Have you ever heard of these?
I never had until I saw them at Satay by the Bay.
They look real cute, but boy are they tasty and complex little buggers.
You buy them in fours. A little similar to Popiah – sort of.
Yes it is Nonya, Peranakan food – love it already!!!
Here is a recipe for the dish – if you so wished to cook. This will make about 70-80 cases. I cannot stake any claim to this recipe as I have not, as yet, cooked this dish. I searched and found an, as authentic as possible, Peranakan version. But to be honest I would not bother, this is a long one, when 5 minutes in a taxi and you’re at hawker. This is also slightly different to the experience of Satay by the Bay as they have peanuts that have been crushed, battered and fried – so you get this amazing peanut brittle explosion as you eat, plus super crunchy texture.
Phase I – Batter for the cases/shells;
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup rice flour
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 1/4 cups of water
- Oil for deep-frying
Phase II – Fillings for the shells;
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 lb jicama/yam bean that you have shredded
- 1 carrot that you have shredded
- 10 French beans that you have chopped
- 4 oz. shrimp that you have shelled, deveined, and cut into smaller pieces
- 4 garlic that you have finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
- 2/3 cup water
Phase III – Toppings for the shalls;
- 1 plain omelet that you have shredded
- Fried shallot crisps
- Scallions that you have chopped
- 2 red chilies that you have chopped (optional – the one at Satay by the Bay does not)
Combine the all purpose flour, rice flour, beaten egg, salt, and water in a mixing bowl and mix well. Strain the batter, transfer it into a big bowl and set aside.
Fill a sauce pan that is deep enough for the mold with oil enough to cover the mould (these are purpose made Pie Tee moulds, so you’d need a trip too Tools of the Trade or something to source these). Heat up the oil until hot. Then dip the mould into the heated oil until it’s just hot (but not too hot). Take out the mould and then dip it into the batter. Coat the mould until it’s up to the 90-95% level and make sure it’s well coated on the side and the bottom (the mould shouldn’t be too hot and it shouldn’t sizzle when it’s dipped in the batter). Let excess batter drip off, then plunge the mould into the hot oil. To separate the batter from the mould, jiggle the mould up and down to loosen it. The case should off with slight shaking up and down. Once it’s off, deep fry in the oil until it turns light to golden brown. Transfer it out onto a plate with paper towels (to soak up the excess oil) and store in an airtight container.
For the filling, stir fry the minced garlic and prawns until fragrant. Add jicama, carrot and french beans, and do a quick stir. Add the seasonings and water. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes using medium heat. Dish out and set aside.
To serve, use chopsticks to fill the case with the filling, and then top with shredded omelet, chopped scallions, red chilies, and shallots crisps.
So I would say if you happen to be at Gardens by the Bay, get to Satay by the Bay and go to the chicken wing stall (mentioned in previous blogs – best on island methinks!!!), and order some of these little puppies. Why bother to go to the hassle above, when 4 of these dreamy little things will cost you $4 only. Get yourself down there.