Top Singapore chefs share their best brunch recipes
To us, weekends are synonymous with tables laden in pastries, fried eggs, fresh bread and other breakfast treats (the addition of something a bit boozy being a must).
Although you may not be able to visit your favourite restaurant or cafe for brunch in Singapore at the moment, that doesn’t mean you need to miss out on this special weekend ritual.
We’ve been talking to the incredible chefs behind WAKANUI Grill Dining and The Spot – and have managed to squeeze out a few of their secret brunch recipes so you can recreate something extra delicious at home.
Recreate Ryohei Kenyoshi’s spring lamb
Before leading the kitchen at WAKANUI Grill & Dining in Singapore, Ryohei Kenyoshi has spent the last 14 years rounding up a smorgasbord of knowledge in traditional Japanese, French, Spanish and Western cuisine. Today, this worldly skillset is showcased through a unique menu where New Zealand ingredients are given Japanese and Western twists.
For Ryohei’s brunch recipe, he has chosen WAKANUI’s signature spring lamb dish, a meal that is simple to prepare and packed full of nutrient-rich characteristics. For this chef, great brunch is all about great company and embracing the opportunity to get creative with dishes you’ve never tried before.
Wakanui Spring Lamb
with buckwheat seeds salad, baked beetroot and honeysuckle sauce
300g lamb chops (approx. 6 chops)
100g buckwheat seeds
1 bay leaf
80ml chicken stock
8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
30g shallots, finely chopped
100g beetroot, cubed 1cm
50g honeysuckle, fresh or frozen
70ml lamb stock (see chef’s note)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Preheat your oven to 180°C.
Toss cubed beetroot in 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and season them with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until a fork can be easily inserted through the beetroot. Set that aside.
Add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to a large pan and bring it up to a high heat. Salt and pepper both sides of lamb chops and pan sear them for 30 seconds on each side. Next, sear them on the bone side and flesh side for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Set the lamb chops aside.
In a medium sized pot, bring the water, to a boil and add buckwheat seeds to it, along with one bay leaf. Boil it for 20minutes or until the buckwheat seeds become al dente.
Drain the buckwheat and in a separate bowl, toss it with chicken stock, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and finely chopped shallots. Add salt and pepper to taste.
In a saucepan, combine honeysuckle, and lamb stock. With an immersion blender, puree the mixture until a smooth consistency is achieved.
Warm the puree over medium low heat and season to taste.
Place buckwheat salad onto the serving plate and lay 3 pieces of lamb chops on top of it. Serve honeysuckle sauce and baked beetroot on the side. For a well-balanced meal, add a side of mixed greens or watercress salad. Serves two.
Lee Boon Seng’s scrambled eggs, soft-shell crab and tiger prawns
Lee Boon Seng has been a chef to watch and admire ever since he stepped into the kitchen at the ripe age of 17. His talent has been recognised on a global scale, receiving numerous accolades such as Rising Chef of the Year at the World Gourmet Summit.
After working at Equinox (nowadays SKAI), Osia and Curate as well as collaborating with Michelin-starred chefs, Lee is now executive chef for both Perch and The Spot in Singapore. He fuses European techniques and South East Asian flavours to create food that is truly original and punchy – and don’t get us started on his famous sauces. Flavour. Explosion.
With Lee’s brunch recipes on hand, you’re bound to rack up some brownie points with your housemates. The hearty and indulgent scrambled eggs with soft-shell crab is the perfect dish for a special Sunday morning with family. Lee’s second dish of sauteed tiger prawns is an ode to his mum’s Peranakan-style assam prawns – a childhood favourite. Both of these dishes are made to feed five mouths.
Scrambled Eggs & Soft-Shell Crab
with ikura roe and a red curry emulsion
For the scrambled egg
5 fresh eggs (55g/ea)
50ml cream, whipped
15g butter, unsalted
1g fresh chive, chopped
Salt and black peppercorn to taste
In a mixing bowl, beat the whole egg until smooth. While mixing, add in cream, milk, and salt. Set aside.
Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat, then add in the egg mixture and cook over low temperature while stirring. The egg mixture is ready once it comes together in a soft yet thick consistency.
Add in chopped chive and a little black pepper.
Remove scrambled egg from the saucepan immediately to stop the residual heat from overcooking it.
For the deep-fried soft-shell crab
10pcs soft-shell crab (around 70-80gm per piece)
1000ml oil for deep frying
100gm Tempura flour
Salt and ground black peppercorn to taste
Clean the soft-shell crab in ice water, remove the gills and scoop out the guts from inside the body. Turn the crab over and pull off the bottom part of the shell, known as the apron.
Use a kitchen towel to pat dry the cleaned soft-shell crab.
Season the crab with salt and pepper and dust with the tempura flour.
In a saucepot, preheat the deep-frying oil to 180°C.
Deep fry the soft-shell crab until golden and crispy, then transfer to a kitchen towel to absorb the extra oil.
For the red curry paste
100gm red Thai curry paste
20gm dried red chili, soaked and seeded
60gm Thai belacan
30gm lemongrass, sliced
30gm shallots, peeled
3gm blue ginger, peeled and sliced
1gm coriander seeds, toasted and then ground
20gm yellow ginger, peeled, sliced
Soak the dried chili in hot water and leave it overnight. Remove the seeds.
Combine the soaked chili, lemongrass, shallots, blue and yellow ginger in a food processor, and blend until a fine paste.
Add in the red curry paste, belacan, and ground coriander, and blend it into a fine paste.
In a saucepan, cook the paste on a low heat until it has dried and the oil is released. Keep the paste for the red curry emulsion.
For the red curry emulsion
500ml Coconut milk
500ml Coconut cream
50gm Palm sugar
250gm red curry paste (see recipe above)
100ml Tamarind water
10gm Lime leaf
Salt and fine white peppercorn to taste
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the curry paste with coconut milk, cream, lime leaf, water and bring to a simmer for 20mins.
Season the sauce with palm sugar, salt and pepper, tamarind water, and strain through a fine sieve.
20gm baby red radish, shaved and soaked in ice water
50gm Salmon roe
2gm Coriander cress/coriander leaf
8ml Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt flakes to taste
Place the scrambled egg on the plate and arrange the deep-fried soft-shell crab onto the scrambled egg.
Foam the curry emulsion with a hand-blender or whisk and dress over the plate. Arrange the shaved radish, salmon roe and coriander cress.
Lastly, sprinkle some sea salt and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil. Serves five.
Sauteed Tiger Prawns with Garlic Hot Bean Sauce
served with Japanese pearl rice
For the hot bean sauce
225gm sweet & sour hot bean sauce
90gm garlic cloves, peeled
40gm white sugar
10ml fresh lime juice
10gm arrowroot / kudzu
10ml Grapeseed oil
Coarsely chop the garlic, and rinse it in water. Strain the garlic through a fine strainer and let it dry.
In a saucepot, place in the grapeseed oil and sweat the garlic until soft but not brown for approximately 5 minutes.
Once the garlic is cooked, add in water, hot bean sauce and sugar. Bring to a simmer for approximately 15mins.
In the mixing bowl, combine the arrowroot with some water.
Continue to add in the lime juice into the garlic hot bean sauce and thicken the sauce with arrowroot mixture.
For the sauteed tiger prawns
10 fresh tiger prawns (live or chilled)
100g garlic chive
Leek flower, blanched
40g Garlic chive leaves (ku chye)
200g rock melon, served using a Parisienne scoop
500ml Garlic hot bean sauce (recipe above)
Soak the live tiger prawns in ice water, peel the shell and trim away the legs and head. Set aside.
Season the trimmed tiger prawn with salt and pepper. In a saucepan, pan sear the seasoned prawn until the meat is no longer translucent.
Add in the hot bean sauce (recipe above), garlic chive, garlic chive leaves and cook for a few more minutes.
Lastly, use a Parisienne scoop to form rock melon balls for serving.
Arrange the tiger prawns onto each plate and garnish with coriander cress or coriander leaves. Serve with a bowl of Japanese pearl rice on the side. Serves five.