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>tim cheong the sweet black sauce

Dinner at Shiok in Menlo Park this evening. Of course. I now remember kids saying "quite shiok la...." the same way you say "sweet!" or "cool" here.

Their roti prata and popiah were certainly shiok. (Their laksa and char kway teow were unfortunately - no shiok.)

One of the most common hawker stall foods in Singapore, popiah is a sweet, savory, crunchy (at times salty and spicy) roll tightly wrapped in flimsy thin flour dough skin.

The filling varies greatly. Commonly used are any combination of yam beans (known in America as jicama), shrimp, carrots, bean sprouts, cooked egg bits, shredded tofu, cabbage, turnips, lettuce, bamboo shoots, coriander, garlic, peanuts, even sun-dried rice.

The satisfying sweetness comes from the addition of a delicious thick black sauce called tim cheong.

Gooey and tasty - it will remind you of molasses, balsamic vinegar or hoisin sauce. Next time you plan a popiah party, see if you can procure a good tim cheong sauce.

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