I feel a bit bashful for putting up a recipe for Chicken Rice.  There are countless versions on the internet, many handed down from mothers or mums’ mums, others gleaned from chefs who sell chicken rice for a living, and most written by Chinese, and rightly so because Chicken Rice as we know it is Hainanese in origin.  And if you didn’t know (though I’m sure you do.  Right?) the Hainanese are Chinese.

But here I am, this Malay chick who looks sort of Chinese, whose accent has an identity crisis, who’s spent more than half her life away from her non-birthplace of Singapore, is going to share with you her version of Hainanese Chicken Rice.

At this point, I’m writing this post to myself because I’m sure at the end of that last paragraph, anyone reading would have shut their browser tab on me.  So I console myself that this post is for me to remember, for posterity, for my children when they’re grown, given I’m still around to pay for my domain. Read More →

nasi goreng jawa

Javanese fried rice.

This is typically made with a dried shrimp paste called belacan but it is very pungent and I have had friends living in Europe who had complaints made against them by neighbours because of their cooking with belacan.  I very rarely use belacan in my own cooking so I don’t feel it’s worth the space in my crammed pantry to have it there, but I know most Malay kitchens wouldn’t be complete without it.  As a substitute for belacan, I’ve found that using canned anchovy results in a satisfyingly similar flavour without the pungency that some can’t bear.  Even if you do use belacan, I would recommend you not use more than 1/2 a teaspoon, and it should be added to the wok and dry fried, set aside before proceeding with the recipe below.  Add the toasted belacan back to the wok in place of the anchovy.  (If you buy belacan, get the Malaysian variety for this one.  Thai belacan is not the same as Malay belacan and tastes very different) Read More →