Cut down on your food wastage with these tips.
A study done by the National Environment Agency in 2017 discovered that Singaporean households waste 2.5kg of food every week, and the amount of food waste has increased by 40 per cent over the last decade. This upward trend calls for more landfills to be built, but given Singapore’s land scarcity, this simply isn’t sustainable.
Heed these tips from celebrity cook and TV host Sarah Benjamin on cutting down food wastage. She even shares some quick and easy recipes for turning your leftovers into your next meal!
WHEN SHOPPING FOR GROCERIES …
Only buy what you need
A lot of food waste occurs because we buy too many groceries, and don’t use them up before they go bad. To tackle this, check your fridge and write a shopping list before heading to the supermarket. Also, never go shopping for food when you’re hungry! It’s highly likely you’ll be tempted to buy all sorts of things you wouldn’t normally add to the cart.
Buy ingredients with a longer shelf life
If you have a smaller household, choose ingredients that keep for a longer period of time. Sturdy vegetables like carrots, eggplant, sweet potatoes and pumpkin stay fresh for weeks or months, compared to salad leaves and other leafy greens.
WHEN PREPARING YOUR MEAL …
Think about freezing meat, fish and cooked items, so you’re not rushing to eat them up. If you’ve prepared a stew or a curry, freeze individual portions, so you always have nutritious, comforting food ready to go.
Remember: Unused doesn’t mean useless
A lot of vegetable ‘off-cuts’ and peels can be used in making stock, so don’t throw them all away. The peels from your carrots can be stored in the freezer, along with herb stems, celery leaves, and spring onion tops. You can also keep the unused parts of a chicken, such as the feet or neck, and store them in the freezer. When you have enough, chuck these in a pot with water and simmer until you have a flavourful stock.
AFTER YOUR MEAL …
Play with your leftovers
Don’t be afraid of leftovers. When you have remaining cooked food, don’t be afraid to repurpose it into a new dish. A little leftover chicken curry goes a long way when it’s combined with zucchini and cheese in a foldover. Put different ingredients together and let your taste guide you, and you’ll have something almost totally new to enjoy.
To get you started, try Sarah’s super yummy foldover recipes, which use Mission Foods’ Supersoft wraps and commonly leftover proteins like fish and chicken.
If you have leftover fish: Assam Pedas Fish Wrap
Cooked fish is a common leftover, and often one of the hardest to reheat, as it can get tough and overcooked. The solution: combining it with flavours of a Peranakan classic, Assam Pedas. Instead of fish, this versatile recipe also allows you to use leftover seafood, such as prawns or crabs. If you are not a fan of sambal belachan, replace it with chilli sauce, or leave it out
entirely depending on your preference.
- 2 Mission Foods Supersoft Original wraps
- 200g Fish meat (can be leftover steamed or grilled fish), deboned and flaked
- 1 cup Lettuce, finely shredded
- ⅓ cup Pineapple, finely diced
- 1 Shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 6 Cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 Japanese cucumber, deseeded and cut into small cubes
- 1 tsp Fish sauce
- ½ Lime, juiced
- ½ tsp Caster sugar
- 3 tbsp Mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp Tamarind pulp
- 1 tbsp Warm water
- 2 tsp Sambal belachan
- 1 5-cm piece of Ginger, peeled
- 1 clove Garlic, peeled and grated
- Fried shallots and fresh coriander, to garnish
- First, make the assam pedas mayonnaise. Dissolve the tamarind pulp in the warm water, stirring to loosen all the fibres and seeds. Strain the mixture to get a thick, smooth tamarind paste.
- Place the tamarind paste, mayonnaise and sambal belachan into a bowl. Stir the grated ginger and garlic directly into the bowl until everything is combined. Set aside.
- Next, make the pineapple salsa. Stir the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved. Mix the pineapple, shallot, cherry tomatoes and cucumber together in a bowl, and toss with the dressing.
- Heat wrap on a dry pan for 30 seconds on each side.
- To assemble the wrap, lay one Mission Foods Supersoft Original wrap on a plate. Spread half the mayonnaise onto the bottom, and top with shredded lettuce.
- Flake the leftover fish over the lettuce, and spoon the pineapple salsa over.
