Ny­onya chicken curry pie tie and buah keluak beef slid­ers

Epicure - - CONTENTS -

Tra­di­tional Per­anakan dishes are given a mod­ern twist in a spe­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween food con­sul­tant Sher­may Lee and ex­ec­u­tive sous chef Alex Siah of Con­rad Cen­ten­nial Sin­ga­pore. By Priyanka El­hence

Men­tion in­gre­di­ents like co­conut milk, galan­gal, buah keluak, belachan, lemon­grass, and kaf­fir lime among oth­ers, and you've got the sta­ples for a soulful Per­anakan meal. Some of the more pop­u­lar dishes from this tangy, spicy and herba­ceous cui­sine in­clude beef ren­dang, laksa, and ayam buah ke­lak, the lat­ter loved for the iconic tamarind gravy-laden chicken braised with can­dlenut.

To co­in­cide with Na­tional Day, ex­ec­u­tive sous chef Alex Siah of Con­rad Cen­ten­nial Sin­ga­pore has teamed up with food con­sul­tant, cook­book au­thor and founder-owner, Sher­may Lee of Sher­may’s Sin­ga­pore Fine Food, to cre­ate two dishes that pay ho­mage to the is­land’s rich Per­anakan his­tory. A six­th­gen­er­a­tion Per­anakan with a strong culi­nary tra­di­tion, Lee was only five years old when she started cook­ing along­side her grand­mother, Lee Chin Koon, then con­sid­ered a doyenne of Per­anakan cui­sine, and au­thor of the fa­mous cook­book, Mrs Lee’s Cook­book. Sher­may’s Sin­ga­pore Fine Food fea­tures a range of sauces, mari­nades, crack­ers and curry pow­der, of which sev­eral items have been used in th­ese two recipes. Both dishes

– Ny­onya Chicken Curry Pie Tee and Buah Keluak Beef Slices – will be avail­able on the buf­fet spread at Oscar’s for the month of Au­gust.

To­gether, Siah and Lee have given the tra­di­tional pie tee a dif­fer­ent spin by fill­ing the crispy shells with Mrs. Lee’s Nonya chicken curry-in­fused co­conut sauce, and gar­nished with home­made pick­les. “This bite-sized dish is in­spired by the crispy In­dian pani puri, which is also a pop­u­lar snack around the world,” says Lee.

Giv­ing the beef slid­ers a Per­anakan slant, is the duo’s Buah Keluak Beef Slid­ers, where pre­mium beef pat­ties are mixed with aro­matic buah keluak paste, and nes­tled be­tween char­coal buns, served along with Lee’s keropok udang fries, in­stead of potato fries. “The trick in cook­ing the paste is to give the spices enough time to re­lease the aro­mat­ics and make the flavours full-bod­ied,” ad­vises Lee.


Makes 30 bite-sized por­tions

Prep time 40 min­utes + 30 min­utes rest­ing time

Cook time 30 min­utes

curry paste

50g Sher­may's Nonya Curry Pow­der (avail­able at TANGS or www.sher­

5 tbsp wa­ter

1.1 In a large bowl, mix the curry pow­der with wa­ter and stir un­til it forms a smooth paste.


3 small red shal­lots, peeled

3 cloves gar­lic, peeled

3 slices ma­ture gin­ger, peeled and roughly sliced

400g skin­less bone­less chicken thigh, diced

2.1 Blend all the aro­mat­ics into a coarse paste,

then add it to the curry paste.

2.2 Add the chicken and mix all un­til even.

dry chicken curry

1 tbsp oil

¼ white onion, diced 300ml co­conut cream 200g car­rots, diced 50g pota­toes, diced 1 tsp salt

3.1 In a wok, add the oil and sauté the onion un­til light golden brown.

3.2 Add in the mar­i­nated chicken and con­tinue to stir-fry to cook the spice paste.

3.3 Add in co­conut cream while stir­ring.

3.4 Add in car­rots and pota­toes. Bring the mix­ture to a boil, then quickly lower the heat and sim­mer for 20-30 min­utes. Leave wok un­cov­ered to al­low the mix­ture to dry. Sea­son.

