7 Zi Char Recipes That You Can “Dine-In” At Home
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Sian…not again! We were so close to being able to dine in with a bigger group, but now, we’re back to dabaos and deliveries. From the past one month of dining out, I can definitely confirm that some food just hits differently when dined in and one of them has got to be Zi Char.
For many families, Zi Char is a go-to spot for gatherings simply because of its wallet-friendly prices and the scrumptious portions. Now, with only dabaos and deliveries available, it might not be as shiok when the food arrives cold and soggy. But don’t worry! Here are 7 Zi Char recipes that you can enjoy with your loved ones, handmade and piping hot in the comfort of your own home.
1. Har Cheong Gai
If there was ever a king of the Zi Char dishes, I’m confident that most Singaporeans would crown Har Cheong Gai. The umami-ness and crispiness of this flavourful batter, combined with the juicy, tender meat guarantees the plate to be a clean sweep. With this recipe, you can cook it at home and capture that same hot, crunchy shiok-ness!
Preparation Time: 20 mins. Serves: 4.
2. Sambal Kang Kong
Do you have a friend who hates vegetables? Maybe this spicy and smoky dish might just convert them.
With the homemade sambal belachan, this recipe surely delivers the heat making it a popular Zi Char dish. And recreating it at home has never been easier.
Pro Tip: Ensure that the wok is smoking hot when the kang kong goes in, and cook in small portions to prevent your delicious stir-fry sambal kang kong from becoming spinach soup!
Preparation Time: 5 mins. Serves: 4.
3. Yang Zhou Fried Rice
Every time we eat Zi Char, there has to be that one staple dish that fills our tummy! Yang Zhou Fried rice is one of them.
A well made Yang Zhou Fried Rice is delicious on its own, yet the secret lies in the ingredients being used. Ham, shrimps, eggs, mushrooms, peas, and meat each bring unique flavours and textures to this dish.
Give it a good mix and you are ready to serve a delicious plate of Yang Zhou fried rice with wok-hey written all over it!
Preparation Time: 15 mins. Serves 2.
4. Trio Eggs Spinach
This signature Zi Char dish uses three different kinds of eggs and this recipe is a treat for all our egg-lovers using not just chicken eggs, but also century and salted duck eggs.
Generally a soupy dish, making it at home means zero delivery spills! The eggs and spinach creates a rich, umami flavour that will have you licking the bowl clean.
Preparation Time: 25 minutes. Serves: 4.
5. White Bee Hoon
We all are familiar with the idiom ‘Do not judge a book by its cover’, but what about ‘Don’t judge a dish by its looks.’ Don’t be fooled by the plain-ish appearance of this classic Zi Char dish. This recipe gives you a delicious plate of white bee hoon, with each mouthful packed with flavour.
Have you ever wondered why Zi Char dishes are so good? It’s all got to do with the base stock. Our homemade stock, made with chicken parts, soya bean prawn heads and shells, really brings about the essence of the White Bee Hoon that we love in Zi Char stalls.
Preparation Time: 5 hours. Serves 2-3.
6. Stir Fry Lala
Craving for some seafood but don’t want the hassle? This stir fry lala recipe is perfect for you!
By simply preparing some garlic, onions, ginger and chilli padis, you can recreate this aromatic and savoury Zi Char dish in 10 mins! 12 mins tops if you wanna season it with some good old beer!
Preparation Time: 10 minutes. Serves 2.
7. Beef Hor Fun
Another one of the all-time greats in Zi Char history, the Beef Hor Fun is unquestionably one of those must-order dishes at any Zi Char stall. It features lightly charred beef gravy and tender slices of beef over a bed of smooth hor fun.
Pro tip: Use egg white to coat the beef for a silky, tender bite to the beef.
Preparation Time: 45 minutes. Serves 2.
Homemade Zi Char Recipes
Rather than counting down the days where we can dine out again, why not make the days count? Give these recipes a try and recreate your favourite Zi Char dishes at home for an unforgettable “dine-in” feast.
Some other recipes you might like:
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