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NYT’s “Longkang Water” Curry Unites Singaporeans In Uproar

The New York Times’ (NYT) watered down version of “Singaporean Chicken Curry” elicited a rather spicy reaction from Singaporeans. Many compared it to longkang (drainage) water and one even called it “covid” curry, probably due to the pale colour of the gravy.

Source: Instagram, nytcooking

The recipe was contributed by Shila Das, a sales professional told Coconuts Singapore that she was not sure what happened to her creation when it reached the NYT’s Instagram feed. Here is a side by side comparison of the curry made from the same recipe.

Source: Shila Das for Coconuts Singapore, NYT Instagram

Singaporeans were united as they expressed their disdain at the sorry excuse for a curry. Local celebrities Nurul Aini and Paul Foster were among those people.

Chef Bob however was more intrigued by the size of those thighs.

Yeah, pretty sure it’s not fit for human consumption.

It seems like anything can be passed off for curry in white countries.

Some wondered if NYT was trolling with the video.

Honestly, if enough people tag him, he would probably make a review.

Here is a breakdown of the sad chicken in spiced water recipe. It was adapted and demonstrated by Taipei journalist, Clarissa Wei.

The chicken thighs were supposed to be marinated in lime juice, garlic, ginger, white pepper and salt.

Source: NYT cooking

However in the version made by Clarissa, the chicken was just marinated in white pepper, salt and lime juice. It doesn’t even look marinated here.

The thighs were then meant to be seared till a light golden brown.

Source: NYT cooking

The thighs in Clarissa’s version look as pasty as the thighs of someone who can’t commit to suntanning.

She then went on to stir fry the rest of the ingredients for her “curry”.

Yeah, it doesn’t look edible.

The adaptation of the recipe somehow got lost in translation as the quantities used in the video is far from what was given to NYT.

Source: NYT cooking

But honestly, what is Singaporean Chicken Curry? Singapore is a melting pot of cultures and there are so many curries that we grew up eating and loving. Most chicken curries made in Singapore include potatoes and carrots in them as well as coconut milk. They are rich, lightly spicy and aromatic. This is the difference that makes our chicken curries unique. The recipe contributed by Shila Das is a more Singaporean Indian version of curry and to call it “Singaporean Chicken Curry” isn’t a representation of the various curries in found in Singapore

Reporter’s Opinions: “Acidity, spice and savouriness.”

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If it’s made in conjunction with Lunar New Year, it should have been the Nyonya version of chicken curry.

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But what in the longkang water is that sad excuse for a curry? And you call that marination? Might as well just sear the damn chicken as it is right.

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Seeing her cook made me wanna flip a table. The aromatics should go in first, so all the whole spices should be sautéed in the hot oil to release the flavour. Then comes the onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes etc.

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The amount of spices she used in her “curry” is criminal for that amount of chicken thighs. NYT, it’s 2022, do better.

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Belalang Biru

Written by Belalang Biru

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