Nonya cuisine made simple!
I want to bring back the nonya cuisine to the Peranakan community; however, I want to do it in a way that is conducive to the Peranakan community of the 21th century.
About Nonya Cuisine
First let’s talk a bit about Nonya cuisine. The nonya cuisine is a fusion of Chinese and local dishes, and I would consider the dishes as presenting fine art!
It the olden days, in order for the nonya ladies to be considered an ideal nonya bride, they were expected to be proficient in preparing delectable cakes and dishes. Thus, the training in cooking and domesticity would start at a very young age.
A proper nonya cuisine is very labour intensive as they are meticulous about their food presentation. For example, vegetables, like carrots, were crafted into floral designs or were very finely chopped; kaffir lime leaves were finely sliced etc.
For me personally, I grew up with in a nonya family and enjoyed nonya cuisine almost every day of my life until I left for Australia, and I still crave and cook nonya dishes at home. I am sure many Peranakan will agree with me… once you were brought up with such fine dining, it will stay with you forever!
However, due to the smaller community (Peranakan community) cooking such amazing dishes, not many restaurants are able to replicate the refinement of such dishes locally and overseas.
Also, with more and more nonya pursuing careers of their own, the art of nonya cooking is now gradually becoming a thing of the past.
Therefore, my mission for Tok Panjang is to bring back the amazing nonya cuisine to the Peranakan community and the public in general, irrespective where they live in the world.
However, I am aware of the following considerations:
- Lack of time due to careers.
- Lack of knowledge of understanding of how to blend and harmonise the spices together.
- Lack of raw ingredients for people who live in another part of the world.
Thus, in order to overcome the three issues above, the best solution is to use readymade nonya pastes; and my mission is to show you how to create different nonya dishes from these amazing readymade pastes – all the way from Penang.
So, let’s learn how to make nonya cuisine the easy and fun way!
Ready made paste of my choice – Little Nonya Pastes from Penang.