There is something quite beautiful about the simplicity of this dish, widely considered the national dish of Singapore.
Use tamari in place of soy sauce, and two blocks of well-pressed tofu instead of seitan ‘chicken’.
Cut along the sides of the tofu puffs and roll each one flat to form a long sheet of tofu skin. Place a flattened tofu puff on top of each seitan log and stretch it across to cover the top, using toothpicks to hold it in place and form a ‘skin’ on your seitan chicken. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the seitan ‘chicken’, mixing well. Cover and chill for 1 hour, flipping it over halfway through.
For the soup, put the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and fry the garlic, ginger and spring onion until fragrant, about 2–3 minutes. Pour in 6 cups (1.5 litres) water, then add the mushrooms, chicken-style seasoning and salt. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 minutes, to infuse the soup with all the lovely umami flavours from the shiitakes. Discard the mushrooms, then pour all but 2 cups (
Add the rice to the remaining soup in the pan, along with the pandan leaf and grated ginger. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and
Meanwhile, dissolve the sugar in 1 tablespoon hot water, then mix in the soy sauce to make a dipping sauce. Simmer the sliced ginger in a little water for 5 minutes to soften. Drain and blitz in a blender, adding a splash of water if necessary, to make a ginger sauce.
To make the chilli sauce, put the chilli and garlic into a small saucepan of boiling water and
To serve, brush the seitan ‘chicken’ with the sesame oil, then remove the toothpicks and slice. Place some sliced ‘chicken’ on each plate and add a large spoonful of rice, some of the sliced cucumber, ginger and chilli sauces, with a bowl of black dipping sauce on the side. Remember the extra soup you set aside? Serve that too, in little bowls, for slurping up in between mouthfuls of fragrant rice.
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