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The Fay Khoo Awards Food Photography Workshop

Exploring food photography with SC Shekar last weekend. He makes beautiful images of food, scenery, and people (some which I’ve admired for years unknowingly).
The authenticity and ease Shekar injects into something I deem as artificial and complicated is inspiring.
I really dislike too much food styling which turn food into inedible art. Professional food photography was not something I agree with completely until last Saturday.
I would always keep my photo real even if it is not as pretty as it can be: what you see is what I cook.
Now I am sure I can make food images which are both beautiful and delicious.

More photos:

My new cookbook: 3 Ingredient Recipes

When Seashore, a publishing house under Popular Bookstore, asked me to write ‘3 Ingredient Recipes’, my first thought was: is that even possible?

I explained that I can possibly develop 50 recipes using 5 ingredients. But three?

THE IDEA

Then the editor told me that seasonings that are commonly found in the pantry e.g soy sauce, salt, cornstarch, etc are not included. I heaved a big sigh of relief.

I was impressed by Seashore’s editorial direction and thoughts though. They understand that someone who cooks often will have basic ingredients such as seasonings and long-shelf life ingredients in their pantry.

They wanted to show that you only need a few main ingredients to cook a meal. For example, to make Braised Chicken With Mushrooms, you will need 1) chicken 2) dried Chinese mushrooms 3) ginger. A cook will probably have the rest of the ingredients such as soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and shaoxing wine.

SOME OF MY FAVOURITE RECIPES IN THE BOOK

  • Kimchi Pancake
  • Stir-Fried Pumpkin With Basil
  • Spicy Papaya Salad
  • Thai Fish Cakes
  • Stir-fried Curried Squid
  • Lemon Chicken
  • Minced Pork with Salted Fish
  • Homemade Chicken Nuggets
  • Apple Pie
  • Ambarella Pickle


This cookbook is in Chinese and English

Because the large Chinese characters on the cover, many people assume that it’s a Chinese cookbook.

Nope, it’s bilingual. You can read it! So please drop by Popular and get a copy 🙂

An indestructible sense of wonder

A wish I have for myself…

A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full or wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment of later year…the alienation from the sources of our strength.

Rachel Carson

Hiro the Rotiboy

With the genius behind Rotiboy. At their 20th anniversary party, I found that they’ve sold more 500 million buns!

Some time ago, at a dinner party, I was fortunate to be seated opposite of Hiro and his wife, Naree, where he told me about making steamed buns from scratch and selling by the roadside at Batu Ferringhi.

I’ve always love listening to people’s passion, hard work, and perseverance. It reminds me that there is no shortcut in life.

P/s: Dressed as a flapper girl or a darker version of blonde Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby.

#rotiboy #mexicobun #malaysiansfavouritebun

Karipap Pusing

Made Karipap Pusing!

I normally make the dough with huge amount of butter for the melt-in-the mouth sensation. .

This time, I try the other method. Love the swirl it creates. So pretty! 😍

I also use chicken this time, instead of just potatoes. Both “inti” (fillings) are equally delicious in my opinion. Tho I prefer my curry puff with potato filling to reduce my meat consumption.

Small Home. Alternative Lifestyle

My friend built a little house from scratch! It’s too cool, Atiqah Nadiah Zailani!

 
I like the alternative lifestyle that some of my friends lead. It’s not the typical work from 9 to 5, buy an apartment and car, get married, and have kids (though there’s nothing wrong with that and I admire the endurance and stability)
 
I find inspiration from a different lifestyle i.e finding work they love (that may pay less), not have a car, homeschool their kids, etc.
 
This reminds me of Jean-Paul Satre who said that we are freer than we think. We have choices in life though it seems that we don’t. We don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.
 
At one point I was very interested in small spaces. Then recently I realise it’s not for me. I love space. A huge kitchen to cook together with my family. A big shelf to put all my books. A large garden to plant edibles and hunt snails.
 
It’s nice to know that there is no ‘standards’. You don’t need to want what everyone wants. But if you do, it’s ok too. Everyone wants different things. We just need to know what we want for ourselves. And that requires a lot of self-discovery…

Lotus Pancakes

At Chinese wedding banquet, while most people look forward to sharks’s fin soup (which I boycott), I eagerly wait for Chinese lotus pancakes 😋

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The elderly Chinese (well, even young ones) were always flabbergasted. But really, the value of food lies not in its price or prestige. Besides, I eat my sweet and crispy pancakes guilt-free.

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P/s: thanks friends for taking me here for my birthday. Loved the duck and pancakes 💕

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#easytoplease #boycottsharkfinsoup #sekyuen

How much is my time worth?

In a capitalist society, everyone has a price tag. You are worth how much the system is willing to pay for your labour.

At times, you have the freedom to give a set of numbers to tell others how much you are worth (for x amount of time/work).

I find it so hard to put monetary value to my time; it is worth much more than whatever I’ll ever charge.

A need to move

What we did in Taiwan: climb the highest mountain in Taipei then head straight to Shilin market for crispy fried chicken ☁️🍗

Oh, I miss pushing my body to its limit. With no access to the pool and crazy amount of work, I haven’t been moving as much as I’d like.

I need to:

– walk instead of being driven around

– find a sport that I can do weekly

– organise a hike

#throwbacktuesday #needtoexercisemore #taipei

Be a polymath, not a generalist

Thoughts from this article: People who have ‘too many interests’ are more likely to be successful according to research

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” -Charles Darwin

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Now I don’t feel too bad in my recent obsession with philosophy and all the random interests I picked along the way e.g gardening, calligraphy, finance… No knowledge is useless. I just need to use it and use it I will!