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Ingredients

Milk Your Almonds

Easy-to-make almond milk Almond milk has long been a popular alternative to dairy milk for the lactose-intolerant. It is lower in fat, a great source of protein and calcium and, for those who avoid dairy for ethical reasons it is cruelty-free. With its creamy texture and naturally sweet flavour, it is the most viable substitute to dairy milk available right now. But it’s also a rather expensive: expect to pay SG$24 for a 1-litre bottle of raw almond milk from …

Candlenuts: Fire and Flavour

The candlenut bears a striking similarity to its cousin, the macadamia nut – both have cream coloured skins and similar rough textures. But the candlenut is more popularly used as a spice in Asian dishes to flavour curries, condiments and marinades. The candlenut is also known as buah keras, which literally translates to hard fruit, and originates from the flowering species Aleurite moluccanus (commonly known as the moluccana tree) that is found in the tropics and other warm climates. The tree can …

Discovering the Torch Ginger Flower

If you stumble across a torch ginger plant, you’ll soon find yourself staring into an exotic and beautiful pink flower – one that is synonymous with Malay and Nyonya (Peranakan) dishes. The torch ginger can grow up to 20 feet in height, and the flowers (bunga kantan in Malay) are buds that appear at the end of tall, straight stalks that can be 5 feet long. The name derives from its appearance: when the plant or flower is young, it looks like a flaming …

The Sweetest of Rivals

Palm sugar is a unique and versatile ingredient. While often found in Asian desserts, it’s increasingly a popular choice for savoury dishes or as an addition to broths in main courses. This natural sweetener is derived from palm trees and is sometimes known as coconut palm sugar. Different varieties of palms can be used to create palm sugar of varying textures but all go through similar extraction processes. Manufacturers usually process the sugar palm juice into three types of sugar: …

Artisanal Sausages

If it wasn’t for her son’s autism, Stephanie Siow would probably never have become a food entrepreneur. His condition meant Siow had to give up full-time work so she could care for him. Needing a new income stream to support the family, the 48-year-old decided to start a home business, and she launched Stephanie Siow’s Artisanal Sausages last year. But it wasn’t just about making extra money. Siow wanted to teach her 17-year-old son life and work skills so that he …

Star Anise Secrets

If you’re familiar with Chinese cuisine, then star anise, with its distinctive, eight-pointed shape, will be no stranger to your kitchen. Its distinctive taste – with even more of the same compound that gives ordinary anise and liquorice their unique flavour – packs a huge punch in that small, pointy package and represents one of the five major spices in Chinese cooking. Those less accustomed to cooking Chinese dishes might not consider star anise a very versatile spice. How could …