Next month, LuLu Hypermarkets is bringing a taste of south-east Asia to the UAE by way of a 12-day long Taste of Singapore food festival. More than 20 Singaporean food and beverage companies will be coming together to showcase the cuisine, with cooking demonstrations, daily competitions and product tasting.
The event is a collaboration between the International Enterprise Singapore, the Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association (SFMA) and LuLu Hypermarkets, with a view to introducing UAE residents to the country’s iconic dishes – think Singapore chilli crab and chicken rice – and the products that are available here that make cooking them easier.
The celebrity chef, author and well-known Singaporean food ambassador Violet Oon will be appearing at the festival and cooking up some of her signature dishes, including laksa, the recipe for which is below.
The Singapore Food Festival runs from the 20th February to the 3rd March at LuLu Hypermarkets across the UAE.
Laksa courtesy Violet Oon
“Laksa comes served in a bowl of smooth rice noodles, with a rich creamy gravy of coconut milk, spices, dried shrimp and chilli, topped with fresh prawns, cockles and sliced fish cake.
This unique soup-based dish reflects Singapore’s diverse ethnic cultures as it blends both Chinese and Malay styles of cooking.”
Ingredients: 300g thick rice vermicelli 1 handful bean sprouts, roots removed, lightly blanched and drained 150g prawns, steamed and peeled 80g cucumber, cut into thin slices 2 hard boiled eggs 1 tsp white pepper powder 11/2 tbsp coriander powder 30g dried prawns 2-3 cups of water 3 cups chilled coconut milk 1-1/2 tsp salt 4-6 tbsp vegetable oil
To grind: 50g galangal, or blue ginger, peeled 2 stalks lemongrass 3 candlenuts 1cm length fresh turmeric, peeled 15 dried red chillies, seeds removed and soaked in hot water 3 cloves garlic, peeled 2tsp dried shrimp paste 100g shallots, peeled
Method: Grind the galangal (or blue ginger), lemongrass, candlenuts, turmeric, red chillies, garlic, shrimp paste and shallots with pepper until fine.
Heat the vegetable oil over the high heat, add the ground ingredients and dried prawns. Fry for 8 minutes until fragrant.
Add pepper, coriander, water and half of the coconut milk, bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the remaining coconut milk and salt and bring to boil again, stirring constantly. Pour boiling water on the vermicelli, mix well and drain. Put the vermicelli into bowls and pour in the gravy. Add the prawns, cucumber and eggs to serve. Add extra chilli to taste.