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Singaporean food! Or rather, the absence of…

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Hello everyone!

I’m Nicholas Loh from the undergraduate program. It’s my first time posting on this blog so I decided that I will write a little bit about something that really hits home for me along with my self introduction.

I come from Singapore, the little red dot sitting at the tip of the Malaysian peninsula. Having lived in Singapore all my life, I decided to take a step out of my comfort zone and explore the world outside of my own nest. While it does sound scary to take a huge step and live in a country that has a totally different culture and speaks a totally different language, it has been quite the exciting adventure for me thus far and definitely would recommend anyone who is considering it to give it a shot.

Singapore is a unique country filled with people of all races and languages. With so many different cultures living together in one country, there is but one common point among everyone. Food! Here are some examples of my favourite food from the melting pot of my home.

          

From left to right, we have Hainanese chicken rice, fried oyster omelette, and chilli crab. As you probably noticed in the pictures, they are all served with a hearty serving of chilli. In fact, all of the sauces used in these dishes taste worlds apart even though they all just look red.

These dishes are really delicious, addictive if I might add. Growing up with access to these dishes as and when I feel hungry (even at 3am in the morning) really does cause me to feel homesick. To counter this problem, I came up with a plan.

I really enjoy cooking, which might be a side effect of my love for chemistry, but never really got the chance to make these dishes on my own while in Singapore. Now that I live alone in Japan, it was the perfect chance for me to conduct my personal experiments in the kitchen.

          

Although they vaguely resemble the actual dishes served in Singapore, some of the ingredients used cannot be found here in Japan. For example, Sri Lankan mud crabs cannot be found in Japan so I replaced it with prawns in my version of the dish.

I really enjoyed experimenting with the cooking techniques and flavours when trying to recreate my favourite food and will be willing to share the recipe with anyone! Although the flavours of these dishes cannot compare to that of the professional chefs in Singapore, this will have to do until I visit Singapore again when the COVID-19 situation blows over. Until next time!

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