Going back to our roots: a Hokkien story

Can you guess which of these dishes hails from Fujian cuisine? If you guessed all, you are right!

Did you know that Fujian cuisine is one of the native Chinese cusines derived from the native cooking style of Fujian province in China? Known for their light and flavourful cooking style, Fujian cuisine grew a reputation for emphasizing an unami taste in their dishes. The key cooking techniques that the Fujian shared was braising, stewing, steaming and boiling.

The Fujian cuisine places great emphasis on the making of broth and soups. They believe sincerely that it is unacceptable for a meal to not have soup and reaffirms that belief by either having a soup base in their trademark dishes or by insisting it as an accompaniment to the main course.

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Buddha Jumps Over the Wall

It is an incredibly fancy name, isn’t it? Buddha Jumps Over the Wall is actually a variety of shark’s fin soup. This Fujian dish was created during the Qing Dynasty and has since been regarded as a Chinese delicacy. Famed for its rich taste and generous spread of high-quality ingredients, Buddha Jumps Over the Wall’s recipe list includes quail eggs, bamboo shoots, scallops, sea cucumber, abalone, shark fin, chicken, ginseng, mushrooms, and taro.

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Oyster Omelette

Oyster omelette is a simple dish. The recipe calls for potato starch to be mixed into egg batter, which gives the egg wrap a thick consistency. Afterward, pork lard is used to fry it. Add oysters into the omelette and top it off with savory sauces! Each country does their dish a little differently, for example, Singapore hawkers would add chili to spice up the dish while Thai hawkers prefer to douse it generously in fish sauce for additional fragrance.

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Popiah

Bet you didn’t know popiah came from the Hokkiens! The quality of the popiah is determined by the dedication the chef puts into producing the wrapper, otherwise known as the popiah skin. It is accompanied by a selection of ingredients, mainly grated fried turnip, bean sprouts, diced carrots, lettuce leaves and whatever else the chef adds it as his touch!

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Bak Kut Teh

Do you know bak kut teh originated from Malaysia/ Singapore? Yes, this delightful bowl of goodness first came to recognition on our/ our neighbor’s shores! This dish consists of meaty pork ribs simmered in a broth of herbs and spices. Common spices used include star anise, cinnamon, cloves and dang gui. Over the years, new ingredients such as dried tofu and diced mushrooms have found their way into the dish. Bak kut teh is usually consumed with rice.

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Ngo Hiang

The Ngo Hiang is a combination of various meats, vegetables, minced pork and prawn, which are all seasoned with five-spice powder. These ingredients are then rolled inside a bean curd skin and deep-fried. Inclusions to the dish include lup cheong, cucumber, century egg, ginger and deep-fried egg. Locally, it is served with chili sauce or a house-special sweet sauce. Some hawkers accompany ngo hiang with a plate of fried bee hoon.

By Nicole Lee

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