Beef and Pork Sukiyaki (with mushroom-stuffed tofu)

With restaurants closed for social distancing and no steamboat gas stove at home, my hotpot cravings had to be satisfied on a regular cooking stove. It’s a little more work considering you can’t cook as you eat, but definitely satisfying on a rainy day. This is really a super simple dish, it’s just made a little more complicated by the fact that I cooked the … Continue reading Beef and Pork Sukiyaki (with mushroom-stuffed tofu)

Red Sorghum Clan, by Mo Yan (红高粱家族,莫言)

I read Nobel laureate Mo Yan’s novel Frog two years ago (the Chinese version) and while the exact plot sequence now evades me, I remember being struck by the visceral impact of his writing. His use of imagery is raw and powerful in its ability to capture moments in history, revealing their beauty and brutality to strike both awe and revulsion within readers. Red Sorghum … Continue reading Red Sorghum Clan, by Mo Yan (红高粱家族,莫言)

Seafood pasta al cartoccio

This is such a satisfying dish – a classic Italian seafood pasta with fresh, homemade tomato sauce, but with an oven-baked twist (despite being highly suspicious that the value-added of the oven step is mainly presentation points, baking does seem to really let the half-cooked pasta soak up the seafood sauce). The smell alone is amazing, and the rich flavours of sweet-sour tomatoes, salty seafood … Continue reading Seafood pasta al cartoccio

Gula Melaka Pandan Chiffon Cake with Coconut Filling

This is a cake that combines a lot of Singapore’s really classic flavours in Pandan Chiffon Cake and Kueh Ko Swee. My mum has been making Pandan Chiffon Cakes for years and this time I wanted to experiment with a Gula Melaka version I saw on ieatishootipost’s website. This cake was made for Mother’s Day and it’s a delicious one that isn’t too heavy or … Continue reading Gula Melaka Pandan Chiffon Cake with Coconut Filling

Lobster and Prawn broth soaked rice (龙虾泡饭)

This is a more time-consuming dish but stuck at home during lockdown gives one ample time to experiment. The recipe below made enough to feed two families, roughly about 10-12 bowls, and ordinarily I would just use 1 lobster and fewer prawn heads (since good quality lobster is pegged at ridiculous costs). Ingredients (makes enough for 10 bowls) 2 lobsters (1kg including shell). Any type … Continue reading Lobster and Prawn broth soaked rice (龙虾泡饭)

The Valley of Amazement, by Amy Tan

I was pleasantly surprised to chance upon this book in my school library the day before we disbanded for covid-induced home learning, and upon reading the first chapter I concluded that our librarians probably had not read it before introducing it as a holiday must-read for teens. Amy Tan’s more recent novel is much more shocking than her iconic Joy Luck Club which I had enjoyed last … Continue reading The Valley of Amazement, by Amy Tan

Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice with Tea Eggs (台湾卤肉饭配茶叶蛋)

Everyone who has been to Taiwan will recall their night markets and street food with nostalgic fondness, which was exactly what happened to me a few weeks ago. Craving Taiwanese street food, I ordered a bowl of 卤肉饭 on Grabfood only to be sent a bowl of white rice with a small tub of oil, in which was submerged a pitiful amount of greasy minced … Continue reading Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice with Tea Eggs (台湾卤肉饭配茶叶蛋)

Delayed Rays of a Star, by Amanda Lee Koe

History is not a teleology I’ve always had a penchant for historical fiction, but this was the first novel I’ve come across that deals with history as an interweaved web. Koe dabbles within the blending of different pigments originating from America, Asia, Germany, exploiting the interconnectedness of her characters’ ancestries. The iconic film starlets of the Anna May Wong, Marlene Dietrich and Leni Riefenstahl are … Continue reading Delayed Rays of a Star, by Amanda Lee Koe

Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee

(finally getting around to this 3 months later) Living every day in the presence of those who refuse to acknowledge your humanity takes great courage. I had my reservations about attending “An Hour with Min Jin Lee” late last year. With my toes just dipped into the surface of Pachinko at Chapter 8, I wasn’t crazed about this novel enough to warrant an express trip … Continue reading Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee