Braised Chicken with Chestnuts

Thursday, 15 March 2012


My mother always used dried chestnuts, so I'm clueless about prepping fresh ones. Using my common sense, I figure boiling should be the right method for tackling fresh chestnuts' shell and peel. It seems like the obvious thing to do, right?

Ikan Tempera (Nyonya Sweet & Sour Fish)

Monday, 3 October 2011

Previously on KitchenTigress, in the episode on Kueh Bengka Ubi in 90 Seconds, Mac wanted to eat fish.

Babi Masak Assam

Friday, 23 September 2011

Compared to Shermay Lee, who supposedly began learning Peranakan cuisine when she was 5 years old, Wee Eng Hwa was a very late starter. She began learning Nyonya cookery at the relatively ancient age of 47.

Fortunately, Wee Eng Hwa had two advantages over the self-proclaimed culinary child prodigy.

One, she could see what was in the wok without standing on a chair.

Two, her sifu has been guiding her for some 20 years. Shermay's, even if you believe her marketing spin, kicked the bucket after lesson one.

Not LKY's Babi Pongteh

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Cast your mind back, all the way back to when you were 5 years old. Do you remember anything much?

Would you believe a 5-year-old child is capable of learning how to cook, and remembers what she's learnt when she's a 28-year-old adult? Would you believe a 5-year-old can be instilled with a passion for cooking?

Sayur Lodeh

Monday, 22 August 2011

It was Cook a Pot of Curry Day yesterday because, to cut a long story short, some mainland Chinese with a delicate nose had asked his Singaporean Indian to stop cooking curry. Indignant Singaporeans protested in unison when they heard the story. How dare they tell us not to cook curry! It was a wonderful excuse to tell the mainland Chinese where to shove it, all in the name of protecting the national identity. Before long, Curry Day was organized via Facebook.

There are curries, and there are curries. If it had been a Malay, Nyonya or local Chinese cooking curry next to the mainland Chinese, there probably would have been no dispute. But Indian curries are different when they're not adapted to suit the tastes of the Singaporean Chinese. They have a pungence that's far more powerful than Malay, Nyonya or Chinese-style curries. Chinese Singaporeans call it 'the Indian smell'. For those who don't mince their words, 'smell' may be replaced with 'stink' or 'pong'

Buddha's Delight (Chap Chai, 罗汉斋, 什菜)

Monday, 20 September 2010

It was my mother's birthday a few days ago. To commemorate her, I made a big pot of Buddha's delight (罗汉斋) or, if you prefer the less elegant name, chap chai (什菜). It was a dish she always made for our first breakfast of the Chinese New Year.

Teochew Braised Duck (潮州滷鸭)

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Teochew Braised Duck (潮州滷鸭) was my mother's pièce de résistance. She always had a dark, glistening duck for the dinner table on Chinese New Year eve. It was a fantastic complement to our steamboat dinner, something that we could eat whilst the raw stuff was cooking. To us, Chinese New Year, Mum and 滷鸭 were all one and the same thing.

One day, Mum wasn't around anymore. She left us just before Christmas, and as Chinese New Year loomed, I thought we were going to have the reunion dinner without 滷鸭. But I was wrong.

My brother, the new head of the family, gallantly undertook the onerous task of braising a duck with caramel and dark soya sauce. His first attempt left much to be desired, to put it mildly. We all picked at the 滷鸭 half-heartedly. No one said anything about the tasteless duck. In fact, no one said anything at all. Everyone kept their heads down and ate in silence. Usually, we would be chattering about, oh . . . whether the fish was oversteamed by three nano-seconds or there was enough belachan in the chilli sauce. For that first reunion dinner without Mum, even my youngest nephews and nieces were quiet though they were mere toddlers at the time.

Sesame Duck

Friday, 1 January 2010

2009's gone. Just like that, phffft!

Time for some new year resolutions?

Heheh, resolutions are not for me. I never keep them, so there's no point in making any. Actually, I don't even remember what they are by February!