The Sin­ga­pore Chefs' As­so­ci­a­tion's lat­est com­mem­o­ra­tive book, Firestarter: 33 Years of Ig­nit­ing Culi­nary Pas­sion, fea­tures a col­lec­tion of recipes from Sin­ga­pore's culi­nary mae­stros. Here are five of them from chefs An­der­son Ho, Nixon Low, Elvin Chew, Jas


Five of Sin­ga­pore’s culi­nary mae­stros share their recipes

Sous Vide Steak Frites

Serves 4 Recipe by Chef Elvin Chew

For the sous vide sir­loin steak

2 sir­loin steaks,

250g each Salt and pep­per, to taste

200ml canola oil

6 cloves gar­lic, crushed

5 shal­lots, sliced

10g fresh thyme

For the potato con­fit

400g Idaho potato

10 cloves gar­lic, crushed

20g fresh thyme

40g fresh rose­mary

800ml ren­dered duck fat

Salt and pep­per, to taste

For the caramelised onion

80g un­salted but­ter

250g white onion, sliced

60ml port wine

20ml bal­samic vine­gar

Salt and pep­per, to taste

For the smoked onion cus­tard

80g un­salted but­ter

250g white onion, sliced

60ml port wine

20ml bal­samic vine­gar

Salt and pep­per, to taste

100g chives, chopped

Salt and pep­per, to taste

For the burnt pearl onion petals and pearl onion crisp

200g pearl onion petals, sliced

50g corn flour

300ml canola oil

Salt and pep­per, to taste

For the port wine jus

400ml veal jus, store­bought

60g un­salted but­ter

150g shal­lot, chopped

400ml port wine

10g fresh thyme

Salt and pep­per, to taste

Spe­cial equip­ment

Sous vide ma­chine Smoke gun De­hy­dra­tor

1. Pre­pare steak. Sea­son both sides of sir­loin steak with salt and pep­per. Heat pan un­til smok­ing. Quickly sear all sides of the steak, start­ing with the top side where the fats are. Place steaks into a vac­uum bag with oil, gar­lic, shal­lot and thyme. Seal the bag and sous vide at 54ºC for 1 hr.

2. Pre­pare potato con­fit. Cut potato into strips. Place potato, gar­lic, thyme and rose­mary into a deep bak­ing pan and mix well. Pour ren­dered duck fat into pan. Bake at 135ºC for 45 mins to 1 hr. Toss oc­ca­sion­ally. Once ready, strain duck fat and set potato aside. Sea­son with salt and pep­per be­fore serv­ing.

3. Pre­pare the caramelised onion. In a hot pan, melt un­salted but­ter and saute onions over medium heat. When onions start to brown, add port wine, stir­ring con­stantly to re­duce the wine. Add bal­samic vine­gar and al­low onions to cook through. Sea­son with salt and pep­per to taste, and re­move from pan. Set aside at room tem­per­a­ture for later use.

4. Pre­pare the smoked onion cus­tard. In a hot pan, melt un­salted but­ter. Cook onions over low heat un­til soft. Trans­fer to a mix­ing bowl and cover with cling wrap.

5. Light up smoke gun and place the tube into the bowl con­tain­ing onions. Al­low smoke to fill up the mix­ing bowl, re­move the tube and re-seal the bowl. Smoke onions for 2 to 3 mins. 6. Com­bine smoked onions, milk, eggs and salt in a blender and blend till smooth. Strain mix­ture through a fine sieve. Pour mix­ture onto a tray and steam for 20 mins. Once cus­tard is ready, slice into de­sired por­tions and top with chives be­fore serv­ing.

7. Pre­pare the pearl onions. Place a hand­ful of pearl onion petals on a bak­ing tray and torch both sides. Set aside. Coat re­main­ing pearl onion slices with corn flour, then shal­low fry on a saucepan till golden brown. Re­move from oil and pat dry with kitchen pa­per towel. Place fried onion slices on de­hy­dra­tor trays and de­hy­drate at 80ºC for at least 8 hrs, un­til crisp. Store in an air­tight con­tainer un­til needed.

