Tasmania 2016: Taste.

Happy New Year!! I know I am a weekend late, but hey, better late than never right? Hope you have brought 2017 in with a bang, if not, here is something that would make you want to bang your bank account with savings to travel to Tasmania! Yes, today I shall be sharing about my trip to Tassie in December 2016.

In my previous post, I mentioned about posting 3 out of 4 of my travel adventures. Finally I am here to share my final travel adventures of 2016, and that happened in Tasmania Australia. There would be 3 parts to this series; Taste, Sight and Touch. I am beyond excited to share about my trip to Tassie as it has been on my bucket list for years and to be able to travel there was such a joy and truly an adventure! The first part to the series is Taste, showcasing Tassie’s fresh produce and delicious eats!

Tasmania has always been known for their fresh air and great produce. We experienced their crisp fresh air the moment we stepped out of the airport. It was such a relief to get to Australia safely and thus, the adventure begins! We moved along the North – East – South of Tasmania. It is such a beautiful place with so much to offer. The amount of food Tassie offered had a huge variety from meat to seafood to vegetables! I truthfully think I gained weight from this trip, but no regrets because it was devouring all of Tassie’s goodness!

The most memorable food that Tassie offered was oysters. Freshly shucked, taste of the sea, plump and crisp oysters! If you are not a fan of oysters or seafood, do trust me on Tasmania’s oysters as they were so so fresh and juicy. I usually eat my oysters with tabasco or any form of chili to mask the earthy flavour and sandy texture of it, however when I was in Tassie, all I needed was a squeeze of lemon and I slurped it in. It was so good. My parents and I had 3 dozens of oysters over the span of 7 days there, it was that delicious. I never had that many oysters in my 19 years of living. We got a dozen each at various places in Tassie, 1 from the North, East and South. They were all different in their own special way. The one we ate from the North was less plump yet crisp on the sides. It is more concentrated with the flavours of the sea. The one from the East was juicy and plump, creamier than those from the North. The dozen from the South was a mixture of both crunchier and creamy from both South and East!

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We were at Devil’s Corner, on our drive down from Launceston. We decided to settle down for lunch there and got a plate of 6 oysters. It was juicy and crisp and we could not control ourselves and got another half a dozen of oysters!
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We bought these bad boys off from a store off the coast. We saw a sign that says ‘Freshly Shucked Oysters’ and we were tempted. We saw boats coming in and out of the coast, as well as people with trays of oysters! We got a tray and savoured them over dinner and wine. It was creamy and you could taste the sea with everyone you devoured.

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The last dozen of oysters we ate was at Hobart. Our apartment was very near the habour, thus my parents thought it be great for last meal in Hobart to have oysters! And no regrets, they were plump and creamy. Great last meal in Hobart!

Enough about the oysters, let’s talk about the meat! In Singapore is tough to get juicy and tender lamb as they are all imported. Due to importing such meats, they dry up over the period of transportation, thus they tend to be a little dry. However, the lamb in Australia are fresh, thus we experienced juicy and tender pieces of lamb cutlet every time we ate them. Yes, lamb is a just a piece of meat that could be gotten anywhere, I just want to showcase the beauty of the lamb in Australia that is so yummy and juicy and always leaving me for wanting more! Sear the lamb with butter, rosemary and thyme till medium or medium-rare ; Season with salt and pepper and you are good to go! We got all our meat off the meat section from the supermarket, thus I could not really give you an address as they are available at all supermarket!

And not forgetting their seafood! Ate fish and chips a couple of time, was truly glad that there were more fish than batter. Crispy batter with fresh succulent fish, something I would greatly miss here in Singapore. The mussels they served were incredible! Cooked in a simple smoked bell pepper tomato sauce and freshly chopped parsley sprinkled over the decadent seafood, tasty and fresh.

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The meal was at Devil’s Corner. I would link the site and address at the end of my post. And their fish and chips were like golden crispy long pillows with freshness!
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These mussels are to die for!!! The flesh were plump and juicy and pack filled with flavours! It was cooked just right, filled with happiness with every bite.
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We got this pack of fish and chips off a shop in Swansea, thus I do not have the specific address. However Swansea is a small and cozy town with a handful of fish and chips store thus it would easy to locate it when you are there. And we got clam chowder and it was unbelievable, piping hot generously filled with seafood. Oh! So! Good!!!

