cover image Makan: Recipes from the Heart of Singapore

Makan: Recipes from the Heart of Singapore

Elizabeth Haigh. Bloomsbury Absolute, $35 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4729-7650-5

In this ambitious debut, Singaporean-born and U.K.-raised chef Haigh collects and adapts Singaporean recipes in hopes of preserving them. Haigh depicts what she calls “Nonya” cuisine as a “unique fusion food” that combines Chinese with other Asian and European influences, citing nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice), which is spicier than its Chinese counterpart, and her sweet and sour pork, which uses Worcestershire sauce, a British staple. She also delves into an assortment of traditional dishes, such as mee soto (spiced chicken noodle soup) and asam ikan pedas (fish curry), but home cooks will find locating some of the recipes’ ingredients—such as fresh banana leaves and black moss—to be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are several options with more accessible ingredients that take a short time to prepare, including spicy green beans with chilli and garlic, eggplant and pork mince stir-fry, and prawn and pineapple curry. A chapter devoted to sweets goes heavy on twists—including banana fritters with miso caramel, and Eurasian mess (a riff on the classic British dessert Eton Mess)—to nicely round out the volume. Skilled home cooks who have experience with Asian cuisine will value this book; beginners may want to step aside. Agent: Martine Carter, Sauce Management. (July)