5 Popular Street Eats To Recreate At Home

5 Popular Street Eats To Recreate At Home

Whip up these iconic Asian dishes from the comforts of your home

Nothing brings Asia’s streets alive more than its hawkers hard at work behind their stalls. From clang of a metal ladle against a wok, to the grind of the Ice Kaching machine, the region's street food is something we all love. Save hours of queuing and whip up these popular street foods from the comfort of your home.

1. Singapore Hokkien Mee: Seafood Gravy Noodles

Slick and greasy, the texture of the infamous Singapore Hokkien Mee rolls around your tongue before the oceanic brininess mixed with umami sinks into your taste buds.  This plate of heaven is usually served up in a wet style, with the thick, white beehoon and starchier yellow noodles sitting in a tiny pool of luscious, glossy seafood broth. Some people prefer their hawkers to fry it till dry, but we think slurping up the noodles with broth is pretty much unbeatable. The secret to mastering the taste is in the broth and a handful of crispy fatty pork lard. Use the freshest prawn, squid and fishcakes to brew up a sweet concoction over several hours to lavish your noodles with. Round up this iconic Singapore dish with a squeeze of lime for a touch of zing and a generous scoop of fragrant sambal for heat, and you will probably have wolfed down an entire plate before it even has a chance to cool down. 

2. Grilled Chicken Satay: Southeast Asia's Sweet Meat Skewers 

You know it when you smell it: it's satay. A well-cooked satay is seared on the outside without being burnt, while retaining the tender meat juices inside. Marinating (overnight is the best) your chosen meats – chicken in this case – is key to a successful satay, as you want your meat to absorb all that goodness such that every bite is a burst of flavor. The other star of this Grilled Chicken Satay is the fragrant peanut sauce – who could resist double dipping their satay in the golden brown crunchy peanut sauce? We are definitely proudly guilty of that. The aroma of lemongrass, soft spice of galangal and coarse texture of peanuts make up this unique sauce that we all love so much. Remember to fry up the chili paste (or rehydrated dry chilies if you lack the paste) till the oil separates to bring out that rich taste and you’ve got the best dip anyone could wish for.

3. Pho Bo (Beef Pho): Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup

This quintessential Vietnamese dish has travelled far and wide on the globe and we can see why – the beef broth is usually brewed for hours to concentrate the natural hearty flavors in Pho Bo (Beef Pho), leaving you with a rich bowl of piping hot rice noodles, topped with lime, beansprouts, chili and basil. This common Vietnamese street food is usually enjoyed right on the road, in little tiny stools that you can sort of sit or squat on. Watch as the scrumptious bowl of Pho is prepared right in front of your eyes in a precise manner, with stirring, ladling and garnishing motions honed over years of practice. To retain the juiciness and tenderness of the meat, the sliced beef is usually blanched for just a few minutes before serving. Beef Pho is definitely a life-saver for those miserable under-the-weather or rainy days!

4. Murtabak Manis: Indonesia's Sweet Street Pancake

As with many parts of Southeast Asia, little enclaves spring to life past the witching hour in Jakarta, Indonesia. When that hunger pang hits you at midnight, it’s not uncommon to hail an ojek (motorcycle taxi) or ride into the supper district with friends in search for sinful treats one would perhaps steer clear of in the day. Murtabak Manis (Indonesian Thick Pancake) or Martabak Manis is a one such sought-after food items to fix these supper cravings. It comes with such a dazzling array of fillings that both sweet and savory toothed patrons will be appeased. It’s so absolutely filling as well, so we do recommend sharing it with family and friends. In this Murtabak Manis, learn to recreate this addictive pancake at home and save yourself the hassle of a downtown drive. With melting, oozing cheese, chocolate and crushed peanut toppings, complete with a condensed milk drizzle, experience the best of this fluffy and filling pancake has to offer.   

5. Xiao Long Bao: Shanghainese Soup Meat Dumplings

Did you know that a piece of the classic Xiao Long Bao takes 18 folds to make? Din Tai Fung’s most famous offering has a precise measurement of 5 grams of pork to 16 grams of dough (Now we know why it can command such a premium price tag). According to one story (there are a few who claim to have founded this iconic dish), Xiao Long Bao or Little Basket Bun as its loosely translated, originated from chef Ri Hua Xuan in Nanxiang, which one of Shanghai’s districts. It has seen spread to many other Asian cities in the world, such as Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. Be warned though – this recipe is not for the faint-hearted, as mastering the art of the delicate folds will often take more than 10 tries. However, you stand to reap an aesthetically beautiful and absolutely delightful reward at the end of your efforts. Dip your end product in a ginger - vinegar sauce and savor your win with gusto.

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