吃一口家乡的味道TASTES THAT BIND

潮州蒸鱼、粤式点心,这些新加坡人熟悉的美食,也是不同籍贯的名菜。先辈们当年下南洋到新加坡,不同籍贯的佳肴,是对家乡的记忆,今天却联系着各籍贯新加坡人的味蕾,成为共同的味道。The clas­sic dishes from dif­fer­ent Chi­nese di­alect groups now form a com­mon food her­itage that Sin­ga­pore­ans can be proud of

ZbBZ (Singapore) - - IN SIGHT - TEXT 黄亿敏/ NG YIMIN

新加坡是美食天堂,单是中餐,不同籍贯有不同代表菜。无论你喜欢的是福建炒虾面、客家梅菜扣肉、酿豆腐,还是海南鸡饭,新加坡不同籍贯的特色美食,就是有股魅力,通过味蕾,虏获人心,拉近关系。

ZBBZ访问本地不同会馆的代表,畅谈他们喜爱的籍贯特色菜肴。

蔡纪典(潮州八邑会馆会长) 推荐潮州菜肴:走地鸡、潮蒸鲳鱼、五香拼盘

提及潮州菜,许多人会联想起清淡的菜肴如蒸鱼、潮州粥等。蔡纪典说:“说是清淡,其实我觉 得是呈现出食材的原味。选用新鲜的食材,做出美味爽口的滋味,清新而不油腻。说潮州菜清淡,不是真的淡而无味,是讲究层次。”

一道走地鸡,就凸显出食材新鲜的重要性。蔡纪典如数家珍地解释:“饲养过程中,走地鸡能自由走动,肉质鲜美中带有口感。配搭咸菜去蒸煮,吃时蘸普宁豆酱,简单的食材,咸咸香香地,很好吃。”

平时,蔡纪典招待会馆的外国访客,或和亲友聚会时,会到醉花林俱乐部里的潮州餐馆品潮轩享用潮州菜。品潮轩属于珍宝餐饮集团品牌,董事黄建铭是潮州八邑会馆副会长之一。

潮州菜也有“无海鲜不成宴”之称,海鲜是主打菜肴。烹调方法则和中国潮汕的气候有关,因潮湿的缘故,当地人在烹调食物时以灼为主,像虾以白灼、鱼以清蒸。

这在调味上就得讲究技巧,以便在淡中带出鲜甜。潮蒸鲳鱼,很多人爱吃,选条新鲜的斗鲳鱼或白鲳鱼,加番茄、青葱、香菇、腌梅、咸菜等,蒸煮即可,健康美味。

蔡纪典说:“蒸鱼的时间要拿捏准确,鱼肉鲜嫩上桌,考验厨师功夫。也有人说潮州菜是粗菜细做,烹调讲求精细,让菜肴更多样化。”

潮州菜的另一特色是,各式各样的菜肴端上

桌时,必配上酱碟佐食。例如 推荐广东粤菜:老火靓汤。(Photo: 翡翠皇宫)品潮轩的五香拼盘(猪脚冻、五香枣、卤鸭和肝花)上桌时,侍应生会在餐桌上摆放不同酱料如蒜茸白米醋、甜酱等,加以提味。

猪脚冻是传统的潮州冬季凉菜,先把猪脚洗干净,去骨和脂肪,再用猪骨和其他配料熬上10多个小时,冷却后,再放进冰箱冷冻。卤鸭卤鹅也是潮州人的家常菜之一,八角、肉桂等香料入味,配着吃一碗米粒饱满、粥水浓稠的潮州粥,是许多人的暖心食物。

何国才(广东会馆会长) 推荐广东粤菜:烤乳猪、老火靓汤、粤式点心

粤菜是中国传统菜系之一,选料严格、做工精细。放眼国外的中餐馆,以粤菜居多,在新加坡,粤菜也是人们熟悉的菜系。

何国才1970年代开始涉足酒店餐饮业,开设新敦煌海鲜城酒楼等餐馆,现已退出该行业。问他本地经典粤菜餐馆有哪些,他列举义安城的翡翠皇宫,说自己喜欢到那里用餐。

烤乳猪是广州最著名的特色菜,是“满汉全席”中的主打菜肴之一。早在西周时此菜已被列为“八珍”之一,那时称为“炮豚”。何国才说:“多年来,烤乳猪是广东人祭祖的祭品之一,祭完先 人后,亲戚们再聚餐食用。家家户户过年过节时,也少不了这道应节食物。”

在粤菜中餐馆,这道“大菜”考验厨房的烧腊功夫,外皮酥脆,猪肉嫩滑,才让人赞好。何国才指出,好吃的烤乳猪可从外观卖相和口感中辨优劣,猪皮颜色过深就是火猛了,颜色发浅则是火候不到家。猪肉过老发柴,调料香气不足,也是败笔。