8. Pre­pare port wine jus. In a saucepan, re­duce veal jus by half. In a sep­a­rate pan, melt 20g of but­ter over medium heat and sweat chopped shal­lot. Add port wine and thyme and let it re­duce by 2/3. Add veal jus re­duc­tion to port mix­ture and whisk to mix well. Sea­son with salt and pep­per to taste. Strain sauce into an­other pan with a fine sieve. In­cor­po­rate cold but­ter be­fore serv­ing.

9. To serve, sear both sides of the sous vide steak for less than 20 secs each. Al­low steak to rest for 5 mins be­fore slic­ing.

10. Ar­range sliced sous vide steak, potato con­fit, burnt pearl onion petals, pearl onion crisps, smoked onion cus­tard, and caramelised onions on a plate. Dress with port wine jus and serve im­me­di­ately.

Colours of As­para­gus, Smoked Cheese, Lemon Ver­bena Oil, Egg Drops, Ash

Serves 4 Recipe by Chef Jasper Jek

For the colours of as­para­gus

4 spears green as­para­gus

3 spears white as­para­gus

Salt and pep­per, to taste

2 tbsp su­gar

For the smoked cream cheese

150g cream cheese

100g smoke chips

1 bak­ing tray of ice

For the lemon ver­bena oil

100g lemon ver­bena leaves

250g canola oil

For the egg drops

6 egg yolks Salt, to taste Oil, for cook­ing

For the ash

As­para­gus shav­ings

1. Pre­pare colours of as­para­gus. Peel as­para­gus and keep shav­ings aside. Blanch green as­para­gus in salted boil­ing wa­ter for 3 mins, un­til ten­der. Refresh in iced wa­ter. Re­peat step with white as­para­gus.

2. Grill blanched green as­para­gus in an oven at 180ºC for a few mins just for the grill marks. Trim and por­tion heads to 5.5-cm long pieces, and stems to 4-cm long pieces. To serve, sauté as­para­gus with but­ter and sea­son with salt and pep­per.

3. Pre­pare smoked cream cheese. In an oven, place cream cheese in a con­tainer on a rack above a tray of ice. Torch smoke chips in a pan un­til smok­ing in­ten­sively. Place a wet towel over to ex­tin­guish flames. Im­me­di­ately place pan in oven be­low the tray of ice. Close oven door and al­low cold smok­ing process to take place. Oven does not need to be turned on. Its pur­pose in this case is just to be an en­closed cab­i­net to fa­cil­i­tate the smok­ing process. Re­move cheese from oven af­ter 5 mins. Blend cheese in a blender un­til smooth and trans­fer into a pip­ing bag.

4. Pre­pare lemon ver­bena oil. Place lemon ver­bena leaves and oil in a blender and blend till well com­bined. Trans­fer blended oil into a pot and heat gently so that it does not sim­mer. Whisk while heat­ing, and re­move pot from heat once the oil turns an in­tense dark green. Strain oil through a cheese cloth. Place strained oil in a bowl and set over an ice bath to re­tain its vi­brant green hue.

5. Pre­pare egg drops. Com­bine egg yolks and salt in a bowl and blend with hand blender. Trans­fer to a squeeze bot­tle. In a pot, heat oil to 77ºC. Drip egg yolk mix­ture from squeeze bot­tle into oil. When egg droplets float to the sur­face, re­move from oil with a slot­ted spoon. Drain on pa­per towel. Re­peat process un­til you have 2 tbsp full of egg droplets.

6. Heat as­para­gus shav­ings at 220ºC for 15 mins, un­til burnt.

7. To as­sem­ble, ar­range as­para­gus, smoked cream cheese and egg drops on a plate. Driz­zle lemon ver­bena oil over and gar­nish with ash.

