Oatmeal, a breakfast and baked goods staple, doesn't really appear in many savory entrees. However, it is a featured ingredient in oatmeal butter prawns, a Singaporean dish that is equally sweet, savory, and spicy. The preparation is relatively simple: wok-frying with egg, butter, curry leaves, oats, sugar, and bird's eye chilli. The result is a deliciously fragrant dish that is at the same time comforting and exotic. It seems to have been bred from both a sun-kissed Southeast Asian sidestreet and a Norman Rockwell-esque kitchen. The fast wok preparation ensures the oatmeal stays crispy. Wow, you think, oatmeal can taste this good outside of a cookie.
We had this dish tonight at Singaporean Secrets in Beijing's The Place. The restaurant had other decent selections, including mee goreng and roti prata, but it was the oatmeal butter prawns that stood out. At the start of a blistery Beijing winter, munching on the prawns made me wonder about the cost of airfare to Singapore.
B142, The Place, 9 Guanghua Lu
CBD (Central Business District), Chaoyang District, Beijing