The vegetables sold were like veggie heaven to me as well. As the vegetables in Singapore are rarely locally grown and the variety we have are limited, thus we tend to see more green leafy vegetables that are grown in the South East Asia. While in Australia, vegetables are locally grown and the soil are fertile for a wide range of veggies thus I love taking a stroll down the vegetable aisle in the supermarket and the farmer’s market as I would chance upon a type of veggie not often seen in Singapore. It was a colourful and mesmerizing walk every time I walk down the aisle, a pity I could not take them home…

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We got a medley of fresh cherry tomatoes, something you get so rarely from Singapore.

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The street food scene in Tasmania is wonderful. Great eats at an amazing prize. I was very well fed with the street food in Tasmania. Though it is a little unhealthy, but it is fine to indulge every once in a while.

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We got all these goodness from Hobart, at Franklin Square. It is a Friday evening activity, with street stalls and booths selling fresh produce. It is called Street Eats Franko! They serve amazing food with live music and a crowd of happy people!

I hope I have left you salivating from the food of Tasmania as I am done for the post today. It is one lengthy post but I certainly have not done Tassie’s food justice as there are so much more to be discovered and eaten. All that I have written were from my point of view, thus it might differ from your perspective as taste is subjective, though I do hope that you agree that food in Tasmania is amazing. As much as I wish to provide some tasters for you, pictures are all I’ve got.

Thank you so much for reading today and I hope you have enjoyed this piece. Do lookout for the other 2 series from my Tasmania’s travel and till next time, See you!

 Devil’s Corner Cellar Door-Sherbourne Road
Apslawn, Tasmania (10 Mins South of Bicheno, Opens 7 days a week, from 10am to 5pm!

Street Eats Franko Facebook Page– Franklin Square, 70 Macquarie Street, Hobart, Friday evenings till 9pm.

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2016 Review!

It’s the 31st of December, last day of the year. I always take this time of the year to reflect on the past year. So for today, I shall be reviewing on the year 2016!

2016 has been tough, no doubt about that. There were so much glory in this year as well. So I would say I led 2016 with a balance of good and bad. Events such as competition, exposure of the industry and many many more. It has been a hectic year and I would predict 2017 even more hectic, however that is the joy of life right? You grow with every trouble/issues/lessons and then you improve.

Major events such as My First Ever Competition was exciting. I managed to gain a little experience from competing and I would gladly say I would do it all over again! The adrenaline and rush I felt during those moments are something I want to keep experiencing while in this industry.

Another greater bigger part of 2016 was traveling! I travelled to 4 different countries, each with a rich and diverse culture. With that being said, I ate quite a lot as well! Thus I have written 3 of my 4 travel adventures on Big On Food. Being able to travel is a blessing. Very blessed to be able to pack my bags and set foot on foreign soil. As I travel more, I learn a little more every time. Being open and flexible are one of the few things I learnt and need to be applied in the real life, especially in the kitchen. Not everything would go to plan but good things are bound to come out with spontaneity and unplanned events. Hence I am going to travel so much more in the upcoming year and that is something I eagerly look forward to in 2017.

And the food eaten in all these places…

However 2016 was not all good. I met setbacks such as self-doubt. A part of 2016 was filled with questions and uncertainties. I doubted my ability in baking and was very uncertain with my route to take in the future. I constantly question myself if I am good enough to do this or that. It was a rather stressful period for myself, the feelings and emotions I went through were a ride, a bumpy one. But people around kept on believing in me and slowly, I grew a little more confident and got out of this phase. Extremely thankful for those who believed in me and thought I could do much more than what I think could do. Thank you.

Lastly, 2016 was about discovery. Discovering my greater love for food and creating new ones, traveling and about myself. 2016 have been a wild ride, but I am glad it is over and really happy that people around me are healthy. Well, here’s to another wild one in 2017! Thank you for following Big On Food in 2016, you are a part of my 2016 as well! It was great fun writing this year, next year there might be a little more to write on, so… Look Out! Till 2017, See ya!

And here are some of my work in 2016!

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Chicken with BIG flavours!

As the title mentioned, I am going to be sharing a chicken recipe today! It is flavoured with my favourite spice, garam masala. If you have read some of my work here, you do realise I use lots of Indian spices in my food, thus today is another one! It requires not more than an hour, little elbow grease and grease basically.

