Student Specials: Hokkien Homecooking

I haven’t seen Pearl for some time. Nursing students seem to be the busiest students I know. On top of their studies they have clinical attachments. But Pearl has been sending occasional short notes to let me know how she is doing.

She once told me about her grandmother’s Hokkien homecooked dinners which had me intrigued. I asked her if she could send some photos and write a short article. I knew I would have to wait a while, but it finally came. Thank you Pearl. (Hokkien is a Chinese dialect)

This is what Pearl wrote:

“Hokkien food in Singapore is typically synonymous with the food that you see in most hawker centres and coffee shops. The dishes sold at the cai png store, hokkien mee, food sold at the tzechar store  – these are familiar to most people who patronise Chinese food places in Singapore. 40% of Singaporean Chinese are of Hokkien descent, and it is not uncommon to hear Hokkien mixed into the everyday lives of Singaporeans.

My paternal grandparents are Hokkien people, and my grandmother is an extraordinary cook. Her signature dishes include curry chicken, ngoh hiang (featured image), her famed bee hoon and zhap cai. These dishes will not be foreign to most people as they can be found at the cai png store, but each household has its unique take on each dish and my grandmother’s take is the best for my family!

And here is how a typical Sunday dinner feast looks like. As fish and meat products were considered luxury items in the past, my grandmother makes it a point to cook these dishes on Sunday when we are all gathered together as a family.

Family Sunday Dinner

Nothing beats a good homecooked meal. Jiak png!”

Sundays have long been a special day of the week, when we rest and relax, but is it often the day mothers and grandmothers take pride in cooking their best dishes and they look forward to seeing everyone enjoy!

I have to agree with Pearl that her grandmother is an extraordinary cook.

Have a great week ahead.

By Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1, 12 March 2023  

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