grow.

Making is all the fun.

Back home I loved to cook and joined a club to improve on my cooking skills. Regrettably moving to Singapore made me stop. After tasting all these delicious authentic dishes I tried to give my own spin to a dish I tried to copy. I struggled and could not get close to the taste of the street food.

Food Playground

Fortunately, by pure luck, I found the Food Playground in Chinatown. They offer a Cultural Cooking Class program designed to help us, expat foodies, dive deep into the fascinating side of Singapore’s food heritage and culture. In an informal and fun atmosphere, I got to discover how the multi-racial society blended together and formed a perfect harmony through food. After I had seen how easy some of the dishes were prepared, the small group was divided into two’s. We had lots of fun while learning how to cook up three authentic Singaporean dishes. All under the guidance of friendly and experienced home cooks during a 3-hour cooking class.

They have a five-day program with a different menu to cook every day.  I struggled to choose between the options, as I said I like so much of the dishes. In the end joined the Thursday Class. I am happy to tell you that I was allowed to share the recipe of their authentic Satay Sauce.

If you want to take the taste of the food back home I think this is the best possible way to learn the cuisine and have a lasting memory of the tastes of Singapore. I can offer you a 15% discount this year as a friend of Singapore Magazine. Just book through this link.

Chicken Satay as true Singapore Food

Ingredients:

For the Satay: 250g Boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sizes Bamboo skewers, soaked in water (about 10)

Marinade chicken overnight with: 1/3 tsp turmeric powder, 1/3 tsp coriander seed powder, 1/3 tsp fennel powder, 1/3 tsp ground cumin 1/3 tsp kecap manis 1/3 tsp salt 21⁄4 tsp sugar

Spice Paste: 11⁄2 Lemongrass 3 slices galangal 5 shallots, 5 cloves garlic 4-5 dried chillies (soaked and deseeded) 11⁄2 candlenut

Other ingredients for the sauce: 3-4 tbsp roasted peanuts, pounded roughly Tamarind juice (3/4 tbsp tamarind mixed with 3/4 cup water, strained) A few drops of kecap manis 21⁄4 tbsp sugar or more to taste, pinch of salt to taste Oil for brushing satay and for frying spice paste. Cut Cucumber and shallots (optional)

Method:

1) Prepare spice paste, when the paste is ready, scoop up 1 heaped tsp of the mixture to add to marinated chicken. Mix well and set aside.

2) Fry the spice paste with 2-3 tbsp of oil on medium oil heat until aromatic (and spice paste is 2-3 shades darker).

3) Stir in peanuts, tamarind juice, kecap manis, sugar and salt. Let sauce simmer for a few minutes before turning off heat.

4) Take about 3 – 5 pieces of chicken and skewer them onto a bamboo stick. Continue until all the chicken pieces are skewered.

5) Set grill on medium high heat, place satay on grill and lightly brush with oil. Grill the skewered chicken about 6-8 minutes on each side until they are cooked and slightly charred.

6) Serve satay with sauce alongside cut cucumber and shallots.

This recipe is developed by Food Playground Pte Ltd. Any unauthorized copying, distribution and production are strictly prohibited.

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