Earthy Mush­room Gnoc­chi, Quinoa Risotto

Serves 4 Recipe by Chef Nixon Low

For the earthy mush­room gnoc­chi

180g small taro

220g all-pur­pose flour

½ egg

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp white pep­per

20g mush­room pow­der (avail­able at spe­cialty gro­cers such as FairPrice Finest)

5g co­coa pow­der

10g squid ink

For the quinoa risotto

200g red quinoa

50ml olive oil

20g onion, chopped

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

200g con­cen­trated mush­room stock (we used the one from Woh Hup)

30g gruyere cheese, grated

30g but­ter

Salt and pep­per, to taste

For the mush­room con­fit

12 baby king oys­ter mush­rooms

500ml olive oil

4 cloves gar­lic

1 sprig of fresh rose­mary

3 sprigs of fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

10 black pep­per­corns

1 cin­na­mon stick

Salt and pep­per, to taste

For the gar­nish

Truf­fle coulis Lo­tus root chips Lo­tus root Gar­lic soil

1. Pre­pare the earthy mush­room gnoc­chi. Steam taro un­til cooked, then pass it through a drum sieve. While the taro is warm, add flour, egg, salt, pep­per and mush­room pow­der. Work into a dough.

2. Di­vide dough into 2 parts. Add co­coa pow­der to one part and squid ink to the other. Com­bine small por­tions of both and roll it into the form of small peb­bles.

3. Cook in a pot of salted boil­ing wa­ter un­til gnoc­chi floats. Strain and set aside for later use.

4. Pre­pare quinoa risotto. Bring 2L of salted wa­ter to the boil, then cook quinoa for 6 mins. Strain and re­serve.

5. Sweat onions with thyme and bay leaf un­til translu­cent. Add quinoa and cook for 1 min.

6. Add mush­room stock and re­duce heat to medium-low. Cook un­til slightly wet. Add but­ter and gruyere, and cook un­til the mix­ture thick­ens slightly. Sea­son with salt and pep­per to taste.

7. Pre­pare the mush­room con­fit. Trim baby king oys­ter mush­rooms so that they are able to stand. Heat 100ml olive oil in a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Brown gar­lic clove, rose­mary, thyme, bay leaf, black pep­per­corn and cin­na­mon for 45 secs.

8. Add mush­rooms and re­main­ing olive oil. Turn up heat to fry gar­lic. Re­move from heat and al­low to cool. Re­move mush­rooms and sea­son with salt and pep­per to taste.

9. To serve, ar­range gnoc­chi, quinoa risotto and mush­room con­fit on a plate. Gar­nish with truf­fle coulis, lo­tus root chips, lo­tus root and gar­lic soil.

Nor­we­gian King Crab Roulade, Granny Smith Ap­ple and Basil Soup, Ap­ple Cider Gel, Basil Oil

Serves 4 Recipe by Chef An­der­son Ho

For the king crab roulade

800g king crab legs (size L4)

30g Granny Smith ap­ple, peeled and brunoised

10g cel­ery, peeled and brunoised

10g may­on­naise

30g mas­car­pone cheese

Cala­mansi zest, as needed

10ml cala­mansi juice

Salt and ground white pep­per,

to taste

300g Granny Smith ap­ple

For the ap­ple and basil soup

400g Granny Smith ap­ple, quar­tered

80g cel­ery stalks, cut into 2-cm seg­ments

30g basil leaves

10g Ital­ian pars­ley

0.1g cit­ric acid (al­ter­na­tively use lemon juice)

Su­gar and salt, to taste

0.5g xan­than gum (op­tional)

For the ap­ple cider gel

330ml ap­ple cider

20ml ap­ple cider vine­gar

Su­gar and salt, to taste

1g agar agar pow­der

1 sheet of gelatin, bloomed

For the basil oil

30g basil

10g Ital­ian pars­ley

Salt, to taste

100ml canola oil

For the gar­nish

Red mus­tard cress Mi­cro aster flower Red vein sor­rel Cranberry hibis­cus leaf Black nas­tur­tium leaf Pur­ple sham­rock

Spe­cial equip­ment

Steam oven Slow juicer

1. Pre­pare crab roulade. Re­move raw crab­meat from merus sec­tion (shoul­der), legs and tips. Gently cut all the joints with scis­sors with­out sev­er­ing the joints com­pletely. Then cut the thick end of the merus sec­tion and gently pull the meat out with a twist­ing ac­tion.

