SINGAPORE (May 15): Few things are as welcoming as a bowl of hot, nutritious porridge, especially in these uncertain times. This week, we’ve issued our Chef’s Challenge to Chef Daniel Tay, founder and owner of Old Seng Choong, who shares his recipe for Teochew-style fish porridge. This simple bowl of goodness is easy to make and will instantly evoke feelings of warmth and comfort.
To make the broth:
. Toast the dried sole until fragrant and golden-brown, and set aside.
2. Pan-fry fish bones on medium heat until golden-brown.
3. Pour three litres of cold water into a large pot.
4. Add in fish bones and boil on low heat for two hours.
5. Add in four to five pieces of toasted dried sole once the broth starts boiling.
6. Prepare a mixture of cornstarch, water and sugar.
7. Slice the mackerel, coat the slices with the cornstarch mixture, and set aside.
For each bowl of porridge:
1. Scoop three to five ladles of broth into a small pot and bring to a boil.
2. Add 100g of the sliced and prepared mackerel, 1–2 pieces of toasted dried sole, white pepper and Vietnamese fish sauce.
3. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until the fish slices are cooked.
4. Pour this mixture over a bowl of steamed rice.
5. Top it off with preserved Tientsin cabbage and shallot oil, and serve.
Classically trained in the art of French pastry, Chef Daniel Tay has an impressive resume that includes stints at Fauchon, a renowned gourmet food retailer in Paris, and fine-dining restaurant Les Amis in Singapore, where he was pastry chef.
He has also clinched prestigious awards, including the Gold Medal at the World Pastry Cup 1996 in Singapore, and the Inniskillin Icewine Pastry Chef of the Year at the World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence in 2001.
In 1998, Daniel founded Baker’s Inn, a patisserie-cafe that was renamed in 2004 as Bakerzin, as it is now known.
Daniel then established Foodgnostic, a state-ofthe-art food solutions company that focuses on food contract manufacturing, in 2013. In the same year, he also established Cat & the Fiddle, an online cheesecake specialist shop known for its affordable and delicious treats, as well as its efforts in sustainability.
His latest venture, Old Seng Choong, pays homage to his father and the confectionery that sparked his culinary ambitions. The brand focuses on traditional festive treats to accompany every momentous occasion and celebration in life.
"This is a comforting dish that is very easy to prepare. It is great for busy individuals and those looking for a simple and tasty dish. However, do not use salmon fish bones for the broth as the heavy flavour of salmon is not suitable. Use cold water to prepare the broth to get a clearer soup and a better umami flavour; you may also add prawns or garland chrysanthemum (tang oh) when preparing the porridge. — Chef Daniel Tay