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noelbynature started this blog as a Singaporean student on a tight budget hoping to chronicle his overseas culinary experience while getting away with the finer things in life. Then it expanded to a circle of Singaporean and Malaysian friends who were stu

Updated: 2017-09-09T13:16:10.081+08:00


Food hacks


Too good to not share: 124 recipes for students on a budget.

Hainanese chicken chop rice


ok, purists can stop yelling at me about how it's supposed to be Hainanese PORK chop rice. I just happened to have chicken in the fridge, ok? just substitute the chicken for pork chops lah! A couple of weeks ago I have some great Hainanese Pork Chop rice at this restaurant in Georgetown. It cost me RM12, along with a three-hour journey from my home outside USM to Georgetown. So, I decided to make

Negitoro Don


One of my all-time favourite Japanese foods is negitoro, the combination of raw fatty tuna (maguro) with spring onion served in maki (sushi rice roll), temaki (hand roll) or don (rice bowl). Of course, sushi-grade tuna is quite hard to come by in Malaysia, much less the fatty maguro belly. So I jumped at the chance when I came across some frozen tuna at the supermarket the other day. Here's my

Olio Spaghetti with Mushrooms


I love olio-based pastas. It's easy to make, light and very good on the tummy - especially if you're lactose intolerant (like my poor self!)Olio Spaghetti with MushroomsWhat you need: A couple of button mushrooms, sliced1 can of mushrooms, sliced1 garlic, chopped finely2 chillies, seeds removed; chopped finelySome parsley, chopped finelyOlive oilButterAngel hair pastaWhat to do:1. Heat some

Easy Peasy Potato Salad


I'm back!So here's a really simple recipe, inspired by a good friend.Easy Peasy Potato SaladWhat you need:1 can of whole mushroomsLight sour creamA couple of russet potatoesWhat to do:1. Clean potatoes and chop them into cubes, leaving the skin on.2. Sprinkle some salt on the potatoes, mix them up and chuck them into a steamer. Steam for 10-15 minutes or until just cooked.3. Once cooked, leave

Prawn 'Bisq'


Yes, I know it's spelled 'bisque' but given that this recipe's a budget version I thought it might be appropriate because I had to replace some of the more pricey ingredients with more budget friendly ones - prawns instead of lobster, and milk instead of cream. Pardon the lack of recipes there days - it's been a pretty hectic year and my meals have tended to be simple.Prawn 'Bisq'(Serves 1-2)300g

Dhal Curry


A perfect, cheap and easy curry to make when you're missing Malaysian food.This recipe was adapted from my mother's classic never-goes-wrong Charmaine Solomon cookbook. It is one of the easiest and fuss-free dhal recipes I have come across.Dhal Curry200g split yellow lentils1 large onion (finely sliced)2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)1 teaspoon grated ginger1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric1/2

Beer battered onion rings


After three months of traveling and fieldwork, it feels good to be able to be at home long enough to cook - and my first creation for the year is a sinful beer-battered onion rings. Remarkably easy to make with simple ingredients - and of course, you can beer-batter just about anything else: shrimp, fish, cheese... Beer-battered onion rings2 large onions, cut into rings 1-2 cm in diameter1 cup

Watercress Season!!


watercress is going for 2 bucks for a big bundle... i got some just to make a watercress drink but had heaps left so made this...tagliatelle with watercress pestoit was very easy and very yummy...great for a quick meal....and even for a dinner party- it is that good!!! I had it again for lunch the next day and remember thinking: "How glad I am to be able to cook!! heheheheh...!!!"i would reserve

Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting


First and foremost, apologies for the crap picture. It was late at night and I was using my camera phone. The cupcakes look more like tarts to me... hmm.Anyway. I made these cupcakes for the staff at Melton Health's Paediatric department to say thank you for accomadating me during my clinical placement. Cupcakes are a great way to say thank you because if they're good, people will remember you

Bag and Tag - Pork


Ever since watching Alton Brown's episode on pouch cooking, I've been experimenting with a few pouch configurations myself - starting with the timeless combination of pork and asparagus. You could of course use aluminum foil instead of greaseproof paper, but I think some acids react with aluminum, so if you do take care not to use acids like lemon.Pork and Asparagus Pouch1 pork chop, deboned5

Dough-boy speaks


Hi everyone, I must say I have been away for quite a long while.Updated my profile and I'm making a comeback with more budget meals.I have been experimenting on quite a number of dishes which includes Sayur Lodeh, Salt n Pepper Chicken Ribs (to give Rose Garden Melb a run for their money, as if)Vietnamese Pho and on Bun Bo Hue after my exams.Some of these are more of a challenge, because the time

Easy Carbonara


I was getting tired of the tomato based sauces that I usually cooked, and besides, I didn't have any tomatoes on hand.Easy carbonara1 serve pasta, see cooking instructions below1 egg yolk1 tbsp butter4 tbsp milk1 broccoli stem, sliced thin on the obliquesalt and pepper1. Cook pasta according to package instructions but remove from heat 2 min before recommende preparation time.2. While pasta is

McBBQ Sauce


Most people dig the fries at McDonalds; me, I dig the barbecue sauce. For a while I thought it was a queer obsession until I realised I was not alone (See here). Attempts to replicate the sauce called for the mixture of two specific sauces, which means you can't do it outside of the US. So I decided to do some trial and error and come up with a decent facsimile using everyday raw ingredients.

