Wartime Kitchen: Food and Eating in Singapore 1942-1950

Author Wong Hong Suen, recipe redaction and food styling by Christopher Tan. Published by Editions Didier Millet and the National Museum of Singapore.

A serious subject deserves respectful coverage. This book paints a portrait of Singapore during the war years, and is the first to examine in depth the effects of war's privations on eating habits and practices. Research, reminiscences, and anecdotes are illustrated with photos and artifacts from the period. Concluding the book is a section featuring recipes from war-era cooking texts - some written as practical aids, others as recreations of cherished dishes for prisoners of war to feast on in memory - retooled, tested, edited and styled by yours truly. Among the book production team's favourites from the recipe chapter are baked spicy fish custards, chiku and passionfruit creams (a tropical fruit fool served in the fruit shells), gula melaka blancmange (a palm sugar and coconut pudding), and a simple Eurasian rice congee with minced pork and mushrooms.

1001 Foods You Must Try Before You Die

Christopher Tan, contributor. Published by Penguin.

A compendium of global ingredients and foods, from abalone to zucchini via elvers, gjetost (yum), guanciale, hilsa, nepitella, quandongs, and tajarin, in a hefty, mouthwatering 960 pages.

Foodlores & Flavors: Inside The Southeast Asian Kitchen

Editor Tan Su-Lyn, photography by Neal Oshima, Singapore chapter and all food styling by Christopher Tan. Published by Artpost Asia.

A tribute to the foodways of the ASEAN nations: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. Each chapter is devoted to the exploration of a different cuisine, as explained by a food writer from that country, beautifully evocative photos, and signature recipes of the culture. Yours truly wrote the Singapore chapter as well as testing and styling the recipes for all the countries, so take it from me - they're delicious. Among the other authors are Sri Owen (Indonesia), Ma Thanegi (Myanmar), Julie Wong and Chef Wan (Malaysia), and Michaela Fenix (the Philippines),

An absolute must-have cookbook for anyone seriously into Southeast Asian Food.

Slurp: Soups to Lap Up & Love

By Christopher Tan, with photography by Joshua Tan, food styling by Christopher Tan, and prop styling by Marshall Cavendish. Published by Marshall Cavendish Cuisine.

Hot off the presses and stove, a collection of 60 spoonsome soups hailing from all over the world - and from that unknown country that is my food-obsessed brain! I've created something for everyone: quick and easy soups for novice cooks, such as sweetcorn soup with curry croutons and miso soup with sweet potatoes; hearty soups for collectors of big spoons, like a modern version of itek tim, Nyonya duck and salted-vegetable soup; and unusual soups like lagman, Central Asian noodle soup with lamb and vegetables. I've even included a clutch of dessert soups, such as pineapple-basil soup with strawberry sorbet, and chocolate (yes) soup with salted almonds, to sate the sweet-toothed.

So don't just stand there - stir something! Look for Slurp at all good bookstores.

Cooking With Asian Roots

By Devagi Sanmugam and Christopher Tan, with food styling by Christopher Tan, and photography by Jambu Studio. Published by Marshall Cavendish Cuisine.

Can you dig it? We did! Many thanks to our readers for helping to make Cooking With Asian Leaves successful enough to grow a sequel. This time we decided to go a little deeper and delve underground to demystify the other ends of food plants - delicious, versatile root vegetables.

Find out about the flavours and culinary potential of 16 different tubers, corms and roots, and revel in over 50 recipes for the likes of beetroot parathas, purple sweet potato dumplings, South Indian yam pakoras, chicken and burdock curry, Eurasian pang susi, konnyaku noodle salad and many more. It's a true root awakening!

Cooking With Asian Leaves

By Devagi Sanmugam and Christopher Tan, with food styling by Christopher Tan and Joshua Tan, and photography by Joshua Tan. Published by Marshall Cavendish Cuisine.

A cook's guide to 32 Asian leaves, this book was inspired by wet-market exchanges Devagi and I have had: seeing us choosing leaves at vegetable stalls, other shoppers would ask "What's that? I've never eaten that before...". Many herbs and greens, we realised, are much used and loved in the cuisines of particular communities in Singapore, but are little known outside them - and eh voila, a book was born.

In its pages you'll learn about leaves that taste of green grapes (sour spinach) and green apples (ulam raja), smell of jasmine and curry (rice paddy herb), are rich in protein (drumstick leaves) and antioxidants (gotu kola) - and many more!

Cooking With Asian Leaves is sold at all good bookstores, or can be ordered here.


By Terry Tan and Christopher Tan, with food styling by Christopher Tan, and photographed by Edmond Ho. Published by Periplus Editions.

Shiok (shĕōk) – adj. sublime, unutterably wonderful, greatly more than satisfactory in all ways, unsurpassably good.

This is not just a primer of classic Singaporean cuisine, but also a compendium of personal recipes from our home kitchens. They include everything from de facto national dishes like Hainanese chicken rice and chilli crab, to lesser-known treats such as babi assam (tamarind-braised pork, one of my favourites!) and young jackfruit curry (one of Terry's). The dessert chapter features my recipes for many Asian sweets, such as pandan chiffon cake and pineapple tarts, made the traditional way without any artificial colouring or flavouring - but of course!

We hope that all readers, however familiar or unfamiliar they are with the delights of Singaporean food, will find the book an interesting read, and a helpful, practical guide.

Shiok! is sold at all good bookstores, or can be ordered here.

Other books that Chris has worked on as food stylist include: 

Homestyle Vietnamese Cooking and Indian Vegetarian Cooking, published by Periplus Editions

The Best of Singapore's Recipes: Nyonya Specialties, and Cooking With Chinese Herbs, published by Marshall Cavendish.

Watch this space for more information!