'Forever Fever' Singapore / Malaysian Recipes & Photos

by Celeste Heiter, Dec 22, 2005 | Destinations: Malaysia / Kuala Lumpur

This menu of tropical delights from Singapore and Malaysia features Pan-Seared Scallops with Spicy Dipping Sauce, Beef Skewers with Grilled Pineapple and Coconut Cole Slaw, Laksa Curried Noodle Soup, Citrus Fish Salad, Spicy Baked Tilapia Fish, Hainanese Chicken Rice, and Mint Coconut Crepes.

Pan-Seared Scallops With Spicy Dipping Sauce

12 large fresh scallops
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cooking oil
Lime wedges for garnish

Dipping Sauce

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons sherry or brandy
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce
1 tablespoon ginger root, finely shredded
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Heat sesame oil in a small saucepan. Add garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant and lightly browned. Add sherry or brandy, hoisin, ketchup, soy sauce, and chili garlic sauce and stir to blend. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Spoon a small pool of sauce into the center of 4 serving dishes and set aside.

Place scallops in a small bowl and lightly dust with cornstarch. Heat cooking oil in a wok. Add scallops and sear on both sides until golden brown, taking care to handle scallops gently. Remove scallops from the wok and serve over dipping sauce. Garnish with lime wedges. Serves four.

Beef Skewers with Grilled Pineapple & Coconut Cole Slaw

1 pound beef (tri-tip, sirloin, tenderloin) cut into 1" cubes
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored & cut into 1/2" slices
Non-stick cooking spray


1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ginger root, finely shredded
2 cloves garlic, finely minced

Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add beef and mix thoroughly to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Coconut Cole Slaw

1 package cole slaw mix, or 4 cups cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar

Combine coconut milk, rice vinegar and sugar in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously to blend. Place shredded cabbage in a large mixing bowl. Add coconut dressing and mix thoroughly to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Heat grill pan, electric grill or outdoor grill, and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Grill pineapple slices until tender, about 1 minute per side.

Skewer beef cubes on bamboo skewers. Cut the skewers in half for easier handling. Grill skewers on a grill pan, electric grill or outdoor grill for about 2 minutes per side, until just done.

Arrange pineapple slices around the edge of the plate. Mound cole slaw in the center. Place grilled beef skewers on top and serve immediately.

Laksa Curried Noodle Soup

4 servings noodles (vermicelli, ramen, cellophane, etc.)
4 boneless chicken thighs (or two breasts)

Spice Paste Ingredients

2 stalks of lemon grass, lower half only, finely minced
1 chili pepper (Thai, jalapeno, etc.), seeds removed, finely minced
1 tablespoon ginger root, finely shredded
2 shallots, finely minced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon shrimp paste or powder (optional)
3 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon curry powder

Sauce Ingredients

1 tablespoon sesame oil
Laksa spice paste
4 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons nam pla (Asian fish sauce)
1 can coconut milk


Bean sprouts
Chili garlic sauce
Cucumber julienne
Laksa leaves (Asian basil or mint)
Egg omelet, finely shredded
Chili peppers, finely sliced, seeds removed
Spring onions, finely sliced
Lime or lemon wedges

Combine all spice paste ingredients in a blender or food processor, puree into a fine paste and set aside. Cook the noodles according to package directions, rinse, and set aside. Cook chicken in 6 cups of boiling water until done (about 30 minutes). Allow to cool, cut into bite-sized pieces, and set aside. Reserve 4 cups of the chicken stock for laksa sauce.

Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a wok. Add spice paste and stir-fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add nam pla and coconut milk and bring to a simmer.

To serve, divide the noodles into 4 large soup bowls. Arrange the chicken over the noodles. Ladle a cup of laksa sauce over the noodles. Serve with assorted garnishes. Serves four.

Citrus Fish Salad

1 ruby grapefruit
1 navel orange
2 limes
1/2 pound sushi grade fish (tuna, salmon, halibut, etc)


1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ginger root, finely shredded
1 tablespoon sugar

Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously to blend. Cut citrus fruits in half and slice half of each kind into thin half-circles. Divide citrus slices into 4 servings and arrange on chilled salad plates. Peel the rind from the remaining halves of the citrus fruits and coarsely chop the fruit. Divide chopped fruit into four portions and mound in the center of each plate.

Slice the raw fish into thin strips about 1/2" wide and 3" long. Divide fish slices into 4 portions and arrange on the salad plates around and on top of the mounded citrus fruit. Drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.

