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Sian Of Eating The Same Thing? Here Are 5 Easy-To-Make WFH Meals

Staying at home has created MasterChef wannabes out of some of us – I mean, have you seen all those #homecooked posts on your Instagram feed lately – but for the rest of us, it’s a daily MCQ questionnaire of:

What shall I have for lunch today?

a) Order exorbitantly priced salmon rice bowls from a food delivery portal and wonder why you are losing $50 a day from your Paypal account
b) Go downstairs and tapau oily, stale-tasting chye png again
c) Eat instant noodles for the 20th time in a week (and how come I didn’t get different flavours?)
d) Hope that one of your BFFs will do those hipster “spread the love by sending your friends food care packs” things (but I don’t eat beef so don’t send me steak leh)

But if you aren’t ticking off any of these options, we are here to help. Your waistline can thank us later.

1. Scallion pancakes

When the Jay Chou-endorsed Liang Sandwich Bar closed in Singapore recently, there were two camps on the Internet: one with the “where do I get my scallion pancakes now???” people and the other one with the “can buy from NTUC leh” people. I belong to the latter and that’s only because I had discovered these DIY scallion pancakes from the frozen section in supermarkets.

Just fry up, insert filling, fold in half, eat.Photo: Pearlyn Tham

These are really easy to fry up in mere minutes – just drop one into an oil-coated pan, let it sizzle and fluff up, add whatever you like into the centre, then fold into half and serve hot, crispy and slightly charred for breakfast or lunch or dinner. Or for one of those 1,209 anytime-also-hungry meals you’ve been tucking into since you started working or studying from home.

Our favourite combo? Juicy sweet canned pineapple rings, cheddar cheese slices, tangy tomatoes, a sprinkling of chicken floss and luncheon meat cubes. Or just dip the pancake into a bowl of canned curry – prata-style.

2. Wonton soup

Whether you are a fan of Eng’s Noodles House or you can’t go a single week without a plate of Parklane Zha Yun Tun Mee, it doesn’t matter anymore. Because #stayhome means not venturing 45 minutes away from your dining table just to tapau your fave wonton noodles.

To satisfy that random 2am wonton soup craving, stock up on frozen wontons. Lazy but hungry supper DIY-ers swear by CP Shrimp Wonton as each pillow holds an entire real prawn. They cook fast in boiling water and if you are a little more diligent, throw in a few stalks of vegetables and there, you have met your fibre quota.

3. Pork bone soup noodles

Depending on what I can get from the market or supermarket these days, I usually make my soups with fish heads, chicken bones, pork ribs or even maize. But when my fridge hasn’t been restocked or there’s panic buying out there, I resort to ready-made pork bone soup stock.

Photo: Pearlyn Tham
Photo: Pearlyn Tham

You don’t even need to do much with this one. Pour it into a pot, stir it until it boils, then dunk in noodles and ingredients. But don’t expect bak kut teh standards ok.

4. Steamed water egg

So your go-to kind of egg is boiled or sunny side-up but try making steamed water egg instead – just as easy and delicious, and healthier too. Why that poetic name? Because all you need for this recipe are basically water and eggs.

The water-to-egg ratio differs from recipe to recipe – or depending on whether you like your egg firmer or silkier – but you can generally use 300ml water (make sure it’s cooked, slightly warm water though and not water from the tap) with three large eggs. Simply beat the eggs and add the water slowly. You can season your eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper, and a few drops of soya sauce and sesame oil.

Perfectionists like to sieve the mixture before steaming to make sure they get a smooth consistency sans fugly little bubbles and they also seal the dish with cling wrap to prevent water vapour droplets from dripping onto their work of art. But we are busy work-from-home people so you can skip these two fussy steps.

What you can do to make this extra is add ingredients you like so that your steamed water egg becomes something like a chawanmushi. Think minced meat, peeled prawns, spring onions or crabsticks. Or all of the above.

Steam for 10 minutes at low heat and now, all you need is a bowl of steaming hot rice. Shiokkkkkkk.

5. Anything stir-fry

The word “stir-fry” sounds like a lot of work liao but it’s not. But first you have to work smart. Which means on one of those slow days when nobody seems to be responding to your e-mails, dice, chop, slice and store all the ingredients that you like to eat and can repurpose in different stir-fries.

Some examples include carrots, canned button mushrooms, bell peppers and fishcakes. Refrigerate these in separate containers. When you crave a stir-fry, sauté minced garlic with some salt and pepper. Then add a mix of the ingredients from your fridge along with fresh vegetables. Season with some sesame oil and fish sauce and a little sugar, give everything a good toss and you can go back to waiting for those e-mail replies.

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