Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Singapore squids in: Cereal butter style

Cereal butter squid madness

It's been ages since a post! As much as I hate starting the post with an apology...it is because I've been away in Hong Kong fattening myself up and eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And post dinner. And post dinner dinner snacks. And all the goddamn day street hawker snacks. Actually, I think the whole time I was there, I was never starving...but a constant 'I could eat' mentality. Half way up a mountain? 'I could eat'. Winning at the night time horse races at Happy Valley? 'I could eat'. 
There were a million and one dishes I wanted to take back to London and recreate. It's definitely my place of inspiration and I can't wait to go back. Another reason why I've been so rubbish lately is because I had some wonderful news in the form of a deserted beach on an island, my boyfriend, sunset and a proposal. (complete with a full stomach). I'm absolutely over the moon and couldn't be happier. These are the first non food related pics, but I just wanted to share them with you all.
The spectacular and romantic Turtle Bay in Lamma Island

Lamma Island sunset

Great stuff, now that's out the way let's get to the food. Because, let's face it, we could all eat. We went to Singapore for a few days to see the sights and we met up with some friends. We were treated to a brilliant local eatery (the best places in Asia are anything with pictures of the food, plastic chairs, maximum three walls by a busy road, and beer girls making they're rounds). We ordered another traditional dish called cereal prawn. Cereal?! Like cornflake cereal with prawns? OH YES. This was glorious - a dish which is buttery, fragrant, crunchy and sweet all at the same time. It is made from a cereal called Nestum, which is a light wheat cereal brand Malaysians and Singaporeans adore. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any in the UK, and so I've used oats instead. Slightly heavier than Nestum, I switched a few ingredients to make a new variation to better suit this instead.

2 squid (just the bodies)
A pinch of salt
1 egg
5 tbs cornflour
1 tbs white flour
2 handfuls (about 20 leaves) of curry leaves. Fresh is better than dry, but dry still works
1 1/2 chillies diced finely
3 tablespoons of butter
1 egg yolk
400 grams Nestum cereal/quaker oats
50 grams Panko breadcrumbs
1 tbs fried shallots (you can get this in any asian grocery store, but can omit if you need)
2 tbs milk powder
2 tbs sugar
2 tsp of chicken powder

Cut the squid into bite sizes pieces and lightly score across the skin. Beat the egg and add the squid in with the salt to marinate for 5 minutes.
Shake off any excess egg mixture from each squid piece and cover it in the 2 flours. Heat an inch of oil in a wok until it's hot (if you have a wooden chopstick, dip it in - it should sizzle with some little bubbles coming off of it when it's ready). Deep fry the squid until golden brown - it should only take a few minutes each side. Set aside on some kitchen towels to soak excess oil.
In a clean wok, heat up the butter on a medium heat - when it starts foaming, add the chilli and curry leaves for 30 seconds or so (be careful not to burn the butter or the leaves). Quickly add the egg yolk and stir in until you see the consistency start to change.
Lower the heat and stir fry in the oats/cereal, breadcrumbs, shallots, milk powder, sugar and chicken powder into the wok. Constantly stirring, fry for about 2 minutes until crisp. Finally, add the squid and toss until evenly covered.
Serve immediately with some fresh greens and rice.

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