When the new tightened measures in Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), dining in is no longer allowed.
Armed with a Pepper Lunch recipe from TikTok, I decided to make my own lunch to see if it lived up to the eatery's standards.
Pepper lunch, but at home
Ingredients for one serving:
- One serving of cooked rice (preferably cooked the night before)
- 100g of corn kernels
- 150g of sliced beef
- One slice/20g of cheese
- 5g of sliced scallion
- 15g of butter
- Sesame sauce
(two teaspoons of soy sauce + one teaspoon of sesame oil + one teaspoon of sugar)
- Garlic sauce
(two teaspoons of soy sauce + one teaspoon of sesame oil + one teaspoon of minced garlic + one teaspoon of sugar)
- Cooking oil
Warm up your pan over medium heat. Once warm, add the cooking oil.
Add the cooked rice to the middle of the pan and you should hear it sizzling and popping. You can choose to shape the rice with a bowl before putting it in to the pan.
Place the slices of beef in a circle around the rice.
Add the corn over the top of the rice, followed by the butter.
Add the sauces according to your preference. I added one teaspoon of each of the sauces.
Mix and stir to cook the beef.
Once the beef is no longer raw, turn the fire off and top with cheese and scallions.
Mix in the cheese with the residual heat and add additional salt and pepper to taste. Here's what the finished product looks like:
If you've noticed, the rice that I used was Basmati rice, a long grain rice.
I felt like the long grain rice was good for this recipe because its texture gave the dish more bite.
However, if you do not have long grain rice at home, I would recommend cooking rice the day before and chilling it in the fridge.
The end product was sweet, salty, and fragrant from the addition of sesame oil, sugar and garlic.
I also chose to use dark brown sugar to add an earthiness to the rice.
For a serving for one person, I spent a total of S$6 on the following items:
- Sliced beef (S$5)
- Scallions (S$0.50)
- Corn (S$0.50)
The other ingredients were regular pantry ingredients that I already have at home.
Excluding the cooking time for the rice, I whipped up the dish in less than 20 minutes.
Level of difficulty:
I would put the difficulty level at 1.5/10 for the average cook.
The only thing that required knife work is the mincing of garlic and slicing of scallions.
The clean up was relatively manageable too, where the pan was the only oily item.
I would rate this an 8/10 — it's not pepper lunch but it's very very very close.
One key difference is the texture of the rice, where the rice served in Pepper Lunch tends to have more moisture from the sauce.
My home version was significantly drier, with a texture resembling fried rice, and each grain was distinct, which I preferred.
For those who want to take it up a notch, you can crisp the rice by leaving the pan on the heat for a longer time to have a mixture of fluffy and crisp rice.
Another difference is the flavour of the rice, where my sauces are not an exact replication of the ones served in store.
However, if I had used the same sauces served in Pepper Lunch, I think the dish would be comparable to, if not better than, the ones served in the outlets (editor: taking this with a pinch of salt).
Additionally, if you choose to do this at home, the ingredients in the dish are highly customisable. Other options of protein, toppings and grains can be included in the dish.
Would definitely make this again.
Top image by Olivia Lin