A Malaysian-Chinese who discovered her passion for cooking and baking as she was about to leave home for studying abroad--because no one will be fixing her meals anymore. She tries preparing foods from scratch and likes to look at recipes, cooking and baking blogs and Web sites, and watch culinary videos to get inspirations and improve her cooking and baking skills. Trying out new recipes has always been fun for her! Despite that, she has a weak spot in food presentation. Her mom has been a major influence in getting her into the wonderful culinary and baking world although they both aren't experts. As a student in the States, her host families have helped improve her baking skills. She also is learning food photography on her own. (Although she couldn't afford a DSLR camera now, she'll someday.) She wishes she could fix meals for her family back home. Sadly, they're miles apart.
My favorite things to cook
When it comes to main courses, she still prefers Asian cuisines. She frequently stir fries, fries, steams, braises, stews and slow cooks. Her family loves her Hong Kong-style steamed fish, stir-fried romaine lettuce with preserved tofu, and kangkung belacan, a type of Malaysian vegetable stir-fried with chilies and dried shrimp paste. They also love her Chinese/Malaysian soup-based desserts like barley soup with dried beancurd sticks and mung bean soup ... Basically, anything that she prepares. She loves her own fried rice *blushing*. But, she sometimes craves for Western foods like pastas and fish and chips. Also, she loves baking and pastry art. After staying in U.S. for sometime, her baking/pastry skills have improved. So far, she's tried making yeast and quick breads, bars and cookies, cakes, pies and tarts, Asian pastry, desserts and snacks, pizzas, and quick treats like pancakes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
On the first morning of Chinese New Year, her mom will prepare the fabulous and healthy "Luo Hon Zai," a Chinese vegetarian dish seasoned with preserved tofu and consisting of ingredients such as dried beancurd sticks, various types of edible fungi and vegetables. Her family will then serve it with rice and end the breakfast with a gingery soup-based Chinese dessert consisting of things like tong yun, or glutinous-rice balls, lotus and gingko seeds. Other than that, her family's everyday meals consist mostly of simple and yet yummy home-cooked dishes with Chinese (specifically Cantonese), Malay, Indian, Peranakan and Thai influences.
My cooking triumphs
Depending on how "triumph" is defined. For her, when any dishes and desserts that she makes have passed her own, family's and friends' taste tests, they're considered triumphs.
My cooking tragedies
Minor ones include cutting and burning her own fingers, accidentally spilling food while fixing meals ... and the aftermath: She had to clean her kitchen. Major ones include overproofing her bread dough in the fridge because she was experimenting with low-temperature rising of bread dough. The dough ended up smelled and tasted like alcohol. Fortunately, she remedied the situation by dividing up and pan frying the dough. At least, nothing went wasted, and she still could enjoy yeasted flat bread. Haha ...! Now, she knows what to do when bread dough is "misbehaving."