The recipe today is Indian inspired grilled chicken with honey mustard yogurt sauce. All flavours balanced one another, the yogurt eased the spice in the garam masala as well as coats the grilled chicken with it’s creaminess. It is a hearty meal to have it as a salad or on noodles. Very simple and quick to make. img_1144

I made this chicken for lunch because I was hungry and needed a protein boost, thus the usage of chicken breast. The marination would keep the chicken juicy and tender, thus no worries for a tough and dry chicken. I marinated the chicken for about 30 to 40 minutes, good enough for the spices to stick on the chicken. However if you would like more flavour penetration into the chicken, marinate it for more than 30 minutes, you could even do it the night before!  img_1145

I ate the chicken on a bed of greens as I want something crunchy and refreshing. This dish reminds me of Korean BBQ. They would have grilled meat wrapped in a lettuce with a dipping sauce. In my case, it is Indian flavours. So without further ado, the recipe to my Indian inspired grilled chicken!

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Ingredients:

  • A piece of chicken breast, flattened
  • A dash of garam masala
  • A dash of chili powder
  • About 1 tsp of cumin powder
  • 1 tsp of coriander powder
  • Pinch of dried rosemary/thyme (Optional)
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • Juices of half a lemon
  • About 1-2 tsp of garlic and ginger, grated
  • Salt and Pepper to season

Directions:

  1. Mix all spices, lemon juice, garlic, ginger and salt and pepper together. Taste it whether its up to your liking (For example, add more garam masala/chili powder if you like it spicier) Taste it now as you could not taste the marinade after the chicken is added.
  2. Once the chicken is rubbed and fully coated with the spices, let it sit in the fridge for 30 to 4o minutes.
  3. Now you could prepare your salad greens or cook some noodles to go along with the chicken or prepare the sauce. My sauce was honey mustard yogurt sauce. It consist of honey, mustard and greek yogurt. 3 simple ingredients for a good companion to the chicken.
  4. When you are ready to grill the chicken, grill it on a grill pan on medium heat, about 4 to 5 minutes per side, or once the juices of the chicken is clear, it is cooked!

It is such a simple chicken dish, packed full of spices and flavours. Please I highly recommend you to give this chicken a shot! It is a perfect lunch dish and would set your tummy good till the next meal!

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this recipe and thank you for reading! I would try my very best to churn more new recipes out as I have got a lot to share! So till next time, See you!

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Sotong Stew!

If you are not Singaporean or Malaysian, I doubt you understand the first word on the title… Well, let me educate you a little! Sotong means squid in malay and it happens to be one of my favourite seafood. So today I shall be sharing with you a squid stew! img_0758

This stew is packed full of mediterranean flavours, very nutritious as well! Great for brunches and packed lunches. Key point to note for this stew is the cooking time for the root vegetables and squid. You want to cook the vegetables thoroughly and not overcook the squid as it would get rubbery. This dish is rather versatile, you could add chicken or beef or lamb instead of squid. Change the vegetables or add them all like potatoes, mushrooms and many more!

Also! Do remember to prepare your favourite stock to give your stew more boost! I made a pot of veggie stock for this stew! The sweetness of the carrots and the flavours from the parsley stalks and pepper elevated the dish!

Veggie Stock 

Ingredients (I did not leave the measurements to the ingredients as it depends on the amount of stock you are planning to make!)

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Parsley stalk
  • Bay Leaves
  • Garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water

Directions:

  1. In a pot, drizzle oil and fry garlic, carrots, celery and onions, till their aroma are dispersed.
  2. Add parsley stalks and pour water in.
  3. Let it simmer and season to liking
  4. When you are about to turn the heat off, add bay leaves
  5. Store the stock in the freezer or fridge for future use

So with the veggie stock adding more flavours to the stew, let’s get to the stew’s recipe!

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Squid Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 whole squid, scored and de-skinned
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 zucchini and butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 whole egg plant
  • About 1/3 cup cooked barley
  • A bunch of kale, stalk removed (I used purple kale because it was too gorgeous to not buy them)
  • 1 tablespoon of garam masala
  • 2 tsp of cumin
  • Dash of turmeric
  • Salt and pepper
  • Coriander for garnish
  • A can of tomato puree
  • 2-3 cups of veggie stock/chicken/beef

Directions:

  1. In a pan, drizzle a good amount of olive oil and add garlic and fry till fragrant
  2. Add butternut squash, zucchini and eggplant into the pan and add all the spices
  3. Fry till they are rather soft but they do not have to be too soft as they are still going to cook after the stock are added
  4. After veggies are a little softer, add the tomato puree and fry the veggies till they are nicely coated with the puree
  5. Add the veggie stock and barley after the tomato puree becomes a little thicker
  6. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes, adding a little stock once in a while as it would get evaporated
  7. Now’s the time to season with salt and pepper
  8. Place the squid on the bed of stew and cover and let it cook for about 7-9 minutes
  9. Once the squid are all curled up and white, toss in kale leaves and turn off the heat!
  10. Garnish with coriander and serve over warm rice or mash potatoes!

