wipkitchen: Korean lunch

Here is a simple lunch today. Korean glass noodles (Jap chae).

You’ll need:
Glass noodles (rice vermicilli)
Prawn chilli paste
Sliced beef/chicken/vege anything you like
Eggs
Soy sauce
Slice onions

Simple steps:
Boil glass noodles for 5-7 minutes until glassy and soft. Strain.

In a pan, sauté onions, add beef and soy sauce until cook. Add prawn paste 1 spoon.

Add glass noodles. Stir fry until all even.

Fry omelette and add to glass noodles.

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This is just my version of my favourite Korean dish Jap Chae.

Audit your fridge

The pause button on domestic life

I had no introduction to a domesticated life a week subsequent to my wedding. I had simply clicked the pause button in my head, because it was crunch time for my post-graduate degree. It was my last semester, last chance on scoring above average marks, and the semester that define my thesis depending on the supervisor. I had no regrets, because my husband was busy working for HP at the time and his new boss was like a garlic peeler – frustrating, useless and doesn’t serve its purpose. It occupied his mind more than the state of the kitchen.

We made it through a semester with take aways, deliveries and my husband cooking for us (occasionally). After my last exam was done, I took a week sleeping in. 18 months of sleepless nights could do that to you. Sometime during this week of downtime, reality bites into my consciousness. I had no idea what to do about the kitchen.

Audit your fridge

The fridge was full of junk food left overs, half empty carbonated drinks, wilted veggies, old cheese. I don’t dare post a pic, it’s just gross. Use your imagination. It wasn’t a dirty fridge, what I am trying to say is, it was an unhealthy fridge.

Watching too much Gordon Ramsay (GR) on hulu, I must say he would frown at me for not taking more pride in quality food. Shame. Shame. Shame. I took out the garbage bag and threw everything.

The thing about fridge is, once you audit your fridge, you will feel 100% good about yourself. An empty fridge represents many possibilities too.

-wipkitchen

Next thing I did was to pack the fridge with visually appealing organic food. I made sure there were green, yellow, red, purple, orange organic food in my fridge. Does it matter what food? As long as it’s healthy.

Where is the pride?

The thing with eating healthy is; you need to know how to. I had no idea how to make anything healthy, maybe only salad. So, this was my obstacle. The healthy produce was there and I had no idea how to do any of it. It’s different from watching cooking shows.

How to cook with pride? This is what GR hardwired in my brain, I honestly didn’t know why he stood out among the rest of the cooks to me. I remember GR showing a person how to cook with pride, he was doing something simple, delicious and fresh.

Simple, delicious and fresh

It brought me back to my mother’s kitchen. I loved her food because it was so simple and fast to prepare. My brain hardwired back to culture food.Without realizing what I was doing, I made a stir fry Choy sum.

chinese cooking - choy sum

Chinese stir fry- Choy sum

To make this Chinese food you need 5 minutes and simple things like:

  1. Oil
  2. Choy sum ( chinese flowering cabbage in English) or any vegetable you like, rule of thumb for this recipe; stick to leafy ones
  3. Garlic

So heat up the pan, place the choy sum until wilted, add garlic. Once you can smell the garlic in the air, it’s done. Serve with anything.

wipkitchen: junk food

Junk food Junkie  

What’s your biggest junk food weakness? Tell us all about it in its sugary, salty, glory


 

I love burgers. Not just any burger. Don’t think of Carls Jr. or Maccas, or even Wendy’s. It’s weak burger. (The type that doesn’t fill your mouth, the type that doesn’t make you struggle to bite it). Those are just distractions.

“Greasy with plastic meat”

as my husband put it.

The burger I am talking about is “strength burger”. I love strength burger because it is made from scratch, grilled to perfection, premium 250g burger. The idea of strength burger comes from a Youtuber alias DaymDrops. If you want to know what burger he’s talking about, you should check this link.

Strength burger can be comparable to T.G.I.F burgers, if you’ve tried one, you know it’s juicy and doesn’t taste like plastic meat, the greens are fresh, and you feel comfortable plus guilt free on your cheat day to have something as good as a strength burger.

wipkitchen version of a strength burger-original recipe

wipkitchen version of a strength burger-original recipe

In wipkitchen, I made a burger today from scratch. It’s my own recipe and my version of…Yep, a strength burger. I will put up the recipe soon.

 

WIPkitchen Recipe: Nasi lemak

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Nasi Lemak ( pronounced Na-see, Le-Mac).

