Fiery foods are never far from my mind — but the summer months are when this yearning really consumes me.
Perhaps it’s because spicy food and sweltering weather are so intertwined in Singapore, where I grew up. Regardless, whenever the weather turns hot in New York, that’s when my hankering for mouth-numbing flavors truly rears its head.
This week, this led me to try my hand at a dish that I’ve adored for years in Korean restaurants but had never considered trying: Soondubu Jjigae …
If you’re still staring at a fridge full of Christmas ham, roast beef or turkey, here’s something you can do with all those leftovers — make debal.
The dish, a traditional spicy stew that Eurasians in Singapore make on Boxing Day, is a kitchen-sink concoction made with the myriad leftover meats of Christmas feasts. It’s a classic dish in Eurasian cuisine, which developed in the 19th Century when European traders began migrating to Singapore and marrying into local families. Debal combines cooked hams and roast beef with spicy Southeast Asian chilis and ginger.
I spent a few hours last week learning how to make debal (pronounced “dee-bahl” and also known as curry devil or devil’s curry) from chef Damian D’Silva of Big D’s Grill for a piece for The Atlantic.
The process is fairly laborious — you’ll need to be stirring constantly for at least two hours. But the end result is out of this world.