Back to the kitchen I go

The Mister and I have come to a decisive position against eating out in Singapore for a whole host of reasons. Firstly, there actually isn’t much of an exciting variety of food. We feel it more since I come from Malaysia, which I don’t think even requires any explanation. And he feels it even more because he comes from China, which eclipses Malaysia with its never ending variety of different food and style of cooking.

Be it local fares or expensive foreign food, the line up of dishes is just typical from restaurant to restaurant here in Singapore, as if everyone thinks the tried and tested recipes are the only ones that can sell and imagination and innovation is for the expensive restaurants. I have recently become awfully fussy about the food I eat. Beyond requiring my food to be colourful (my appetite shrinks if the food only has one colour tone), I simply can’t eat the same food weekly. I get irritated if The Mister cooks the same vegetable once a week. Variety is a huge requirement for me or I’ll just lose interest in eating altogether.

The other big reason we no longer want to eat out is because of the level of MSG we taste in everything we eat. The local food courts can be bland and unappealing in its greasiness and lack of passion, it gets to us to have to taste MSG in the dishes and nothing else. There are some great dishes of course, but I rather enjoy my favourite chicken rice and prawn noodles only once every 3 months or so. We wrote off eating out after I brought The Mister to a fancy Italian restaurant for his birthday. The food was good and their oven-baked pizza was fantastic! We really enjoyed ourselves until we both woke up in the middle of the night dying of thirst and felt terrible the next day.

Eating unhealthy food for good money just doesn’t make sense to us now. So we’ve decided to cook unless we’re absolutely shattered and have no energy to.

The Mister has been an absolute star to do most of the cooking over the last 6-8 months when I was going through an intense period of graduating from my Masters and dealing with a disruptive 3 months prior to this. But now that things have settled for me, I’ve decided to relieve The Mister by doing more of the cooking. Cooking isn’t physically demanding for him, but it’s more mentally demanding on him to cater to me!

It also recently struck me that just as I absolutely enjoy The Mother and The Mother-in-Law’s cooking, one day, it will be just me. I want my future kids to have great memories and anticipation of my cooking too! When I was single I wasn’t interested to cook for myself. But being married now everything is changing and it’s really not about myself anymore. So I feel a lot more determined than ever to start building that future to come. Feel so adult!

The Mister reminded me today that he wants to lose weight so I decided for something light for lunch. He has classes after lunch so he really doesn’t need to feel heavy and sleepy. So I decided to cook rice porridge, cucumber doused with chopped garlic and vinegar and fried fish stuffed with green chilli (this was a winner to me!).

 

The Mister commented that I’m getting better at cooking but I’m still slow. Haha and that’s probably never going to change much! I’ve always been told I’m a slow mover all my life. And if anything, I’ve grown slower the last few years from living on my own and doing my own thing without anyone telling me to speed up. The Mister cooks faster and with a surer hand, but I’m the more creative one, which also means I never practice as I’m always trying new recipes I concoct. But right after lunch, The Mister declared that he was more confident of my cooking and definitely looking forward to dinner. *Beaming with housewifey pride*

 

Recipe for cucumber with garlic and vinegar:

I was thrilled to find this site that is dedicated to Chinese food with English translations! I adapted the cucumber recipe from this site with significantly less sugar and sesame oil. Could be better, so my quest for having the perfect cold cucumber dish will continue.

 

Recipe for Selar fried fish:

The Mister bought Selar fish and to be honest, I really don’t know how to clean and cook fish. I think I’ve only ever cooked fish 5 times in my life! The Mister had to give me a lesson on cleaning the fish before I continued cooking it.

I adapted my recipe off this site. Yay for Singaporean food blog! Thank you, Uncle for being a good cook and documenting it in your blog! Having a local food blog just means I feel assured the ingredients can be sourced easily around my neighbourhood and the cooking style is much more easily adaptable than foreign cuisine.

  1. I julienned the ginger and fried it in the oil before setting it aside.
  2. For the chilli paste, I used three medium sized green chilli we had in the fridge. Since it wasn’t the spicy kind, I added a small feisty red chilli to give it some kick. I diced some ginger and pounded it with the chilli into a paste. I also added a pinch of salt to the paste.
  3. Stuffed the chilli paste into the fish stomach and rubbed salt over the fish.
  4. After frying the fish, I added lemon juice (because I didn’t have lime and was too lazy to go out to buy it). And garnished it with the fried ginger and chopped spring onions.

What a winner this was! I really liked the flavour and the zest.

 

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