Singapore Delights – Hokkien Mee, Laksa, and Onde Onde with Cookery Magic

Singapore Hokkien Mee
Singapore Laksa
Onde Onde

My Christmas present from EK is a cooking class at Cookery Magic. It was a nice surprise as there are three dishes I really wanted to learn – Singapore Hokkien Mee, Singapore Laksa, and Onde Onde. I get to pick these three dishes and invite two guests to this private lesson. I invited Lynn and Janine to join us. Lynn kindly drove so we didn’t have to navigate the maze in Opera Estate on our feet.

We found Cookery Magic at this really charming house at 117 Fidelio Street. Lush and green outside and peeking in, we see a 50-year-old vintage Beetle.

PC: Lynn/Janine Wan

The place is full of old-world charms. We couldn’t wait to get started!

PC: Lynn/Janine Wan
Chef Ruqxana Vasanwala in action
Ready, set, go!

One tip we learned from Chef Ruqxana – always add a pinch of salt in the cooking oil. Salt your dish right; it really made a world of difference in the flavor. Our Laksa wasn’t salted enough and tasted flat initially. She added another pinch of salt and Voila! The magic happened! The laksa gravy tasted so good! couldn’t believe I cooked it 😅!

There is nothing in the cookery magic kitchen that goes to waste. Prawn heads and shells are saved to make prawn stock. Chicken fat is added to oil when stir frying to add flavors to dishes. Roots and seeds are sowed to grow more vegetables again!

New growth

Singapore Hokkien Mee

Ingredients

Prawn Stock

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil and 3 Tbsp Chicken fat in a large pot. Stir fry 20 prawn heads and shells until they turn pink.
  2. Remove heads and shells and pound in a mortarand pestle.
  3. Transfer back to pot and add 6 cups of water and bring to a brisk boil.
  4. Add 2 stalks lemongrass (bruised), 1/2″ piece of galangal, 8 pieces kaffir lime leaves, 6 cloves garlic (lightly bashed), 7 pieces roots of coriander, a handful of Chinese celery, and 3 shallots.
  5. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and discard the prawn heads and shells.
Addition to prawn stock
It’s all about the stock!

Hokkien Mee

  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g fresh yellow noodles
  • 100g thick rice noodles soaked 10 mins, Chilli brand fish head noodles
  • 2 cups prawn stock
  • 100g bean sprouts
  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 100g prawns, cooked in prawn stock
  • 100g squid, cooked in prawn stock
  • 70g chicken or pork, thinly sliced and cooked in prawn stock
  • 1 piece fish cake, sliced
  • Ground white pepper
  • Chives for garnish, cut into 2 inch segments

Directions

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in wok over medium high heat.
  2. Stir fry 1 Tbsp minced garlic until fragrant.
  3. Break the eggs and stir fry until cooked.
  4. Add yellow and rice noodles and stir fry with 1 cup of prawn stock. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes.
  5. Add bean sprouts and stir fry for 30 seconds.
  6. Make a well in the middle, add 1 Tbsp of oil and stir fry remaining Tbsp of minced garlic until fragrant.
  7. Add soy sauce and fish sauce, stir to mix well.
  8. Add prawns, squid, chicken/pork, and fish cake.
  9. Stir fry continuously with remaining cup of stock.
  10. Stir in chives, turn off heat and transfer to serving dish.
  11. Serve hot with sambal chilli and lime.
Chef made special sambal chili for us
Still waiting for the recipe that she dreamed up on the spot. So good 👍🏻

Singapore Laksa

Hardest part is deseeding the chillis
Laksa paste in the making
Done. Mine was a little overcooked. Keep the heat medium instead of high.

Ingredients

Laksa Paste

  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1/3 inch galangal (5g)
  • 1/4 inch fresh tumeric or 1/4 tsp ground tumeric
  • 2 candlenuts
  • 4 shallots
  • 4-6 dried chilli soaked 10 minutes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 fresh chilli, seeded and chopped
  • 2 sprigs laksa leaves – or Vietnamese Mint. Use leaves only
  • 1/8 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

Laksa

  • 40 ml oil
  • 3 cups prawn stock, see instructions for Hokkien Mee
  • 1 tsp dried prawns, soaked for 5 mins and pounded
  • 2 stalks laksa leaves
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 Tbsp salt, adjust to taste
  • 250g laksa noodles, blanched in hot water for 10 minute
  • 40g bean sprouts, blanched in hot water for 1 minute
  • 1/2 fishcake, sliced thinly
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, shelled and quartered
  • 6 prawns
  • 1/4 cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2 fried bean curd, cut into small cubes
  • Minced laksa leaves for garnish
  • Sambal chilli, optional

Directions

  1. Pound laksa paste using mortar and pestle, or blend till smooth using a blender
  2. Heat oil in wok and fry laksa paste until fragrant and oil separates, about 8 minutes
  3. Add the pounded dried prawns and stir fry for another 3 minutes.
  4. Add prawn stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Lower heat and let simmer for 10 minutes
  6. Add coconut milk, sugar, salt, and laksa leaves. Stir well till gravy is heated, but do not let the gravy boil.
  7. To serve, add noodles and bean sprouts to bowl. Ladle laksa gravy over noodles, garnish with prawns, eggs, fish cake, cucumber, fried beancurd, and minced laksa leaves. Add sambal chilli if you like it very spicy.

Ondeh Ondeh

Ingredients

  • 5 pandan leaves
  • 100g glutinous rice flour
  • 50g gula melaka shavings
  • Pinch of salt
  • 60g grated fresh coconut mixed with a pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Cut 4 pandan leaves into 1 inch segments. Blend with 8 Tbsp of water into coarse pulp. Strain to obtain 7 Tbsp of pandan juice.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil with one screw pandan leaves till the pandan leave release the fragrance.
  3. Mix glutinous rice flour with pandan juice until a smooth dough forms. Texture should feel like play dough.
  4. Divide into 8 equal portions and roll each portion into a dough ball.
  5. Compact gula melaka shavings into 8 sugar balls, each about half the size of the dough ball.
  6. Make a dimple in each dough ball, filling with a sugar ball, and push the dough up to seal the dumpling.
  7. Bring the pot of water with screw pandan leaves back to a rolling boil. Drop each filled dumpling into the boiling water. Gentle knudge each dumpling from the bottom of the pot so that it does not stick to the bottom.
  8. Boil until the dumpling floats to the top. Continue to boil for a couple more minutes to let the filling melt.
  9. Scoop the dumpling out with a slotted spoon and roll it in the grated coconut until evenly coated.
  10. Serve warm. The gula melaka will ooze out when you sink your teeth into the dumpling!
Ready to roll
Oozing with melted gula melaka
We had a blast. The result is better than food from Michelin star restaurants. Will be back for more magic!
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1 Comment

  • chao January 11, 2023 at 7:44 pm

    Wow, very skool – and even more amazed by Chef EK!

    Reply

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