CB 1-year anniversary: 10 of our favourite simple-stay home recipes

7 April 2020, a significant date that marked the start of Singapore’s very first Circuit Breaker. As a preventive measure made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic happening in the country, we were compelled to a nationwide partial lock-down, where most of us had to work from home and remain restricted to our household until the COVID-19 situation eases.

Like most Singaporeans, we, the writers at Sethlui.com, were at a loss. Most of us didn’t know how to carry on with our regular food reviews since restaurants and hawkers were closed. But it was then when we introduced a new article format that allowed us to remain engaged with all of you within the comforts of our homes. This was none other than our simple stay-home recipes. To commemorate the one-year anniversary of Circuit Breaker together, here are 10 of our favourite simple-stay home recipes

1. Tamago Sando (Japanese Egg Sandwich)

Picture of bread with egg mayo mix

Kickstarting our list of simple-stay home recipes is none other than our popular Tamago Sando, the only kind of egg sandwich you should concern yourself with. All you need to recreate this recipe is one special ingredient and it will save you a ticket to Japan—and that is Kewpie Mayonnaise. Yes, it’s the bottle with the baby on it—make sure you get this and nothing else. This will distinguish your tamago sando from other mediocre egg salad sandwiches.

Final product of our simple-stay home recipe: Tamago Sando

Simple but satisfying, the egg mixture was creamy and rich but not cloying. The bread was fluffy and slightly sweet while the English mustard delivered that sharp kick to tie everything together. Not to mention, the tamago sando looks so great on camera, all your friends will think you whisked yourself off to Japan.

If you are looking for a simple sandwich to pack for a healthy and hearty lunch, this recipe is a must-try. 

2. One-pot Chicken & Mushroom Rice

Rice pot filled with ingredients before cooking

Still working from home? Fix and calm your hunger pangs with this One-pot Chicken And Mushroom Rice simple-stay home recipe—a hassle-free one-pot dish that allows you to dump all your ingredients in, reducing any mess and extra washing of dishes.

Final product of our simple-stay home recipe: One-pot Chicken And Mushroom Rice

The instant you opened your rice cooker, expect the redolent smell of ginger to waft through your entire kitchen. Here, expect each grain of rice to be coated in the dark, savoury-sweet sauce. Together with the familiar household ingredients, this One-pot Chicken And Mushroom Rice will surely be a dish that warms your heart whilst filling your stomach.

3. KFC “Kolo Yok” (Sweet & Sour Popcorn Chicken)

With the release of KFC Singapore’s “Kolo Yok” Sweet & Sour Popcorn Chicken recipe, we decided to try making it for ourselves to show you the expected end result. Although we didn’t follow the recipe completely and changed tiny parts of it, this simple-stay home recipe blew our minds as the end product tasted so much like the kolo yok served at zi char stalls. 

Ingredients required for KFC Kolo Yok recipe

What we thought was the best part about this recipe is that you’re likely to have most of the ingredients already at home and there won’t be a need for a supermarket run to recreate this delectable dish. 

Final product of our simple-stay home recipe: KFC Kolo Yok

If you prefer stronger sweet and sour notes, feel free to add more ketchup to the recipe and tailor the measurements to your preference. Before you know it, you will have a delectable great halal and homemade alternative to have for a hearty dinner! 

4. Homemade Bubble Tea With Tapioca Pearls

A pot of tapico pearls that is being cooked in sugar syrup

Remember the time when bubble tea chains were taken off MTI’s list of essential services in the latest national address? It caused such an uproar among many bubble tea lovers in Singapore and many rushed to get “that one last cup of bubble tea” before they had to suspend their services until 5 May 2020. Let’s be honest—we died a little inside when we heard these delightful beverages will no longer be available thus, in order to satisfy our cravings, we decided to recreate cups of Homemade Bubble Tea With Tapioca Pearls right in our kitchens. 

To be honest, homemade bubble tea simple-stay home recipe might not taste as shiok as those we buy from popular chain stalls, but we were pleasantly surprised at how these pearls turned out to be chewier and probably tastier than some popular chains.

A trio of homemade bubble tea with tapioca pearls

Besides that, recreating this popular beverage at home also allows you to change things up according to your preference. Instead of just the regular milk tea, why not try using coffee mix or matcha? Who knows, you might be addicted to your very own creation. 

5. Air Fryer Basque Burnt Cheesecake

Basque burnt cheesecakes have been trending since 2019 and we remember how difficult was to get our hands on a slice during the extended Circuit Breaker. As such, we decided to replicate this sweet treat for our simple-stay home recipe since it complements perfectly with our Homemade Bubble Tea With Tapioca Pearls.

Final product of our simple-stay home recipe: Air Fryer Basque Burnt Cheesecake

Although our Air Fryer Basque Burnt Cheesecake might not beat the better-known bakeries that serve up burnt cheesecake, it was s a quick and easy way to get your cheesecake fix without leaving the house.

Side view of Air Fryer Basque Burnt Cheesecake

The cheesecake was creamy and rich, though there wasn’t much of the smoky flavour. If you’re making it on your own, you can consider leaving it in the air fryer for just a minute or two more—though we can’t guarantee that this won’t mess up the jiggly texture of the cheesecake.

6. Easy DIY Mala Xiang Guo 

If mala xiang guo is your vice, then this Simple-stay home Easy DIY Mala Xiang Guo recipe will be your saviour. Many might think that mala xiang guo might be a tricky dish to master, but it turns out there’s a “cheat code”—simply pick up instant mala seasoning, like Knorr Mala Liquid Seasoning, and it’s easy to whip up a hearty portion of mala xiang guo

A slice of lotus root from the mala xiang guo

Fiery, savoury and tongue-tingling, the seasoning tasted absolutely spot on. Not only that, it also eliminates the hassle of concocting your own mala sauce, too.

Final product of our simple-stay home recipe: Mala Xiang Guo

Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients; most of it can simply be anything you find in your kitchen. Greens, proteins, carbs—you name it, you can probably throw it into mala xiang guo. It’s a great way to clear the small amounts of ingredients lying around, and it makes for a hearty meal.

7. Braised Pork Belly Rice

One year might have passed since the Circuit Breaker, but there is one thing that remains the same: travel restrictions. Instead of heading to a Taiwanese restaurant to get your luo rou fan cravings fixed, why not attempt to recreate it at home with our simple-stay home Braised Pork Belly Rice recipe? A dish that can be easily completed within 30 minutes, this is a dish that promised a fortifying quick lunch idea to help you get through the day.

A slice of braised pork belly

Those craving some yummy goodness of Taiwanese street food can look no further with this simple and easy recipe as you chow down some of this meltingly tender meat and forget the calories. 

Final product of our simple-stay home recipe: Braised Pork Belly Rice

Braised in a savoury, rich sauce and smothered on top of rice, every mouthful of the pork belly exuded a savoury-sweet-umami tenderness. The infusion of the warm braised pork sauce into the rice also made it gorgeously delicious and absolutely appetising.

8. 2-Ingredient Chocolate Soufflé

Chocolate soufflés made just using two ingredients? Yes, you heard it right. We all know that soufflés are notoriously hard to perfect, but with just the use of chocolate hazelnut spread and eggs, this simple-stay home recipe promises a walk in the park. 

A scoop of the 2-ingredient Chocolate Soufflé Cake

Probably the most difficult part of this entire recipe is keeping an eye on your soufflés when it is baking in the oven. Timing is of the utmost importance here as a minute shorter or longer might just cause your beautifully risen dessert to crumble and deflate. 

Final product of our simple-stay home recipe: Chocolate Soufflé Cake

As long as you get your timing right, you can delightfully enjoy a mug of decadent chocolate soufflé that is fluffy and airy on top, yet slightly fudgy in the centre. If you had dusted the ramekin bowl with caster sugar, you will also get a bit of caramelised sugary crunch with each bite too.

9. No-Fuss Chicken Adobo

A traditional Filipino dish, adobo is usually made using mainly either chicken or pork. The biggest dividing factor from one adobo recipe to another is the amount of vinegar used; some prefer a milder tang, while others welcome its potent zing. 

A picture of the chicken adobo

Our simple-stay home No-Fuss Chicken Adobo recipe was one that features a distinct sharp vinegar punch that adobo is famous for—perfect for those who enjoy the additional tang and punch of flavour.

Final product of our simple-stay home recipe: Chicken Adobo

Vinegar aside, the chicken thighs were cooked beautifully and there was even a hint of smokiness to the dish. The best part about creating an adobo recipe is that you can adjust the ratios of vinegar, soya sauce, and sugar, according to your liking, so it’s easily a recipe anyone can attempt without fear of messing up.

10. McSpicy Burger

Picture of mayo on shredded vegetables on fried chicken

Just like the bubble tea ‘crisis’, when McDonald’s announced it was closing its stores till 4 May 2020 during the Circuit Breaker period, the collective horror we all felt was palpable across the island. However, while many were lamenting the loss of McDonald’s, we came up with a simple-stay home recipe to replicate the satisfying McSpicy Burger that you can make right at home. 

Final product of our simple-stay home recipe: McSpicy Burger

Expect your end result to be spicy and crunchy—a pretty close rendition of the McSpicy. To replicate that fieriness that a McSpicy patty offers, be sure to use Lingham’s Chilli Sauce (Extra Hot). Trust us, the use of this sauce changes everything by elevating the spice level of the patty, the kind that will leave you gladly soaking in perspiration. 

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