It’s uniquely Malaysian, and I love this food. It’s traditional and modern too, can be enjoyed by a street sweeper or a CEO. This dish does not belong to a single predominant race. It belongs to all races in Malaysia. The one thing we can all agree on, the one thing we all have in common. The love of Nasi Lemak. I eat it during breakfast, lunch, dinner, rain or shine. I think you get the gist.

In this image, it’s the simple version. The fancy version can be found in 5 star hotels or resorts, you can Google it too.

Let’s get on with the recipe.

First boil the eggs. Take a couple of eggs from the fridge,  fill up a bowl with water and turn on the fire. 12-15 min. If you see eggs protein seeping through its shell, it’s over cooked okay? Don’t throw it.  Just peel nicely.

While waiting for the eggs, please boil your rice. Nice trick is to put enough water leveling 1/4 of a finger. Add ginger. Just peel the ginger and dump it, don’t bother to slice. You don’t want to accidentally eat a ginger. Though it doesn’t taste that bad by itself.

Next… while the rice is simmering,  please cut onions as much as humanly possible. You are about to make the “sambal” literally meaning spice. The red sauce with anchovies. Okay, add oil to “frying pan” some kind of cooking device with flat shallow surface, fry dry anchovies for 5 minutes, then add onions; sauté (fry) until caramelize (nice trick is if you can whiff the onions it’s good to go), add half of a chili sauce from the bottle ( seriously easier than buying dry chili and food processing it and adding salt and others, trust me), add salt to your taste. Wait until sauce thickens or when you see it starts bubbling, off fire.

Now you can stop here and eat it. How? Find a decent size cup and add rice in it, mold it and pack it in, then tap it onto a flat plate. You can choose any shape. Even heart shape. Add the red sauce on top, slice your eggs and put it on the sides with raw cucumbers.

Want to add pickle? Even better. But for me, I don’t like pickle with rice. Pickle with hamburger is nice. What do you think?

Enjoy. Post me your version!

For the brave, I will put up a another recipe next time for the Rendang chicken. Another traditional Malaysian dish eaten on its own or with nasi lemak in a fancy version.

P.s. I use no measurements, just use cooking materials as you like and to your taste. Most importantly make it yours. I Googled the instructions and made it overseas with no help from Asian supermarket.

p.p.s. I use Malaysian English, although I will try to make it “commonwealth” English. Malaysians like to say “nicely” on everything. Like wash the car nicely, cook nicely. It’s just one of those localized English.

My typical childhood lunch

I am repeating an idea from the daily post about five posts to write right now, so I pick number 2, which is about my typical childhood lunch at school. It is called Nasi Lemak, it’s a typical Malaysian food consisting of coconut rice, spiced anchovies and half a boiled egg. Taste wise it has the 3S, sweet, salty and spicy, typical of Asian food. Thankfully, I know how to make it, thanks to our long vacation in my husband’s motherland, which motivated me enough to learn how to cook it for my own sanity (imagine I didn’t eat Asian food for a full ninety days).

A typical Malaysian food

A typical Malaysian food

I ate this at school for lunch and sometimes for breakfast on weekends at home. This is just comfort food for most Malaysians, and it drove me insane a little because of lack of spicy food and the nagging question why I couldn’t make a staple national dish. I researched it and made it. You had no idea the mouth orgasm I had, totally mind-blowing. You can try it in Singapore and Malaysia. Take it easy on the anchovies.

I will post my recipe next time.

Stay tuned.

What is WIPkitchen…

One day the neighbor and I (she’s also a distant relative of my husband) were talking casually during a double date. She and her husband were newly married at the time, plus she came from a far away land; right thing to do was a welcoming dinner outside. Pretty much the boring couple routine, drove to a Lebanese/Moroccan restaurant and the boys were talking about work. The girls were talking about domestic life, and she asked me how did manage to cook at home? Where did I learn? And how do I manage home life plus finishing my Master’s dissertation.  Let me dissect what she meant:

How I managed the cooking at home because apparently it was hard for her to adjust. My thought answered her this way: Isn’t every newly married wife know how to cook? From this question, I guessed at the time it wasn’t the ideal world. Girls and home economics doesn’t match, according to Anthony Bourdain.

I am a newly married wife with no children, my career is in finance and I have a postgrad degree but that’s not really important because I really love food and writing. I have no culinary education ( although I own a franchise some years back, mostly it was food popped into the microwave), but I am passionate about food. I love food so much, I was begging my parents on my 15th birthday for a chef to teach me south american food at home. My very first dish was rice and prawn paella. I had a great teacher, and I remember she was also newly married at the time.

This work-in-progress kitchen is dedicated to how I managed cooking at home and all the basic dishes newly married person(s) could amuse themselves with, perhaps surprise their better half.