- Garnish generously with fried shallots and fresh coriander leaves, then fold two opposite edges over the filling, and roll tightly in the other direction to form a wrap.
If you have leftover chicken curry: Curry Chicken Foldover with Herbed Summer Veggies
Chicken Curry is a dish that tastes better overnight, as the flavours meld together with time. This recipe transforms leftover chicken curry into a cheesy foldover that comprises a medley of summer vegetables in a multigrain wrap. Super nutritious!
- 2 Mission Foods Supersoft 6 Grains wraps
- 2 cups Chicken curry, with chicken meat shredded
- 1 tbsp Curry Powder
- ½ cup Corn kernels, drained
- ½ Zucchini, diced
- 2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Cooking oil
- ½ cup Coriander leaves, roughly chopped
- ½ cup Flat-leaves parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 cup Shredded cheese, such as mozzarella
- Salt, to season
- When you are ready to make the wrap, shred the leftover chicken from the cold curry. Cut the potatoes into cubes, and set aside some of the gravy.
- In a frying pan, heat up 2 tablespoons of cooking oil on a high heat. Add the chopped garlic and curry powder, and sauté until fragrant. Add the diced zucchini, and fry for 5–6 minutes, until almost cooked through.
- Add the corn kernels to the pan, along with the salt, and fry for another 1–2 minutes. Toss the leftover chicken curry into the pan, and stir together until warmed through.
- Season with salt, and take off the heat. Stir in the chopped herbs.
- Rinse out the frying pan and wipe clean. Place it back on a medium heat. Lay one Mission Foods Supersoft 6 Grains wrap in the pan, and scatter half the cheese all over the wrap.
- Scoop half the cooked filling onto half of the wrap, and leave to cook until all the cheese has melted. Fold the half without filling over the other half of the wrap, and press down to seal.
- Remove the foldover to a chopping board, then cut into three pieces. Repeat the process with the other wrap.
If you have leftover roast duck: Roast Duck with Honey-Soy Sauce
Whip up a batch of cooked veggies and mix it with the leftover roast duck for a well-balanced meal. Creating your own sauce and pickled chilli also means you know exactly what is going into your food, so you can be sure you are not consuming preservatives. If you’re not a fan of pickling chilli, pickle some daikon radish or sliced carrot instead for that acidic hit. You can also use any other types of roast meats here in place of roast duck.
- 2 Mission Foods Supersoft Onion & Chives wraps
- 250–300g leftover Roast duck, shredded or chopped
- 1 bunch Shimeji mushrooms, separated
- 6–8 bunches leftover blanched Chye Sim, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Cooking oil
- Salt and white pepper, to season
For the Spicy Honey-Soya Sauce
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 2 tbsp Soya sauce
- ¼ tsp Chilli powder
- ½ tsp Chinese five spice powder
- 1 tsp Ginger, finely grated
- ½ tsp Sesame oil
- ½ tsp Rice vinegar
- Dash of ground white pepper
Quick-pickled Green Chillies
- 4 large Green chillies, thinly sliced
- 120ml Rice vinegar
- 120ml Water
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1 clove Garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp Salt
- First, make the quick-pickled green chillies. In a small saucepan, bring the water and vinegar up to a simmer. Take it off the heat, then stir in the sugar and salt. Pour the solution over the sliced chillies and garlic. Set aside for 10 minutes before using. They can be kept in the fridge for up to a month.
- Prepare the honey-soya sauce by stirring all the ingredients together until combined. Set aside.
- In a large frying pan, heat the cooking oil in a medium-high heat. Add the chopped garlic, then the mushrooms. Sauté until the mushrooms are cooked through and the liquid has evaporated, then toss in the chopped chye sim. Season with a pinch of salt and take off the heat.
- Heat wrap on a dry pan for 30 seconds on each side.
- Assemble the wraps by laying the Mission Foods Supersoft Onion & Chives wrap on a plate. Put half of the cooked mushrooms and chye sim on each wrap, and top with shredded roast duck. Drizzle with the spicy honey-soya sauce, then top with a few slices of pickled chilli.
- Fold over two opposite edges of the wrap, then roll into a tight wrap. Serve alongside the remaining spicy honey-soya sauce for dipping.