Inspiration from a recent trip to Singapore will trickle through Jo’s Kitchen over the next little while. Fitting in with today’s vegetable theme I have a variation on two dishes served at Chopsuey Cafe. In Chinese Cantonese, jaahp seui means odds and ends — from jaahp meaning assorted and seui meaning pieces — so Chopsuey is the perfect name for this cafe that serves anglicised forms of Chinese dishes in the heritage army barracks of Dempsey Hill.
From a list that included a smoked fish fried rice and mud crab variation, we tried the jade fried rice (long grain jasmine rice stirfried with egg chopped spinach, basil and mint to produce a jade green colour). Topped with toasted pine nuts it was an exotic Chinese/ Italian mix you could serve with many meat or seafood dishes.
The chopsuey vegetables were a mix of very cute organic baby vegetables wok-fried with holy basil and edamame. A fresh and crisp balance to other more fatty dishes.
Jade fried rice
An East meets West fried rice inspired something similar I ate at the popular Chopsuey restaurant in Dempsey Hill, Singapore.
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cups cooked jasmine rice
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup finely chopped baby spinach
¼ cup finely chopped mixed Thai basil and mint
2 tsp soy sauce
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- Heat oil in a hot wok, add garlic then rice, stirring to coat well.
- Move the rice to one side and pour the eggs in to the other side, stirring until egg is just set and well broken up. Mix the egg through the rice, add the spinach, herbs and soy sauce and stir well until all is thoroughly mixed and warm through.
- Spoon into a bowl and press down with the back of the spoon. Place a serving plate over top of the bowl and turn it over. The rice will come out in the bowl shape on the plate. Sprinkle over toasted pine nuts to serve.
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Seasonal vegetable medley
A fresh, crisp vegetable dish inspired by a similar dish on the menu at Chopsuey – a popular restaurant in Dempsey Hill, Singapore. Use any vegetables you like for this, just blanch those that may require longer cooking. For a spring medley I used asparagus, beans, sugar snaps, baby carrots, baby leeks and baby spinach.
¼ cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 clove garlic, sliced finely
2 cm knob of ginger, finely grated
4 Cups assorted mixed vegetables, sliced into similar sized pieces (see note above)
½ cup shelled edamame beans, defrosted if frozen
- Mix the chicken stock and rice wine vinegar and set aside.
- Heat the peanut oil in a wok. Add the garlic and ginger, then the vegetables in order of cooking time (ie things such as carrots should go in first. I find it best to quickly blanch carrots and baby leeks first). Ensure the wok stays nice and hot.
- Add edamame beans and stir fry everything until warmed through.
- Add the stock and vinegar mix and stir through.