Hidden treasures on our island

Minister Khaw Boon Wan, June 24, 2017

National Museum of Singapore has an ongoing exhibition about the treasures which can be found on this island we live on, aptly named “Treasure Island”.


I met the artist, Mamakan, at one #Sembawang half-way house, where she volunteered. She remembered my interest and invited me to visit the "Treasure Island". We shared some jam which was made from local berries. Indeed, Singapore enjoys a rich biodiversity with more than 2,000 native plants, including edible botanicals such as shampoo ginger and blue pea. The exhibition ends tomorrow, so you can still catch it with your family!


Mamakan has been passionate in discovering local edible botanicals:


You can find 88 different local "treasures" at her exhibition here! — at the National Museum of Singapore. Heard of the blue pea flower or butterfly pea? It's commonly used as a food colouring in Malay and Perenakan dishes. More recently, you can find "blue" traces of it in many popular #hipster drinks too.


1408! That's the number of glass jars on these concrete blocks. Every jar is labelled in handwriting by Mamakan, and visitors can open and smell the "treasures" in each jar. 


(Left) Laksa pesto made from candlenut, groundnut oil, galangal, shallots, chilli, vinegar and garlic. (Right) Nutmeg cola jam with a unique taste made from nutmeg, coconut sugar, cinnamon and calamansi lime. These ingredients are found right on #LittleRedDot.


Some simple ways to turn our homegrown botanicals into delightful goodies



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