Want to cook like a local? Looking to expand your recipe repertoire?
Turn to these trusted Singapore cookbooks, which make great gifts for friends and family back home!
True to its name, this collection brings together all the different flavours found in the cultural melting pot that is Singapore. The ICCS has more than 500 participants, both locals and expats, and this book has recipes from about 75 countries! Here’s why it is helpful for expats: The recipes come with tips on where in SG you can find more unfamiliar ingredients.
by Chefs of Raffles Hotel
After an extensive renovation, Raffles Singapore will be back in all its restored glory sometime this year. All the more reason to indulge in your taste buds with some of its classic recipes. You’ll find dishes that will remind you of Singapore of yore. Try your hand at Bombay Egg Kurma, Laksa (rice noodles in curry sauce) or Cantonese Braised Abalone.
by Denise Fletcher
These recipes are simple and have a very friendly tone. It’s ideal as a gift for those outside Singapore, as it comes with food substitutes for when you can’t find local ingredients. You’ll be putting together a roti john (fried bread topped with egg) or curry puffs in no time!
by Temasek Polytechnic
“An extremely well-researched and presented book that should be a favourite among Singaporeans and those that admire the Singaporean way of life, which, unsurprisingly, revolves around family and food,” says one review of the book. We couldn’t agree more. If you love SG’s famed hawker food, this is how you can bring it home. One tip: Bring down the portions a notch if you are cooking for family, as they are more generous than you would expect.
by Tan Hsueh Yun
When a recipe column has run successfully for over a decade in The Straits Times, it’s safe to say the recipes are worth a try. Hunger Management is a compilation of the best recipes by Tan Hsueh Yin (food editor of the newspaper’s Life section) in her same-named fortnightly column. You’ll find appetisers, soups, mains, side dishes and desserts.
by Lace Zhang
“So much of what we know and love about food are the memories ingrained in us – the home-cooked meals that we often take for granted but learn to treasure as we grow older,” says Lennard Yeong, MasterChef Asia finalist, about this book. Lace Zhang, a home cook, gives you a peek into a Singaporean’s kitchen. Watching her auntie and grandma cook, she meticulously noted down details and rigorously tried them, to ensure nothing was left to chance. It’s the reason why her Steamed Garlic Prawns will make you an instant champ and a family favourite.
by Wendy Hutton
Next time your guests want to try Chili Crab or the famous Singaporean Chicken Rice, make it at home! A New Zealander by birth, Wendy spent the majority of her life in South East Asia, going on to write multiple cookbooks about various cuisines in the region. Her recipes are easy to understand and replicate. Wendy died in Sabah recently (2018) and was widely acclaimed and remembered by many for her contributions to the culinary history of countries in the region.
by Terry Tan and Christopher Tan
Bergedel Potato Fish Cakes, Sop Kambing Spiced Mutton Soup, Fish Moolie in Spicy Coconut Sauce, Kueh Dadar Coconut Filled Pancakes – Singaporean recipes don’t get more authentic than that. With a stamp of approval from James Beard Award-winner David Thompson (who wrote the foreword), this cookbook’s more than 100 recipes feature brilliant photographs. It even tells you how to make your own curry powder. How is that for some real cooking?
by Shermay Lee
To be in Singapore and not try Peranakan cuisine? That cannot be. Here is a compilation of timeless Peranakan recipes that will teach you how to cook up nasi lemak (Malay coconut rice) or popiah (Chinese crepe spring roll). Originally by Lee Chin Koon, the recipes have been rewritten by her granddaughter Shermay Lee. While Volume 1 deals with Nonya dishes, Volume 2 is a mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian dishes.
by Mrs. Leong Yee Soo
Seen Crazy Rich Asians? Remember when the whole family got together to cook dim sum, and the matriarch shared her secrets of making perfect ones? Singapore’s Peranakan cooking history is a lot like that, and Mrs. Leong was widely regarded as an expert in Peranakan cooking. But, her repertoire extends well beyond that and included Malay, Chinese Eurasian and Indian dishes. This book includes more than 300 time-tested recipes, from Chicken Rice and Char Kway Teow to Roti Jala.
By Sushimita Mohapatra + Savitha Venugopal, From The Finder Issue 297, / Photos: International Cooking Club, Book Depository, Kinokuniya, and Shermay Lee. / Updated August 2019
More on The Finder:
10 Delicious, Unconventional Cookbooks Any Person Who Eats Should Read
Recipes, Tips And More: The Expat’s Guide To Hosting A Deepavali Dinner Party In Singapore
International Cooking Club Singapore: Indian Butter Chicken Recipe
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