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Juice tasting at Herman, Copenhagen
We are definitely now ankle-deep into a brand new year and many of us did promise ourselves to stay as alcohol-free as possible.

The usual dilemma - there are still dinners to attend and parties to host.

Well, you may not mind sacrificing your resolution for your esteemed invites. But what if you’d want to fascinate your teetotaller of a guest too?

Here’s an idea that I’m really enthused about – pair your dishes with several different juices. When well thought out and planned, it can be exciting, fun…And no less glamorous!

What’s more, you can associate yourself with the best restaurant in the world, Noma, and its Scandinavian counterpart like Herman who have been at this for years. 


 
 
Movie Review: Jiro Dreams of Sushi
My first experience with sushi was at a place called Sushi King, where limp pieces of fish were stuck onto stone cold rice and then chucked onto a rolling conveyor belt.

I still recall my excitement when I fished up (pun intended) those Techni-coloured plates from the belt, believing that tuna-mayo-and-sweetcorn on a blob of rice was authentic Japanese cuisine.

Oh, how I wished the tantalising movie “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” was produced back then so I would have known better. 

Through the story of a remarkable 86 year old sushi master as well as that of the people who made his sushi creations possible – his fish dealer, his apprentices and his respectful sons – I was being enlightened about the world of sushi.

And like art, the more you understand it – the concepts behind its creation, the human story, the meticulous work put into it, and the difficulty of the trade – the more you’d enjoy it.


 
 
How Cutlery Changes the Way Food Tastes
Image from Vera Wiedermann
Why would anyone eat with chopsticks given that a fork is easier to handle and commonly available?

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think we “just want to make life harder than it already is”.

I believe that our choice of cutlery can actually enhance or impair the taste of food. For example, I would never dream of eating sashimi with a fork, I find that rather…well, distasteful.

Is this intuitive or the result of a long, drummed-in habit? 

I recall growing up in Malaysia and when encountering dishes of different cuisine, I know I have to switch between cutleries, but without consciously thinking about it. Let’s see:
  • Rice served on a banana leaf, doused in various soupy lentils and curry sauce has to be eaten with hands, using the tip of our fingers to form a little makeshift spoon;
  • Steamed dumplings have to be plucked up using a pair of chopsticks and saddled on a Chinese soup spoon;
  • Tomato fried rice and all its glorious fried motley bits should be scooped up with a stainless steel fork and a bouillon spoon.  

It’s not really about functionality anymore since we could technically eat all of the above with a fork, so it must be how cutlery affect the taste of food.


 
 
With Blue Monday just over, we all need a great pick-me-up. What better for a cure than luscious chocolates!

Macadamia nut and chocolate chip cookies, hot chocolate, chocolate fondant and soufflés grace this month's Food Mood Board.  

 
 
10 important things to know about sous-vide cooking
Is sous-vide a one-for-all solution for our cooking needs? 

Not necessarily. 

Amidst the wave of discussions on how sous-vide may change the future of home cooking, it's common the experience information overload and confusion.

Although most foods cooked sous-vide have incredible taste and textures, we are still likely to stir-fry our vegetables, boil our pasta and bake our quiches. So yes, ovens, saucepans and woks are here to stay. Sous-vide, however, is a useful addition to our existing kitchen toolkit. You'll be surprised how easily you can integrate it into your daily meal preparation.

Here, we share our likes and dislikes (& how to overcome them) from our experience of cooking sous-vide at home.


 
 
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I have all these mouth-wateringly inspirational recipe books lining up neatly on my shelf just taunting me.

It’s not like I don’t constantly dream of doing more home cooking, but after a long day at work, all I really want to do is to spend no more than 15 minutes in the kitchen and get-it-over-and-done-with, definitely not the haute cuisine that those glossy pages invigorate.

Recently though, I have been introduced to a cooking trick that can change my despair on never being able to live up to this domestic goddess dream.

Now I can place a piece of steak in a super device, head out to the gym, and then come back for a perfectly done dinner.

The secret? A cooking technique called sous-vide.