Chef’s Secrets: This Nonya Dish Prepared In A Non-Traditional Way Will Be An Instant Hit With Guests

Cookbook author and food writer Sylvia Tan shares her recipe's secrets and cooking tips


Roasted Brinjals With Nuts, Shalllots And Shrimp Fry (Photo: Feline Lim/The Straits Times)

Even though I am Peranakan and most at ease with Nonya dishes, I sometimes resort to short cuts whenever I can, like this sambal dish cooked in a non-traditional manner.

This one is brinjal (sambal terong), but roasted in the oven instead of being fried the traditional way. It is topped with sambal, shrimp fry, fried shallots and nuts.

My inspiration comes from a similar dish served at Baba Wins in Tiong Bahru Plaza, where a Cantonese woman turns out Peranakan dishes from her mother-in-law’s recipes. She serves a sambal brinjal, also topped with shrimp fry. I merely added shallots and nuts to it. It has become a hit, with guests asking for it whenever they come for dinner.