Your Story, Our Pride.

Aspirations is an initiative by Asian Inspirations which features a few chosen ones who have deep interest in Asian culture and food. Our lovely readers can share their culinary journey with all of us! We are currently featuring our CNY 2016 contest winners.

Aspirations will bring you a new story from our winners every week, who will talk about experiences and inspiring ideas that drove them to be the epicureans they are now.

  • Justine Withers

    Justine Withers

  • Glenda McDonnell

    Glenda McDonnell

  • Michael J Sabo

    Michael J Sabo

  • Lillie Giang

    Lillie Giang

  • Lisa Jane Fudge

    Lisa Jane Fudge

  • Melinda Savage

    Melinda Savage

  • Josephine Chan

    Josephine Chan

Justine’s Culinary Journey

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I started cooking at a young age with my mother and even though she has a European background she loved to experiment with different cuisines from different cultures. Her open-mindedness to food, made me open to experimenting with different cuisines as I got older. Maggie Beer and Simon Bryant from The Cook & the Chef have also been my culinary inspirations; I love the way they would use the same ingredients to create completely opposite dishes.

A fond memory

My fondest memory has to be from my trip to Vietnam. The three weeks I spent travelling through Vietnam, its beautiful countryside, the history that has influenced their food practices, everything was just out of the world. I got to taste their beautiful sweet & salty dishes like traditional crispy tamarind fish, indulge in pho and noodle soups for breakfasts and the five colour sticky rice from road side vendors (one of my favourites) – rice never tasted so good!

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Fruit market in Indonesia

Cooking Style

I would have to say my cooking style is diverse; I just love to experiment and simply LOVE good food. Ever since I became a vegetarian I have starting cooking a lot of Asian dishes as I find them to be fresh, quick and healthy to make especially during weeknights. I generally make rice papers, Laksa and any curry with coconut milk. My favourites are Green, Yellow or a Massaman curry – I am coconut obsessed which is why I love Asian cuisine.

Cooking tip

Here’s the thumb rule I follow when I’m cooking. Replace olive oil with coconut oil for any dish that contains coconut. My secret to making fried rice is that I whisk a little extra shredded kaffir lime leaves, garlic and chilli into the egg mixture before mixing it through (trust me when your friends ask you why it tastes so good you won’t regret it!)

There’s this one ingredient in my pantry that I’d not trade with anyone in the world. Phu Quoc Pepper from Vietnam – it has an amazing salty, sweet and peppery flavor similar to a volcanic rock salt but more unique. You can add it to almost any Asian dish just to get a different twist or it can even be enjoyed on fresh warmed crusty bread with butter (almost like a dukah). YUM!

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The winning moment

When I first realised I had won a prize in the contest, I was STOKED!! So happy that my recipe got so much support and that I won a prize I can share with my partner!

I am excited to find out the place we’d be dining and I will be taking my partner for sure, she is also a foodie like me and wouldn’t want to miss out!

Secret Ingredient

The secret to my dish is I that don’t always stick to the veggies listed in recipes, I add any and all types of veggies left in my fridge, which makes the dish taste so good with anything!

Favourite Recipe from CNY 2016

There were so many great recipes to choose from, but a stand out for me was the Spicy Citrus Whole Red Emperor by Martin Levins – I really want to try this dish with a side of fluffy white rice, crab rice paper rolls and maybe some fresh crispy veggies in oyster sauce!!

Big Thanks to Asian Inspirations

Asian Inspirations has so many good products that make it hard not to be inspired to try something new and exciting. Most of the products have recipes on the back that you can then add too and play with at home – they make cooking fun!

I’d like to thank Asian Inspirations for this wonderful contest that gave me an opportunity to showcase my culinary skills. Thanks a ton Asian Inspirations.

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CNY 2016 WINNERS

Kate Brodhurst

Rosalin Kristiani

Glenda Mc Donnell

Michael J Sabo

Melinda Savage

Lisa-Jane Fudge

Lillie Giang

Justine Withers

Julia Brodska

Josephine Chan

Sally-Ann Haw

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CNY 2016 WINNERS

Glenda Mc Donnell

Michael J Sabo

Melinda Savage

Lisa-Jane Fudge

Lillie Giang

Justine Withers

Julia Brodska

Josephine Chan

Sally-Ann Haw