How familiar are you with your wet market? I find that there are lesser young Singaporeans visiting the wet markets today, which in my opinion is a big mistake if you are a real foodie or cook, because this is the place where you find the freshest and finest ingredients.
Contrary to what most people assume, wet markets aren’t that wet and dirty after all, though i do agree it does smell a little. Wet market have evolved to be be very visitor friendly for beginners as well as to avid fresh grocery shoppers. The food is definitely clean too. And most important of all you get a good deal for many things.
There are cases where some grocers/butcher do overcharge if you are a newbie (not the ones i introduce here
), I trick is to hear what the other people in the market ask and watch what they do, especially when they ask for prices. As the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as Romans does”.
I visited my favourite wet market this morning at Geylang St 17 and as usual, I got a cart full of fresh goodies to prepare simple dishes to drool over. Unfortunately, I can’t link to the map now as the street directory SG is down – will post it up once it is ready!
First of all, let me introduce you to Uncle Willy, the Butcher (Please don’t laugh, its really his name)!
I must say, Uncle Willy has the freshest pork cuts in town and at the most reasonable price. I have been patronizing his store for about 3 years and he has never once failed me.
From the lovely pork ribs for soup, lean meat mince for pasta, fatty pork belly for stew and even the pig’s kidney for my sister’s confinement meals, they are all fresh without the “piggy” smell.
Being in a household of 10 family members including my dearest housekeepers, I buy a significant amount of meat… yes we are all carnivorous. Of which, my favorite is the full rack of pork chops I always get from him. They tend to take longer to prepare, but the outcome of juicy chops is worth much more then the effort required.
You can find him in the market right at the corner of the meat section (#01-97), or call him directly at 91858593 to order the meat cuts you want, usually 2 days in advance. Let him know that you are recommended by the young girl who lives at Katong. Haha~
Next up: The must visit provision shop!
I call them the king and queen of spices! Uncle and Auntie always give me the best tips on how to cook with spices and they often help me decide what to cook for dinner.
This type of provision stores which sell chinese herbs and spices are very common in wet markets. They are often more then willing to give patrons a good 101 intro to cooking traditional asian cuisine and are also glad to introduce to you their galore of ready spices.
Try out their plum sauce – tangy sweet and sour plum sauce, perfect marinate for your pork loins! Find them at #01-96.
Next up: Poultry!
If you want fat duck/chicken, beautiful marylands or the very nourishing black chicken, here is the place to get it. Similar to Uncle Willy’s store, 108 has very fresh poultry that you will sure to taste different when you roast your chicken.
A note to all of you whom have never visited the wet market:
You will find a lot of treasures not only in terms of getting good deals for fresh food, but also gaining a lot of new knowledge specifically to cooking asian cusine. I learn something new everytime I go to the market.For example: A tip on treating sore throat, which i will share in the subsequent postings.
Things to look out for in subsequent posting after my grocery trip:
1) Salty Vegetable Duck Soup – Xian Cai Ya Tan
2) Emperor Herbal Kampong Chicken – Yao Cai San Ba Ji
3) Purple Barley – to rid heatiness
4) Asian Five Spice Roasted Chicken – Wu Xiang Kao Ji
5) Sesame and Plum sauce Pork Chops
And if there are any other dishes that you would like me to find out for you, I will be more then glad to do so.