Learn How To Cook Singapore’s Finest Dishes From Violet Oon, Singapore’s Top Food Guru
Love chili crab? Can’t get enough of pepper prawns? You’re in luck as Violet Oon was recently in town to conduct a fun cooking demo of her versions of classic Singaporean dishes, as part of the newly launched The Hub Series at Flame in Discovery Primea.
If you’ve had the opportunity to enjoy these dishes in Singapore, you can now recreate them in your own kitchen. The best part about these recipes is that they’re easy to do, using ingredients that are locally available, and that are sure to be a hit at your next family meal.
Singapore Style Calamansi Lemongrass Steamed Fish
- 500 grams whole seabass or fillet of any white fish, at room temperature
- 50 grams roughly chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped spring onions
- 4 to 6 bruised whole red chilies
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped coriander root
- 2 stalks smashed lemongrass
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce or light soya sauce
- 50 ml calamansi juice
1. Score both sides of a whole fish, split on the belly side, and lay the open fish on a deep serving platter. For fillet of fish, wash and pat dry before garnishing with lemongrass.
2. Pour the mixture of coriander root, garlic, spring onion, fish sauce, calamansi juice, and water over the fish. Arrange the bruised chilies on top.
3. Steam over high heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve.
- 500 grams large fresh prawns, unshelled and split into half lengthwise
- 4 to 5 cups vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 80 grams peeled garlic, ground until semi-fine
- 20 grams finely julienned ginger
- 4 to 5 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 to 4 tablespoons good quality black pepper, freshly ground until semi-fine
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons water
- a pinch of sugar, optional
1. Pour 4 to 5 cups of vegetable oil in a heated wok or saucepan. When the oil is very hot, add the prawns and quickly stir with a spatula to avoid splattering. Flash deep-fry for 20 to 30 seconds, then drain well.
2. Dry-fry the black pepper in a wok over medium heat, stirring constantly until the pepper is fragrant and exudes smoke. Keep aside.
3. Heat a wok or frying pan, then add the vegetable oil and most of the butter. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant.
4. Add the ginger and stir-fry for another minute.
5. Add and toss the semi-cooked prawns well, then add the oyster sauce with a little water.
6. Stir-fry for a few seconds before adding the toasted pepper.
7. Stir well while adding the remaining butter, then turn off the heat while continuing to stir.
8. Add sugar and salt to taste. Serve.
Singapore Style Chilli Crabs
- 1 whole live crab, around 850 grams
- 10 cloves peeled garlic
- 8 to 10 fresh red chilies
- 20 grams julienned ginger
- 2 stalks spring onion
- 1 coriander plant
- 2 eggs
- 80 ml vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 150 grams tomato ketchup, preferably Maggi brand
- 1 1/2 teaspoons corn flour
- 2 teaspoons dark soya sauce
- 3 to 4 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons rice or malt vinegar
- 2 teaspoons calamansi juice
1. Chop the crab, chop into 4 to 8 pieces, and crack the claws.
2. Grind the garlic and red chilies separately until semi-fine, then keep aside.
3. Discard the roots of the spring onion and coriander. Cut the spring onions into finger lengths, and the coriander into 2 cm lengths.
4. Mix all sauce ingredients, except the vinegar and calamansi juice.
5. Heat a wok and add oil. When hot, add garlic and stir-fry for a minute. Add chilies and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes until cooked and fragrant. Add the crabs, including the shells. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes until shells turn slightly red.
6. Stir sauce ingredients before adding to the crabs, then stir well for 2 minutes. Cover with lid and simmer over high heat for 10 to 15 minutes until shells turn a bright red.
7. Remove the lid and add vinegar. Break eggs into the gravy and stir gently to form steaks. Stir well while adding spring onions.
8. Turn the heat off, then add calamansi juice and give it one last stir. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.
For more on Violet Oon, visit www.violetoon.com