Saturday, February 27

Self-taught cooks rule the kitchen during MCO


Goh’s home-made Dalgona coffee.

FROM the main dish to dessert, most people would love to cook up a tasty meal for family and friends — or at least learn to if they still couldn’t.

So it’s no wonder dare-to-try locals have been spending time honing their culinary skills and trying out new recipes at home during the Covid-19 the various movement control orders (MCO).

Social media platforms such as Facebook have been abuzz with recipes to cook up a storm.

For some, it means a chance to learn cooking new dishes while for others, playing chef within the confines of the home kitchen means putting together quick nutritious meals.

What we eat can improve our physical and mental health, especially with all the stress and angst to cope with amid an unabated pandemic.


Making coffee

Lionel Goh, a real estate negotiator, tried making Dalgona coffee for the first time during the MCO earlier this year, saying the instructions were relatively easy and he did it out of curiosity.

Ryan Chung

The 36-year-old recalled the rage over Dalgona coffee during the MCO with hundreds of photos showing successful as well as failed attempts on Facebook.

“Thankfully, I got it right the first time,” he said, revealing all that was needed to make a cup were coffee, white sugar, hot water, and milk.

“Two tablespoons of ground coffee or instant coffee, two tablespoons of sugar and two tablespoons of hot water — that’s it.

“Mix and whisk until it’s fluffy. I use a machine as it takes a lot longer by hand. Your arm feels sore if it takes too long.

“After achieving the desired fluffiness, the next step is to pour the mixture into a cup of milk. The best part is to see the mixture starting to caramelise but it will still float on top of the milk.”

According to Goh, Dalgona coffee is among the easiest to make, taking only about 10 to 15 minutes.


Experimental ice cream

Besides Dalgona coffee, he also experimented with ice cream.

Lionel Goh

“I decided to make some after the sudden urge to have ice cream but we were not allowed to go out. Also, I was looking for something to do staying home,” he recalled.

For Goh, making his first ice cream was no walk in the park as the result wasn’t what he had hoped for.

“Too bad, what I managed to make was too sweet and milky ice cream. I should’ve used melted dark chocolate to negate the sweet condensed milk,” he added in hindsight.

For him, making Dalgona coffee was easier, noting that you can enjoy it right after it’s brewed.


Ideal meals

Event emcee Ryan Chung also decided home cooking would be the best option during the pandemic.

The experimental ice cream that turned out to be too sweet.

“What I love most is western cuisine such as lamb chop or chicken chop. However, a western sandwich is great too,” the 32-year-old said.

What prompted him to cook was being alone at home as his wife had to go back to work.

“I had nowhere else to go, so I thought why not try some recipes just for fun and create a routine.”

For his bun sandwich, Chung said all he needed was a chicken patty seasoned with salt and chilli flakes on one side and salt and black pepper on the other side.

Other ingredients, he added, were the addition of sausage, cheese, egg and, of course, the sandwich bread or bun.

“To cook it, you need to spread the bun with butter, then toast on a hot pan to make it crusty and crispy.”

According to him, for a simple home-prepared sandwich, all the ingredients can be bought at the local supermarkets.

Both Goh and Chung revealed they could now cook better than six months ago — a newly-acquired skill they hope to further improve on in the future.

Photo shows a bun sandwich prepared by Chung at home.


Ingredients used for a home-made Dalgona coffee.