Singapore Chinese Curry is a culinary relic of the British colonial era in Singapore. Many of the British officers had previously been stationed in India and developed a taste for curry. The British Army in Singapore however had to rely on Chinese cooks who out of neccesity concocted their own curry recipes. The result was the unique Singapore Chinese Curry which contains many common items of South-east Asian cuisine. In such curries you’ll find strange ingredients such as pork, dried shrimp, bean curd and cabbage. If you are a fan of curry, this is definitely a novel curry variety you must try.
- Pork Spare Ribs (1 kg)
- Yeo’s Singapore Curry Gravy (1x400ml can)
- Yeo’s Minced Prawn in Spices (1x140g can)
- Smoked Baby Clams (1 x 100g tin)
- Cabbage (1 smallish)
- Egg Plant (2)
- Fried Bean Curd Puffs (2 cups)
- Fishcake or Fishballs (200g)
- Minced Garlic (2T)
- Glass Vermicelli (50g dry weight)
- Coconut Milk (200ml)
- Five Spice Powder
- Chicken Stock Cubes (2)
- Open the two cans of curry into a large pot. Add 1kg of raw pork ribs and allow to marinate for at least an hour.
- Dissolve 2 chicken stock cubes in 2 cups of water and stir in 2T of minced garlic and 1t sugar. Add the stock to the pot and heat to a low simmer.
- Add the tin of smoked clams together with its oil, sprinkle in 1T of 5 spice powder and simmer for a hour. Top up with water as neccesary.
- While the curry is simmering, cut the egg plants into strips 2 inches long and add them to the pot. The egg plant will disintegrate eventually leaving just the skin. This is intended.
- Soak the vermicelli in cold water for 7 minutes and then drain away the water.
- Cut your cabbage into quadrants and manually break the quadrants into individual leaves.
- About 15 minutes before serving, add the cabbage, fried bean curd pieces, fish cake, vermicelli and coconut milk.
- Continue to simmer until the cabbage is soft. Serve with steamed rice or egg noodles.
- This recipe is pretty easy if you can get all the semi-prepared ingredients as they are listed. If not….
- The spiced minced prawn is a key ingredient but unfortunately not that easy to find. You can order Yeo’s Minced Prawn in Spices from Amazon. One other option is to make your own. if you have access to a Chinese food store, buy some dried shrimp. Soak a cup of the shrimp in cold water for half an hour before mixing in half a chopped onion, 4T chili paste, 2T Oil, 1T Five Spice Powder and 1t sugar. Put the mixture in the blender for a few seconds and then finish off by frying in a pan.
- Yeo’s Singapore Curry Gravy is a bit more commonly found than their minced prawn. It too is available on Amazon if you can’t find it anywhere else. Ironically, the one place you can’t find it is in Singapore.
- The other uncommon ingredient is fried bean curd (aka tofu) puffs. You cannot use raw tofu because it will disintegrate completely. If you can’t find any bean curd puffs in your local supermarket, you can make some yourself. Wrap a tofu block in kitchen towels and then sandwich it between 2 hard cutting boards. Progressively add canned food on the upper board over half an hour to compress the tofu and squeeze out its water. Next, cut into small blocks and deep fry as you would french fries.
- Take note that the vermicelli to be used is the glass type (white when raw) which doesn’t get mushy even if it is cooked for quite a while. When in doubt, the ones to get are those made in Thailand.
- If you like your curry less spicy, increase the amount of coconut milk to 300ml.
- There is another similar style of SIngapore curry known as Nonya Curry. That is a fusion of Chinese and Malay cuisine while this is a fusion of Chinese and Indian cuisine. The two should not be confused.