Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Soya & Spice: Food And Memories Of A Straits Teochew Family

Have you heard of chuh huair hnng (literally translated as "going out to the garden") or rather have you gone through before? If yes, what food was offered during the ceremony?

Do you know what the early generations of Teochew families had for birthday celebrations? No, they did not have birthday cakes then. Instead, they had sweet birthday noodles with hard-boiled eggs. What do they (the noodles and eggs) symbolise?

What is chinchalok and how is it made? Do you know that it is also an ingredient for preparing some dishes?

Using butter to relieve sore throats? Jo Marion Seow's paternal grandparents used to believe that butter could lubricate their throats and relieve sore throats and coughs! *lol*


In her book Soya & Spice: Food And Memories Of A Straits Teochew Family / Jo Marion Seow (ISBN: 978-981-4189-21-7), Jo Marion Seow has shared with us the recipes of many traditional Teochew specialty dishes [such as koo chye kueh, steamed white pomfret, braised meat (loh bak), yam dessert (oh nee) and porridges] passed down by her grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts.

koo chye kueh

Fish Porridge

Apart from writing about the how-tos of cooking, she also paints a vivid picture of the lifestyle led by her grandparents and their children during the olden days of Singapore; emphasizing the strong correlation between food and history.

From the reader's point of view, this is not just simply one of the many cookbooks which only whet your appetite with their mouthwatering recipes. The inclusion of both food and family photos gives a good illustration of the lifestyle led by a typical Singapore Teochew family in the early days. I would strongly recommend this book to all Teochew people as well as the non-Teochews who might be curious and interested to know more about Teochew food history.


Emmy said...

Sounds like a lot of fun :) (Looks good, too!)

Anya said...

noodles with hard-boiled eggs for a birthday hehehe....
why not !!!!!
I eat (almost) all :))))))
Looks yummie Dora :-)

Gattina said...

I think it would not be so easy to get all the ingredients here in Belgium.

Jama said...

I didn't know butter can be used for sore throat, I usually use salt water, just gargle with them to relieve sore throat.

tigerfish said...

Sounds like a good read. You borrowed from the library?