Pan Fried Chicken


Fried chicken. Now, who doesn't like it? This recipe is based on Alton Brown's but if you look closely there are a few modifications because of the inavailability of some ingredients. The upside is that this recipe is pan-fried and uses much less oil.Pan Fried ChickenChicken pieces - I used wingsSeasoning1 tsp salt, chili powder, coriander per pieceFull cream milkFlour for dredgingOil for

The Really Simple Coleslaw


I must admit: when it comes to culinary vegetation, I'm not particularly imaginative. Steamed broccoli tossed in oyster sauce goes with rice, scalded choy sum goes with noodles, and raw green salad goes with everything else. So today, I decided to try something different: coleslaw - and we're not talking about the mass-produced shite from kay-eff-see. This recipe uses only cabbage and onion and

Mamak Mee Goreng


Oh, this was divine. Of course it doesn't rival what I get back home but I must say it comes pretty close.Note that I eliminated bean sprouts from the recipe because I have an extreme dislike for them, mainly due to the fact that I used to work in a high class restaurant that saw me picking the heads and tails off 5kgs worth of bean sprouts every morning.I also didn't use spring onions as a

Arrabiata Malaysia


This spicy tomato-based pasta sauce is easily made from local ingredients. It's cost-to-serving ratio is also hard to beat! Dried chillies are quite potent, so adjust according to taste - although don't go more than four or you'll be stuck with a bowl of liquid fire that will kill your tongue long before you can taste anything.Arrabiata Malaysia4 large tomatoes, seeded2 cloves garlic1 small

Kway Teow Hailam


While out on a recent field trip, I had the privilege of sampling Malay hospitality. We made a visit to a colleague's home in Butterworth, the mainland side of Penang, and were greeted with a freshly made noodle dish served with a light peppery gravy. Our hostess called it Mee Hailam - I've seen it on the menus of local eateries here, but this was the first time trying it. I'm not sure about the

Toaster Oven Ribs


The secret to fall-off-the-bone ribs is a long, slow cooking process facilitated by an oven - which I don't have. What I do have is an oven toaster, which basically has two settings: on and off. But with an insatiable craving for pork ribs and a little kitchen hack knowledge, here's how you can make grilled pork ribs using a toaster oven...Lest I get cried foul, I do have to add that this dish is

Vegetarian Enchiladas


Enchiladas are like wraps baked with lots of cheese, taco sauce and various fillings. I'm not sure if it a Mexican dish. After all, burritos are an American invention!Not being a lover of kidney beans and meat, I was not sure how I would take to this but the good people at convinced me likewise! This is a fantastic recipe sans meat with plenty of sweet corn. Big yum and makes a great

Soba Noodles with Tofu & Mushrooms


A recipe that unites my love for tofu, mushrooms and soba!Extremely easy to assemble and a great winter warmer. Do note that you can use any mushrooms of your choice. Dashi Miso paste is available in Asian grocers.Soba Noodles with Tofu & Mushrooms(Makes 500ml of broth)Mushrooms of your choice (Chinese, button, enoki, etc) - choppedDashi Miso paste2 tablespoon dark soy sauce4 tablespoon mirin1

Sweet Couscous


This recipe is unique in the sense that it is sweet and can be eaten as a meal or dessert.Either way, it is extremely appealing for sweet tooths and cashew lovers; very filling and comforting on a cold winter night.Sweet Couscous250g couscous150g sultanas150g cashew nuts50g butter120ml honey600ml boiling water2 oranges (peeled) - optional1. Place couscous and sultanas in a large, heat-proof bowl

Not-quite-Thai fish cakes


I was all psyched up about making Thai-style fish cakes, except when it came down to assembling it in the kitchen, I forgot the two essential things that made the fish cakes "Thai" - lemongrass and coriander. Still, it tasted pretty decent. Here's a shot of it alongside accompanying my pasta lunch.The Not-quite-Thai fish cakes500g white fish fillets (about 2 fillets)1 onion1 inch piece of ginger2

Kerang chowder


While was in the field I scored myself some local kerang or cockles which were quite huge - about three times the size of those you would normally get at the market. I suppose you could call them free-range kerang. In Singapore and Malaysia these are also called blood cockles, because they release a red liquid that is coloured by hemoglobin - yes, the same thing found in blood! I had a cup of