It is a day by day labour of affection for this noodle vendor who desires her prospects to willingly eat more healthy.
Despite her tight operational hours – her stall is open from 5am to 3pm six days per week and preparation begins at 4am – Madam Chen Li nonetheless makes time to fastidiously peel and lower carrots into flower shapes that she makes use of to garnish her lower-calorie Mushroom Spinach Noodle ($three).
The 47-year-old, who runs Ah Li Ipoh Hor Fun Fish Dumpling on the Pasar Bedok Central meals centre, says in Mandarin: “It is worth seeing the happy smiles of surprise on my customers’ faces, especially those who expect healthier food to look and taste boring.”
Her stall’s Fish Dumpling Noodle ($three), which comes with a alternative of noodle or Ipoh hor enjoyable, and Mushroom Spinach Noodle carry the Health Promotion Board’s Healthier Choice Symbol and Lower In Calories label.
To qualify for the Lower In Calories label, a dish has to include 500kcal or much less. A typical dine-out meal comprises 700 to 800kcal, whereas the advisable day by day power consumption is 2,200kcal on common for males and 1,800kcal for girls.
Given the value, the Healthier Choice dishes supply loads of worth for cash.
The Fish Dumpling Noodle comes with 4 plump juicy sui kow (dumplings) filled with fish and hen meat and a beneficiant portion of cai xin.
I decide to have the fish dumplings with Ipoh hor enjoyable, that are blanched to the appropriate doneness. The dumplings are delightfully tasty with chunky bits of water chestnut, carrot and slivers of spring onion. The freshness of the substances within the filling comes by way of as Madam Chen retains the seasoning easy with solely a little bit sugar and salt used.
Fish dumplings have been on her menu since she began the stall in 2004.
Originally from Hainan, China, Madam Chen moved to Singapore in 1992 and labored at a wonton mee stall till she determined to run her personal business.
She insists on utilizing water chestnuts as an alternative of bangkwang (jicama) for the dumpling filling, regardless that this implies greater value and extra back-breaking work to wash, peel and chop the water chestnuts.
A buddy had taught her to make ngoh hiang (minced meat rolls) filling with water chestnuts and it impressed her to make use of the ingredient to “upgrade” her sui kow.
She says: “The texture and flavour from water chestnuts is different from bangkwang. They stay crunchier in the dumpling filling.”
She prepares a recent batch of dumplings day by day.
The Mushroom Spinach Noodle, with springy inexperienced noodles made out of spinach, is a dish to strive in order for you a break from meat-laden dishes.
It will not be vegetarian because the gravy is ready from a meat-based stock and the flavoursome and fragrant chilli paste is made with dried prawn.
The braised mushrooms doused in gravy are mouthwateringly succulent.
Madam Chen makes use of simply sufficient dang gui (a Chinese root herb), wolfberries and soya beans to flavour the gravy with out leaving an overwhelming natural aftertaste. The fairly garnish of carrot flowers provides visible attraction to the dish.
She says: “There are customers who complain about how they don’t like eating healthier food, but do so only because they have been told by their doctors to watch their diet. I find it satisfying when they try my Healthier Choice noodles and cheer up after eating them. Many customers become regulars.”
AH LI IPOH HOR FUN FISH DUMPLING
Where: 01-37 Pasar Bedok Central, Block 216 Bedok North Street 1
Open: 5am to 3pm. Closed on Thursdays