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Thought I shared this recipe as the weather is getting chilly and it is so hearty and so much flavour within. There are so much colours in this dish as well and it just brightens my mood when eating! See, food is all about the experience, from the cooking to the tasting. Food that is filled with colours are usually yummy and filled with goodness, thus always remember to fill your food with colours! It would be a hit to the young and old!

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Just like these bunch of kale caught my eyes! They were purple and absolutely gorgeous! It added Vitamin K and colour to the dish! Oh! And crunch!

Well, that is it for today! I have been pretty lazy with writing as school has caught up with my body and it needs rest. However thats no excuse to not write! So I would be at my very best and update as much as I could! I hope you have enjoyed today’s post and till next time, see you!

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Fresh Pasta ARE THE BEST!

Hi there! Today I will be sharing something different from what the blog usually post, but nonetheless, I hope you enjoy!

A few days back in school, I was taught to make fresh pasta! If you know me, I am a pasta fanatic; I love all things pasta, from squid ink pasta to creamy carbonara. Throw me some pasta and I would go beyond my imagination to create a dish around it. So naturally, I was ecstatic about class that day.

The chef in school gave us room to explore the variety of pasta. He provided squid ink and parsley oil for us to flavour our pasta. By then, my excitement grew even more. We kneaded, we rolled it out and did whatever shapes we desired! In my head, I was already toying with tons of idea of how I could make fresh pasta with a little twist at home.

My ideas were crazy, however like they said ‘If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough…’ So I am looking forward to creating insane pasta dishes to share with you. PS, it might take a while for me to develope this recipe, however please be on the look out for it!!

Here are all the pasta we did the other day…

Thousands of apologies that I could not share the recipe from the school, however once I have twigged the recipe and made it mine, it shall be shared!

Do visit my instagram page @BigOnFood for daily updates.

Well, Thank you for reading and I hope it got you a little excited with what’s to come on BOF!!! Till next time, See you!

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Be Kind & Spread Love! Pei Gee  

Salsa with a twist!

This new recipe I am about to share was inspired by a Mexican masterclass I attended. From the class I learnt a few nicks and necks about Mexican cuisine! 3 core ingredients found in a mexican dish are chili, corn and lime. So I crafted my dish around these 3 ingredients, with a little twists here and there.

So today, I am sharing my grilled corn and squid salsa! It is a very simple dish, goes well with chips, in wraps or with your grilled chicken! Let your imagination run wild while pairing this salsa. img_0703

It is an easy dish with simple steps however here are what you need to take note!

  1. Get a beautiful charred surface on your corn! That would give you colours and a pack full of flavours!
  2. Use smoky herbs and spices such as coriander, paprika, red/green chili and black pepper. You want to get smoky flavours in the fastest and most effective way possible.
  3. Chose the right protein. I chose squid as it cooks fast and it remains juicy and fresh, unlike chicken, which might get dried up while cooking and the tendency of it overcooking is high!
  4.  You want colours! As this is a salsa, you want it fresh and sexy looking with all the vibrant colours! Colours from the corn, chilies, red onion etc would make your dish grabbing for attention.

I had an incredible time crafting this recipe out, together with what it would be paired with. From the grilling to slicing to eating, was all good fun! So without further ado, here is my grilled corn and squid salsa!

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Grilled Corn and Squid Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole corns
  • 1 whole squid, with tentacles too (that’s the best bit)
  • 1 whole red onion, diced
  • 1 whole green and red chili, sliced (Add more if you like it spicy)
  • Handful of coriander and mint, chopped
  • the juice of a whole lime
  • Paprika
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to season

Directions

  1. Blanch the corn in heavily salted boiling water
  2. Rub paprika and salt onto blanched corn, rub it to marinate them well.
  3. Once the corn is well coated with paprika and salt, grill them till they are charred on all sides
  4. Once the corn are grilled and have beautiful charred surfaces, set them aside to cool
  5. In a mixing bowl, add herbs, red onion, chilies and toss it with lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Adjust the seasoning to your preferences
  6. For the squid, your choice of boiling it or grilling them. Once they are cooked, cut them into small cubes and add them into the herbs and chilies mixture
  7. Once the corn are cooled, remove them from the cob and add them into the mixing bowl together with the squid and herbs mixture.
  8. Give them a good toss and taste as you go. You might need to add more lime juice or salt
  9. And viola! You could serve them as a side dip to your tortilla chips or add them into your wraps for lunch or make little wonton cups to serve them in.
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To make the wonton cups, take a wonton skin and place them into a muffin tray. Then bake them in an oven at 180 degree C for about 10 minutes. You can chose to fry them further for more crispiness!

