At perhaps no other time in history have we embraced cooking at home like we do today. Yes, there’s never been a time when food delivery was this popular, too, but for many Filipinos there’s no replacing a home-cooked meal. And now we don’t just cook at home—we record it on video and share our cooking prowess with friends on social media. Maybe it’s our indirect way of sharing a meal with people we don’t anymore get to often dine with.
This renewed appreciation for cooking at home is at the heart of the first online Singapore Food Festival happening now until the last weekend of August. Singapore is serving up a Live Masterclass from the Philippines’ own international chef and restaurateur Margarita Forés together with Chef Ming Tan of Singapore.
Called “2Fast, 2Delicious—Hokks and Clay,” the MasterClass is happening this Saturday, August 22 and the two chefs will be teaching attendees how to make two classic Singaporean dishes: Hokkien Mee and Claypot Rice—they will also share a few tricks on how to level up these classic favorites.
Hokkien Mee, a noodle dish popular in Singapore, has become a favorite thanks to its use of fragrant stock with prawns, meat, clams and dried fish. Chef Ming Tan, who has visited the Philippines a few times (and even got a market visit with Margarita as guide), says it’s a bit similar to our Pancit Malabon: they’re both cooked in this very flavorful broth and the result is this silky noodle dish everyone loves. He learned how to cook Hokkien Mee from watching the cooks in Singapore’s hawker centers.
Meanwhile, Claypot Rice, to those not familiar, is a rice casserole cooked directly over live coals, and Singaporeans love it for its trademark crispiness. Chef Margarita likes the fact that while one can only have Claypot Rice in Hongkong during the winter season, it’s available in Singapore all year round. She loves the crunchy bottom of the dish, and all the little ingredients mixed in: the salted duck, the vegetables, the light soy sauce, the blood sausage. For the Masterclass, she’s thinking of adding our own etag from up north. It’s inherent smoky taste will blend perfectly, she says, with the Claypot Rice.
While Chef Margarita is known more for her love of Italian cuisine and Filipino food (her favorite ingredients are taba ng talangka; something called “baga-baga” which she says is basically chopped pork lung that is fried in vinegar and eaten with rice and egg; and “batitis” or baby oysters which usually comes in a local gin bottle), she visits Singapore twice a year to check out what’s new and revisit old favorites.
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Sometimes she would see Chef Ming who is the host of his own food show, and runs five brands and several restaurants in Singapore. The two have been friends for some time now and Chef Ming says he is very excited to do this collaboration with Chef Margarita for the Singapore Food Festival.
“STB’s online masterclasses shine the spotlight on the talents and dishes of Singapore’s dining scene. We invite foodies around the world to rediscover Singaporean cuisine with us through this fun and entertaining format,” says Ruby Liu, Singapore Tourism Board Area Director for the Philippines. “The 2Fast, 2Delicious - Hokks and Clay class is specially curated for Filipino foodies and we hope that the session will allow Filipino foodies to enjoy Singaporean cuisine from the comfort and safety of their own homes.”
The Masterclass is part of a series of online activities held by the Singapore Tourism Board as part of the annual Singapore Food Festival happening August 21 to 30. Among the various masterclasses one can join in is the Holy Crab: Supper Treats on August 21, 2020, 9:30 p.m., which showcases curated dishes with bold, cheeky flavors featuring Chef Elton Seah.
Drinks enthusiasts can also join The Unusually Singaporean Cocktail Masterclass on August 22, 2020, 4:30 p.m. Colin Chia will create two cocktails.
Watch the 2Fast, 2Delicious - Hokks and Clay Masterclass here singaporefoodfestival.sg