The general stuff:
Soy and Pepper is about recipes, cooking experiments, bento (lunch boxes), thoughts on food and dining and just about anything food-related that I come across. It is an East-meets-West food blog that features food and recipes ranging from Chinese, Thai and Japanese, to British and Mediterranean.
Who is behind Soy and Pepper?
I am an ethnic-Chinese from Singapore currently living in Vancouver, Canada with my husband. I don't have any formal culinary or photography training but I do love cooking and eating and taking photographs and it's been a very enjoyable learning process. My deep interest in food and cooking developed particularly after I moved to the UK. Like many overseas students and expatriates (especially from Asian countries), I miss the delicious, cheap and huge variety of food from home. Since I could not get most of those dishes in restaurants here (at least not easily or cheaply), I started to cook them myself to satisfy my cravings. One thing led to another and soon I found myself cooking, shopping, planning, reading and thinking about food almost all the time!
And I must also acknowledge the husband (AP) who happily munches through my cooking and offers feedback on what works and what doesn't. Thank goodness he has a wide and relatively adventurous palate (for a Brit anyway, heh). And he also waits patiently for his dinners while his wife snaps way too many photos.
Why a food blog?
In 2007, I found that food posts have started to take over my personal blog quite a bit and I would like to devote more space to food and cooking. Having another journal where I can specify the tags and posts to food and recipes also make it easier for me to search for particular ingredients or recipes, since I use this food blog as a personal reference/archive as well. I enjoy playing with different ingredients, recipes, techniques, presentation, and capturing the cooking process and end product the best I can in pictures and in words. It is a nice creative outlet for me and a very tasty hobby!
Why 'Soy and Pepper'?
I love cooking and eating all types of cuisine, from Chinese, Thai and Japanese to British, Italian and French. I therefore wanted a blog title to reflect this East-meets-West approach that I take to food and 'Soy and Pepper' came to mind.
(Yakun Kaya Toast, Singapore Changi Airport, Terminal 2, Arrival Hall)
In Singapore and Malaysia, there is a traditional breakfast of soft-boiled eggs with kaya toast, a sort of fusion breakfast as a result of British colonial past. Instead of being placed in an egg cup, the soft-boiled egg is cracked open into a saucer. Dark or light soy sauce and white pepper is added to taste and then eaten with slices of butter and kaya (egg and coconut jam) toast. It seems fitting that my blog title should reflect this meal that is so strongly associated with where I came from.
What's with all the bento stuff?
Making bento is another hobby/lifestyle that I picked up in mid-2007. After years of packing boring sandwiches into work, making and taking bento lunches into work made our lunches much more interesting and is much cheaper and often healthier than cafeteria food. The reasons behind why I do bento can be found here.
What camera do you use?
The older photos (prior to February 2008) were taken with a point-and-shoot Canon Powershot A75. I later gave in to a beginner's digital SLR, the Canon EOS 400D (Digital Rebel XTi in North America). The lenses I use are Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM and Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II.
I am a food enthusiast who is always on the look-out for new ideas and tips on improving aspects of my cooking and photography. Comments are very welcome (although those of a solicitous or rude nature will be quietly deleted; I do not respond to spam or trolls). I can also be contacted at nilmandra[at]soyandpepper[dot]com.
If you are an overseas Singaporean or Malaysia, I hope you are similarly inspired to recreate food from home and that this website gives you some useful information to do so. Happy cooking!
(Updated 19 August 2008)
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
The general stuff: