Lesser-known local dishes lined up for airlines

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN) - Sats and Singapore Chefs' Association aim to create greater awareness of home-grown fare.

Hainanese duck with pineapple and bamboo shoots, Peranakan sambal prawns with sataw beans and Teochew-style twice-cooked garoupa - such local dishes could soon be on your in-flight menu.

More than 70 recipes have been developed by chefs from ground-handling firm Sats and the Singapore Chefs' Association (SCA) to give travellers, according to Sats' director of kitchens Rick Stephen, a chance to acquaint themselves with lesser-known dishes that form a big part of the Singapore food culture.

The team of 13 SCA chefs - which includes the seven members of the SCA's national culinary team who will represent the country at the Expogast Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg in November - and the Sats team worked from February on the menu.

They drew inspiration from the Cantonese, Hainanese, Hakka and Teochew dialect groups, as well as Peranakan culture.

The menu was unveiled at a launch event yesterday.

Dishes also include Cantonese braised beef short rib and tendon with radish, Hakka red mushroom with pork rib soup, and warm pisang mas banana crumble with gula melaka ice cream.

"Travellers are familiar with typical Singaporean dishes like laksa and chicken rice, but there are more home-grown Singaporean dishes that are less well known," said Mr Stephen. "We want to create greater awareness for such traditional family food to add more variety to the local culinary experience."

He added that the dishes were tested by the team in a simulated pressurised cabin, to sample and adjust the food to cater to customers' taste buds at 30,000 feet.

The airlines that will have the menu on their flights have not yet been confirmed. Sats counts more than 50 carriers - including Singapore Airlines, ANA and British Airways - as its customers.

SCA chef Eric Low, who came up with the Teochew dish, said he used fermented yellow beans from Pu Ning in Chao Shan, China, to enhance the dish's seasoning.

He said: "The water in Chao Shan is pristine, and the area is famous for its fermented beans. My forefathers came from that region in China, and it had been a family tradition to use only fermented beans from Chao Shan."

SCA pastry chef Ben Goh said he got the idea for the warm pisang mas banana crumble with gula melaka ice cream from his days growing up in Malaysia, "where gula melaka is regularly used to sweeten a dessert".

There will be another round where SCA will create an additional 110 recipes.


No photos has been attached.