On 30th March, our participants came together with family and friends for an exciting culinary afternoon at Allspice Institute. It was a celebration of fun, food and bonding with loved ones, as everyone donned their aprons and learned how to cook three mouth-watering Peranakan-inspired dishes that were specially created for the masterclass.
“I actually signed up for the previous Domestic Diva masterclass in 2017, and enjoyed it quite a lot. So when this year’s one came along, I was really excited and jio-ed my friends along,” says participant Yen Nee.
Another participant, Danielle, revealed that she brought along her husband Nigel 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. Check out what they learned to cook (and steal some chef tips along the way!) in the galleries below:
Getting battle ready:
This year’s Domestic Diva Cooking Masterclass was held at Allspice Institute, where participants were taught by Chef Ambrose Poh, the Peranakan and Heritage Cuisines specialist. Chef Ambrose is an award-winning chef with over 20 years’ experience here and abroad.
While waiting for the session to start, readers and their families and friends visiting the sponsors’ booths. At Royal Umbrella’s booth, they received a 500 g pack of rice simply by signing up a member of the Royal Umbrella Fan Club.
Skippy served up two delectable treats at their dessert table for participants to savour. There was Peanut Butter Stuffed Strawberries and Peanut Butter Jelly Filled Macarons with Crushed Peanuts!
Participants could also get up close to a row of Tefal Rice Cookers, which was used to steam rice for one of the Masterclass dishes.
Cooking’s more fun with company! Participants helped each other get “battle ready” by putting on our signature Domestic Diva aprons.
Squeezing in a quick “we-fie” before class starts!
Once everyone’s assembled at their cooking stations, Editor-in-chief Barbara Koh gave a welcome address.
And now we’re ready to cook!
The first dish — Light and refreshing Nyonya Cocktail Salad (Kueh Pie Tee):
This classic Peranakan dish of mixed fruits, vegetables and shrimp in a crunchy shell is surprisingly easy to make and sure to be a hit with both children and adults. Perfect for potlucks, picnics and parties! Get the recipe here.
Chef Ambrose gave a quick demonstration of how to prep the filling, which includes chopping up the fruit and vegetables. Pro tip: When using ginger flower, cut up only the petals as that’s where the most flavour lies!
Participants worked in pairs and wasted no time getting started on their kueh pie tee fillings! Lots of chopping, dicing, slicing and mixing to get the perfect balance of textures and flavours.
Filling up the kueh pie tee shells! Pro tip: Only fill the shell when it’s time to eat so they don’t have time to get soggy. So if you’re having a party, prep the filling in advance but get your guests to fill their own kueh pie tee shells.
Sprinkling the finishing touches on the kueh pie tee!
It’s a success!
More happy cooks with their kueh pie tee creations!
For dessert — Ondeh Ondeh with a sweet surprise twist:
These Peranakan glutinous rice balls are traditionally filled with sweet gula melaka (also known as palm sugar). Get the recipe here.
But we gave them a modern spin with Skippy Peanut Butter! We used the new Skippy Squeeze pack that makes preparation a whole lot easier.
Chef Ambrose demonstrates how to properly fill and seal the ondeh ondeh. It’s important to smooth over any cracks to ensure that your ball is fully sealed, to prevent the goodness from spilling out.
Participants got rolling, working as a team of four this time.
While it seemed like a tricky recipe, participants confidently navigated their way through it.
But Allspice Institute’s chefs were at hand to offer guidance in case they needed help, and to answer any questions participants had.
It’s important to keep a watchful eye over the ondeh ondeh once they’re in boiling water. Once they float to the surface, they’re done!
The final step is to coat the ondeh ondehs. Participants had a ball of a time rolling them in the two toppings of the day – coconut and peanut.
Trying out their freshly-made creations!
Everyone’s ondeh ondehs looked amazing!
Final dish — Spicy and aromatic Laksa Fried Rice:
Instead of traditional laksa soup, participants learned how to cook this easy laksa fried rice that’s perfect for potlucks and quick weeknight dinners! Get the recipe here.
Chef Ambrose shared a party serving trick by wrapping up a small portion of rice with a piece of banana leaf. Ingenious!
The cooking space quickly filled up with the fragrant aroma of the spicy rempah, which left some of us coughing and sneezing!
There were quite a few couples at the masterclass, which just proves that cooking can be a great date activity!
There were also participants who brought their kids along for a fun family bonding session. Editor-in-chief looks impressed at how confidently a young participant could handle the fried rice.
Participants got creative with their plating, as they prepared to snap photos of their dishes for social media.
The laksa fried rice has the seal of approval from our participants! Continue through the gallery to see more happy cooks with their creations:
After the cooking sessions, two lucky participants won in the lucky draw and walked away with a Skippy hamper and $100 NTUC voucher each!
Congrats to both of our lucky winners!
At the end of each session, participants lugged home over $200 worth of goodies! Here’s a look at what each of them received:
Thank you to all our lovely participants, sponsors and partners for making the Domestic Diva Cooking Masterclass 2019 a rousing success!
To stay updated on future Domestic Diva events and masterclasses, sign up here!
Photos: Phyllicia Wang