Learn to make nasi ulam

Here are some highlights on The Straits Times food website ST Food - straitstimesfood.com, this week.

NASI ULAM RECIPE

Watch and listen to executive sous chef Shirley Tay, 71, of The Peranakan at Claymore Connect, sing a melodious folk song about nasi ulam as she demonstrates how to make the traditional Peranakan herb rice salad with flaked fish.

The dish, which is usually enjoyed on special occasions such as birthdays and Chinese New Year, is made with more than 10 ingredients including herbs such as daun kunyit (turmeric leaves), daun limau purut (kaffir lime leaves) and bunga kantan (torch ginger flower).

The recipe involves multiple steps as all the herbs need to be cut and chopped by hand.

The only appliance chef Tay uses is a food processor to blend ingredients for the sambal tumis. Of course, you can still opt for a mortar and pestle.

"Every family has its own version of nasi ulam. You can adjust the recipe to suit your preferences," says chef Tay. When she makes the dish for her family, she adds bacon bits for an extra boost of flavour.

She shares a recipe for a traditional version in the video. Go to ST Food for the full recipe. Nasi ulam: http://str.sg/nasiulam

STORIES AND OTHER RECIPES

These days, when you make a reservation at a fancy or popular restaurant, do not be surprised if the staff know a little more about your dining habits before you arrive. Chances are, they would have typed your name into Google ahead of your meal there.

It is the "true hallmark of a top restaurant", according to Mr Steve Plotnicki, who puts out restaurant rankings on his site Opinionated About Dining.

In a competitive dining scene, restaurants are upping the ante by offering more personalised experiences for guests. Diners get Googled: http://str.sg/4ux4

On the cooking front, follow China Daily's recipe for traditional rice dumplings to celebrate the annual Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on Tuesday this year. The story behind rice dumplings and a recipe: http://str.sg/4uA2 ST Food features articles from The Straits Times and its sister publications as well as regional and international newspapers.

Head online for videos and recipes and keep abreast of what our food writers have been eating through our social media section. Navigate the site with the handy search function.

•Follow Rebecca Lynne Tan on Twitter @STrebeccatan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 28, 2017, with the headline 'Learn to make nasi ulam'. Print Edition | Subscribe