Baked Beans

This is not a recipe for Baked Beans.

I’ve looked up baked beans recipe. Nobody with more important things to do, should try to make baked beans from scratch. It is a lot easier and cheaper to buy a can. How much can you improve on a can of baked beans?

Well, I realise we do in Singapore. In our own way.

Well, firstly, baked beans in its original form (plain, unenhanced) is usually just spooned onto a plate of local “western” food – a Chicken Cutlet or Chicken Chop (quintessential SG western food that you cannot find in the West), steak, lamb chop, etc. It makes it seem like you tried. Tried what, I do not know. Maybe steak and fries just seems… bare.

But interestingly, you can sometimes find baked beans at chye png (economical rice) stalls. You might find slices of potatoes in the baked beans. Sometimes luncheon meat. Sometimes both (how decadent)!

But… this is probably not how baked beans are eaten or prepared in the west.

Not that it matters or that we care.

In fact, we take baked beans with luncheon meat and/or potatoes as standard fare probably. It is, if not exactly “soul food”, a sort of fall-back option for when our parents run out of ideas for dinner, or find themselves staring on the collection of emergency canned food and wondering what to do, or realising that the fresh veggies they had planned to cook had gone bad, and the kids were starving.

Baked beans are quite versatile.

My dad had added onions, potatoes, ham, bacon, fishcake, fried egg/omelette, and even sliced chillis to baked beans, and we (well, I, at least) loved it. Or at the least found it acceptable.

So, what do we eat baked beans and potatoes with? Why with the staple food of the Chinese – rice.

Yes, baked beans (which is a starch, carbo) with potatoes (also carbo), with rice (carbo).

We love our carbo.

Probably too much.

I found myself adding sliced fishcakes, onions, bacon and plain omelettes to baked beans recently, when I ran out of ideas for dinner. And I realised, this is probably not how baked beans are intended to be used.

Or is it?

 

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