My culinary journey began when I moved out of home into a shared house with limited access to recipe books and internet, when there was barely any food in the fridge and experimentation was the only choice I had (which was at its peak). I remember cooking some awful dishes. However, my first inspiration was a cook from a small Indian diner in Byron Bay, where I used to work. He made the best Kashmiri chicken curry I’ve had to this day and thus began my love affair with cooking.
One of my fondest memories is from Nazlina’s cooking classes that I enrolled myself into, at the Eastern Oriental hotel, Penang, Malaysia. It is probably my most cherished memory in Asian cooking. Right from picking supplies at the markets, to cooking a traditional Nonya feast and tasting them – I enjoyed every bit of this Asian experience. Even to this day, the smell of Pandan leaves remind me of those classes.
My cooking style is quite traditional and I love cooking dishes from scratch, while keeping things as authentic as possible.
Although it’s hard to pick favourites, I love Burmese food. The Htamin Lethoke salad, loaded with crispy, homemade balachaung is my current favourite. Plus it has to be the Kimchi! One of the few things that is as tasty and healthy as well.
For all you cooking enthusiasts out there, I’d only like to say this: Spend a little time and learn about the different types of fats and their smoking points. Knowing your oil and using the right one can make all the difference. I usually have about 10 different oils in my pantry.
All of us have a special ingredient in the kitchen that we associate ourselves with. If there was one ingredient that I’d never trade with anyone in the world from my pantry it has to be the Kimchi and Japanese mayonnaise. These two ingredients are so lush and complement each other beautifully.
I was so excited when I won the prize that I couldn’t contain the joy of sharing it with my friends and family. I called my husband straight away, while he was still at work and later posted on Facebook to brag about it (Giggles).
When I received the restaurant voucher (my prize) I was over the moon. We got Sono, a nice Japanese restaurant in Brisbane which has authentic delicacies. We are planning to visit that restaurant with two of our closest friends very soon. It was such a lovely surprise.
My favourite recipe from the Chinese New year contest has to be Glenda’s Pork & Mushroom Banquet, undoubtedly. She is also my friend and I’m so happy for her.
I loved being part of the CNY 16 contest. It was so much fun getting out of my comfort zone, discovering new products and sharing my creations with friends every week. Also, there are so many amazing entries to keep me inspired until CNY2017. Thank you Asian Inspirations for such a wonderful opportunity. I will cherish this journey for eternity.
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