Recipe: prawn sambal for Marion

My nephew Lawrence Tan and his wife Marion who live in the UK had a bumper crop of chillies last summer and I promised to send them recipes using chillies. Here's one especially for Marion and I hope she cooks it for Lawrence soon.

Perhaps one day she'll cook it for me!

Prawn sambal for Marion

6-8 large raw prawns, remove feelers and rinse

½ large onion, sliced thickly

1 clove garlic crushed

1 ½ cups diced or crushed canned tomatoes

½ cup diced pineapple, fresh or canned (optional)

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

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.

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.

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.

Foolproof roast pork belly

If you're looking for a delicious meal at Easter, and I don't mean chocolate eggs, try this delicious recipe from Australian Pork.

Foolproof roast pork belly

1kg Australian pork belly

1 tbsp oil

1 tbsp flaked salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Remove roast from the packaging and pat dry with paper towel.

    With a small sharp knife, deeply score the rind at 1cm intervals, being careful to not cut into the meat.

    Recipe for Southern Fried Okra

    I had heard of Felix Heng's cooking long before I met him.

    He was a good friend and classmate of my beloved late brother in law, Alan and it was Alan who taught him how to draw when they were in primary school.

    A peranakan (Straits Chinese), Felix enjoys everything cultural and culinary.

    His Singaporean creations and cakes brought a lot of comfort when Alan was suffering from his illness.

    Felix has generously shared a recipe with us.

    Recipe - Cumquat jam

    Cumquat jam

    My friend Julie Walker recently gave me a bunch of cumquats (also known as kumquats), fresh from her tree.

    I thought the intense citrus flavour would be best enjoyed by making the fruit into a jam, so here is my own recipe for cumquat jam.

    Some recipes involve boiling and then straining the fruit, squeezing the pulp in a piece of muslin and then adding sugar.

    It sounded all too fiddly for me and I prefer my jam with more body, anyway, so here's my take, jam-packed with pulp and all.

    Thanks, Julie!

    1 cup cumquats, washed

    Recipe - Chicken larb

    I was wondering what to cook for dinner (my daily dilemma) when I saw chicken mince on special and decided to cook up that Thai favourite, chicken larb or salad.

    Served with steamed rice, it was the perfect dish for a warm summer evening.

    The sweet-sour-salty-spicy combination soon had the tastebuds tingling, so here is my take on this popular salad.

    Any mince can be used, including seafood, pork or quail.

    Thai chicken larb

    Serves 4

    1 tbsp peanut oil

    4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped coarsely


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