Saturday, 3 August 2013

Ayam Cooking Session @ Food Playground

Last week, I was invited to Food Playground at Craig Road for a culinary experience - cooking heritage food! National day is coming, just about the right timing to learn how to cook local delights to show how patriotic you are! I got to learn how to cook dishes like Laksa, Chicken Satay with sweet peanut sauce and Kueh Dadar!

Food Playground is a cooking school that is located at 4A Craig Road, about 10 minutes walk from Tanjong Katong MRT station or Outram Park MRT station. Food Playground conducts cultural cooking classes as an avenue to preserve the Singapore food culture and heritage.

Good news for you all especially if you love our local food and cooking!
A lucky reader of mine will have the chance to try the cooking class that I have tried, for free! Read on to find out how to win.

here's where we all sat down and ate what we cooked after whipping up the dishes in the kitchen.

While waiting for the other bloggers to arrive, we had Lime Lemongrass Cordial served to us.

Chef Rachel for a day.

5 star rating hahaha

Here's how their kitchen looks like! Everything you need is in there!

First up: Nonya Laksa

Ingredients (serves 1)

for spice paste:
3 dried chilli (soaked in warm water, remove seeds)
2 shallots
1 candlenut
½ stalk lemongrass (white part only)
1-2 slices galangal
½ tbs dried shrimp (soaked in warm water)
½ tsp shrimp paste
¼ tsp coriander seed
¼ tsp turmeric powder

2 prawns with shells (boiled in 1 cup of water, reserve stock, shell prawns leaving tail ends if desired)
Laksa noodles, bean sprouts (scalded)

½-¾ cup coconut milk
1 tau pok
salt and sugar to taste

laksa leaves
fish cake, sliced

We were divided into teams of 4 and I was in charge of grinding the laksa paste.

ingredients for the laksa paste - made from scratch.

It was hard work but seeing how it turned out made it all worthwhile.

After we were done with the laksa paste, we heated the pot with some oil and added the laksa paste. We had to take extra care to stir it continously otherwise it might be burnt. After that, we added the prawn stock and tofu puff.

Coconut milk, salt and sugar was added last. Our laksa soup.. almost ready!

With the ingredients and chu mee fen (粗米粉)

..after all the garnishing and I also added shredded cucumber at the side. It was good to go and it smelled so nice I could not wait to eat!


Kueh Dadar

If you don't know, kueh dadar are pandan pancakes with coconut filling. I SUPER LOVE THEM!!!

We needed 6 tablespoons of pandan juice (from pandan leaves) to add inside the mixture to make thin crepes (which is also the skin of the kueh dadar).

Ingredients for the skin:
1¼ cup plain flour
1 egg
⅔ cup coconut milk
6 tbs pandan juice
1½ cup water
¼ tsp salt

after adding in the pure pandan juice, stir the mixture well. 

Ingredients for the coconut filling:
1½ cup grated coconut
4-5 tbs gula melaka, shaved
1 tbs black sugar
2 tbs water

the coconut filling! Simply cook it and set aside.

After preparing the ingredients, heat up a small shallow frying pan (low heat) and grease (once) lightly with oil. Once pan is hot enough, start making your kueh dadars!

my first attempt. Not perfect but I was seduced by the fragrance of it already!!

Xueling's kueh dadar. No matter how I tried, I could not make a close to perfect circle like hers but it is the how the end product looks and tastes like that counts!

Simply roll it up like a springroll and it's ready to be eaten!

 craving for this as I am blogging about it! Until that day, I did not know how good kueh dadars tasted. Definitely one of my favourite kuehs to date!!


Next up,

Chicken Satay Roast with Peanut Sauce

Ingredients (makes about 12 pieces):

6 large chicken boneless legs, halved
marinade chicken overnight with:
1.5 tsp tumeric powder
1.5 tsp coriander seed powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1.5 tsp kecap manis
1 tsp salt, 1 tbs sugar

spice paste
5 lemongrass
3cm knob galangal
20 shallots, 15 cloves garlic
15 dried chillies

other ingredients for the sauce:
10-12 tbs roasted peanuts, pounded roughly
tamarind juice (5 tbs tamarind mixed with 2 cups water)
1-1.5 tbs kecap manis
6 tbs sugar or more to taste, 1.5 tsp salt or more to taste

Grinding the spice paste 

scoop up 2 tbs of spice paste on to marinated chicken and set aside

Fry the spice paste in a pan with heated oil. 

Stir in other ingredients for the sauce and let it simmer for few minutes before turning off heat.

Roast chicken in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes until skin is crisp.

Lastly, serve! Chicken meat was extremely tender and sauce went so well with it. This was not your usual chicken satay and I liked it so much because the chicken was marinated and well flavoured and oh-so-tender (can't help but emphasize again how tender the chicken was hehe).


We were also shown a demonstration on how to cook dry laksa using the korean sweet potato noodles found in the korean dish Japchae. Rather than using the chu mee fen where it would be drier, the sweet potato noodles will make the dish more moist.

Ready-made Ayam brand Laksa paste was used. Coconut milk was also added. 

It was really easy to whip up and it took less than 10 minutes!

Ever since I tried the laksa goreng (basically dry laksa) from Laksania, I fell in love with it so I was really looking forward to sampling this dish. I was also impressed by how easy it was to cook this with the ready-made laksa paste by Ayam. 

Ayam Brand Singapore is committed to bring quality products with an authentic taste of Asian flavours to our consumers. Their products are made with natural ingredients without preservatives or added MSG.

Ready-made sauces and pastes are one of the best inventions. They are so convenient for lazy people to use and also for those who cannot cook for nuts.

All of our hard work and effort neatly placed in front of us all ready to be savoured :') I loved everything that we cooked so I cannot decide which is my favourite because it is almost impossible for me to choose since everything was so yummy. Somehow, food that we personally cook taste especially yummy huh?

Overall, the class was really easy to follow (even for a cooking dummy like me) and the instructors were so patient with us and guided us throughout where necessary. After this fun hands-on experience, I've learnt to appreciate food even more, and of course the people cooking the food! It is human nature to take our daily routines for granted. I am definitely giving more thanks now :D and you should too!

very happy and satisfied me with my bowl of Laksa, one of my favourite food hehe

group photo of all of us who attended the cooking session that day!

Here's another good news to share :)

Would you like to win a Heritage Food Kit? 

Like Ayam Brand Singapore's Facebook page and tell them which heritage dish you love most and stand a chance to win an Ayam Band Heritage Food kit. It's that simple!
Simply log on to Ayam Brand Singapore's Facebook Page to participate now!

Want to win a fun hands-on cooking session at Food Playground on the 24th August? This will be a great opportunity for those who can't cook (step-by-step guide and instructor will be there for you) and those who love cooking!

Just follow 2 simple steps:
1) Follow me on twitter
2) Tweet "I want to try the cooking class from! @rachelays" 

Remember to make sure your account is not private if I am not following you, so that I can see your tweets! Contest will end on 11th August (11:59PM) and winner will be announced via twitter on 12th August. 

Good luck everybody!

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