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SINGAPORE – Staying home during the coronavirus outbreak does not mean you have to dine shabbily.

In fact, cooking is a delicious way to keep yourself occupied and free your mind of anxiety in these trying times.

Plus, if you are one of those who have stocked up your pantry more than usual during this period, it's the perfect opportunity to whip up different dishes.

Let me get you started with three easy recipes: Hong Kong-style wonton noodles; Thai-inspired tuna noodles using low-fat unfried instant noodles; and, for a fun tea-time snack, steamed sponge cakes.

1. HONG KONG-STYLE WONTON NOODLES

INGREDIENTS FOR WONTONS (MAKES 26)

ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

1 egg (65g)

1 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp light soya sauce

2 Tbs sesame oil

¼ tsp ground white pepper

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 Tbs cornflour

300g double-minced pork collar

10g coriander stem, finely sliced

5g spring onion, use 7cm of root end, finely sliced

250g square wonton wrappers

METHOD

1. In a bowl, add the egg, fish sauce, light soya sauce, sesame oil, ground white pepper, salt, sugar and cornflour. Mix well.

2. Add the minced pork and mix well. Beat the minced pork in a clockwise direction until the marinade is mixed into the pork.

3. Add the coriander stem and spring onion.

4. Cover the bowl in clingwrap. Place in the fridge to marinate for an hour.

5. Take a piece of wonton wrapper and place a flat teaspoon of minced pork in the middle.

6. Fold over the wonton wrapper. Using your index fingers and thumb, lightly pinch and gather the sides of the wrapper towards the centre. Press lightly to keep the folds in place. Place the wontons in a sealable box lined with baking paper.

7. Once you have wrapped the wontons, place them in the fridge overnight, which enables them to firm up and retain their shape during the boiling process.

8. To cook the wontons, bring 1 litre of water to boil.

9. Place the wontons into boiling water for 6 minutes.For frozen wontons, cook for 71/2 minutes.

INGREDIENTS FOR CHAR SIEW


ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

960g pork collar

2 tsp light soya sauce

2 Tbs dark soya sauce

1½ Tbs oyster sauce

1½ Tbs fermented soya bean paste

2 Tbs Chinese rice wine

70g sugar

1 tsp salt

120g maltose

3 garlic cloves, minced

METHOD

1. Place the pork collar in a bowl.


ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

Use a thin skewer to pierce the meat.

2. In another bowl, add light soya sauce, dark soya sauce, oyster sauce, fermented soya bean paste, Chinese rice wine, sugar, salt, maltose and minced garlic. Mix well and pour over the pork.

3. Glove up and massage the marinade into the meat.

4. Cover the bowl with clingwrap and place the char siew in the fridge to marinate for three hours.

5. Preheat the oven to 200 deg C for 10 minutes.

6. Place the marinated pork on a wire rack on the baking tray and place in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes at 180 deg C.

7. Turn over the meat, baste and continue to roast for 20 minutes. Repeat this step.

8. Turn over the meat, baste one final time and roast for 15 minutes.

9. Turn off the heat. Let the meat rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

10. Let leftover char siew cool completely, wrap in baking paper and place in a freezer-friendly sealable container. To eat, defrost and heat up in toaster oven.

The wonton and char siew can be stored in the freezer for up to a month.

INGREDIENTS FOR NOODLES (ONE SERVING)


ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

1 tsp light soya sauce

1 tsp dark soya sauce

½ tsp oyster sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

Pinch of sugar

1 piece of 66g dried egg noodles

METHOD

1. In a bowl, add the light soya sauc, dark soya sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and sugar.

2. Bring 1 litre of water to boil. Cook the noodles for 3 minutes. Rinse briefly in tap water.

3. Place noodles in bowl with seasoning and toss.

4. To assemble the dish, add the wontons and sliced char siew.

Serves eight

2. THAI-INSPIRED TUNA NOODLES


ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

INGREDIENTS FOR TUNA TOPPING

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp fish sauce

Juice of four limes (2 Tbs)

3 shallots (35g), sliced

1 red finger chilli, sliced

1 red chilli padi, sliced

3g fresh coriander, coarsely cut

1 can of tuna chunks in light olive oil (150g)

1 litre of water

2 pieces of non-fried instant noodles (110g)


ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

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