This year, the Singapore Food Festival (SFF) will be reliving the best memories of the festival’s 20 year history. Themed “A Walk Down Memory Lane”, the festival will feature an array of dining experiences and cuisines that represent Singapore’s rich food legacy, at various locations from 11 to 20 July 2014. Kicking off SFF is the launch at Chinatown Food Street on 11 July. The Street will be enlivened with iconic Chinatown characters from the past such as samsui women1 and coolies.
For this year’s Singapore Food Festival, Chinatown Food Street (CFS) has specially curated 20 Chinese dialect dishes that are not commonly found in Singapore.
– Hainanese Chicken Rice Balls (海南鸡饭团) – Made of shorter-grained rice and cooked in a large metal pot with pandan leaves and ginger slices, the rice is delicately shaped into balls with bare hands before it turns cold.
– Hakka Rickshaw Noodles (拉车面) – Named after rickshaw pullers who were its usual customers, rickshaw noodles is a flavourful bowl of stewed Hokkien yellow noodles in pork broth, with minced meat and vegetables, topped with fried garlic, shallots and anchovies.
– Hakka Abacus Seeds (算盘子) – This dish consists of round pieces of yam balls that are dimpled in the centre. The use of yam, a hardy vegetable that grows easily, highlights the resourcefulness of Hakkas in the past.
– Hokkien Rice Bowl Cake (碗粿) – The Rice Bowl Cake, also known as ‘Wa Kueh’ in Hokkien, is a savoury rice cake steamed and served in a rice bowl, topped with fried shrimps, preserved vegetables and salted egg yolk. The rice cake is soft and light with a custardy texture.
Other dialect dishes:
– Hakka Red Glutinous Wine Chicken – This dish is very nourishing and beneficial especially for ladies, making it a popular confinement dish. This classic Hakka dish is sweet and slightly sour from the glutinous rice wine.
– Hainanese Herbal Mutton Soup – The flavours of the soup are derived from the goat meat cooked with more than ten kinds of herbs as well as fermented beancurd.
– Teochew Pig Trotter Jelly – The Pig Trotter Jelly has a chewy and gelatinous texture that is loved by many. The fat and bones are first extracted from the pig trotter before it is marinated with a variety of spices and stewed for more than 10 hours to bring out the gelatin from the trotter. It is then refrigerated until it becomes firm.
– Hokkien Kong Bak Pau – This savoury bun is served with succulent caramelised pork. Slabs of pork belly are braised in a thick and dark soya-based sauce mixture for several hours in very low heat to create a melt-in-the-mouth texture.
– Cantonese Pig Trotter in Vinegar and Ginger – This is an old Cantonese recipe originally formulated for mothers after birth, to keep new mothers warm during the first month after birth. Traditionally, it is cooked with old-style seasoned earthen claypots over charcoal.
– Teochew Yam Paste with Gingko Nuts – Yam Paste is the quintessential Teochew dessert. Over the years, many different ways to prepare yam paste have emerged, and people tend to eat it with a mixture of coconut milk, pumpkin and gingko nuts.
– Hakka Yong Tau Foo – Hakkas used to eat dumplings during the festive season as dumplings symbolised ‘abundant wealth and prestige’. When there was a shortage of flour, fillings were stuffed into bean curd to replace dumplings. Tau Foo refers to bean curd, and ‘Yong’ is a simplification of the Hakka dialect ‘Ngiong’, which means stuff. In the olden days, oily and tender pork neck meat and salted fish were stuffed into the beancurd to enhance the taste and fragrance. Today, the pork is replaced with fish paste to cater to local taste buds, and to promote a healthier diet.
Over 10 days, foodies can taste and learn about these dishes at the various stalls and restaurants at CFS.
Date: 11 – 20 July 2014
Time: 11am – 11pm
Location: Chinatown Food Street, Smith Street
Pricing: Free admission, pay for purchases
Organised by Chinatown Food Street
5 x Food Vouchers worth S$30.00 to be won!!!! (Singapore Only)
Step 1: ‘LIKE’ Modgam FB Page or ‘Follow’ Modgam Instagram
Step 2: ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ the post (FB) or ‘Repost’ (Instagram)
Step 3: leave comments in either FB or Instagram with the following format:
(a) Name, email, the dish you would like to try.
eg. Mag, firstname.lastname@example.org, Hakka Rickshaw Noodles.
Winners will be selected randomly via random.org from the collated comments on 20th July 2014. So the closing date is midnight, 19th July 2014. Any comments made after will not be eligible.
*All images credited to Chinatown Food Street