Beginner’s Choice: Simple and Simply Good Meals

Last weekend Emily, who is in Hong Kong, sent a photo of steamed seafood in a bamboo steamer. With a note: “We had home-cooked steamed seafood with glass noodles. The abalone, prawns and fish were alive when Jason bought them at the wet market. People in Hong Kong only buy live seafood at the market. We ate them with our favourite HK XO sauce plus Indonesian belacan chili. He steamed the seafood with garlic without any salt or soy sauce. It was delicious because of the freshness of the seafood. In his words ‘It’s a simple, fast and delicious dish to prepare.”

Jason wanted to become a policeman when he was a boy, but became an architect instead. He has a passion for cooking and Emily and Sara call him the Chef at home.

I had chicken pho at a foodcourt for lunch today, and I remembered Jason’s beef pho. Jason gave a beef pho cooking class a few years ago. I have never had such a rich beef pho since. The broth took four hours to cook and he didn’t cut any corners. There was a little girl who stood in front of the class and watched mesmerized.

During the Covid lockdown Jason and Emily would cook and drop off food for friends who missed eating out. Adelina and I were among the beneficiaries.

I have always loved Vietnamese food because it’s so healthy. I used to wonder if it’s also because one of my great grandfathers was from Vietnam that I have the innate liking for Vietnamese cuisine in my genes.

Zoom cooking classes were a success during the Circuit Breaker (lockdown) period. Jason gave a dry pho class over two days. Day 1 was to prepare and marinate the beef and to pickle the vegetables. Day 2 was to do the actual cooking. The result was an amazingly flavourful dish. Sara was an excellent assistant to the chef, while Emily managed everything else. It was Family Fun Day in the kitchen.

I think the dry pho was a testimony to the goodness of slow food. Some dishes take long to prepare, and there is no other way to get the maximum flavour than to marinate overnight. Circuit Breaker was a great time for slow food.

With Halloween around the corner, you might like some ideas for scary fast food. Elena, Isabelle and Trina had fun coming up with ideas.

Have a great weekend and do check out Anne Lise’s Sourdough bread post.

By Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1, 29 October 2022

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