chicken nanban


When I was a poor student in Paris, me and my then (also struggling) boyfriend (now my husband) used to love to hunt for great yet easy-on-the-pocket eateries in the city. One of our favourite joint was this Japanese canteen tucked up in the heart of the very chic quarter that is Opéra. My husband would order udon or ramen, and I would almost always order chicken nanban: gingery fried chicken pieces (aka chicken karaage) in a spicy sour broth with a serving of tartar sauce on the side. A small bottle of cold sake would accompany our very satisfying date-meal.

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coconut braised tofu [tahu bacem]

tofu bacem

When I was little, I was an extremely picky eater. Practically every single vegetable is off the list – except for potatoes disguised as french fries (because once they do, they’re just not vegetables anymore..) I would eat eggs.. but the white part only. All types of meat are banned from my belly except for crispy chicken skin and funnily enough, milkfish. And everytime someone ordered pizza, I would be seen nibbling the crust away, and only the crust (much to everyone else’s enjoyment). After a few more years, I would gradually learn to appreciate the bread, without the topping (still much to everyone’s enjoyment). I survived on a diet of plain white rice and prawn crackers. What a weird (and downright skinny) kid I must’ve been right? So, except for the occasional crispy chicken skin and milkfish, where did I get my proteins you ask me?

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week 2: cooking for my mother-in-law

As I might have mentioned before, we travelled to Indonesia not so long ago. We took a short break from our life in Singapore and spent two weeks in Java with our beloved family. It’s always a pleasure to be back and everyone there is always looking forward to see and play with Bébé. I have to say that she enjoys very much the attention as she gets spoiled rotten I tell you! Although my mom comes to visit us quite regularly (Jakarta-Singapore is a mere 1h20 away), we still try to come back to Indonesia as often as we can so that other members of our family back home who can’t travel as much as my mom, gets to spend some time with Bébé as well. This is especially true for my husband’s side of the family.

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