Sunday, July 31, 2005
Kampong Cooking on Ubin
Getting ready to cook al fresco with freshly pick herbs from the jungle. Photo by November. 31 Jul 2005.
Over this last weekend of July, a rather unique class was conducted on the island of Pulau Ubin. In fact, it probably was one of the most interesting class I ever attended, and definitely the most enlightening visit I had to Ubin in the last one year.
As mentioned several times over the month, Ruqxana of Cookery Magic has been conducting special Kampong Cooking Classes in an authentic kampong family's home on the island. In conjuction with the Singapore food festival, lessons were held on the 30th and 31st of July. I was fortunate enough to be able to join them on this second date.
Well trodden paths between homes in the Ubin Malay Kampong. Photo by November. 31 Jul 2005
Not only was this the first time I entered a real authentic Malay Kampong house on the island, and a very well maintained one at that, I also visited a part of the island I never had the leisure to explore before. This is perhaps the last thriving Malay Kampong on Singapore soil. It also allowed me to forgo any need for vivid imagination when I saw the well-used village paths that my mother talked about.
Lunch! - Mixed herb rice, Nasi Kerabu, served with freshly pounded and fried sambal belachan chilli in Simpoh Air leaves! Photo by November
Participants were led by the nature-taught guides through their backyard jungle to pick fresh herbs and plants off the tree and from the ground to make a most delicious Nasi Kerabu which is a mixed herb rice. At the same time, our knowledgable organizer informs us of the many wonderful medicinal and cooking properties of these herbs. What more, after frequently telling others about it, I finally had the first hand experience to eat my food out of Simpoh Air leaves, also known as tempeh leaves as they are often used to wrap those fermented beans.
All in all, it was a most fruitful morning despite misplacing my brimming notebook on the island. What more, to add the ice-ing on the cake, I got to witness my mother's favourite childhood dessert - the mythical ice balls!
Ice balls made by our little host. Photo by November.
If you wish to organize visits to Kamariah's home to experience a true kampong experience, contact Kamariah at:
For more information on Ubin Kampong Cooking Classes or other interesting cooking classes, visit the Cookery Magic Website.