Friends came over and, unfortunately, I didn’t burn rice


It all started when I sent out an email with the title “If I made Mee Siam would you come?” At the time, I was really into making a good bowl of Mee Siam and had made a batch of Rempah from scratch. As you don’t see my Mee Siam efforts documented, it means I’ve not had satisfactory results. Anyway, I was gratified to receive favorable responses.

Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, we had to postpone a week; which was a good thing because Vicky told me that she loved Clay Pot Rice, so I thought let’s kill two birds with one clay pot and got everyone to come over for a casual lunch.


Truth be told, I wasn’t at the top of my game today. I’m not sure why, probably due to the hot weather and lack of sleep. Evidence of this was when I discovered I forgot to buy young ginger for my roast pork and for the salted fish. Worse: I forgot to buy the tofu for the appetizer. So I had to dash out to Medi-Ya (for their kick-ass tofu).

Oh yes, the menu for lunch was simple:

Chilled Chrysanthemum and Osmanthus tea

Cold Tofu with fried Shallots and Pork Floss in a salty-savory sauce

Lap Mei Fan (Clay Pot Rice with preserved meats and salted fish)

Roast Crackling Pork served with homemade Achar

Chocolate Loaf by Vicky

Chocolate Truffles by Carrie

Mao Shan Wang Durian by Sing Ping and Sharon


Personally, I felt that my cooking today wasn’t up to my usual standard. It had to do with being under the weather; I tend to ratchet down a notch and become too conservative. The end result was a less than stellar roast pork and a moist Lap Mei Fan.

The Roast Pork was still crackling, moist (actually, it was juicy) and nicely cooked through. And even though I can hear the crackle and snap as my friends bit into it, I would have preferred a more “bubbled” crackling. I turned down the heat immediately when I the crackling started; it didn’t burn but there wasn’t enough crackling skin for my usual standards.

I cook Lap Mei Fan without a recipe; it is through a combination of sight and smell that I achieve Lap Mei Fan. I like my Lap Mei Fan to be on the dry side with lots of burnt and crispy rice bits flavored by the oils of the preserved meats and I add a special sauce to further lift the flavors. Without going into too much detail, I mis-judged the readiness of the Lap Mei Fan and served a moist fluffy version instead. Alas.


I was happy though that my topping of steamed Chye Sim (Choi Sum) was well-received. I’ve always loved the light butteriness of steamed Chye Sim and thought it provides a nice contrast to the heavy pork and liver sausages.

Dessert was awesome because it was not made by me. Vicky made an awesome Chocolate Loaf with a long finish. And Carrie’s Chocolate Truffles was just the right pairing for the 2003 Chรขteau Bernadotte. And to top it off, Sing and Sharon brought a wonderfully fragrant Mao Shan Wang durian, whose leftovers I had as my dinner.

Oh yes, durian and chocolate loaf make a wonderful dinner.


Despite my failure, I had a blast at lunch. There really is nothing like having good friends over for a lazy Sunday lunch and basically chat the whole day over whatever comes to mind. It’s been a while since I’ve laughed so much.

Next time, I will do something simple like Roast Lamb stuffed with Mint and Parmesan. What could possibly go wrong? ๐Ÿ™‚


Posted on 28th Mar 2011 in Chinese, Dinner Book, Food and Drink, Old School, Recipes, Singapore


There Are 4 Comments


Su-Lin commented on March 28, 2011 at 3:37 am

Don’t care what you say… it all looks fantastic!!! I want it all.


Sweets by Vicky commented on March 28, 2011 at 9:42 am

I’ve been going on about the pork belly since I got home so evidently, I am a HUGE fan. And that achar, seriously, I don’t think I stopped scooping from the bowl. So, might not be as awesome as you’d like but I had a really fantastic meal! ๐Ÿ™‚


sharon commented on March 29, 2011 at 4:44 pm

u forgot the wines!


carrie commented on April 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Dang, Ivan it was a fine meal and the finest roast crackling pork and lap mei fan I ever had!!

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