Thursday, December 15

She's got the rempah

I had an awesome cannot-be-beaten (happy to be proven wrong anytime) Wednesday and it was all because of this:

My mum, younger sister and I had scheduled a cooking class with our (ok, my ex) neighbour Rosalind Soon, who specialises in Peranakan and Penang cuisine, and I had been super excited about it since a week ago.

But before that, we needd to fuel up and I enjoyed a Korean lunch with mum at Ko Ryo Jeong Korean Restaurant. Ko Ryo Jeong is one of those old timer Korean restaurants that existed way before K-pop and Hallyu crashed upon our shores. I have seen tour groups from Korea here - not judging, just observing.

We shared their spicy beef soup and barbecued saba, and a modest array of tasty banchan that made for a very satisfying lunch.

Back to the highlight of my day.

Like I mentioned earlier, I was majorly excited about this cooking class. The 3 of us have not participate in one since our trip to Chiang Mai and that was a gut-busting trip that we all still remember till this day.

There are pre-scheduled classes that you can join but Mrs Soon would do her best to accommodate customized classes at long as there is a minimum of 3 people. More details can be found here.

Based on Mrs Soon’s repertoire, we picked out dishes - nasi lemak, beef rendang and char siew - we love from the bottom of our hearts. Speaking of hearts, did you know that latest research has proven that coconut oil is actually good for your heart? *Heart*

It was a demonstration class which was great because Mrs Soon had a lot planned for that afternoon, and chances are I would be the one slowing the class down, much to the chagrin of my younger sister.

Before we started, we sampled some rending which she had prepared earlier. Mrs Soon used the shin which made a heck of a difference. I took a bite and my knees went weak. No need for those beefcakes from Abercrombie & Fitch; I will take you home like, right now.

Mrs Soon’s char is siew is slightly darker in colour as she didn't add cochineal aka red food colouring. Oh my effing god, I could smell it cooking in the oven, caramelizing its way to sweet, sticky deliciousness. Was it good? Is China rich and southern Europe on need of a colonial master? Hell yeah.

You say “char siew”, I say “meat lust”.

And you are going right into muh belly ...

In the midst of all this, Mrs Soon also starting preparing components of the nasi lemak. She worked like a seasoned cook and with the help of her help, Mary Lou, whipped up these dishes within the two and half hour class. The best part if we could pick at the food fresh out of the deep fryer, oven or grill. I can’t help it if I’m easily distracted and some help staying focused.

Deep fried ginger fish.

Aromatic otah with mackerel chunks.

Deep fried boxing chicken done 2 ways.

Sambal Udang (prawns) with incredible kick.

As well as freshly fried plan bilis that were seriously addictive, archar which I thought could do with more heat and twang, and the fluffiest coconut rice that I could demolish buckets of.

Add a generous dollop of homemade chilli and I am set for life.

I’m not kidding when I say I’m low maintenance. Give me some crunchy ikan bilis, rice and chilli and I won’t disturb for you for the rest of the day.

Something sweet to end our afternoon - pineapple tarts Mrs Soon had made since Chinese New Year was just around the corner.

We packed up our achievements a bunch of stuff back for dad and kw, and the pugs wouldn’t leave my mum alone while she was prepping dinner for the men.

Funny how they like to line up after one another.

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