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FOOD

What’s Cooking: Lessons with Five Instagram Chefs

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There is nothing quite as satisfying as preparing, cooking and savouring a master chef-level dish at home. So, if you want to earn bragging rights amongst your friends, put on your aprons and get set to sharpen your skills with the help of these chefs on Instagram.

Master Japanese basics with @MiwaJapaneseCookingClass

Everyone loves Japanese cuisine – you’ve probably tried your hand at recreating your favourite orders at home. Here’s your chance to learn authentic Japanese cooking the right way with instructor Miwa. The Kamakura-born, mum of two started her cooking classes while living in Cambridge, UK. Her easy-to-follow recipes will take you from novice cook to professional in just a few lessons. Start with a classic dish like gyūdon or Japanese beef bowl – a super easy dinner idea that can be whipped up using just three ingredients and a sprinkling of condiments. Or, take on the challenge of cooking the now ubiquitous ramen egg, for which Miwa shares two simple hacks to get that soft-yet-not-runny yolk. You will find other healthy and simple recipes, including vegetarian and gluten-free choices to impress the pickiest of guests. Oiishi!

Master keto living with @Keto.Connect

A ketogenic diet is now all the rage, with more and more people adopting this carb-free way of eating. If you, too, are thinking of making the switch, then Keto Connect is here to inspire. Megha and Matt, a young couple based in Philadelphia and the brains behind this account (along with their dog Julius and kitty Miley), will coax you into keto living, one delicious recipe at a time. One of their most popular recipes is stir-fried cashew chicken, which – with its Asia-influenced ingredients – is packed with flavours while being low on calories. To satisfy your sweet tooth, try the blueberry cheesecake popsicles. Bursting with flavours of blueberries, lemon juice and lemon zest, it’s a perfectly sweet and tart dessert where most of the work is done by the freezer. Guilt-free indulgence, anyone?

Master classic Chinese dishes with @Hellolisalin

Chinese cuisine is all about striking that right balance between the choicest ingredients and the most precise techniques. To help you conquer that tricky balance is Sacramento-based Lisa Lin, who traded her lawyer’s robes for a home chef’s hat to follow her food blogger dreams. Lisa takes you back to the basics of Asian cooking, garnishing her recipes with food stories, tips and tricks, and more. She will help take the skills that you might already have up your sleeve to the next level – like how to fold dumplings six ways, or how to perfect the spring roll wrap without losing a single morsel. Lisa’s mom, or Mama Lin, also makes an appearance time-to-time with tips and reminders for Lisa (and you). Meanwhile, meticulously close-ups of a particular technique from different angles will ensure that you don’t miss a single step.

Master family baking with @JoytheBaker

Nothing is as comforting as the smell of freshly baked goods. So, let the flour fly as you gather the family together for a spot of baking. Brought up by kitchen-enthusiast parents, Joy the Baker believes that baking is in her blood. This self-taught New Orleans baker and cookbook author’s desserts promise to taste as delectable as they look. Take her chocolate chunk rainbow cookies, for instance. Easy to make, her detailed account on which flour to use, what chocolate to buy, and what kind of sugar and butter to add in this recipe make all the difference: these moreish cookies strike just the right balance between being both crunchy and moist. Cupcake lovers, meanwhile, would love Joy’s adorable frosted cupcakes. Top them with loads of sprinkles and voilà! You have a sweet reward for your hard work.

Master signature pastas with @LadyandPups

Embrace la dolce vita with pasta, the Italian staple loved by one and all. Cook up the perfect plate by following Taiwan-born, Hong Kong-based chef Mandy Lee, of Lady and Pups fame, who turned to cooking as a stress-buster during her days living in Shanghai. Specialising in dishes that are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the palate, Mandy also prides herself in creative renditions of traditional recipes, including the cream-based pasta, in which she suggests replacing salt with fish sauce to reduce sodium intake without compromising on taste. On a leisurely weekend, you could recreate Mandy’s rich pasta with ragu. Though it requires hours of culinary commitment and unlimited patience, the result promises to be wholly satisfying on the tummy. Mandy calls it the “art of harvesting caramel”, but you can call it your very own labour of love.
Photos courtesy of @MiwaJapaneseCookingClass, @Hellolisalin and @LadyandPups

What does the future of food look like? Find out with Hong Kong tastemaker Janice Leung Hayes. (Follow her on Instagram for instructional cooking videos, too!)
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