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Saturday, 29 May 2010

What I've Been Eating in UK

One thing about spending so many months away from Malaysia is how much I miss Malaysian cuisine.

Oh Nasi Lemak, how I crave for thy fragrant rice covered with spicy curry...

Nasi Lemak
[HiRes] Nasi Lemak, sold during an event organised by Nottingham Malaysian Society (NMS). Imagine buying Malaysian food in UK price.

One would say it's a good opportunity to start trying some foreign stuff instead. I would totally agree, if not for the ridiculous price of things here. I ended up preparing practically every meal at home after failing to secure a part time job.

I have a feeling this post will answer mum's question of "what has my son been eating for the past 9 months" and save a lot of pointless worrying.

One of the dishes I serve most frequently is the classic fried rice.

Me Cooking
One of my earlier fried rice. Doesn't look too bad, especially when you consider the fact that I've never ever cooked rice before stepping foot in UK.

Notice how the fried rice is in a food container? Well it was obviously one of my lunch packs. To save a few pounds (the currency, not the weight unit), I would wake up before 7am to prepare lunch if my lunch break wasn't long enough for me to travel back to cook. I kept this up for a whole year, which kind of amazed even myself. Perhaps that's why they say money is a good motivator.

Anyway, you can throw anything into fried rice so there's little chance of getting too fed up (pun?) eating the same thing over and over again.

Me Cooking
A more Malay style fried rice, with Ikan Bilis (dried fish) and chilli. That wasn't a bad dish, actually, but I hated spending half my afternoon peeling Ikan Bilis one by one.

Congee (or rice porridge) is the easiest thing to do.

Me Cooking
One of my earlier servings of rice porridge.

I used to hate porridge, but I've been eating it a few times every week for the past few months. It's the best when I'm busy. Just throw everything in and wait for 15 minutes. I don't even have to worry about burning it if I dozed off for a few minutes. And with Marmite (FYI, Marmite is English), it isn't actually that bad.

Me Cooking
Another variant of my earlier porridges. I always use Marmite these few months.

Soup noodles ain't too hard either, but I don't like the idea of consuming artificially seasoned food regularly, and I'm just too lousy to make good soup noodles without seasoning.

Me Cooking

And I've also made sandwiches/burgers!

Nope, not this one. These are from BK's.

Me Cooking
My sandwich. It doesn't look good, but I assure you, its taste is far better than its looks.

Then there's sweet and sour chicken. Yum!

Me Cooking

Learning to cook is perhaps one of the most significant accomplishments since my arrival in UK. The good thing about cooking is I get to control food portions. When my tummy was rumbling I'd probably subconsciously pour more rice into my measuring container. I'm also more confident with my food's hygiene than those prepared by grumpy strangers stuck in oven hot kitchens for hours a day. On average, a cooked-at-home meal costs about £1 to £2, at least twice as cheap as eating out. And most importantly, it's way healthier.

But no, I won't be cooking this regularly in Malaysia. What, haven't you seen a hypocrite before?


  1. wow ... you've become quite an accomplished cook ! Thanks for sharing your photos .. been really curious all this while :D

  2. Jo: accomplished? nah, my food is just barely palatable (maybe should use the phrase "barely edible" lol) compared to, say, your mum's.

    well i'm a very practical person, good food or not i'll forget about my meals in a few hours' time. no point spending half a day preparing something i won't even remember when there are so many things to do as a student right?


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