Saturday, May 30, 2009

Green Bean Soup (Lek Tau T'ng)

I had recently been busily baking cakes and biscuits recentlly. So it seemed like time for a traditional favourite.

I mentioned green bean soup and my father started talking about how his mother (my grandmother) made it, with sago pearls amongst the beans. I checked up my Penang recipe book, "Nonya Flavours" and there it was!

Be warned: this takes some time to cook. (I've also made a few tweaks to the recipe.)
1. Soak green beans (abt 200g or so) in water for about 1h or so
2. Add the soaked beans to boiling water, together with brown sugar - abt 150-200g (according to taste) and pandan leaves. Cook over slow heat till soft (beans should break up, soup should thicken slightly). Can take over 1.5 hour.
3. Wash the pearl sago (abt 75g or so), add to the pot. Cook till transluscent (don't overcook)
4. Add about 100ml of coconut milk, or alternatively spoon a little coconut cream on top of the soup.

My father likes it as a night snack, my mother as a mid-morning snack. How versatile!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Quiz - Eurasiana

I took down my mother's copy of "Elvis Lived in Katong*" the other day. This is a scrapbook-type book filled with cartoons, biographies of prominent Eurasians, customs and celebrations, snippets of Kristang, recipes etc. Plus a quiz on Eurasiana. I must admit I skimmed through the book quickly but spent a long time on the quiz, which featured questions such as the correct pronounciation of "bloody fool" (that would be bladdy ful"). And there was the thought-provoking question on how to define a successful wedding - where Auntie Elsie drinks Uncle Harry under the table, or when there is white wine served with the sugee cake (my colleague said "Bad question! Two possible answers!").

Anyway, I thought I would come up with my own little quiz. Here are a few questions:

1. What to look forward to after Christmas Eve Midnight Mass:
a. Roast turkey
b. Mulligatawny soup
c. Devil curry

2. Dodo and Jojo are the names of
a. two cats
b. two nuns
c. a singing group
(ok, so this is not quite a Eurasian question but it is definitely a Katong question)

3. Must haves for children's birthday party
a. Sausage rolls
b. Sugee cake
c. Green chilli sambal sandwiches
d. All of the above.

4. You would leave your shoes in the pew in church during
a. Good Friday service
b. Maundy Thursday mass
c. All Saint's Day

5. The famous Eurasian dish Smoore features these ingredients :
a. marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers
b. beef, onions, potatoes
c. beef and yorkshire pudding

The answers to some of the questions are somewhere else in this blog...

* This book and its sequel, "Elvis still lives in Katong", both by Denyse Tessensohn, are available at the Eurasian Association building in Katong together with other books on or by Eurasians.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Peranakan Museum's First Birthday

After writing up the opening of the Peranakan Museum in such detail, I hate to admit that I missed the first birthday celebration :-(

Work intruded on the Friday and Saturday, and I went for a cooking class on the Sunday. So I didn't have time to go down. Nonetheless, for completeness, here is the story from


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