The Occasional Cook

~Pottering about in my Pink Kitchen

Markprok Seafood — February 18, 2018

Markprok Seafood

We googled and we discovered a great seafood haunt in Phuket. Phuket is expensive, depending on where you stay. The cost of the trip itself to Markprok is as expensive as the meal itself! Seriously staying in the northern part of Phuket is not wise if you intend to travel for food or fun.

The food itself is good authentic Thai food. We ordered quite a lot but the best is the clear and very spicy tom yum seafood soup! We got prawns and sweet sour fish. All very light on the palate and tasty. Of course, as Singaporeans we had tasted fantastic Thai food in restaurants but for the authentic experience of local dining, and the fact that in Singaporeanised versions which tend to be heavier in seasoning and oil, we enjoyed the food here tremendously. It’s also very fragrant with all the many herbs and aromatic leaves thrown in.

I am always inspired by my travels. Looks like the next weekend I’ll be whipping up some Thai recipes! 😉

Best Fried Chicken Ever —

Best Fried Chicken Ever

So right in front of the hotel entrance by the side of the road, we chanced upon a Muslim lady selling fried chicken on Saturday. We then realised the reason we couldn’t find a single halal place in Phuket was that they close on Fridays! So yesterday we saw the couple early morning but by the time we arrived back in the evening they were no longer there.

So this morning I walked over (it took only 1 min walk!) and smelled the wonderful aroma of greasy fried chicken. And I had the pleasure to see the husband seller pour the pink liquid batter into the frying vat for that crispy crunch. I chose my parts and then she weighed and voila! Soon we were enjoying such flavourful aromatic Thai fried chicken. But i went a second time and they gave me free chicken skin! Lol. Yummey!

Roti Telur Tuna (Tuna Egg Bread) — February 11, 2018

Roti Telur Tuna (Tuna Egg Bread)

Ok this is a super unhealthy and very sensitive food item for the family. This is a snack that is sold quite commonly. Essentially it’s a stuffed French toast filled with spicy sardines or a hot dog. I posted a brief post about this years ago sans the backstory.

So the story goes that a few weeks before my dad passed away because of a heart attack, he would eat this snack every single day. He was a taxi driver and so there’s some Malay stall somewhere (as you can see, my mom refuses till now to share details) that he would frequent for breakfast. And, this part I knew then, he was having heart problems. The doctors have told him to go for a balloon operation but my dad refused. He used to always say he’ll die at 50. Lo and behold, he really did. And my mom would always blame this snack for pushing him to the end.

Let me share with you this controversial snack. Eat in absolute moderation.

I used canned spicy tuna instead of sardines that day. You need only use store bought sliced bread, and roll it thin. Yes, with a rolling pin.

See the difference? So there’s more space…

Add filling and then roll tight. I didn’t manage to roll as tightly as I should. Then right before frying, dip in egg and fry till golden brown.

Drain well on paper towels and dab dab dab excess oil…

Korean Galbi — February 7, 2018

Korean Galbi

I had recently purchased a griller. And am having so much fun having Saturday or Sunday dinners eating grilled food!

My latest try is Korean beef galbi because while the boy was having his taekwondo class, I was roaming in the supermarket when I spotted beautiful boneless beef short ribs.

So that morning, I put the beautiful fresh meat in a ziplock bag. And in a mixing bowl, added 3 tbsp brown sugar, light soy sauce, garlic, smashes of thinly sliced ginger and sesame oil. And then I poured the marinade in the bag and left it in the fridge.

That night, out came the portable grill and soon, the whole kitchen was smokey. I sliced the  meat fairly thinly and then we ate that with lettuce wraps, Korean style. I also had some extra chicken breasts which I had marinated simply with bottled honey soy sauce marinade and grilled that too. Overall, I am happy with my weekend grilled dinners and this weekend, I’ll try grilling something else instead!






Sambal Tumis Kupang — January 21, 2018

Sambal Tumis Kupang

Remember the basic sambal tumis recipe? Well, if you add any protein to it, it becomes a nice side dish. Though one can also make a sambal tumis dish from scratch.

That day I had some frozen shelled mussels and decided to make a popular malay dish called sambal tumis kupang, or mussels sambal. Using the same base, once it’s nice and well cooked, I added in the already boiled and defrosted shelled mussels. I also added onions for some texture. My mommy said it was a but bland so next time I’ll add more salt to the dish. If eaten with hot coconut rice (nasi lemak) this sambal is a winner!

