The National Day Cook-In

Long overdue post featuring recipes from my National Day (9 Aug) cook-in at home for the family. Grandma was around for that one and she got to eat her favourite cabbage rice – a happy coincidence.

The 3 recipes featured here are from my favourite local mag – food&travel (April 2010 issue). I love this mag as it is the cheapest food publication on the rack at $4/copy and the recipes featured in there are really easy for amateur cooks to attempt. Guarantee a decent meal that won’t break the bank!

*Dish descriptions courtesy of food&travel.

Garlicky Prawns with Glass Noodles

Tangy and refreshing, this Thai-inspired dish makes a light supper and can be prepped in advance. Enjoy it as a main or serve as part of a larger meal.


  • 4 large prawns
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 150g glass noodles (tang hoon) soaked in cold water
  • 2 chilli padi, chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp oil, for cooking
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander


  1. Trim prawns and snip down the length of shell to remove vein, leave shells on. Rinse and pat dry on kitchen towel. Stuff minced garlic in the slit along the back of each prawn. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and set aside
  2. Cook glass noodles in boiling water as per packet instructions. Rinse briefly in cold water.
  3. Prepare sauce: mix chilli padi, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. Reserve 1 tbsp of sauce and toss noodles in remaining sauce. Set aside until ready to serve.
  4. Heat oil in pan. When oil is shimmering, pan-sear prawns quickly, about 2 min on each side or until cooked.
  5. Drizzle reserved sauce over prawns and serve with glass noodles and chopped coriander

Braised Chicken in Soy & Sesame

Redolent of sesame, this humble dish is a breeze to prepare and packs plenty of flavour. Paired with hot steam rice, it makes a simple satisfying dinner.


  • 600g chicken (chopped, bone-in)
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 20g ginger slices, julienned
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 200 ml water
  • 1 tbsp Chinese wine (hua tiao jiu)


  1. Heat sesame oil in a wok till shimmering, then add ginger. Fry till ginger is golden and slightly crisp at the ends, about 2 min.
  2. Add chicken and stir-fry briefly to brown, about 2 min, then add soy sauce and water. Bring to boil then lower heat. Cover and simmer for 15-20 min, till chicken is cooked through, stirring once.
  3. Stir in Chinese wine just before serving. Garnish with spring onions and ginger, enjoy with hot steamed rice.

Rice with Pork Belly & Cabbage

Better known as ‘kiam png’, this is our homegrown version of paella, jambalaya and other such one-pot rice dishes. Loaded with lup cheong, hae bee and pork belly, it is immensely moreish, especially when you spoon on some sambal balachan.


  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1.5 tbsp oil, for cooking
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 50g Chinese sausage (lup cheong)
  • 1.5 Tbsp dried shrimps (hae bee), rinsed in water
  • 100g pork belly, sliced
  • 5 dried mushrooms, softened in water, then sliced
  • 250g cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce


  1. Wash and rinse rice in rice cooker pot, making sure to measure out the amount of water required to cook rice. Reserve water and set aside rice separately.
  2. Heat oil in a wok or pan. When oil is shimmering, add shallots and fry till fragrant, about 1mnute. Stir in Chinese sauage and cook till lightly crisp, about 2 min. Remove Chinese sausage with half of the shallots and set aside. Return pan to heat.
  3. Add dried shrimps, pork belly, mushrooms and rice. Stir fry for 1-2 min over medium heat. Add cabbage, salt and dark soy sauce, and cook briefly, then transfer to rice cooker pot.
  4. Add water and stir through contents in pot. Cook as per rice cooker instructions. Leave to rest for 5 min after the rice is done before tucking in!


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