Going back to our roots: a Teochew story

Hello fellow Teochew! Did you know that one of the biggest dialect groups in Singapore is the Teochews?

The Teochew cuisine originated from the Chaoshan region, which is east of Guangdong. Teochew cuisine has been often referred to as the cousin of Fujian cuisine. In fact, they bear so many similarities that their trademark dishes frequently overlap each other. Did you know that both dialects claim Bak Kut Teh and Oyster Omelette as their own?

But there are dishes that are exclusively Teochew. Can you guess?

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pigorgan

Pig’s Organ Soup

The broth of this dish is boiled from a mix of ingredients, mostly based on pork. Parts of the liver, heart, intestines, stomach, tongue and meat slices are used. Traditionally, it is served with a special chili sauce or soy sauce with chili elements. This had led many chefs experimenting specially with the sauce, to attempt to create one unique to them.

yusheng

Yu Sheng

Yes, you heard that right! The famous Yu Sheng we dedicate all our Chinese New Year dinners to is a proud part of the Teochew cuisine. Yu Sheng, which is in essence a raw fish salad, consists mainly of raw fish strips, shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments. Recent additions include peanuts and crackers. Yu Sheng is considered a symbol of abundance and prosperity.

chwee

Chwee Kueh

Did you just have this for breakfast? Chwee Kueh is a staple in most of our breakfasts, with many stalls specializing in selling chwee kueh in the mornings only, as it sells out quickly. Chwee Kueh is made by mixing rice flour and water together. They are then kneaded into cup-shaped containers and steamed, forming its bowl-like shape after its cooked. They are topped with diced preserved radish and served with a side of chili sauce.

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meepok (2)

Mee Pok

This noodle dish is one of the most common Teochew dishes to have reached out quickly across Asia. It is characterized by its flat and yellow noodles which vary in thickness and width. The noodles are tossed into a sauce if its dry, and added with soup for the “terng” (known as soup) version. Traditionally, it is accompanied with fish balls or mushroom minced meat.

By Nicole Lee

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