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  • Bettina Applewhite

Corona Chornicles: Trip to Singapore

Singapore seems like an amazing place to travel. The Gardens in the Bay seem spectacular along with the Singapore Botanic Gardens. It appears to be a place that's futuristic with lots of culture. And I can't miss the food! There's fabulous street food and Michelin star restaurants. But don't think the food markets are to be missed. There are Michelin starred stalls in them too.

Gardens by the Bay
Yeo Khee Photo Provided by Unsplash

If you're an adventurous eater than Singapore is definitely the place. I'm up to try almost anything so I can't wait to get there. Recently I visited Oregon (not Singapore) and was introduced to chicken rice. Chicken rice sounded ridiculously simple but it was something about the description that was luring me in. I'm glad I went with that pick because it was delicious. It's the most tender chicken I've had and the rice was cooked perfectly. It's served with fresh, raw vegetables and broth. What made it even better was that it was served in paper. Chicken rice is a signature dish of Singapore.

Chicken Rice/Khao Man Gai from Nong's Khao Man Gai

Singapore has other dishes that it's known for like fish head curry, fried carrot cake, and chili crab. These are all dishes that I can't wait to explore. One dish that Singapore is known for is laska. It's a spicy coconut milk based noodle soup. I was first introduced to this dish in NYC at a small restaurant called Aux Epices. It was a French and Malaysian restaurant where you could get curry and escargot in the same place. My kind of place. It has closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic but I was able to frequent this place with my mother before it closed. We would go to this restaurant for one thing: the Seafood laska. They would make their laska with just the right amount of spicy heat and so many different types of seafood. It was full of mussels, head-on shrimp, salmon, and calamari. If you didn't get full from that the big udon noodles would sure fill you.

One day during the quarantine, I was dreaming of all the places I've been and good food I'd eaten away from home. I thought about this restaurant and checked out their restaurant only to see that they had just closed permanently three days prior. I had to call Mother and let her know that we've already gone to one our favorite NYC spots for the last time.

But I was determined to figure out how to have this dish again. After a lot of research and blending a couple of recipes, I got to my own shrimp laska! I added in zucchini and baby portabella mushrooms and of course those udon noodles. I garnished it with bean sprouts, lime wedges, and fresh cilantro. And I must say it was good.

I like shrimp with the heads on because it brings even that much more flavor. Besides, it's fun to play with your food.

As much as I will miss that NYC restaurant and am glad that there are places all around where I can try some signature Singapore dishes, I can't wait to have the authentic dishes in Singapore when the world opens up again.


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