Madam Choy’s Cantonese Recipes
“Like the journalist that she is, Ms Reutens, the late Madam Choy’s daughter, makes the recipes so short, sweet and simple that they are so easy to follow.”
Lulin Reutens & Choy Wai Yuen
Having turned 85 years old this year, Madam Choy has a collection of Cantonese recipes which she has kept from newspapers and magazines over the last fifty years—all of them fondly adapted to her own style. Born in a well-to-do family in Seremban, she didn’t really have a chance to cook until she was married at 16 and came to Singapore. Her love for cooking grew only in 1957, when she moved to a bigger house with a large kitchen of her own.
As someone who has a discerning tongue, Madam Choy often taught her children the language of food tasting. Texture and fragrance were as important as food to taste. Noodles should be darn ngah “spring off the teeth”. Fried dishes must have wok hei (“breath of the wok”). More such Cantonese terms can be found in the book.
To Madam Choy, cooking is more art than science. Nothing is measured and every ingredient is added by instinct. After fifty years of tasting and trying, she has more than ninety recipes ready to share. Some of the Cantonese recipes in the book range from the higher-end ones such as Abalones in Oyster Sauce, Bird’s Nest Chicken Soup, and Cordyceps soup, to simpler ones such as Bitter Gourd Omelette, Potato Cakes, and Salt Baked Chicken.
This book of Cantonese recipes is compiled with the help of Madam Choy’s daughter, Lulin Reutens.
This third revised edition has been updated with the addition of seven new mouth-watering recipes, including Eight Treasures Beancurd and Braised Pork Belly in Dark Soya Sauce.
Madam Choy’s Cantonese Recipes is part of Epigram Books’ award-winning Heritage Cookbook series, which showcases the best of Singapore’s major cuisines through authentic family recipes.
“She is no culinary doyen, but with more than 50 years of cooking experience, avid home cook Choy Wai Yuen, 85, has amassed a wealth of recipes.”
—The Straits Times
“Ms Lulin Reutens is known to wield the pen better than the pan, but she took the trouble to diligently archive those recipes and test them out.”
—The New Paper
“In other words, it’s comfort food the likes of which you won’t find Jamie or Delia writing about. And it’s all the better for it.”
About the Author
Lulin Reutens worked as a journalist for The Straits Times for over 20 years and subsequently as an editorial consultant and writer for 16 years before retiring in 2010. She loves the outdoors and has at different times been passionate about water-skiing, scuba diving and mountain trekking. An eager home cook and baker, she enjoys feeding family and friends—she once made brownies at Everest base camp at 5,300m for the sherpas. Her son is the owner and chef of a restaurant in Manhattan, but no, she does not help with the cooking there.
Size: 125 x 220mm
Pages: 148 pp
Published: March 2012