广东人爱喝汤,一碗老火靓汤,润喉滋补也暖心暖胃,堪称是传承数千年的食补养生秘方。俗语说:“宁可食无菜,不可食无汤。”,在新加坡即使不是广东人,也对西洋菜排骨汤、莲藕花生汤等毫不陌生,是不少家庭的家常菜。

何国才说:“所谓老火靓汤,要用时间慢慢煲煮。火候方面要用文武火,有大火也有小火,那么汤水喝起来有种甘甜,集合所有食材的精华。”

提到粤式点心,那更是许多新加坡人的心头爱。何国才笑着问:“煎萝卜糕 、马蹄糕、叉烧包、虾饺、荷叶饭、糯米鸡、烧卖、家乡咸水角等等,这些很多新加坡人都常吃、爱吃,应该不需要我介绍了吧?”

洪宝兴(福州会馆副会长) 推荐福州菜肴:佛跳墙、福州鱼丸、芥兰炒猪肝

福州菜是发源于中国福建福州一带的闽菜分支菜系,为闽菜一大主流,其特点是味道偏甜、酸、淡,尤其重视汤的烹制,有“一汤十变”之说。

福州会馆副会长洪宝兴,也是福州咖啡酒餐商公会主席,作为老饕,他透露:“我和朋友们常到文东记去用餐,那里虽然主打鸡饭,但老板程文华是福州人,有时候会给我们准备‘私房菜’。”

洪宝兴说,福州名菜有“两极”,一是山珍海味式名菜如佛跳墙,也有亲切的风味小吃如福州鱼丸、荔枝肉等等。

佛跳墙几乎包含了人间美食,如鸡鸭、羊肘、猪肚、蹄尖、蹄筋、火腿、鱼翅、海参、鲍鱼、干贝、香菇、竹蛏等等,调制后分层装进坛中,以旺火烧沸后用微火煨五六个小时而成。洪宝兴虽推荐其为福州名菜但他并不常吃,因为“过于大费周章了。”

他较倾心的,是“贴近民心”的荔枝肉、糯米排骨、芥兰炒猪肝等。其中,芥兰炒猪肝是福州人家喻户晓的菜肴,洪宝兴说说:“猪肝切片厚度很讲究,要刚刚好,熟度才恰到好处。” F rom Hokkien Sin­ga­pore Foo­chow fried prawn As­so­ci­a­tion’s Vice-pres­i­dent Hong Poh Hin mee to Hainanese (Photo: 龙国雄) chicken rice to Hakka pre­served veg­etable braised with fatty pork, you can find a wide spread of de­lec­ta­ble dishes from dif­fer­ent Chi­nese di­alect groups in Sin­ga­pore.

ZBBZ asks rep­re­sen­ta­tives from three di­alect groups to pick their favourite dishes that best rep­re­sent their her­itage.

Chua Kee Teang Pres­i­dent, Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan

Rec­om­mended Teochew dishes: Coun­try­side free-range chicken, steamed pom­fret, ngoh hi­ang plat­ter Men­tion Teochew cui­sine and most peo­ple would think of the clean and light flavours of steamed fish and Teochew por­ridge. Chua says: “You might call it light but that’s how we present the orig­i­nal flavours of the in­gre­di­ents. When you use fresh in­gre­di­ents, the re­sult­ing flavours are tasty and re­fresh­ing with­out be­ing greasy. Teochew cook­ing is light, but it is by no means taste­less. It is about the lay­er­ing of flavours.”

One sim­ple chicken dish shows just how im­por­tant the fresh­ness of the in­gre­di­ents is.

Chua ex­plains: “Dur­ing the rear­ing process, the chicken is al­lowed to move freely and this makes its flesh sweet and firm. The chicken is steamed with salted veg­etable and eaten with pre­served soya bean sauce from Pun­ing. Sim­ple in­gre­di­ents per­haps, but the dish is highly savoury, aro­matic and so tasty.”

When Chua en­ter­tains vis­i­tors from abroad or wishes to have a meal with friends or fam­ily, he heads to the Teochew restau­rant at the Chui Huay Lim Club, which is part of the Jumbo Restau­rant Group. Di­rec­tor of the Group Ang Kiam Meng is also one of the vice-pres­i­dents of the Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan.

As one Teochew say­ing goes, “there is no ban­quet with­out seafood”. Seafood is the main star here. The cook­ing meth­ods used are re­lated to the cli­mate of the Chaoshan re­gion in China. As the area is highly hu­mid, lo­cals like to steam their prawns and fish.

Tech­nique is im­por­tant when it comes to the sea­son­ing. The key is to ac­cen­tu­ate the fresh and sweet flavours of the in­gre­di­ents with­out be­ing heavy-handed. Steamed pom­fret is a well-loved favourite. This tasty and healthy dish is made by steam­ing a fresh fish with tomato, spring onion, mush­room, pick­led plum and salted veg­eta­bles.

