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The Great Recipe Swap: Expat Living readers share their favourites

Most of us have our go-to recipes, be it for a mid-week lunch, a dinner party pleaser or a sumptuous cake that Nigella Lawson would be proud of. In case you’re stuck in a food rut, however, here are some of our readers’ fail-safe recipes from around the world to add your repertoire. Bon appétit!

Dinner Recipe: Creamy Vermicelli Fish Soup
Serves 4

From Angie Than, Singaporean

Singapore Food, Dinner Party ideas, Vermicelli, Fish Soup


“This creamy vermicelli fish soup is a popular dish in Singapore and is a particular favourite among ladies. The fragrance of the soup, which is made from fresh fish stock, plus the sesame oil and evaporated milk, makes me drool just thinking about it. It’s a dish that fills my tummy and warms my soul. Try it!”


• 1 whole red garoupa, approximately 800g (ask your fishmonger to debone and slice the fish, keeping the head and bone for the soup stock)
• 1 carrot
• 2 chicken carcasses
• 200 grams soya beans
• 1 box of silken tofu (cubed)
• 12 cherry tomatoes
• 1kg thick vermicelli
• 8 drops sesame oil
• 100ml low-fat evaporated milk
• 20ml XO or Shaoxing wine (optional)
• 4 spring onions (cut into 3cm lengths)
• Lettuce (cut into bite-sized pieces)
• Deep-fried shallots


1. First make the soup stock by simmering the fish bones, chicken bones, carrots, soy beans and two litres of water for two hours, then set aside.

2. In a separate pot, stir the vermicelli in boiling water for no more than 30 seconds, then drain and portion into serving bowls. (Cooking the noodles with the fish in the main soup will turn them soggy.)

3. Next, bring the stock back to a boil, then add the fish slices.

4. After two minutes, add the tofu and tomatoes.

5. Cook for a few minutes more, then add the low-fat evaporated milk, sesame oil and XO or Shaoxing wine (if using). Stir, then turn off the stove.

6. Place the lettuce in the bowls and pour the fish soup on top, then garnish with spring onions and deep-fried shallots. Enjoy!


Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe, Singapore food, Dinner Party ideas, Dessert


Dessert Recipe: Lemon Meringue Pie
Serves 6-8

From Duriya Dohadwala, Singaporean

“This dessert is easy to make and comes out great every time: it’s a hit with both adults and kids and is good for anything from brunch to dinner parties. It can be made with or without the meringue, and you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge.”


• 12 digestive biscuits
• 50g butter
• 325ml tin of condensed milk
• 3 eggs
• ½ cup lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons lemon zest
• ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 6 tablespoons sugar


1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
2. Break up the biscuits and run them through the food processor until fine.
3. Add the butter and mix until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Press down into a 22cm loose-bottomed tin.
4. Whisk the egg yolks and milk together then stir in the zest along with the lemon juice.
5. Pour the mixture over the base and scatter the rest of the zest on top.
6. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar and vanilla. Fold in sugar and seal the top of the pie with it.
7. Bake until the top is firm and slightly browned.

Be part of the Great Recipe Swap! If you have a fail-safe recipe you’d like to submit for our next issue, send an email titled “Great Recipe Swap” to Beate at contribute@expatliving.sg with your recipe, a photo of yourself and a few words about your dish. Plus, if we publish your recipe in our magazine, you’ll receive a fantastic cookbook! Thanks, Chef!

We have loads more great recipes and dinner party inspiration!

This article first appeared in the February 2016 edition of Expat Living Singapore Subscribe