The Way of Kueh: Savouring & Saving Singapore’s Heritage Desserts
"A noteworthy ode to heritage cakes." —Tatler Singapore
Book of the Year, 2020 Singapore Book Awards
Winner for the 2020 Singapore Book Awards (Best Illustrated, Non-Fiction)
Food writer, cooking instructor and author Christopher Tan is back with the definitive book on Singapore’s kueh, sharing everything you need to know about local kueh culture.
Much more than just a collection of recipes, The Way of Kueh delves into the topic with a lyrical, insightful and practical approach. It traverses kueh families and genres, key kueh-making techniques, the seasonality and social significance of kueh, and the importance of both tradition and innovation. Local kueh artisans from all walks of life share their stories and perspectives in interviews, while short essays muse on the histories, regional and colonial influences, science and symbolism behind this most diverse of food genres.
Helpful glossaries on key ingredients and essential kitchen tools will equip you to tackle over 100 detailed and precise recipes for kuehs from across Singapore’s communities, from ang koo kueh to kueh bakar, kueh kaswi to jian dui, steamed and baked kueh lapis varieties, and many more, including rare and endangered items such as sesagun, putugal and bak kueh.
Making kueh is truly and traditionally a labour of love. The Way of Kueh was born from a desire to inspire and encourage Singaporeans to make and enjoy kueh together with their families and friends, to celebrate, preserve and progress this unique and rich part of our national food heritage.
"If, like Tan, more Singaporeans see the primacy in heritage home- cooking, maybe one day we too can all sit down at the table, wordlessly savouring a homemade delicacy - together."
—The Straits Times
"A wonderful adventure into Singapore’s kuehs and kueh culture, traversing cultures, cuisines and culinary history of Singapore’s Malay, Chinese, Peranakan and Eurasian communities."
"This is more movement than book ... Beyond providing mere guidance on the art of kueh making, the book delves deep into the science and culture of kueh and pays homage to the personal experiences of respected kueh masters across the country."
—The Peak magazine
"Truly a triumph of research and industry."
— The Star
"The book can be thought of as a kueh encyclopedia which also documents kueh's history, regional connections and colonial influences through essays and interviews with artisans who make kueh."
“There is no future without respect for the past and Christopher Tan’s detailed ode to the treasures of Singapore’s kueh heritage provides the first and definitive tome featuring the history and culture of Kueh, the authentic culinary techniques and complete recipes with step-by-step photos layered with love with the personal stories he shares of Singapore’s traditional kueh makers. This is a landmark academic and yet folksy food and recipe book for Singapore and culinarians around the world and provides the past with which they can re-create kuehs with authenticity or a reference for culinarians who want to experiment and create the Next Great Singapore Kueh.”
—Violet Oon, Chef, Culinary Curator
About the Author
Christopher Tan, 47 (www.foodfella.com) is an award-winning writer, cooking instructor and photographer.
He has been commentator on and chronicler of food, culture and heritage for publications such as Singapore's Sunday Times and Straits Times, The Peak, and America’s Saveur magazine. He believes that what we eat is but the littlest part of any food encounter: it is in the how, why, when, where and with whom we eat that much of its flavour lies.
Christopher has given talks and demonstrations at Singapore’s National Museum, Peranakan Museum and National Library, the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, Paris’ Le Musée Quai Branly, the Sydney International Food Festival, the Singapore Writers Festival, and the annual Kueh Appreciation Day organised by Slow Food Singapore, the local chapter of the international grassroots association devoted to preserving heritage food and culture.
He has authored and co-authored numerous cookbooks. Prior to The Way of Kueh, his most recent cookbooks include NerdBaker, a memoir-cum-baking book; Cheat Sheet, a compilation of his Sunday Times columns; and Peacetime Kitchen, a collection of re-envisioned recipes from the WW2 era.
Christopher teaches cooking, baking and kueh classes regularly at The Kitchen Society in Singapore. Find him on Instagram at @thewayofkueh.
Size: 250mm x 190mm
Published: November 2019