3.5 Spread the cooked mix­ture on a wide tray to cool. Set aside. sim­ple Ny­onya pickle

½ cu­cum­ber, diced

½ car­rot, diced

½ red onion, diced

½ turnip or ji­cama, diced (op­tional) 1 tbsp sugar

½ tsp salt

½ rice or white vine­gar

4.1 In a bowl, mix all the veg­eta­bles, sugar and salt be­fore adding just enough vine­gar to cover the in­gre­di­ents. Set aside at room tem­per­a­ture for at least 30 min­utes.

4.2 When ready to use, drain ex­cess liq­uid through a fine mesh sieve.


1 bucket store-bought mini pie tee shells fresh co­rian­der leaves, gar­nish

5.1 Place the pie tee shells on a serv­ing dish. Us­ing a tea­spoon, fill the cooked Nonya chicken into each shell.

5.2 Top with the pick­les, and gar­nish with a sprig of fresh co­rian­der. Serve im­me­di­ately.


Serves 6

Prep time 40 min­utes + 12 hours rest­ing time

Cook time 30 min­utes

rem­pah for buah keluak mix

60g galan­gal or blue gin­ger, peeled and sliced 5g fresh turmeric, peeled and sliced 20g can­dlenuts

100g small red shal­lots, peeled 200g fresh red chill­ies, rinsed and wiped dry 50g shrimp paste 1 tsp co­rian­der pow­der 30g lemon­grass 400ml oil, for fry­ing

1.1 Blend all the rem­pah in­gre­di­ents for the buah keluak mix in a food pro­ces­sor to form a coarse paste.

1.2 Heat the oil in a non-stick wok over medium-high heat, and add the rem­pah.

1.3 Con­tinue stir-fry­ing for ap­prox­i­mately 10 min­utes to re­lease the aro­mat­ics or un­til the oil is re­leased from the paste, and the colour dark­ens to a deeper orange.

slider mix

350g buah keluak paste 2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp fine salt

720g minced striploin

4 tbsp veg­etable oil for fry­ing

2.1 Add the buah keluak paste to the rem­pah paste and stir for 2 min­utes over medium heat to re­lease more oil. Sea­son with sugar and salt. Trans­fer the cooked mix to a tray to cool down. Set aside.

2.2 In a bowl with the minced beef, add 120g of the cooled paste. Mix well and shape mix­ture into 50g mini pat­ties.

2.3 Lay pat­ties on a tray lined with parch­ment or cling film, then cover with more cling film to pre­vent dry­ing. Leave in the fridge for at least 12 hours to al­low it to bind.

2.4 Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Place pat­ties in the pan and leave un­touched for 3 min­utes. Check the un­der­side. If the de­sir­able brown­ing has been achieved, care­fully flip the pat­ties over and cook un­cov­ered for an­other 3 min­utes. Re­move from the pan and rest for 3 min­utes.

caramelised onion

1 large white onion, thinly sliced 1 tbsp veg­etable oil

1 tbsp light soy sauce

3.1 Heat the oil in a fry­ing pan over low heat and add in onions. Stir-fry for ap­prox­i­mately 10 min­utes or un­til the onions are caramelised. 3.2 Add in soy sauce and mix evenly. Set aside.


6 char­coal burger buns, but­tered and lightly toasted

6 pieces lo­cal or ro­maine let­tuce cooked buah keluak paste

Sher­may's keropok fries (avail­able at TANGS or www.sher­ Sher­may's Cilicuka Very Hot (avail­able at TANGS or www.sher­ fresh cala­mansi lime

4.1 Lay heel of the bun on a plate and top with patty. Spread 1 tsp of the cooked buah keluak paste on the patty, and top with carmelised onions and let­tuce, be­fore adding the crown of the bun.

4.2 Gar­nish with keropok fries, Cilicuka hot sauce and lime, and buah keluak paste.

3.4 5.1 5.2

4.1 4.2




Check out epicure on Youtube for a be­hindthe-scenes video of this master­class.

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