'It's impossible to pinpoint a certain specific cuisine to one region, so when people ask me what type of food is Singaporean, I simply reply with “the delicious type”. Southeast Asian cuisine is a proud mix of migrants and influences from all across Asia, which fuses together to create something even greater than the original.'
Meaning 'to eat' or 'dinner time' in Malay, in Makan, rising star Elizabeth Haigh draws together recipes that have been handed down through many generations of her family, from Nonya to Nonya, creating a time-capsule of a cuisine. Growing up, it was through food that Elizabeth's mum demonstrated her affection, and the passion and love poured into each recipe is all collated here; a love letter to family cooking and traditions.
Nonya-spiced braised duck stew
pickled watermelon and radish salad
Singapore chilli crab
fried tofu with spicy peanut sauce
spicy noodle soup
nasi goreng (spicy fried rice)
Miso apple pie
… and many more!
Adapting these traditional recipes to ensure ingredients are easily sourced in the West, Elizabeth brings a taste of Singapore to your own kitchen.
Elizabeth Haigh was the founding head chef at Pidgin in East London, where she guided the popular neighbourhood restaurant to a Michelin star barely a year after opening. Her dishes have been described as bold and exciting, and she fuses her Singaporean-British heritage and fine dining cooking experience with a passion for wood-fire cooking. Elizabeth originally studied architecture, but after a stint on Masterchef UK in 2011 she realised that cooking was her true calling. Since the show, Elizabeth has studied and worked with some of London's top chefs such as Neil Rankin at Smokehouse and Bubbledog's, The Kitchen Table. In 2017 Elizabeth was awarded 'Chef to Watch' by the National Restaurant Awards and listed in Observer Food Monthly's '50 of Observer Food Monthly's favourite things'.
Elizabeth has had guest appearances on BBC's Saturday Kitchen and Masterchef UK, and as a Financial Times Panellist, and she was the keynote speaker for SAUCE '17 forum in Estonia. Elizabeth founded Kaizen House in 2018, a place of innovation and creativity which embodies an ethos and drive to learn and share. Kaizen House includes a YouTube channel, collaborations and restaurant concepts such as Mei Mei, launched in 2019, and Ba in 2020.
@kaizen_house / @the_modernchef
“Makan ... has brought - and continues to bring - me so much joy ... and I just delighted in the wonderful melting pot of Singaporean cuisine, in which Chinese food is rambunctiously fused with Malay, Indian, Thai, Indonesian, Dutch, Portuguese and, yes, English cuisine... I want to cook everything in the book.” —Nigella Lawson
“This book offers much more than recipes, from family photographs and stories to insights on Singaporean culture. While Haigh describes it as 'a home cookbook to be used and bruised in the kitchen', the Nonya principles could be of use to any professional chef looking to break out of the rigid confines of classical cuisine.” —Caterer
“There seems to be no limit to Haigh's talents and her debut cookbook doesn't disappoint. She's taken on the intimidating task of distilling Singapore's eclectic foodways into accessible recipes and does it brilliantly. Many favourites are here but do not die before trying her Nonya-spiced braised duck stew.” —FT
“Beautiful photography and Haigh's recipes for fried Hainanese chicken rice and Hokkien noodles will take you straight to the food-loving city state.” —Delicious Magazine