Spicy Baked Tilapia Fish

1 whole tilapia fish, about 2 pounds, cleaned & scaled

Spice Paste

1 large shallot, finely minced
1 stalk lemongrass, lower half only, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon ginger root, finely shredded
1 teaspoon chili garlic paste
1 lime, juice only
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Spicy Sauce

1/4 cup tomato sauce or ketchup
1 teaspoon chili garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger root, finely shredded
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 lime, juice only

Combine all spice paste ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree into a coarse paste. Score the broad side of the fish diagonally across both sides and fill the opening with spice paste. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until done, about 20 minutes per pound. Remove the fish from the oven and transfer to a serving platter.

To prepare the sauce, while the fish is baking, heat the sesame oil in a small saucepan. Add ginger root and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chili garlic paste, lime juice and tomato sauce or ketchup and stir to blend. Simmer until slightly thickened. Pour sauce over fish and serve immediately.

Hainanese Chicken Rice

1 pound boneless chicken thighs
6 cups water
1 teaspoon salt

Bring water to a boil in a large kettle. Add salt and chicken. Cook until tender, about 40 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside to cool. Reserve chicken stock for rice and sauce. When chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

Hainanese Rice

2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ginger root, finely shredded
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 cups long grain rice
3 cups chicken stock

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat sesame oil in a large oven-proof baking dish with a tight-fitting lid. Add shallot, ginger and garlic and stir-fry until lightly browned and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add rice and stir-fry until lightly browned, being careful not to burn the rice. Add chicken stock, stir thoroughly and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover and place in oven. Bake until rice is tender, about 25-30 minutes.

Ginger Spice Paste

1/4 cup ginger root, finely shredded
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Puree into a fine paste. Transfer spice paste to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 2 minutes, until slightly thickened.

Chili Sauce

1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 lime, juice only
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes, until slightly thickened.

To assemble Hainanese Chicken Rice, divide rice into four large, shallow soup bowls. Place chicken on top. Drizzle sauces over chicken and rice, or serve sauces on the side. Other complimentary condiments may include sweet soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili garlic sauce and hoisin sauce.

Mint Coconut Crepes


1 cup all purpose flour
1 egg lightly beaten
1 cup water (more or less for batter consistency)
1/4 cup milk
1 cup fresh mint leaves
Non-stick cooking spray or vegetable oil
Parchment paper or waxed paper, cut into 4" squares

Combine water and mint leaves in a blender or food processor and puree until the mixture forms a deep green blend. Strain the water into a measuring cup through a fine sieve and set aside. Discard pureed mint. Mix the egg, milk and flour together, stirring to blend. Add mint water a little at a time, stirring until the batter is thin and runny.

The making of crepes is an intuitive process in which the batter must be adjusted until it is just the right consistency, not too thick, not too thin; the pan must be just the right temperature and coated with just the right amount of oil, the puddle of batter must be just the right size, and from there, it's all in the wrist.

As soon as the batter hits the pan, begin rotating the wrist in a swirling motion to distribute the batter in a thin, perfect 4" circle. In a matter of only a few seconds, once the batter is set, gently agitate the pan with a circular motion to dislodge the pancake from the surface. Keeping the pan over the flame at a height of about 6 to 8 inches, continue to agitate the pan until the pancake is ever so slightly browned on one side. And in one swift motion, pull the pan toward you, which will cause inertia to send the pancake flipping into the air and catch it with the pan, uncooked side down. Or you can just flip it with a spatula. But the mid-air method is much more impressive.

Once the pancake is done on both sides but still soft and pliable, slide it from the pan onto a circle of parchment paper. When flattened out, those little pleated cupcake liners are the perfect size to place between pancakes to keep them from sticking together. Repeat the process until all the batter is used up, about 18 to 20 small pancakes, stacking each one on the plate with a paper liner in between. Cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature until serving time.


2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add coconut and stir-fry until golden brown, stirring constantly so that coconut does not burn. Add water, brown sugar and vanilla extract and stir to mix thoroughly. Reduce heat and simmer until water is evaporated and coconut is a sticky, golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Coconut Cream Sauce

1 can coconut milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

Combine coconut milk and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Add cornstarch mixture, reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.

To assemble, place a crepe on a clean, dry dinner plate. Spoon about a tablespoon of coconut filling horizontally across the lower center of the crepe. Roll the crepe, cigar-style into a cylinder about 1" in diameter. Set aside and repeat with remaining crepes. Cut each crepe in half at a diagonal angle. Place on serving plates and drizzle with coconut cream sauce. Serve immediately. Serves four to six.

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