The Singapore Heritage Cookbooks. This series, which we import from Singapore, consists of individual books (six to date, hopefully more to come) highlighting the traditional home cooking of each of the various ethnic groups in the busy, prosperous city state.
Every book includes an affectionate tribute to one person whose cooking represents the cuisine featured there, and charming, highly personal commentary on many of the dishes reflects the interchange among Singapore’s different cultures. Those looking for definitive, systematic studies of ethnic traditions will be disappointed, but these handsomely designed slender books offer a fascinating window into everyday fare.
“Nonya” is another word often used to describe peranakan cooking, the cuisine of Chinese migrants who intermarried with local Malays throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. From their kitchen came flavorful hybrid dishes such as pork and chiles in tamarind sauce; gado gado, the well-known vegetable salad in spicy peanut sauce; and long beans cooked in coconut milk.