2. Cling wrap meat from merus sec­tion and roll into a bal­lo­tine. Tightly roll both ends of the plas­tic wrap, mak­ing sure to re­move all air bub­bles. Use butcher’s string to tie the ends. 3. Steam crab­meat at 100ºC for

2 to 3 mins, then chill in a blast chiller at 5ºC or be­low un­til com­pletely cooled. Re­frig­er­ate un­til needed.

4. Roughly chop re­main­ing crab­meat into small pieces. Com­bine re­main­ing roulade in­gre­di­ents ex­cept the whole ap­ples in a mix­ing bowl. Sea­son to taste.

5. Thinly slice re­main­ing ap­ples into

1mm thick­ness with a Ja­panese man­dolin. Im­merse in acidu­lated wa­ter (wa­ter mixed with lemon juice, vine­gar or lime juice) to slow down ox­i­da­tion process and soften ap­ples.

6. Ar­range thinly sliced ap­ple on a sheet of cling wrap mea­sur­ing

18cm x 26cm, in an over­lap­ping pat­tern. Place a spoon­ful of crab mix­ture and tightly roll the sliced ap­ple-wrapped crab mix­ture into a small roulade. Se­cure the sides by ty­ing butcher’s string and re­frig­er­ate. Slice the crab roulade at an an­gle and keep aside for assem­bly. 7. Pre­pare ap­ple and basil soup. Com­bine and juice ap­ples, cel­ery, basil and pars­ley in a slow juicer. Add cit­ric acid and sea­son to taste. To lightly thicken the soup, xan­than gum can be in­cor­po­rated with a hand­held blender. Strain the soup through a fine sieve. Keep chilled un­til needed.

8. Pre­pare ap­ple cider gel. Com­bine ap­ple cider and ap­ple cider vine­gar in a pot and bring to the boil. Sea­son to taste. Add agar agar pow­der and bloomed gelatin into hot ap­ple cider mix­ture. Whisk to dis­solve agar agar and gelatin. Strain mix­ture through a fine sieve and pour into a small tray. Re­frig­er­ate to set.

9. Blend set jelly into a paste-like gel. Trans­fer gel into a squeeze bot­tle.

10. Pre­pare basil oil. Blanch basil and Ital­ian pars­ley in a small pot of salted boil­ing wa­ter for

10 secs. Drain and refresh in iced wa­ter. Re­move ex­cess wa­ter from basil and pars­ley with tea towel. Com­bine leaves and oil in a blender and blend for 1 min, un­til mix­ture is smooth and a vi­brant shade of green. Strain through a fine sieve lined with muslin cloth.

11. To as­sem­ble, cut the bal­lo­tine of crab­meat and ar­range neatly on a plate. Ar­range crab roulade on the same plate and pour over some Granny Smith ap­ple and basil soup. Add a few drops of ap­ple cider jelly and basil oil on the dish, and gar­nish with mi­cro­greens.

Mont d'Or and Beet­root Tortellini, Tar­ragon But­ter Buck­wheat Risotto, Beet Foam & Smoked Beet

Serves 4 Recipe by Chef Sam Chin

For the Mont d'Or and beet­root torellini pasta dough

350g plain flour

50g semolina

150g beet­root puree (re­serve solids for pasta dough and juice for the foam)

60g egg yolk

60g egg

For the Mont d'Or mix­ture fill­ing

100g chest­nut puree, strained

150g Mont d’Or cheese

100g ri­cotta cheese Hazel­nut, diced

For the beef foam

200ml beet­root juice (strained from puree)

1g soy lecithin

For the buck­wheat risotto grain mus­tard and tar­ragon but­ter

125g un­salted but­ter

10g di­jon mus­tard

40g grain mus­tard Cayenne pep­per, to taste

10ml shoyu

10g fresh chives, chopped

10g fresh tar­ragon, chopped

120g raw buck­wheat

30ml olive oil

40g shal­lot, chopped

100ml veg­etable stock

50g mas­car­pone cheese

20g parme­san cheese

1 tbsp fresh tar­ragon, chopped

1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped Salt and pep­per, to taste

