Skip to main content

Hawker of Yesteryear

Go grab today's copy The Straits Times and read "Singapore's amnesia of the taste buds" (ST, 22 Sept 2010).

Recently I found myself repeatedly saying to various different people that the hawker these days are more interested in counting money than cooking the food. It is hard to find good food these days.

But then again how do I define good food? I am not too sure if I can articulate that well but here is what I found online which sounds closest to my way of defining good food.

"Good food means ... tastes, looks and smells delicious, is fresh, wholesome and pure, has nutritional value and will do no harm if eaten in moderation, is produced by methods, traditional or modern, the producer would be proud to show the public, has had minimal processing, has been humane in the keeping and slaughter of animals, has minimal chemical content, contains no unnecessary additives."

I think for the purpose of this post, let's restrict to the first half of the description.

Hawker food these days hardly taste delicious. They taste edible at best. That is the kind of food quality of our general hawker fare here. It is a sorry state of affairs. I had thought to myself that if I had the chance to have a taste of the hawker food of yesteryear which my mom spoke reminiscently of, I would not have lived in vain.

Instead, I seek consolation in that I am able to cook a decent meal without resorting to subject myself to hawker food on a daily basis even though I can't "pound and stir-fry a decent rempah" without a cookbook nor "whip up proper fried rice - grains fluffy and not lump, coated evenly with egg and seasoning, and charred slightly and crispy from the high heat".

That's why I try to encourage anyone who is willing to listen to me rant and who is interested in food to try their hand in cooking for themselves. As the article said: "... any gastronome worth his salt should be a decent cook too." Go fix yourself something today instead of eating hawker food. Your body will thank you for it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Post-meditated Pumpkin and Mushroom Soup

I cannot help but notice that recently the trendy words that seem to flood the wellness media always carry words like “self-care”, “meditation”, “gratitude”, and even “mindfulness” has been thrown in for good measure. Yes, all these single-word suggestions sound good. We all need to know how to take our stress level down a few notches at a time when we need to keep our face masks up.  So when I read the news about a nail being found in the pumpkin mushroom soup of an unidentified Asian passenger on board our national carrier bound for Auckland, imagine my dilemma. Should I feel grateful that my previous soups on board were served without any nails? Or should I feel grateful that I could not afford to fly our national carrier often enough to be served soups which might actually have carried nails or other specials in them? As you can see, I am pretty new to this wellness speak and hence very confused about this “gratitude” aspect of the trend.     Like any dutiful social m

Rosemary Cuttings

I think I am really bored with life. So bored that I am trying my hands are transplanting my rosemary plant! This is just after I killed by some mint off-shoots recently by transplanting them. I have black fingers, I think. Not that I need another rosemary plant. I am just plain curious why some people here are able to root a cutting from a Cold Storage pack . It sounds so easy that it is absurdly unfair. Maybe it is just my lack of technique and common sense when it comes to plants. Here's a link that I found helpful about transplanting rosemary . Seems that the chances of success for my transplanted rosemary doesn't look high. I didn't dip it in rooting powder (!!??), I transplanted it in medium sized container, and the soil is of highly questionable source (don't ask). Well, if the little fellow didn't make it, you will hear of it here soon.

Comparing Banana Breads

Most of the times, at least for the logical people, baking is the last thing on their minds as who would want their kitchens filled with hot air churning out from the ovens  in the land of eternal summer? If not for  those limp and blackened bananas sitting in their Tupperware coffins, dawdling towards its expiry, I would have happily nodded my head in wholehearted agreement. These banana were long gone their prime time for smoothies but these were ironically the best state to make banana-anything. If my helper was still around, I would have happily asked her to make those arteries-clogging Jemput-Jemput (aka banana fritters), unfortunately, she was not. So I cranked up my oven to 180 degC and got down to work. I have made banana bread many times with the recipe from Joy of Cooking ('97 edition) and was quite happy with it. So when I realised that JOC came up with a 2019 edition, I knew I need to get my paws on it ASAP and try out that version of Banana Bread.  So thanks to