On a trip to Singapore I was invited by an associate to dinner with his family for “Family Food Night”. And was a bit surprised when I learned the meaning of “Family Food Fight” night. Sitting around the table, diners placed their choice of meat or seafood or veggies on the revolving grill. The trick was to reclaim your food as it finished grilling and before someone else decided it should be on his or her plate. Organized chaos erupted. Amid much laughter, the family watched as I attempted to claim my food and learned to take someone else’s more appealing grill contribution. Any protocol of allowing the guest to be served first was definitely not present.
Imagine my surprise to find a plate of hotdogs in the middle of all the luscious ingredients. Considered a special treat for Liang’s children and mother, the hotdog competition became quite fierce. Four year Old Qiang said little but watched me intently during the process.
In the midst of the competitive chaos, Qiang suddenly climbed out of his chair and pushed it around the table until he was next to me. He climbed up and proceeded to move all of the bowls of food and sauces from across the table to directly in front of me. The conversation ceased as we watched his purposeful mission to ensure his guest received her share of dinner. That is until he turned to me, placed one small hand on each side of my face, looked me straight in the eyes and somberly said in very distinct English, “Beautiful, kind Lady. Do not eat my hotdogs please.” He then smiled as big as possible and sat down taking my hand once again in his. The table burst into loud laughter. Apparently, in Qiang’s short four year life, his story consisted of doing whatever was necessary to ensure he received his fair share of hotdogs.
The dinner entree presented here demonstrates the ingredients and cooking method for the meats plus a recipe for one of the sauces, Hoisin Steak Sauce. The recipes for the remaining four sauces may be accessed here: Mustard Sauce with “Mìlián“, Singapore Street Markets’ Orange BBQ Sauce, Boon Tat Lemon Soy Sauce, Singapore’s Chinatown Peanut Sauce. And within the Recipe section under Sauces and Dressings.
Six years later, I saw Qiang again when he joined his father on a trip to Washington, DC. As I entered the hotel lobby, a young boy smiled and greeted me again with a slight bow and handshake as he said “Beautiful, kind Lady who did not eat my hotdogs, I am pleased to meet you again.”
Qiang and his family taught me that the simplest of meals have the ability of creating the greatest of memories. I have never seen a hotdog since that I do not think of Qiang and I still do not eat them.
The dinner entree presented here demonstrates the ingredients and cooking method for the meats plus a recipe for one of the sauces, Grant Avenue Hoisin Steak Sauce. The recipes for the remaining four sauces may be accessed here: Mustard Sauce with “Mìlián“, Singapore Street Markets’ Orange BBQ Sauce, Boon Tat Lemon Soy Sauce, Singapore’s Chinatown Peanut Sauce. And within the Recipe section under Sauces and Dressings.
A unique aspect of the meal is the cooking of the meats and shrimp without use of flavored oils, herbs or spices. The “bare” pork, beef, chicken, duck and shrimp allows diners to experience the various sauces without a taste distraction from another flavor tier.
¾ pound pork tenderloin
¾ pound sirloin steak
¾ pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
¾ pound duck breast
¾ pound large shrimp
Grant Avenue Hoisin Steak Sauce
¼ c Hoisin Sauce
½ c beef broth
¼ c water
3 T rice wine
1 T chives, minced
2 t cornstarch
Slice the pork, beef, chicken thighs and duck breast into strips about 1/4 inch thick. Set aside.
Devein and remove shells from shrimp leaving the tails intact.
The result will be the sliced 4 meats and the shrimp.
Tear five 12 inch sheets of aluminum foil. Place one type of meat on each sheet, resulting in five meat packets.
Seal each packet tightly by rolling up tightly on all sides. Place on a sided baking sheet and into the preheated oven. Bake 15 minutes.
Place all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
Sauce may be served in one bowl or individual bowls.
Evenly divide the meat and shrimp between four plates.
Serve the meat with the accompanying sauces and allow your guest to create their own fantastic flavor tiers!