For the carpac­cio of smoked beet

1 medium-sized beet­root

30ml hazel­nut oil

5g smoked pow­der Salt, to taste

For the Mont d'Or and sage Cream

150ml cream (35% fat)

50ml whole milk

20g sage

50g Mont d’Or cheese Fine sea salt, to taste

3g gel­lan gum

1. Pre­pare pasta. Com­bine all the dry in­gre­di­ents in a bowl, then in­cor­po­rate beet­root puree a lit­tle at a time, un­til well com­bined. Add yolk and whole egg to the bowl and knead into a smooth, springy dough. Wrap in cling film and re­frig­er­ate for at least 30 mins.

2. Pre­pare pasta fill­ing. Com­bine chest­nut puree with cheeses in a bowl, and mix well. Add diced hazel­nut and trans­fer into a pip­ing bag. Keep in the re­frig­er­a­tor un­til ready to use.

3. To make tortelli­nis, roll out the pasta into sheets. Then us­ing a round cut­ter, cut the sheets into rounds, spac­ing the rounds as close to­gether as pos­si­ble.

4. Pipe fill­ing in the mid­dle of each round of pasta. Dip your fin­ger in a bowl of wa­ter and run it along the edge to moisten. Fold to form a half moon, then draw the two cor­ners to­gether to form a rounded bon­net-shape. Press tightly to seal. Toss with flour, set aside on well-floured bak­ing sheet, and cover un­til ready to cook.

5. Pre­pare beet foam. Pour beet­root juice into a pot and warm it up to 70ºC. Trans­fer to a tall con­tainer, then add soy lecithin to the liq­uid and whisk to dis­solve. Blend on high speed. Al­low mix­ture to sit and sta­bilise for a min be­fore serv­ing.

6. Pre­pare mus­tard and tar­ragon but­ter. Com­bine all the in­gre­di­ents in a bowl, and mix well. Re­frig­er­ate to set.

7. Pre­pare risotto. Bring 3L of salted wa­ter to a boil. Add buck­wheat and boil for about 8 mins. Strain and al­low to cool un­der run­ning wa­ter to rinse off ex­cess starch. Drain and set aside in the fridge.

8. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute shal­lots then add buck­wheat and stir to com­bine. Add veg­etable stock and al­low to sim­mer un­til buck­wheat swells and be­come ten­der. Gently stir in cheeses, tar­ragon and chives. Lastly, fold in

50g grain mus­tard but­ter mix­ture, and sea­son with salt and pep­per to taste.

9. Pre­pare the carpac­cio of smoked beet. Wrap beet­root with alu­minum foil and roast in the oven at 180ºC for 1 hr 20 mins. Re­move roasted beet from the oven and place in ice bath for 5 mins. There­after, peel and chop off the ends.

10. Slice beet­root into thin cir­cles and lay on a tray. Com­bine hazel­nut oil, smoked pow­der and salt in a bowl, and mix well. Pour hazel­nut oil mix­ture over the beet slices, then cover with cling film and let it mar­i­nate overnight in the fridge.

11. Pre­pare the Mont d’Or and sage cream. In a saucepan, bring cream, milk and sage to a boil. Re­move from heat and whisk in Mont d’Or cheese. Cover and leave to stand for 10 mins.

12. Strain cream mix­ture through fine sieve and sea­son with salt to taste. Trans­fer cream mix­ture to a small sauce pot, then whisk gel­lan gum into the mix­ture and bring to the boil. Al­low to boil for about 30 secs. There­after, place pot in ice bath and al­low mix­ture to set.

13. Blend set cream un­til smooth, then strain the cream through a fine sieve. Trans­fer to squeeze bot­tle.

14. To serve, cook tortelli­nis in a pot of boil­ing salted wa­ter for just over 1 min. Drain and ar­range cooked tortelli­nis on a plate. Serve with buck­wheat risotto, smoked beet, and Mont d’Or and sage cream on the side.

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