I used to like the version of Singapore style fried carrot cake with sweet and dark soy sauces (i.e. the darker version). It’s a lot sweeter and the darker it is, the deeper the flavour. However, as I grow older and got to the age beyond thirty, I learnt to appreciate the lighter version more. This version tastes a lot lighter and simpler. The peppery and eggy flavours become more distinct and they combine to effect a more flavoursome dish of carrot cake stir-fry. I like that I am able to identify all of these flavours in the lighter version, compared to the darker one which is mostly overwhelmed by the flavour of the sweet and dark soy sauces.
The thing about frying carrot cake at home is that it’s very difficult to get the ‘wok hei’ – the slightly burnt, charred taste that results from using a large metal wok over a big fire which hawkers are always seen to be doing. But other than that, I guess the good thing about saving that $3 dabao-ing carrot cake when you fry it yourself at home is that you can adapt and add in some textures and vegetables to the dish to turn it into a more wholesome and healthier dish. It is also a very simple dish to do at home, one that takes less than 15min – so it’s probably even more convenient and efficient to make this at home yourself than to walk over to the hawker center to bag it back!
- Fish sauce: 1/2 tbsp
- Light soy sauce: 1/2 tbsp
- Sweet soy sauce: 1 tsp
- Dark soy sauce: 1 tsp
- Oyster sauce: 1 tsp
- Water: 2 tbsp
- Oil: 2 tbsp
- Garlic: 2 cloves, finely chopped
- Chai poh (sweet preserved radish): 2 tbsp
- Egg: 2, lightly beaten
- Bean sprout: 80g
- Spring onion: 1 stalk, finely chopped (for garnish)
- Combine fish sauce, light soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce and water. Set aside.
- Heat oil in wok.
- Stir-fry garlic and chai poh till fragrant.
- Stir in carrot cake and 1.5 tbsp of sauce. Leave to cook on high heat for 2 min.
- Pour egg and remaining sauce evenly onto carrot cake. Leave to cook for 1 min.
- Stir in bean sprouts. Combine evenly and scoop out onto serving dish.
- Garnish with spring onion to serve.
- This is supposed to be the darker version of carrot cake. Not sure why the colour is still so light and why I can never get my version to be as dark as those sold at the hawker centers. Is there a secret recipe somewhere that I do not know of??