Pantry Basics: Homemade Tomato Sauce

Homemade tomato sauce

You’ll ditch store-bought options once you realise how little it takes to make a seriously yummy tomato sauce of your own! This is my favourite tomato sauce recipe. It’s easy to make, incredibly tasty and relatively inexpensive. I’m a firm believer of layering flavours. And with a jar of this tomato sauce sitting in the fridge or freezer, part of the work of throwing a meal together is already done.

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Pantry Basics: Kinpira Carrot (金平人参)

kinpira

Kinpira carrot, stir-fried grated carrot seasoned with soy and sugar, was one of the dishes I learnt to cook at the Haru Cooking Class on our last trip to Kyoto. I know it probably isn’t high on your list of dishes to master, but it’s a delicious, quintessentially Japanese vegetable side dish which has opened my eyes to how home cooked Japanese meals are actually put together. And I simply love it. Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Johnny Iuzzini's vanilla ice cream recipe

I’ve tried a host of vanilla ice cream recipes, but love this one—based on Johnny Iuzzini’s in Dessert Fourplay—best for making the vanilla ice cream that I have in our freezer at all times. It’s the first ice cream my son, T ever tasted. His little eyes lit up and he grinned in excitement when he registered its flavour, texture and temperature all at once for the very first time. That moment was truly priceless. Continue Reading →

Higashiya: translating Japanese culture for contemporary palates

higashiya

Before I had even experienced modern wagashiya (Japanese confectionary shop), Higashiya for myself, I was already enamoured of the discreet yet clearly orchestrated style of the brand; by the time I had my first Higashiya encounter, I was well and truly hooked. Continue Reading →

Family Food: Whole Wheat Chocolate Cookies

cookies and milk

These whole wheat chocolate cookies are my toddler’s favourite baked goods of the moment. I serve them to him plain. But CH likes them with Amedei’s chocolate-hazelnut cream, Nutella, or a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Bubble Solution

Best ever bubble solution

With a toddler in the house, the ability to whip up a bubble solution on the fly with ingredients from your pantry is a boon. It means mom can mix up a quick batch of bubble solution while said toddler naps without ever having to leave home (although the solution works best after it has been aged overnight). Anyone who has had to hang on to a curious toddler with a mind of his own and the uncanny ability to squirm out of your grip will understand how shopping with a toddler in tow can sometimes be a physical challenge. Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Thai basil laksa leaf pesto

LaksaPesto

I make this Thai basil laksa leaf pesto in large batches when we have to prune our Thai basil and laksa leaf (Vietnamese mint) plants. It doesn’t contain any cheese, but the fish sauce (I like Red Boat) provides the umami kick that you’d otherwise get from the parmesan in a traditional pesto. I store some in the fridge and freeze the rest so that there’s always some close at hand. Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Brined Turkey

Brined Turkey

My brined turkey recipe arrives too late for this year, I know. I’m just quickly filing it away here while the memory of how it was made is fresh in my mind because this recipe, a variation on my friend Sujata’s, is a keeper. Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Red Velvet Roll Cake

Japanese Souffle Roll Cake

This super easy to make, light and tender-crumbed Red Velvet roll cake weds CH’s obsession with Red Velvet and my love of Japanese-style roll cakes (ロールケーキ or ro-ru keiki). Continue Reading →