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What it's like to eat BBQ sambal stingray in Singapore

February 11, 2016, 9:35 pm | This story has an Influence Score of 720

By PreAcquaint

This story was written using content and images from Mark Wiens' video BBQ Sambal Stingray at Chomp Chomp Food Center  Watch the video for the full story and subscribe to his YouTube channel and read his blog Migrationology.com for a wealth of guidance and resources.

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Mark Wiens stimulates our appetite from Singapore this time, telling us of his experience eating spicy banana leaf stingray at a venue called Chomp Chomp Food Centre.

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There are many marvelous-looking stalls to choose from at the well-recommended food court, tells us Mark, the ultimate thing to eat being the BBQ stingray.

Mark and his wife Ying settle on Stall One, right by the entrance. The owners are friendly and the chefs cook the stingray covered with sambal paste inside a banana leaf, which they then cover over the grill with the result that the fish “sort of bakes at the same time as it’s being is grilled”. After being cooked for ten minutes, what appears to be a shrimp-based sauce, onions, and calamansi (a citrus that tastes like a cross between an orange and a lime) are added before the fish is served.

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Mark is now ready to take the first bite and we can’t wait to see his reaction: and it’s a full blown foodgasm! Ha, ha, ha! We can’t never get tired of it. Look at the pure pleasure on that face.

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“That stingray is almost like chicken breast, except even more juicy”. Explains Mark, adding that the flavor of the banana leaf really comes through, imparting the dish with a “green, naturally-tasting flavor — kind of like a roasted-leaf flavor.”

Mark takes another bite, after adding calamansi juice to the fish this time and also dipping it into the sauce. Another Foodgasm ensues, which he interprets for us by saying, “Oh that is so good! That will make your eyes close in a dreamy, delicious state.”

Next Mark adds some morning glory (which have also been cooked with sambal) to some rice, which yields what could be called an enthusiastic reaction of approval, this time.

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“It’s awesome as well. You can really taste the shrimp paste in there”, we are told. The shrimp paste is reportedly chunky with little bits of shrimp. “You can taste a lot of garlic in there. It has a little bit of chilli oil, I think.” The morning glory was stirred fried on “a nice, hot heat”, therefore retaining its crispness.

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Taking a momentary break from the fish and the vegetable dishes, Mark introduces to the chicken wing stall, describing its owner as a very friendly lady who had been smiling at him the whole time as she was getting on with her work.

He brings along a plate of the delicacies to his table and proceeds to tastes some for us after pointing out that the dish is served with an accompanying chilli sauce — ”and a good looking one at that”, he is sure to point out.  And we get another big thumbs up as well here.

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“Of yeah, that’s awesome too!” He goes on to explain, “It’s not really sweet at all, but you can taste almost a burnt, roasted soy sauce flavor to them. The sauce is a little bit spicy, and a little bit sweet; and also a little bit fruity. It almost tastes ‘pineapple-ly’. It has that kind of sweet and sour acidity to it.”

The next food platter we are being introduced to is Hokkien mee — a fried noodle dish.

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Marks reports that it is very amazing to watch the cook working his wok on this one, adding in both the yellow noodles and the white rice noodles, and then just artfully frying them at the just the perfect temperature so as to somehow scorch them at the same time as they get fried.

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There is egg in the makeup of this dish, and also shrimp. It comes with an gob of sambal chewy sauce on the side, along with some calamansi.

We get a more moderate, although still favorable, response this time.

He goes on to say, “That is a kind of a lightly flavored fried noodle. You can taste a little bit of the wok flavor to it, but then it’s a little bit salty — and it’s more of a salt saltiness, as opposed to soy sauce saltiness.” Adding some calamansi juice and sambal provides an extra dimension of sourness to go along with the saltiness of the noodles, discovers our foodie.

Even though everything on the table is fantastic, the “star of the show” remains the BBQ Stingray, which Mark revisits with another bite, which produces yet another foodgasm.

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“Look at the way that there’re strings of meat”, he nearly laments out of obvious sheer joy. “If you didn’t know it was stingray, you hardly would know that it is fish because it is so ‘un-fishy’, actually. It barely has any kind of a ‘seafoody’ flavor. It’s really like a stringy kind of chicken. But then it sort of also has a crabmeat texture to it at the same time. It’s just a wonderful thing. It was just a glorious meal.”

And with this, Mark and Ying leave us to wonder what the next great food exploration will be …

 

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