Soy sauce. Dark, light, sweet and salty – it is all of those things, and yet more. Flavour in every splash, aroma in cooking and colour to contrast occasionally dull-toned foods, it is an ingredient long-used in the cuisines of the East. The food culture of Penang is merely one in the many that have, since ages past, benefitted from the use of what can only be called the Ingredient of the Greats.

Croissant

Croissants are synonymous with the French. There is nothing better than strolling along a colourful Parisian street, croissant in-hand and a box of fresh, large strawberries in the other. Delectable as they are, and as easy as it is to scarf down bite after delicious bite of this fluffy-on-the-inside, crisp-on-the-outside pastry, we must concede that baking the perfect, flaky croissant can be a nightmarish ordeal for the untrained baker. Folding layer after layer of butter in between the dough causes it to rise and puff in all the best ways. If you're feeling up to the challenge, here's a great croissant recipe for you to try!

Among the many heirlooms of British colonial rule that can still be observed in Malaysian society, none persevered stronger than teatime. Born in the early 19th century when aristocratic Englishwomen needed a late-day refreshment to tide themselves over till dinner, the tradition of sipping a hot cuppa with a snack on the side has been enduringly sewn into the local fabric.

Kuala Lumpur: MICA’s ‘Black Box’ Culinary Challenge held recently in conjunction with the MICA YOUNG CHEF TALENT SEARCH 2018 was a hit with budding young chefs of different races from all over the country. More than 50 young hopefuls turned up for a chance to win Gold, Silver and Bronze placings as well as to impress the judges made up of Celebrity Chefs, Executive Chefs, Presidents of Chefs Association in Malaysia and Culinary Experts in the industry. MICA is the abbreviation for Malaysian Indian Chefs Association led by President, Chef Ricky Narayanan and Advisor, Chef Shanmugam Rajoo both who brings with them more than 20 years of experience in the culinary industry.

Imagine, if you will, a sandwich. What’s in it, you ask? Ham, cheese and eggs, paired with all kinds off crisp, fresh-picked produce. It’s your imaginary sandwich, after all. Pile on the sauces of your choice, and you’re ready to go. But wait – we’re forgetting something.

Pandan Story

After years of research, the quest of finding the national cake of Malaysia and our neighbour, Singapore is finally over. Lug by inbound tourists and just as well loved by the locals, the modest pandan chiffon cake has made headlines recently, named as one of the world’s 17 best cakes by the United States based broadcaster CNN. While the sheer pleasure of tearing into this fluffy, soft-as-clouds green hue goodness is ubiquitous across the two nations, what exactly lead to their glory?

Sugar-related health and wellbeing concerns are high on consumers’ radar, especially amongst millennials and health-conscious adults. They all have one thing in common: the search for good food with a better nutritional profile that doesn’t force them to compromise on taste. Nowadays, 49% of global consumers are trying to limit their sugar intake. Healthy alternatives for snacks and meals are a worldwide growing trend that Barry Callebaut is addressing through its continuous investments in R&D. It developed a complete range of five wholesome sugar solutions for chocolate and also has a toolbox of sugar substituting technologies ready for customer-specific developments.

The Heart of Fennel

Imagine, for a second, that plants bore offspring as a result of inter-species marriages. Take an onion and give it dill-weed to take as a wife. Then, marry the result of this union with one formed of celery and anise. As bizarre as this combination sounds, it isn’t, really – because what has just formed is the bulb of the fennel plant.

Live up the Hype

Trends come and go, and this is especially true in a food industry that changes at the breakneck pace of Instagram. When you’ve only just caught on salted egg yolk when the world has moved on to cauliflower rice, you’re in trouble.

Reconstructed “Yu Shang”

Spice up your Chinese New Year with an unconventional twist – with Cordon Bleu’s chef Franck Bruwier’s recipe for reconstructed “yu shang”, you will find the melding of French with other cultures a perfect amalgamation of all things culinary. As the French say: bon appetit!

Another interesting local fish to savour is the river-caught catfish also known as “Pak Suk Kong”. This fish is steamed together with “katuk” leaves or sauropus in English. The fish’s silky smooth meat truly marries well with the natural sweetness of the “katuk” leaves.

Kuih Bangkit

These delectable biscuits are a must-have for the Lunar New Year. Deliciously fragrant, sweet, and meltingly smooth, one is never enough.

In traditional Chinese cuisine, chicken and glutinous rice are often partnered, most notably in a dim sum favourite, ‘lo mai kai’ – glutinous rice chicken. This recipe, however, brings the other up a notch with flavourful mushrooms, fragrant chestnuts, and just a dash of Chinese Shao Xin wine. You may choose to omit the wine if you object to its presence; worry not, for the recipe maintains its integrity and absolute deliciousness!

Baking, pan-frying and deep-frying – all three are popular methods of cooking, particularly during this season of culinary indulgence.

Pineapple Tarts

These tarts make perfect gifts for relatives and friends. With its soft textured melt-in-the mouth pastry and delicate blend of sweet and tangy taste of pineapple filling, they are pure indulgence. Festive celebration just wouldn’t be complete without them.

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