Covent Garden’s Fish and Chips — January 9, 2018
Fried Bee Hoon — December 25, 2017

Fried Bee Hoon

Or apparently, Singapore noodles they are called. That is how popular fried bee hoon is in Singapore that the world calls it Singapore noodles, haha. Every family has a variation of it. The Malays will put lots of ingredients and white pepper, the Chinese for breakfast keep it plain with just soy sauce, and the Indians here have it red and fiery. It even has a nickname here called ‘Mee Birthday’ because at every birthday event, these noodles are always served. The reason being, it’s easy to cook and delicious to eat.

So we were tickled again when we went to M&S in London and saw this…IMG_8128

So today, since I had bought a packet of brown rice vermicelli noodles (bee hoon, essentially thin rice noodles), I decided to fry them. Usually, prawns, sawi (Chinese leafy greens), tomatoes, squid, fishcakes, chicken or beef are added. I kept mine simple and healthier with more vegetables.


First, in oil, fry minced garlic. Then add slices of beef. Season with soy sauce and white pepper.


Once the beef is cooked, add in vegetables and all the other ingredients. This is the best dish to get rid of leftovers! I added carrots, red capsicum, fishcake slices and broccoli. Oh, and some cherry tomatoes. Once everything is cooked, add in the boiled bee hoon, rice noodles and season with soy sauce, oyster sauce and lots of white pepper. Don’t forget to season with salt too!


The Malays love to eat this with picked sliced green chillies and fried shallots. Yums! It can be a very healthy dish if you use brown rice noodles, add lots more vegetables and use lean meat.

The Singapore noodles, momscancook style.

Saffronish Rice — November 29, 2017

Saffronish Rice

I realise you can make any flavoured rice if you have …flavours at hand. No measurements needed. I’ve turned into my mother!

So yesterday I made rice flavoured with onions, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, chicken stock and saffron. The result was great. I stirred in some good quality long raisins and served the rice with baked zaatar chicken. And voila! There were no leftovers! 😂

Sambal Tumis — November 23, 2017

Sambal Tumis

You’re not Malay if you don’t know and don’t eat sambal tumis. Sambal is generic for any kind of chilli paste or condiment but sambal tumis is like a chilli jam. And I know that every family has their own version.

What I made yesterday was the plain sambal tumis that is just the base that is delicious eaten with nasi lemak or mixed with prawns, ikan bilis (dried anchovies), boiled eggs, etc.

I’ve always been intimidated making this because I know I can’t reach the same standards as Mom. But yesterday, I was surprised. Taste wise it was exactly like Mom’s but texture wise, it was not as smooth as I’d like it to be, and it was waaaayyy too hot! Next time, I’d reduce the number of chillies and boil the dried chillies for an hour to make them super soft. 🌶 🌶 🌶

This is tamarind water

Recipe of sorts

1. About twenty or more dried chillies, snipped and boiled till soft

2. 2-3 failry large onions

3. 3-4 garlic cloves

4. 1-2 tsp of belacan (toasted shrimp paste)

Blend till super fine. Add to hot oil and pn low heat, cook till oil appears at the top. Continue simmering till chilli paste is cooked. Add about three tablespoons of sugar, 1 tsp of salt and two tablespoons or so of tamarind water. Taste and adjust sugar, tamarind water to your preference. My preferred taste is sweet but not too sweet with a tangy taste.

Fish Pie — October 7, 2017

Fish Pie

I’ve been wanting to make Jamie Oliver’s fish pie for the longest time. And last week I watched on his youtube channel his wife making the fish pie for the family. So I bought frozen salmon and cod and prawns and mussels, thinking I’d make my own version of fish seafood pie. This is his recipe.

This is my version. I made a basic white sauce, the roux with milk and seasoned with nutmeg and bay leaves and salt etc. And in my dish, I added prawns but forgot all about the mussels. I added also mini mozzarella balls. I also forgot to season the mashed potatoes with salt so that turned out bland. I topped the potatoes with breadcrumbs and grated cheddar. But overall I must say it is not bad. It’s a change from chicken and beef for us!

Because I was too greedy and dished it immediately, the sauce was runny but creamy. After a while when it’s cooler everything set nicely. And for this kind of creamy dish, the Asian in us needed hot sauces to wash the dish down!