Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Family Lunch - Inspired to Cook

Home. Sense of belonging. Ties. Love. Understanding. Support. These are what comes to mind when I think about my family. They are absolutely my best source of motivation when it comes to baking and moving on in life.

Last Sunday, we gathered at my elder brother's place for lunch. Ever since my brother moved out to his new place, we have made it a point to keep in touch by gathering for meals on sundays fortnightly. Going over to his place meant one thing - getting to see my beloved little furry family member, Ashley.

Say hi to Ashley, a 2 year-old male Maltese. Yep, you must be thinking Ashley is a female. That is what most people would preceive upon hearing the name. I thought 'Tigger' would make a better name as Ashley can be quite active sometimes. While most Malteses spot long straight hair, we try to keep Ashley's fur short to facilitate ease for grooming.  

Photo of Ashley taken by my sis-in-law some time back. She uses a Canon D90.

In the morning, I accompanied my mum to Sheng Siong near the Woodlands Causeway. We managed to grab hold of bamboo clams, crabs and a red sea bream, all alive and kicking. There is no way that they can be any fresher!

The sumptous lunch includes; Simple Stir-fried Bamboo ClamsChili Crab, Stir-fried Cauliflower and Bell Peppers with Crunchy Water Chestnut BitsTeochew Style Steamed Red Sea Bream and lastly White Radish Duck Soup with Enoki Mushrooms. All the goodness of a complete homemade meal! Yummy is the best word to use here.

We could not find the chili crab paste that we bought and my mum had to do the sauce from scratch using condiments like tomato sauce and stuff. The chili crab sauce was slightly on the sweet side, but we definitely welcomed it as most of us take spicy food moderately and not to a point where it is fiery hot. I hardly have the chance to eat steamed sea bream and find that the meat is too soft and fine textured for my liking. There is no firmness to the bite and the flesh simply melts into the mouth. Everybody enjoyed the white radish duck soup and every bit of it was slurped up.

With inspiration from my mother's cooking, I will probably feature dishes that I cook in time to come. Bakertan would then be Cheftan for a day when the moment comes, haha. In case you wonder if bakertan knows how to cook. The answer is yes, but bakertan only knows how to prepare limited dishes like Baked Honey ChickenBeer Battered Fish and Chips, Fried Calamari Rings, Vongole Pasta, Fried Chicken Wings with Chinese Style Marinate, Sweet and Sour Chicken etc...


  1. ZY, your mum is a great cook, look at all the mouth-watering dishes. I cant wait to see your post on cooking, you have a great shifu to learn from :)

  2. So, these were what you and your family feasted on that afternoon! Look very good! I also love everything home-made! Your mom is a very good cook. Yea, my Teochew mom also makes 潮式蒸魚 every once in a while. But due to the Cantonese blood from my dad's side, we have more of Cantonese-style steamed fish ... Ever tried 港式清蒸? When you come to KL, will make some for you to try. It's good, the specially made soy sauce is good with rice! Also, 姜蒸魚. I know you don't have that in SG unless you make one yourself ...

    Cheftan, I believe you can cook geh ... You're just being humble only ... HAHA! See, just by looking at the dishes you've named here ... It already looks impressive to me. For me, I cook based on recipes most of the time except for those that I've cooked till the recipes themselves are already 滾瓜爛熟 in my head ... LOL! The problem with me is I love to try out making new dishes and bakes. That's why I can never be VERY good at certain areas ... HAHA!

    I think at most, I've just handled fresh fish and shrimps ... Not yet with other seafoods ... Definitely will venture out beyond there ... I love 甘香 la-la. (Shoot, I dunno how to write that in Chinese leh ... LOL!)

    Btw, Ashley looks so cute! Wait till you see mine, Chevy ... He's a rascal!!! He's a dog that eats durian ... in fact, just about anything. LOL!

  3. Ooooo! Ashley is too cute! Homemade dishes are always the best!

    I'd like to have the recipe for Baked Honey Chicken once I get around to starting baking plssssssssss....

  4. Ashley is so adorable, looks like my Cookie and I celebrated her birthday on 1st May.:)
    Hope to see your cooking dish soon.

  5. In my opinion, you're already good enough for Cheftan. I sure can't whip up those that you mentioned =X

    Like Pei-Lin said, I think you're too humble blehh..I'm waiting to see mouth-watering dishes from you! =D

  6. such a cute dog!!! and the feast makes me yearn for some too!! =)

  7. What a feast! All that delicious dishes done by your mum! She must be a great cook!
    Looking forward to your dishes!
    And Ashley is cute!

  8. Ashley is so cute! Such inquisitive and bright eyes.
    The chilli crab looks amazing. All the pictures of the yummy dishes are making me hungry.... and I just had buffet lunch. LOL

  9. Wow! This is so sumptuous! Home cooked some more! Yummy. Yes, I'll wait for Bakertan to be Chef Tan. I'm sure with practice and under the apprenticeship of "Mother Tan", you'll soon be Executive Chef! :)

  10. Oh... all the food looks yummy :)
    My hubby will be estatic if I ever cook so many dishes in a meal.

  11. totally look forward to your cooking recipes, you know me... I love to cook more than bake (that's because my baking skills sux haha). judging from the feast, your mum is a great cook! :D

  12. Hi Jess,

    Thanks! Ya I am always the one who helps her when she cooks. So picked up a little here and there.


    Hey Pei-Lin,

    Imo, my mum is the world's best cook, sole because she is my mother, haha. Nothing beats mummy's home cooked dishes.

    I am not sure about Cantonese style steamed fish. Welcome any kind of steamed fish. Soya sauce would be a very good choice. I think its served in most chinese restaurants and its common during wedding dinners.

    I think I make western dishes better than chinese dishes. Main reason is I cant control the flame well, which is the essence of chinese cooking.


    Hi full-time mummy,

    ya ashley is the cutest in my eyes. totally love him to bits. Will send you the recipe when you start baking =]


    Hi Anncoo,

    I am sure Cookie is adorable as well =] Hope my dishes will be presentable, haha

  13. Hi Youfei

    The names of the dishes sound impressive, but i have done some of them only once, haha. Cheftan is only a name for fun


    Hi Jess,

    Haha, my mum only whips up such feasts once in a while.


    Hi busygran,

    I love my mum's cooking. too bad she doesnt cook very often.


    Hi Nel,

    I love ashley's round eyes. Very alluring.


    Hi Jane,

    Haha, when i become excecutive chef, you are already senior excutive chef. Hope I can learn more from her.

  14. Hi Wendy,

    I will be escatatic too if I ever cook this many dishes myself.


    Hi Wiffy,

    I look forward to cooking more often myself. But sometimes I suck at cooking, haha. My mum can cook quite decently but she does'nt cook often, quite a pity.

  15. Looks like you have quite a number of scrumptious dishes under your sleeves! So don't be too humble... Awaiting to see your wonderful dishes! You have my support, go go go!

  16. Hey I am very sure you can be a Chef Tan is no time. You are already much better than most young gentlemen that I know. Keep it up. If my gal see your dog, she will goes hysterical. So cute.

  17. Hi Bee Bee,

    Thanks so much for the support! Hope my dishes will be presentable at least.. haha


    Hi Edith,

    thank you for the compliments! haha, Ashley loves to play with people..


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