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.

International Bacon Day

International Bacon Day

Saturday, September 5 is International Bacon Day.

However, a lot of bacon sold in Australia is made from imported pork.

Why not help Australian pork farmers by buying Australian-made bacon?

Here are some recipes to inspire you and for more ideas, visit www.pork.com.au

Enjoy an indulgent breakfast with maple, bacon, cinnamon and pecan pancakes or relax on the couch with bacon and caramel popcorn.

Remember Aussie Bacon Bites Best!

Maple Bacon Cinnamon and Pecan Pancakes

Father's Day 2020

Father's Day 2020

Father, Dad, Papa, Pere, Padre, Otosan.

How you address your father depends on the language you speak.

My father was Daddy to me, a larger than life personality in every way.

He was my role model, my protector and the first man in my life.

I felt safe and loved when he cradled me in his arms.

He was in his 50s when I was born. He and mum were widowed and had children from their first marriages.

I always explained that I was the “ours” in the “yours, mine and ours” arrangement that was our blended family.

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.

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