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This dish have become a favourite salsa of mine, it is fresh, simple and delicious! Filled with fiber and good flavours from the herbs and grilled corn. I highly recommend you try this salsa and share it with your partner, your family and friends! It is one of my utmost favourite dish and I hope you like it too!

Well that is it for today folks! I hope you enjoyed this recipe and I have many more recipe to come, so stay tune and till next time, see you!

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What I ate in Bali, Part II!

Bali is one of the top travel destination. It is funny, beautiful and tropical. The food available there is abundant! From pork ribs to super food acai bowl! You would never get hungry when in Bali, and I certainly never heard my stomach grumble on my recent trip there!

On my previous trip, I have tried some amazing food. The food this trip did not disappoint as well.

First up, we have Grocer & Grind. This place sounds like it is great for a good cuppa, however I went ahead and order something to quench my thirst from the heat out. I ordered a falafel wrap and it was huge! As falafel is carbohydrate, I got filled up pretty quickly. They were generous with the amount of falafel balls in the wrap. The wrap was filled with textures from crunchy from the deep fried falafel balls and crisp fresh pickled cabbages and the tortilla skin was chewy.  It came with a salsa and mayonnaise on the side which goes perfectly with the wrap! My friend had the burger. The meat patty was juicy and tender, though they could have toasted the buns on the grill for a charred surface. Otherwise, the burger was filled with fresh vegetables and worth every penny. They have an extensive pizza menu which they cook it in a woodfire oven. We wanted to try it however we were filled to the brim.

What I really love about Grocer & Grinds is their extensive vegetarian and pizza menu. Vegetarians would be spoiled for choices from salads to pizzas. They offer gluten free breads and vegan friendly dishes. Overall, they have a cozy atmosphere in the cafe which allows you to just chill and enjoy your meal. It was a good lunch there. 3.5/5!

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Next cafe has a cosy ambiance as well. It’s rustic and naturalistic setting is calming and makes your eating experience soothing.  It’s called Corner House! They have a menu which serves very hearty meals such as teriyaki salad, cheeseburger and eggs benedict. They a variety of coffee for you to choice as well, I went with flat white, though to be honest, I am not a coffee person, therefore my appreciation for coffee is unreliable; so I would not mention about my flat white that I drank. What I would talk about is the food we ordered!

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The ambiance had this rustic vibe to it that I really love. Cosy and Homey…

I had a chorizo and hash. It consist of grilled chorizo sausages, tossed together with golden roasted potatoes and grilled corn salad, together with 2 perfectly poached eggs. The chorizo brought just the right amount of saltiness to the dish, the runny yolk from the poached eggs were a velvet coating for the rest of the ingredients, which was like heaven in the mouth! The dish was so good with perfectly poached eggs, savouriness, and a burst of flavours from all the ingredients. Good dish! 4/5!

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We had a side of sticky pork ribs as well. And boy oh boy, the pork ribs were extremely tender and it fell off the bones once I held it up. The spicy and sweet barbeque sauce was tangy and had a hint of spice and if you gave this to a kid, you would be smiling from ear to ear because the kid might have stained their mouth with the delicious sauce! It was a finger licking good ribs! 4/5! 

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Corner House was wonderful with it’s great surrounding and yummy food. Couples and family would really enjoy this cafe. 4/5! 

These are the 2 new restaurants I tried during my short trip to Bali. Bali is booming with loads of cafe with healthy and yummy goodness. The food scene there is growing with tradition and contemporary cuisines. You would definitely not hear your stomach growl with hunger as food is abundant there.

It’s been a joy to devour so much goodness and I hope that you would try these restaurants when you are in Bali! Thank you for reading and till next time, See you!

If you would love to read about what I ate in Bali in my previous trip, click here!

Grocer & Grind- Jalan Kayu Jati No. 3X, Kerobokan, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali, Indonesia. Open from 7Am to 10PM 

Corner House- Jl. Laksmana No. 10 A, Kerobokan, Seminyak, Kabupaten Badung, Bali, Indonesia. Open from 7AM to 11PM 

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