Crunchy cucumber and sesame salad

cucumber and sesame salad

My kids love cucumbers. My little cucumber-eating champ of a 21-month old daughter, who still only has barely ten teeth (why?!), always impresses me with the alarming amount of cuke she manages to put away at each sitting. Although it’s super easy to just thinly slice up a cucumber and feed it to them, I am always keen on introducing exciting textures and tastes to their budding palates. Using the vegetable peeler to create long ribbons of cucumber not only makes it more delicate and tender for the little ones, but the salad also looks elegant enough to serve as a starter or side at a dinner party. The children had this crisp salad for lunch today with fluffy Japanese rice and a simple steamed egg custard, but it would be equally great as a refreshing accompaniment to a fillet of spicy grilled fish. Continue Reading →

IZY. Chic, modern, urban izakaya dining in Singapore

izy, modern izakaya in singapore

Finally, after months of waiting, IZY is open. This chic, ultra-urban modern izakaya opened its doors (to the public) for the first time last night. Yours truly, along with his always gorgeous and almost always hungry wife, and four friends, were among the first to check out Club Street’s newest (dare I say hottest?) arrival. Continue Reading →

DIY snack: vegan summer rolls with mango dipping sauce

Vegan summer rolls

I have been contributing to Chubby Hubby for almost a year. During this time, I have been secretly and subtly trying to introduce the wonderful world of vegetables to you. And I really thought no one would notice. Recently I met up with Charmaine, our incredible editor at Chubby Hubby and she mentioned that almost all the recipes that I contributed are vegetarian or vegan. Busted. Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Lamb Stew with Chard, White Beans & Coriander

lamb stew with chard, white beans and coriander

For the longest time, chard was just something I’d only read about in cookbooks. It was one of those mythical vegetables that I knew of, but never felt was truly part of my culinary repertoire primarily because it wasn’t something I could easily pick up at the wet market or supermarket. In other words, it was a vegetable I could live without. That all changed when we recently received an organic Farm Box from SuperNature.

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Orangette’s seriously chocolatey chocolate cake

chocolate cake

I picked up Molly Wizenberg (of Orangette)’s book over a year ago when I was preggers, following J around on his work trips and doing nothing very much apart from putting away spectacular amounts of food (especially cakes and sweets) and devouring large quantities of food narratives, which often come with lovely recipes. Continue Reading →

Thai Krapow Gai (minced chicken with holy basil)

I lived in Thailand for two years and in that short time, I learned a lot about Thai food and Thai cooking. I had the opportunity to meet a lot of amazing chefs and learned to cook some Thai staple dishes in their kitchens. I started with curries and green papaya salad – in fact, these were the first dishes I tasted in Thailand. And then I decided I needed to master the iconic Thai soups like tom kha (coconut milk soup) and tom yum goong (sweet and sour soup with shrimp). Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Easy Chocolate Ice Cream Shell

mini-magnums

It’s definitely ice cream weather right now! You would think that to get a thin coat of chocolate on your ice cream would be a simple matter of dipping it into some melted chocolate. Well, think again. I’ve made some spectacular mistakes. It doesn’t help that doing something like that in the sweltering tropics makes it doubly complex. But I’m happy to report that I’ve finally found a simple chocolate ice cream shell recipe that works: chocolate and refined coconut oil. I did try the venerable Thomas Keller’s recipe first, but it still resulted in a shell that was far too thick. It was the Chocolate Bombe Shell recipe from the fabulous Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams that did the trick.

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Strawberry bread that’s also a cake

strawberry bread

My darling aunt celebrated her 50th birthday recently. I understand that women generally prefer to not discuss their age, much less have it revealed to the world via a blog post. For this disservice, I’m prepared to receive a phone call from her right about now, to holler threats about cutting me out of her will. But hey, she looks better than most women a decade younger, so where’s the shame? If I turn out half as good as her when I reach this milestone, I’d be unabashedly shouting my age from rooftops. Anyhow, me being her favourite (read: only) niece, I decided that she deserves a splendid dinner and of course, a brilliant cake. Continue Reading →

Comfort food – my mother’s recipe for macaroni and cheese

macaroni and cheese

I grew up in the Southern part of US. And what everyone now calls “comfort food” was just regular ‘ole food to us. Southern food is rich – with dishes like fried okra, ribs, creamed corn, BBQ, buttermilk biscuits, mashed potatoes and such being part of the everyday diet. When I go home and visit my mother in North Carolina every year, I start thinking about my mother’s cooking…and when she asks me, “do you want me to make anything special for you?,” it’s her homemade mac and cheese that tops the list. Continue Reading →