We’re pretty much resettling from London to Singapore, and everything’s been so fast paced and crazy that we haven’t had much time to cook, let alone for Whisk & Knife… But we’re back!! (Hopefully for good now!) So, while resettling back into Asian culture, we’ve also started rediscovering the ingredients available locally. All the Asian sauces, spices and ingredients that we’ve missed so dearly in London are actually easily available once again (although Nigel will tell you that there is no milk like British whole milk…) We honestly consider food to be an integral part of our lives, and there’s no better way to rediscover a culture through its food, yes?
For a long long time now, we’ve been using sesame oil in our kitchen. Its fabulous, nutty and savoury flavour is the mainstay of so many Asian dishes and we honestly couldn’t cook without it. Together with soy sauce, vinegar and Shaoxing wine, sesame oil performs an integral role in providing Chinese cuisine with the fragrant aroma and trademark flavour of many dishes! There’s nothing quite like a drizzle of sesame oil on a bowl of hot congee or steamed vegetables. In Singapore, when you speak about sesame oil, there are two brands that stand out from the rest, namely Chee Seng and Double Pagoda. My grandmother and mother both used Double Pagoda in their kitchens, while Nigel’s family uses Chee Seng… Funny thing is, we recently discovered that they both come under the same company – Chee Seng Oil Factory (Pte) Ltd.!
Chee Seng sesame oil never disappoints. Being produced since 1956, Chee Seng’s 100% Pure Sesame Oil – with its superior quality and authentic flavour – fulfils the needs of any kitchen. (While this may sound like a bout of shameless marketing, it is not an advertisement; we are simply biased towards products which have proven to be the best!)
Moving on, we would like to share with you our latest encounter with Double Pagoda’s range of specialty oils. The amazing folks at Chee Seng gave us samples from the entire range of specialty oils, comprising the following:
(from left to right: Spicy Sesame Oil, Chilli Oil, Shallot Oil, Szechuan Pepper Oil, Ginger Oil, Garlic Oil)
These are flavour infused oils, meaning that you could easily impart different flavours to dishes without having the hassle of using the actual ingredients themselves (ie. chopped garlic or chilli, etc). I was a weeny bit skeptical about not using actual ingredients for flavour because I’m weirdly traditional like that… BUT, we’re quite pleasantly surprised to report that the flavour of Double Pagoda flavoured oils are absolutely authentic and NOT artificial at all. We’re especially in love with the garlic oil and the chilli oil! To kick off our recipes featuring Chee Seng (Double Pagoda) flavoured oils, here’s a simple recipe for a homely dish. We’ve jazzed our wontons up with various vegetables for a more satisfying crunch, as well as Double Pagoda’s ginger, sesame, and shallot oils for concentrated flavour. Enjoy!:)
Wontons (makes about 50)
- 1 pack of wonton skins (100g)
- 300g minced pork or chicken
- a 2-inch section of carrot
- 3 dried shittake mushrooms
- 4 small water chestnuts
- 1 tsp Double Pagoda ginger oil
- 1 tsp Double Pagoda shallot oil
- 1 tsp Double Pagoda sesame oil
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/2 tsp shaoxing wine
- 2 Tbs light soy sauce
- 1 pinch of sugar
1. Soak shittake mushrooms in hot water to soften. Peel water chestnuts and carrot.
2. Finely dice water chestnuts, carrot and shittake mushrooms.
3. In a large bowl, combine minced pork/chicken, water chestnuts, carrot, and shittake mushrooms.
4. Add all seasoning ingredients and stir in a clockwise direction until all ingredients are well combined and the mixture becomes sticky.
5. Use about a teaspoon of filling for each wonton (don’t be tempted to be too generous… your wontons will explode when cooked and you’ll be left with filling minus soggy skin)
6. Keep wontons covered until ready to cook.
7. To cook, boil a large pot of water. Drop a few wontons in at a time and cook for about 1-2 minutes until the filling is fully cooked.
9. Serve with garlic noodles (recipe coming up!) and some blanched veggies.
*Note: Extra filling can be used to make meatballs- simply roll a teaspoon of filling into a ball and cook in boiling water like the wontons. Panfrying is also an option for meatballs! Uncooked wontons can be kept in an airtight container overnight- but not too long, as the skins will get sticky. These wontons are great deep fried too!
Thank you Chee Seng Oil for the opportunity to try out your range of flavoured oils! More recipes featuring the other different oils coming up soon!