Says Chua: “The tim­ing of the steam­ing process needs to be highly pre­cise to en­sure that the fish is served ten­der. This is a real test of the chef’s skills. It is said that Teochew cook­ing is about ap­ply­ing great care to sim­ple dishes. The great care ap­plied also makes for a greater va­ri­ety of dishes.”

An­other fea­ture of Teochew cui­sine is that the dishes usu­ally come with var­i­ous sauces. For in­stance, the ngoh hi­ang plat­ter at Chui Huay Lim — which in­cludes pig trotter jelly, braised duck and spring rolls with prawn or minced meat — is served with var­i­ous condi­ments, such as a gar­lic-and-vine­gar mix­ture and sweet fer­mented bean sauce.

Pig trotter jelly is a tra­di­tional cold dish in win­ter for the Teochews. The trotter is first cleaned, deboned and stripped of its fat. Then, it is cooked for more than 10 hours to­gether with pig bones and other in­gre­di­ents. Af­ter it is cooled, it is chilled in the re­frig­er­a­tor. Braised duck and goose are also typ­i­cal Teochew dishes. Spices like star anise and cin­na­mon are used to flavour the braised meat, which is com­fort food for many when eaten with a hearty bowl of Teochew por­ridge.

Ho Kwok Choi Pres­i­dent, Kwang­tung Clan As­so­ci­a­tion Rec­om­mended Can­tonese dishes: Roast suck­ling pig, slow-cooked soup, dim sum

Can­tonese cui­sine is one of China’s eight ma­jor cuisines. Close at­ten­tion is paid to the se­lec­tion of in­gre­di­ents and the cook­ing process. Most Chi­nese restau­rants over­seas serve Can­tonese cui­sine and Sin­ga­pore­ans have no lack of choices here either.

Ho, who ven­tured into the food and bev­er­age in­dus­try in the 1970s, had es­tab­lished a num­ber of well-known restau­rants be­fore re­tir­ing. Asked about clas­sic Can­tonese restau­rants in Sin­ga­pore, he cited Crys­tal Jade Palace in Ngee Ann City, where he dines of­ten.

Roast suck­ling pig is the most fa­mous dish to come out of Guangzhou. It is also one of the star dishes of the Manchu Han Im­pe­rial Feast, billed as one of the grand­est meals ever doc­u­mented in Chi­nese cui­sine. As early as in the Western Zhou pe­riod, this dish was named as one of China’s eight culi­nary trea­sures. At that time, the dish was known as pao tun.

Ho says: “For many years, roast suck­ling pig was used as an of­fer­ing by the Can­tonese in an­ces­tor wor­ship. Af­ter the wor­ship ri­tual, the fam­ily con­sumes the meat. It was also a manda­tory item dur­ing Chi­nese New Year and other ma­jor fes­ti­val cel­e­bra­tions.”

At Can­tonese restau­rants, this dish is a test of the kitchen's meat roast­ing skills. The skin of the suck­ling pig should be crispy while the flesh re­mains ten­der. Ho says you can tell how good a roast suck­ling pig is by its ap­pear­ance and tex­ture.

If the roast pig takes on an overly-dark colour, it means that the heat ap­plied was too strong. On the other hand, if the colour is too light, it means that the heat ap­plied was not strong enough. The meat of suck­ling pigs that have been over-roasted will be dry and chewy, while in­suf­fi­cient sea­son­ing will re­sult in bland­tast­ing meat.

An­other favourite dish is slow-cooked soup, which the Can­tonese say nour­ishes both the body and soul. In fact, a com­mon Can­tonese say­ing goes: “One may go with­out dishes but not soup”. Sin­ga­pore­ans, Can­tonese or oth­er­wise, are fa­mil­iar with soups like wa­ter­cress with pork rib and lo­tus root with peanut.

Slow-cooked soup is soup that is sim­mered for a very long time, Ho ex­plains.

“We al­ter­nate be­tween a strong fire and a mod­er­ate one when cook­ing the soup. When you cook this way, there is a nat­u­ral sweet­ness in the soup, which has ab­sorbed the essence of all the in­gre­di­ents used,” he adds

Many Sin­ga­pore­ans are also fond of dim sum, an­other great Can­tonese culi­nary treat that of­fers a spread of tasty treats in bite-sized por­tions.

“Pan-fried radish cake, wa­ter chest­nut

推荐潮州菜肴:走地鸡。(Photo: 叶振忠)

推荐福州菜:芥兰炒猪肝。(Photo: 龙国雄)

Chua Kee Teang, Pres­i­dent of the Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan. (Photo: 叶振忠)

Ho Kwok Choi, Pres­i­dent of the Kwang­tung Clan As­so­ci­a­tion (Photo: 翡翠皇宫)

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