Take a wok on the wild side with me

Welcome to A Wok on the Wild Side.

Please join me in my adventures in the culinary world and all things gastronomic.

Food, travel, books, music and the arts are all close to my heart, not to mention my tastebuds!

I've enjoyed tasting and testing recipes since I was a child in primary school who insisted on helping Mum stir her cake batters and test her bread and butter puddings for afternoon tea.

Laksa lockdown 4

Laksa lockdown 4

Super soups

My super niece Jong-Ee loves soups and so do I.

We decided to swop a couple of our favourite soup recipes to add to our repertoire.

So whether you're in wintry Melbourne or sunny Singapore, enjoy these recipes.

My chicken and corn soup for Jong-Ee

Serves 4

1 (375g) can creamed corn

1 chicken Maryland or 3 drumsticks

1 thumbsize piece ginger, bruised, skin on

2 tsp cornflour mixed with ¼ cup water

2 eggs

salt and pepper to taste

½ tbsp light soy sauce

Laksa Lockdown 3

Laksa lockdown 3

Going bananas

My Singaporean friend Felix Heng is a keen cook who also loves his desserts.

Try his recipe for steamed banana cake.

Kueh Harum Manis (steamed banana cake)

150g dark brown sugar or palm sugar

250ml water

250 g butter

180g sugar

3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

330g plain flour

1 level tsp baking powder

1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda

¼ tsp salt

4 - 5 ripe bananas

kueh lompang (kueh kosui) plastic moulds or cups

Penang Nyonya

Penang Nyonya

Chef and author Bee Lee Tan was born into a Peranakan (Straits Chinese) family.

"I come from a family of exceptionally good cooks," Bee Lee said.

"As a child I was very curious about cooking, but my family banned me from the kitchen."

Her passion for cooking overcame this initial hiccup and she is now an acomplished chef and cookbook author, specialising in Peranakan or Nyonya cooking.

She lives in Penang, Malaysia, and has written two cookbooks, Penang Nyonya Cuisine and Penang Authentic Nyonya Cuisine.

Laksa lockdown 2

Laksa lockdown 2

Marvellous Muffins

As the pandemic turns us all into culinary creatives or kitchen tragics, here are two marvellous muffin recipes from my cheffing pals.

Felix Heng from Singapore is a versatile chef who makes fabulous Peranakan (Straits Chinese) dishes, as well as delicious desserts, cakes and cookies.

I met Felix at a sad occasion, my beloved brother-in-law Alan's memorial.

Felix was Alan's classmate from primary school all through high school and he credits Alan with inspiring him to learn drawing.

Laksa lockdown

The laksa lockdown.

It looks like the enforced isolation due to the pandemic has turned many of us into culinary adventurers at home.

Whether it's resurrecting Mum's banana bread recipe, trying out Poh's blueberry pancakes or creating your own version of laksa, staying home seems to have unleashed our inner master chefs.

Home schooling also gives parents the opportunity to incorporate maths and science when they cook together with their children.

Never mind the mess; the family that cooks together, eats together and then cleans up together.

Chinese New Year 2020

Chinese new year 2020

 

Chinese new year starts on Saturday, January 25, and this is the year of the golden rat.

The chinese zodiac has five elements, earth, wood, water, fire and metal, and this year it's the year of the white metal rat.

Birth years of the Rat are 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 and 2020.

Some famous rodents include President Kennedy, Scarlett Johansen, Prince Harry, Prince Charles, Eminem, Katy Perry, William Shakespeare, Mozart, Charlotte Bronte, Truman Capote and Mata Hari.

Book review: Cook and Feast by Audra Morrice

Interview with Audra Morrice on Cook & feast.

Interviewing chef, author and television presenter Audra Morrice was like talking to an old friend.

We share similar interests in both eating and cooking food and are very involved in the media.

In her latest book, Audra says, “Food is very powerful in bringing people together,” and she has happy memories of growing up in Singapore with a very Chinese mother, who came from Sarawak in East Malaysia, and an Indian father.

Father's Day 2019

Father's Day 2019

Happy Father's Day to all fathers, stepfathers, adopted fathers, foster fathers, grandfathers, fathers-in-law and Dads who are no longer with us.

Enjoy your special day and be pampered by the ones you love, whether they take you out for a beer or two, breakfast, lunch, dinner or coffee.

Book review: Bish bash bosh

Book review

Bish bash bosh

By Henry Firth and Ian Theasby

Published by HQ. RRP$35

Known as the "vegan Jamie Olivers," the authors of Bish Bash Bosh have come up with a stylish book of 140 simple, tasty recipes that will please any vegan or anyone trying plant-based food for the first time.

If you just want to try a meal a week without meat, this book has all the know-how and inspiration you need.

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