Guest writer : Anthony Eng
Photos : Justin
Love the dishes from The Halia? Now, be privy to some of its exclusive recipes specially prepared by Executive Chef Peter Rollinson. The dishes at The Halia, while a myriad of western infused local inspiration, incorporates a good use of local produce through and through where possible. Easily (not all) replicated at home, learn the secret on how to make the Jurong Frog Farm Porridge, Barramundi Fillet with Cauliflower and the ever popular Ginger Parfait with Roasted Pineapple. Itching to get into the kitchen?
Trained in modern European cuisine and with over a decade of professional culinary experience in both Australia and Singapore, Chef Peter Rollinson enjoys the flexibility of infusing his personal influences and different ingredients in his creations. His fondness for ingredients like blue ginger, turmeric, and mangosteen give inspiration to his dishes that will surprise tastebuds accustomed to traditional flavours. Expect a refreshed menu with a different twist throughout in time to come!
One of the Halia’s signature dishes that incorporates both local touches with a selection of Western inspiration is the Jurong Farm Frog Porridge. Not the typical runny porridge one would expect out of the familiar Cantonese or Teochew porridge, the “porridge” from The Halia is served made from rolled oats which gives a wholesome, savoury crunch with every mouthful. This grainy aftertaste was complemented by the tender frog meat which were slightly sweet with a nice buttery taste enveloping the exterior. A very light dish that brings that lifts the appetite when served in contrasting colors of light brown meat on a sea of green.
Jurong Farm Frog ‘Porridge’, Ginger, Spring Onion and Coriander (Serves 4)
Ingredients for Ginger and Spring Onion Pesto
- 100g Young Ginger
- 150g Spring Onion
- 175g Canola Oil
- 50g Coriander
- 4g Sesame Oil
- Blend the young ginger with 100g of the canola oil until fine.
- Using a stick blender, finely blend the spring onion and coriander with 50ml of the canola oil.
- Add the leftover canola oil to a hot pan, sauté the ginger puree on induction hob over low heat for 5-10mins.
- Add the spring onion mixture and continue to sauté for 10mins.
- Add sesame oil, salt and pepper. Chill over ice until ready to use.
Ingredients for Garnish
- 30g Coriander leaf
- 2 pcs Large Red Chili (seeds removed, cut julienne)
- 2 stems Spring Onion (cut julienne)
- Mix all ingredients together and set aside until ready to serve.
Ingredients for Frog Legs
- 30g Butter
- 6pcs Frog Legs (from Jurong Frog Farm)
- 3 Cloves Garlic (lightly crushed)
- 1 Sprig Rosemary
Ingredients for ‘Porridge’
- 150g Rolled Oats
- 300ml Chicken Stock
- 10g Butter
- 2 tbsp Ginger and Spring Onion Pesto
- Heat the chicken stock in a small pan on induction hob, once simmering add the oats and cook until tender.
- Add the ginger and spring onion pesto and the butter and season with salt and pepper.
- To cook the frog, place the butter, garlic and rosemary in a pan on induction power level 7 (medium heat), when the butter is foaming, add the frog legs and cook until just cooked through (be careful not to overcook the legs as they dry out considerably when overcooked).
- Place a spoon of the porridge in a serving dish, top with the frog legs and then garnish with the coriander and chili salad.
The next dish of Barramundi Fillet with Cauliflower, Curry and Sweet Potato Leaves is surprisingly made out of the local Barramundi and not the Australian variant. That said, I didn’t even know that Singapore produced its own Barramundi, though it is almost next to impossible to get from the local supermarket. That said, the dish with the use of curry paste serves to accentuate the sweetly mild flavour of the fish fillet while not overpowering the taste of its fatty meat. The cauliflower puree balances the overall flavour quite evenly, adding a creamy touch to the dish. Essentially, a savoury dish that is given a delightful twist with the lacing of parmesan and almond crumbs that greatly excites the taste buds.
Barramundi Fillet with Cauliflower, Curry and sweet potato leaves (Serves 4)
Ingredients for Barramundi Fillet
- 4pcs Barramundi Filet (cut 160g) / seabass or baby snapper as alternatives
Ingredients for Curry paste
- 300g Pomace Olive Oil
- 80g Ground Cumin
- 25g Ground Coriander
- 25g Ground Tumeric
- 100g Garam Masala
- 30g Garlic (Chopped)
- 250g Onions (brunoised)
- On induction power level 7 (medium heat), sweat the onion and garlic in the pomace olive oil in a heavy based saucepan.
- Add the spices and reduce the heat to power level 3.
- Cook for 20mins stirring occasionally.
- Additional: this paste will keep for 1 month in a sterilized jar if kept refrigerated.
Ingredients for Cauliflower Puree
- 1pc Cauliflower (stem removed)
- 300ml Milk
- 300ml Cream
- Place the cauliflower, milk and cream in a heavy based saucepan and simmer over low heat until the cauliflower is tender.
- Once the cauliflower is tender, stain off the milk and cream and blend until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper.
Ingredients for Cauliflower and sweet potato leaves
- 1pc Cauliflower (cut into florets)
- 200g Sweet potato leaves
- 1tsp Black Mustard seeds
- To serve, heat some oil in a heavy based non-stick pan on induction power level.
- Place the barramundi fillets skin side down.
- Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the skin is crispy. Turn the fish and place pan in preheated 200 degrees Celsius oven for 4 minutes (to check if fish is done, pierce the skin with skewer or small sharp knife, the flesh should not offer any resistance once cooked.)
- Sauté the cauliflower and sweet potato leaves with the curry paste and mustard seeds.
- Place a spoon full of cauliflower puree on a plate and smear. Scatter some of the cauliflower and sweet potato leaves around the plate, place the fish onto the plate, and lace a spoonful of the parmesan and almond crumbs over the fish.
- Garnish with a wedge of lime.
The last signature dish presented by Chef Rollinson is the Ginger Parfait with Roasted Pineapple. The name alone, suggestive and seductive, is at least half the expected flavours to come. Served cold with roasted pineapples, this dessert is a gratifying finish to any meal. The feeling of a rich smooth dessert melting in the mouth with a resounding taste of ginger and the crunch of toasted almonds is absolutely heavenly. The dish is ice cream-like and pleasantly sweet, greatly complimenting the caramelized ginger within. It is also the most complicated of the three dishes, and something which I guess I would visit The Halia for instead of trying to create it at home. Still, if you are keen and experimental, here’s the recipe!
Ginger Parfait with roasted Pineapple (Serves a party)
- 1720g Whipped Cream
- 920g Nougatine
- 360g Sugar
- 133g Water
- 93g Lime Juice
- 7 Egg yolks
- 7 Whole eggs
- 1 serving Caramelized Ginger (recipe below)
- Whisk the whole eggs and egg yolk together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy.
- Combine the sugar and water together in a heavy based saucepan and cook over a low heat until it reaches 120 degrees Celsius on a sugar thermometer.
- Remove from the heat and slowly whisk into the egg mixture until cool.
- Fold the cream together with the caramelized ginger. egg mixture, nougatine and lime juice.
Ingredients for caramelized Ginger
- 160g Young Ginger (blended)
- 145g Sugar
- Cook the sugar in a heavy based pan over a low heat until a golden brown caramel, add the ginger and cook for 10 minutes.
- Chill before use
Ingredients for Nougatine
- 400g Sugar
- 400g Toasted Almonds
- 120g Glucose
- Place glucose and sugar into a heavy based pan and cook until a golden brown caramel.
- Add the toasted almonds and pour onto a tray to cool. Once cool, chop roughly.
Ingredients for roasted Pineapple
- 1pc Pineapple (cut into cubes)
- Caster Sugar (Amount as desired)
1. Coat the pineapple in caster sugar and roast in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius.