Agak Agak

Everyday Recipes from Singapore.

I will say up front that this is one of my favourite Asian cookbooks of any ethnic persuasion. Agak Agak is a winner in every regard.

Agak Agak‘Agak agak’ is a colloquial term derived from the Malay phrase for ‘somewhat’: home cooks have an instinct for producing delicious meals, but this book takes away the guesswork for the novice. Talented author Shu Han Lee has penned a book filled with comforting and flavourful dishes that will be familiar to those of us who love Singapore.

Singaporean cuisine is complex and varied, taking elements from different culinary traditions around Asia and beyond. In Agak Agak, Shu Han Lee encapsulates this approach to cooking by sharing delicious recipes that bring vibrant Singaporean flavours to the European home cook.

Much-loved recipes

My cookbooks have sticky tabs marking favourite dishes and noting ones to try in the future. Agak Agak used a whole pack of those tabs. Yes, it is that inspiring. There are much-loved recipes such as Kaya Toast with Half-Boiled Eggs. This is a breakfast staple and should not be missed when visiting Singapore, but now you can enjoy this at home. Chilli Crab is perfect for a dinner party. Peranakan Prawn and Pineapple Curry turns a fruit into a main dish; trust me, this recipe really works. Peranakan food is a blend of Chinese, Malay and Indonesian ingredients and techniques, producing a unique array of dishes. Uncle’s Dry Laksa is a must-try from Agak Agak: it’s a variation on the famous soup but easier to eat. There is even a recipe for the spice paste, which can be used in other dishes, too.

Agak Agak is filled with tempting foods, illustrated with delightful photography and charming family stories. This is an outstanding volume, and I am happy to add this to my cookbook collection – although it will spend its time in the kitchen getting splashed with sauces and dusted with spices.

Agak Agak
Author: Shu Han Lee
Published by: ‎Hardie Grant Books
Price: £26.00
ISBN-13: ‎978-1784886660