I think the origins of Soto is Indonesia, and I personally love how the word is pronounced in the Indonesian language, the vowel sound coming from deep in the throat.  I can’t say it properly myself, to be frank.  I say it the way Malays do, just simply from the mouth as it were, no deep O sound.  When I was a teenager this was one of the first major meals I attempted to cook for myself, in a tiny pot with the proportions that I visualised my mother use, which of course was a mistake.  My mother always cooked for a family of six.  This does not fit into a one-quart saucepan. Read More →


You won’t need this much turkey for the soup, relax.

It’s Christmas day, and I have a lot of left over turkey from last night.  The first thing I do is debone whatever I have left of the bird, cutting the meat into cubes, and chucking it all into the fridge.  Then the carcass goes into a big pot, just covered with water, and with some whole onions and one carrot, boiled and then simmered for an hour or two.  Instant stock. Easy. Read More →

Okay, so i’ve shared this before on facebook, but I’m in the mood to share it again.  I’ve seen a few articles extolling the virtues of schooling kids early, but am still not convinced, not because of a personal bias (okay maybe because of a little personal bias) but because these articles are putting it too simply and not giving the entire picture.  In the words of author Ben Goldacre, “it’s a bit more complicated than that”.  It’s not just about how well they stay abreast in the first year or second year of formal school, it’s got plenty to do with other factors in the child’s life running up to that point and beyond.  It’s like Nutrition; it’s not just certain foods that will increase or decrease propensity for cancer for example, one has to factor in lifestyle and stress and positivity as well, excuse me but these things count.  Do you really think that eating a lot of acai berries everyday is going to stave of cancer? (I made that up by the way) It’s just not that simple.

(bitter much?  Yeah, I’m a little fed up)



assam pedas serving suggestionAssam pedas is one of those staple dishes that feature in a Malay family’s regular home menu, and quite typical of Malay cooking in that its main ingredient is CHILLI.  Go to any Malay food stall in Singapore, and you will see it sitting there as an option for you to put on your rice.  And, if you think this is along the lines of chilli con carne you are mistaken.

When I first ate chilli con carne as a tween in my school food fair (international food fairs are a regular feature of many International schools and always eagerly looked forward to each year!) I was confused; for something called ‘chilli’  I felt no heat at all.  And I am not one of those hardcore chilli eating individuals either.  Why is chilli con carne called chilli??  I don’t know, maybe it really is supposed to blow your head off and perhaps I simply didn’t eat an authentic rendition.

Assam Pedas on the other hand is made with real chillies, and will blow your head off. Read More →