Peranakan Food Made Easy

This year’s Domestic Diva Cooking Masterclass at Allspice Institute saw over 100 participants serve up delicious Nyonya cuisine with a twist.

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1. Editor-in-Chief Barbara Koh with the team from Allspice Institute, where this year's Domestic Diva Cooking Masterclass was held. 

On the last day of March, more than 100 participants gathered with their loved ones at Allspice Institute for an exciting culinary afternoon at our highly-anticipated Domestic Diva Cooking Masterclass 2019. It was a celebration of fun, food and learning as everyone donned their aprons and caps before learning how to whip up three mouth-watering Peranakan-inspired dishes perfect for parties and entertaining at home. All three dishes – a starter, main and dessert – were specially created for this masterclass!

“I actually signed up for the previous masterclass in 2017 and enjoyed it a lot. So when this year’s session came along, I was really excited and ‘jio-ed’ my friends along,” says participant Yen Nee. 

Another participant, Danielle Hon, revealed that she brought along her husband Nigel Selvanathen to celebrate his belated birthday. “He loves to cook, so this masterclass is actually a birthday gift for him!” she says.

Besides getting an exclusive hands-on experience, participants also got to get up close with a few of our Domestic Diva Award winners including Skippy, Royal Umbrella and Tefal. The two sessions were helmed by Allspice Institute’s Peranakan and Heritage Cuisines specialist, Chef Ambrose Poh, an award-winning chef with over 20 years’ experience here and abroad.

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2. Participants couldn't wait to taste their creations at the end of the session. 

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3. Friendships were forged along the way as participants cooked in teams of two and four. 

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4. Skippy served up two delectable treats at their dessert table for everyone to savour. 

Time To Cook

The first dish participants learned to make was Kueh Pie Tee, a light and refreshing classic Peranakan dish of mixed fruits, vegetables and shrimp in a crunchy shell.

Chef Ambrose’s tip: When cutting ginger flower, use only the petals as that's where the most flavour lies!

Next, we skipped the main course and went straight to dessert, where participants had a ball of a time rolling traditional ondeh ondeh (Peranakan glutinous rice balls covered in coconut shavings). Chef Ambrose demonstrated how to make this crowd favourite with a surprising modern twist: Typically filled with just sweet gula Melaka, Skippy Peanut Butter was added to the mix! Participants got to use the new Skippy Squeeze pack that helps make food prep a whole lot easier. While it seemed like a tricky recipe, participants impressed Chef Ambrose by navigating their way confidently through all the steps.

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5. Throughout the Cooking Masterclass, Chef Ambrose Poh provided participants with tons of handy cooking tips and tricks.

6. Participants got creative with plating their laksa fried rice and kueh pie tee dishes.

7. Chef Ambrose plating the ondeh ondeh, which have been rolled in peanut and coconut.

8. Each participant lugged home a goodie bag worth over $200, which features an assortment of Skippy Peanut Butters, Royal Umbrella Jasmine Fragrant Rice and Short Grain Rice, Tefal Pure Chef 2-Pc Cookware Set and more.

9. A mandatory group photo of our happy cooks! 

Last but certainly not least, participants learned how to whip up delicious Laksa Fried Rice, which was a fresh take on the traditional soup dish. The cooking space quickly filled up with the fragrant aroma of rempah, leaving some of us sneezing and coughing, but it was all worth it. This main course features fluffy Royal Umbrella Thai Hom Mali rice, steamed in Tefal Rice Cookers which feature an innovative spherical-shaped inner pot that makes for excellent heat circulation for tastier, more evenly-cooked grains.

Chef Ambrose also shared an ingenious party serving trick which involves using a small piece of banana leaf to wrap the rice (see photo 10)! 

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10. Chef Ambrose demonstrated how to wrap a portion of laksa fried rice using a piece of banana leaf - perfect for potlucks and parties!

11 and 12. Editor-in-Chief Barbara with the two lucky draw winners, who each walked away with a Skippy hamper and $100 NTUC voucher. 

The Taste Test

“I was quite surprised by some of the dishes that were made,” says Chef Ambrose. “The participants learned a lot of things in a very short time. What stood out to me was the innovative presentation of their dishes; some participants were very creative and went out of the box by putting in ingredients that weren’t supposed to be there, but it worked out very well!”

After all their hard work, participants got to taste their creations and the smiles on their faces were enough to show that their dishes were successful.

“From the three dishes, it’s quite difficult to choose which was the best one because all three were quite unique,” remarks participant Shamin D’Souza. “But if I had to choose one, it would have to be the laksa fried rice because it’s so versatile.”

It didn’t end there, of course – each participant got to lug home over $200 worth of goodies (see photo 8)! 


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Want to make these Domestic Diva Cooking Masterclass 2019 dishes yourself? Get all the recipes on our website: www. 

Want to be part of our next Domestic Diva Cooking Masterclass? Visit this link: