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Archive for the ‘chicken’ Category

This was an interesting recipe to try and figure out because of all the unfamiliar names, with non-standard phonetics. They sounded like Cantonese, so I went around asking Cantonese speakers to get some answers. Once I got the English names, it was easy to check up the Chinese characters and double check the pronunciation in Cantonese and Mandarin, thanks to CantoDict.

“Loa may” = 鹵味 = lou5 mei6 [Cantonese] / lu3 wei4 [Mandarin]
My Ee Poh Peggy tells me that this basically refers to a braised dish, and this style of cooking used to be very popular in the past – there were many types of “loa may” dishes. When I visited Taiwan, I came across a lot of
鹵味 lu3 wei4 dishes, especially 鹵肉販 lu3 rou4 fan4, which is bits of soya-sauce-braised pork fat spooned over your bowl of white rice as an alternative to plain white rice to eat with various small dishes. It’s harder to find lard cubes in health-conscious Singapore these days, as compared to the 1960s.

“Yin sye mai” = = jyun4 seoi1 mai5 [Cantonese] / yuan2 sui1 mi3[Mandarin] = coriander seed

“Park-kork” = 八角 = baat3 gok3 [Cantonese] / ba1 jiao3 [Mandarin] = star anise

“Kwai phay” = 桂皮 = gwai3 pei4 [Cantonese] /gui4 pi2 [Mandarin] = cinnamon
This was the hard one,
not everyone knew it and the ‘phay’ [skin] part of the phrase made us guess all sorts of other things, such as lemon peel, which didn’t sound right in the context of this recipe.

Chicken Loa May A

Chicken Loa May B

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Fried Chicken

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Roast Chicken

Interesting – I’ve never come across any instructions on roasting chicken that involve covering the chicken in a cloth soaked in oil. Also, most standard directions for testing doneness simply tell you to check if the juices run clear, rather than what is stated below.

Roast Chicken

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The use of cheese makes this an interesting recipe for the 1950s; even today, many Asians are lactose-intolerant. Even more interesting are the variations: one using cornflakes – a modern, processed, consumer food product, and the other using curry powder. I wonder if the curry style version was a Singapore invention? Then again, curry was already something familiar to the British via the colonial experience [See Collingham, Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors]. The question is: was the original recipe British or American? In the Singapore YWCA of the 1930s, there were prominent and active members who were American, such as Mrs Armstuz, from whom my grandmother learnt to enjoy dishes such as waffles with sausages :).

Fried Chicken Superb

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Oven-easy Chicken

Oven-cooking was probably something my grandmother first learn in YWCA cooking classes in the 1930s. Chinese, Peranakan and Malay cooking didn’t (and still doesn’t) make use of the technology of the oven. Perhaps because of this early influence on grandmother’s cooking, which even pre-dates the nonya dishes learnt from her mother-in-law, we’ve always had a well-used oven in our home. It was only a few years ago, when chatting with a university friend from Hong Kong, that I realised many Chinese households don’t have ovens. My recent fetish with computerised electric rice cookers which include a cake function also made me realise that rice cookers may be the only way for oven-less Japanese households to bake cakes. My hypothesis is supported by the results of google-searching, which throws up very few rice cooker cake recipes/stories in English (except from gaijin in Japan), but quite a lot in Chinese.

Oven easy chicken

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‘Timpra’ is also spelt ‘tempra’, and in The New Mrs Lee’s Cookbook Vol. 2: Straits Heritage Cuisine, the sourness in the dish comes from lime juice rather than vinegar.

Timpra

Chicken Timpra

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After that long series of poh piah postings, let’s move on to some chicken recipes.

This one seems straightforward enough, but there’s probably some skill involved in doing good fried chicken – probably to do with getting the correct temperature of the oil.
Chicken Fried

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