February has turned out to be an interesting month. It was just over 2 weeks ago when we celebrated Chinese New Year. January was all about the crowds, new year preparations, buying sprees, marketing and supermarketing. Then the Covid19 outbreak happened and suddenly the face of Singapore has changed. Shopping centers are thinly populated as people avoid unnecessary outings and choose to buy things online. Restaurants and food centers are also quieter and we’ve been able to walk into previously hard to book restaurants without a reservation. Then when Singapore hit Dorscon Orange it was unforgettable as supermarket shelves were wiped clean of toilet paper, instant noodles and canned food.
The day Dorscon Orange was announced was surreal. Whatsapp chats were already whispering from the morning about the likely announcement by evening. I remember I was a little under the weather that day but I decided to trot to the pharmacy to pick up several months’ worth of medication and to make a foray to the supermarket with helper D. In the end I was glad I did so because the next few days would play out in chaotic scenes of frenzied buying and snaking long queues of loaded baskets and trolleys. What is good is that the frenzy died down again. Either people had truly stocked up sufficiently like doomsday preppers or the reassurances by the Prime Minister and other industry and political leaders helped calm the craziness.
I did spend some time thinking about what low carb stockpiling would look like. I was amused at FB and instagram posts from keto groups saying that since all the rice and noodles were gone, that it’s a great time to go keto! I was also amused that there was a day that I surveyed empty supermarket shelves and there were cauliflower heads left behind! That would have been the first vegetable I stockpiled to be honest! But just for the fun of it I created a list of things I would keep as pantry staples in case we were truly homebound.
- Canned tomatoes
- Canned tuna or sardines
- Canned button mushrooms
- Spam (not truly low carb but it’s meat at a pinch)
- Shelf-stable shirataki noodles (I love the Xndo ones that are prepacked and ready to eat)
- Low carb pasta (Explore Cuisine Mung Bean Fettucine and Black Bean pasta)
- Dried bean curd skin, seaweed (great for soups!)
- Low carb crackers
- Low carb peanut butter
- Sugar substitutes (monkfruit/erythritol)
- Sugar free jelly crystals and konnyaku jelly powder
- Coffee and tea
- Cooking oil (olive oil, avocado and peanut oil)
- Condiments and spices
- Sausages, bacon and deli meats
- Frozen spinach
- Frozen edamame beans or other vegetables
- Beef and chicken bones for making stock
- Frozen mozzarella and cheddar
- Butter (I always have a stash of frozen butter)
- Longer lasting vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, celery and carrots
- Deli meats
- Kimchi (you mean you don’t keep kimchi as a staple in your fridge? I’m asian!)
Anyway the truth is that my pantry is filled with weird foods that I may not necessarily want to stockpile, like canned abalone (from recent Chinese New Year hampers), olives and artichokes, mushroom powder and harissa, which are random gifts from foodie friends coming back from their travels. I probably have 2 cans of spam and 3 cans of tuna which I wouldn’t really call a stockpile.
Anyway I’m sure people are starting to regret the quantities of canned food and instant noodles that they bought in bulk last week. So I decided to make a fun chaffle for breakfast out of doomsday prepper foods. Chaffles are simply eggs made in a waffle iron and not too long ago I discovered that the eggs are a wonderful vehicle for using up leftover ingredients for a quick meal. Truth is, it’s actually a glorified omelette but the best thing is that the waffle iron keeps all the little bits of ingredients from falling out, which is what is liable to happen for omelettes.
So the stuff I threw into these Chaffles included cabbage, cabbage kimchi and spam. The vegetable load is great for fiber and the spam is…well…it is just to use up spam. Ham is fine and may be healthier than this anonymous meat. But recently I was watching a YouTube video of British soldiers trying Korean soldier stew (budae-jigae) for the first time and saying that they hardly eat spam! I suspect Asians eat more spam than the British then – cos it does sneak into things like fried rice and stews without us realizing it. So here’s my Doomsday Prepper Chaffle – in extremis and if you are ever in an apocalyptic situation but still have electricity and a waffle iron, this is a great recipe to use up your stash of food.
- 100g cabbage
- 100g cabbage kimchi
- 80g spam, diced
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Avocado oil spray
- Fried silver fish (optional, for a crunchy textural topping and also cos it looks good on top of the chaffle)
- 1 tbsp chopped spring onions (optional, decorative)
- Chop the cabbage and cabbage kimchi finely in a food processor.
- Best the eggs and mix in the vegetables and spam. Add the salt and stir through.
- Spray the surface of the waffle iron with avocado oil.
- Spoon the batter into the waffle iron and cook till browned.
- Serve hot with the crispy silver fish and spring onions as a topping.