Photography: Singapore Press Holdings / AIDAN LOO
NANYANG OLD COFFEE SAUCES
Here’s something you don’t often see along Orchard Road: a vending machine that dispenses coffee powder, kaya, cooking pastes and chilli sauce. The cooking pastes are for making chilli crab, laksa and curry chicken. There’s also a range of chilli sauces for nasi lemak and chicken rice, and a chicken rice cooking sauce. Targeted more at tourists, but if you find yourself walking down Orchard Road in need of some cooking pastes, but don’t want to detour to a supermarket, then this is it.
Price: from $4.80
Where to buy: Nanyang Old Coffee vending machine, outside Mandarin Gallery
KANG KANG EXPRESS MEAL KIT
The variety of instant noodles is mind-boggling, but they are mostly noodles that have been pre-cooked and then dried.
Kang Kang’s noodles are different. The noodles have been pasteurised, and do not need to be refrigerated. With the pasteurisation process, the noodles maintain a soft and springy texture and have an extended shelf life of a month. They can be cooked on the stove or in a microwave. Currently there are three flavours available: Prawn Mee Soup, Curry Mee and Laksa. Each packet comes with the appropriate noodles and a pack of fresh spice paste.
Where to buy: Selected supermarket and hypermarkets
BATU LESUNG SPICE COMPANY
Batu Lesung, in the Malay language, refers to the traditional mortar and pestle. Often this set of tools are used to pound ingredients to make various pastes such as curry and rendang. But now, there’s no need for all that pounding. Batu Lesang Spice Company offers three items: Panggang BBQ Marinade, Rendang Rempah and Classic Curry. Unlike other spice pastes around, Batu Lesung products use the healthier soy bean oil instead of palm oil, and they do not contain any preservatives or flavour enhancers. The pastes are ready to use straight out of the packet, and they are versatile enough to be used for making unusual dishes such as rendang pasta.
Where to buy: www.batulesungspicecompany.com
Mekhala means “goddess” in Thai, and the company, which has its roots in Chiang Mai began its business by repacking dried goods, but doing just this wasn’t sustainable in the long run due to intense competition. It later began creating vegan curry pastes and now has three types of curry pastes, tom yum, lemongrass turmeric, and basil garlic paste in its inventory. It prides itself on retailing pastes that are gluten-free, vegan, and organic.
Price: from S$5.50
Where to buy: www.mekhalaliving.com
The range of Signature Delicacies’ sauces allow anyone to cook as well as their favourite hawker, well almost. You may not be able to get that wok hei flavour at home though. Some of the sauces in its range include one for black pepper steak, bittergourd black bean beef and even for charred hot wings. Each pack of sauce is good for two, which works well for couples with no kids, or for older folks whose children have already left the nest.
Where to buy: Naiise, www.naiise.com
SHERMAY’S SINGAPORE FINE FOOD
There is a new addition to the list of condiments under Shermay’s Singapore Fine Food label. It is the Ginger Garlic Sauce, made from young ginger, garlic and sesame oil. It was created to pair with the label’s best seller, the Cilicuka chilli sauce. Have the ginger garlic sauce on its own, or have it on top of fish and then steam or bake. The Ginger Garlic sauce can also be added to stir fries and stocks for that added kick.
Price: from S$9.95
Where to buy: Tangs and shermay.com
This story was originally published on The Business Times.