D.I.Y – Homegrown Masterchefs in the Making!
Missing your pasta, desserts, or simply just eating out at your favourite restaurants? You are not alone. As Singapore enters Phase Two following the Circuit Breaker, we have to keep in mind that we still must exercise social responsibility and that COVID-19 is still out there. But you don’t have to suffer at home as you miss your favourite food!
Whether you are working from home or staying at home, we all have plenty of free time – and what better way to use this time then to cook your favourite meals? Here are seven simple recipes so that you can be your own (lazy) Masterchef at home.
1. French Toast Sandwich
Everyone loves French toast, but here’s a way you can spice your French toast up… with one single ingredient.
Prepare 2 eggs and mix them together. You may choose to add seasoning and garnish for taste.
Pour your eggs into the frying pan and let it simmer till they’re half cooked. Place the 2 slices of bread side by side, making sure they are both sitting on top of the egg. There should be a ring of egg surrounding the bread.
Add a slice of cheese to 1 slice of bread.
When the egg is fully cooked, fold the surrounding egg onto the bread, as if using it as a blanket to ‘tuck in’ the bread.
Slowly, flip the slices so they’re one on top of another. Let it fry in low heat for a bit more and there you have it – French toast sandwiches!
The cheese inside gives you savoury kick to the usually sweet French toast, making it a great start to the morning.
2. Prawn Fried Rice
Ding Tai Fung – a heavenly indulgence with their xiao long baos and luxurious fried rice. While you may need to wait a bit more before you can sit in and have those xiao long baos again, you can make fried rice in your own home that parallels that DTF standard.
Marinate the prawns with your preferred seasoning. Personally, I used frozen shrimps, and marinated them with light soya sauce and salt.
While the prawns are marinating, take a bowl of left-over rice. Now, crack an egg inside and mix it well. Make sure every grain of rice is coated with egg.
Turning the stove on medium heat, stir-fry the prawn until they are cooked.
Add the egg-rice mixture in and switch to low heat. Using your spatula, cook the rice by pressing it onto the pan. This is to make sure the egg coating the rice is fully cooked.
Stir-fry the prawns and rice, mixing everything.
Finally, serve your fried rice beautifully on your plate. You may garnish with spring onion to add some colour (and pretend you are very healthy by adding some greens).
This recipe works well with other ingredients, not just prawns! Feel free to mix up the ingredients for more variations of DTF-styled fried rice.
3. Microwave Ramen
Ah, it’s one of those days – you know, those days you feel lazy and just want to whip up something quick. This simple recipe upgrades your instant noodles, and takes less than 5 minutes.
Put your instant noodles into a microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle the seasoning on top. Pour enough hot water until it covers the noodles.
Placing a plate on top, pop your noodles into the microwave for 2 minutes. The noodles should look half cooked.
Taking it out gently and minding the heat, crack an egg in the middle of it, and place your slices of cheese surrounding the egg. Personally, I use a single slice and cut it to 4 pieces, but if you are feeling indulgent you can use 2 slices.
Cover it up back with the plate and leave it in the microwave for about 1 – 1.5 minutes depending on your microwave heat. The egg should be cooked with the yolk runny when its done.
Take it out gently while minding the heat, and enjoy! Serve with garnishing of your choice.
Try this recipe with your favourite instant noodles, and when you master it, add more ingredients like hot dogs and crabmeat to spice things up!
4. One Pot Pasta
Everyone loves pasta, but it’s so tedious to make! Lucky, the one pot recipe makes it easy, and it’s great for the whole family to eat as well.
Boil pasta of your choice and leave it one side once cooked.
Sauté garlic cloves in your pot and add in the meat of your choosing. Personally, I used chicken breasts that’s diced into chunks.
Once the meat starts cooking, season with your preferred seasoning. Mix well.
Add your preferred pasta sauce. I added carbonara sauce.
When the sauce starts simmering, pour in the cooked pasta. Mix well until every pasta is coated with sauce.
Sprinkle cheese over it, mix well. Serve and enjoy.
What’s great about this recipe is that you can control all the ingredients, the quantity, and you only need to wash one pot after it.
5. Takikomi Gohan (Japanese Rice Cooker Stir Fried Rice)
Another one pot wonder for big meals and lazy days! This time, instead of using a pot, we will be using every Asian household’s favourite appliance – the trusty rice cooker.
Wash your rice with water – discard the water after washing. Repeat 3 – 4 times. (2 cups of rice serve 4 people, so gauge accordingly.)
Leave the rice to soak in water now while we prepare the other dishes.
Marinate your meat and cut up your vegetables into small stripes. Do not cook any of them or mix them up. You can use whatever is available in your fridge, but personally I use salmon, carrot, corn, seaweed, and green vegetables.
Now, go back to your rice and drain all the water. Put the rice in the rice cooker and pour seasoning of your choice above it. Personally, I use sesame oil, but Japanese stock or oyster oil or even light sauce are good alternatives. Mix well with rice.
Put your ingredients on top of the rice evenly. Do NOT mix them – think of arranging your ingredients like how a bibimbap is served to you.
Close the rice cooker and start cooking. I usually press the ‘Cook Rice’ button and wait for it to cook. (You can wash the dishes while waiting.)
Once cooked, open the rice cooker and take your rice paddle to stir them together. Close the rice cooker again and let it sit in the remaining warmth for another 5 minutes.
Finally, start scooping the rice out and serve!
This is a favourite recipe of mine as it is healthy, uses whatever ingredients you have in the fridge, fuss-free, and feeds the whole family.
6. Butter Cookies
Everyone knows that there is always room for desserts! Here’s a simple 3 ingredient butter cookies recipe to satisfy that sweet tooth.
Prepare the ingredients. The ratio of flour, butter, to sugar should be 3:2:1, so gauge according to how many cookies you want to bake.
Firstly, mix the butter and sugar together until it’s a creamy mixture.
Put the flour in and knead until it forms dough.
Bake it in the oven for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
Eat it as it is, or decorate it with drizzling and toppings! Go wild!
A delicious recipe that needs only 3 ingredients, baking is as easy as one, two, three.
7. Mug Cake
AKA, the favourite snack of every broke college student.
Grease the inside of your mug with some butter. Mix the flour, sugar, and a pinch of baking soda into the mug.
Add flavoured-powder of your choice – some like matcha, some prefer the classic cocoa powder. Caffeine lovers can use coffee powder too!
Add a bit of milk and stir everything together.
If you want to add other ingredients such as chocolate chips and banana slices to add more depth, go ahead!
Pop your mug in the oven and let it cook for about 1.5 minutes. Poke the middle of the cake with a chopstick or toothpick to check if it’s cooked.
Serve with a scoop of ice cream for indulgence!
After cooking these, take out the fancy dining ware and set the table! You can even invite your friends (remember, 5 visitors a household!) and flex your cooking skills for them. Have your own slice of heaven while eating at the comforts of your own home! We hope that these recipes have given you some inspiration on what to cook during this stay home period, and do continue staying safe at home 😊