My Kitchen From Scratch


BC Ferries

Hi and welcome to my food blog! I started this blog as a place to keep track of all the food that I made. Food is my biggest passion in life – I love cooking and trying new things in the restaurants. Many times, I would find ways to recreate food that I saw on TV, books, and magazines in my own kitchen, even if I have not had them before. See, I used to be an engineering major before I switched to economics. So, there’s always this side of me that wants to break down the flavors and re-engineer them to perfection.

Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I have been living in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A since 2002. Food is really a huge part of the Malaysian culture; many of my memories as a child and an adult are food related in many different ways. Once in a while, I would have some major flashback on a particular dish that got stuck in my mind. I would faintly remember the event or the people in it, or even the ingredients that made up the dish. But boy, that taste would be at the tip of my tongue – so called presque goûté. So, much of my time are spent in the kitchen recreating that one memory.

Well, unfortunately, Malaysian restaurants are scarce in the midwest and many of them are not very authentic. Therefore, the next best solution is to make things from scratch. It may take a long time but if the flavors hit the right spot, it’s well worth it! Imagine hitting that one moment that makes you go, “That’s exactly how it tasted 10 years ago!”; I think that’s really powerful when one is able to invoke that feeling or memories that is long lost. Having said that, this blog is not just about Malaysian food. It’s ultimately about creating a culinary experience. So I will be featuring plenty of food from Chicago and around the world.

I’ve browse through quite a number of food blogs and I am impressed with the quality of food and pictures that were featured. Of course, this often requires a high quality camera and the right set of kitchen tools. I only have an old Sony point and shoot and some basic kitchen gadgets. Heck, I don’t even have a potato masher. I once had to mash them using the bottom of a glass and I had to use a wrapped up wine bottle as a rolling pin to make croissants! While I am scavenging for tools to be added to my collection if and when I can afford it, I will try to make the best out of what I have.

Update 1 (Jan 2, 2012): I decided to quit my day job to pursue a culinary career. I am currently based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and will be attending culinary school for one year.

If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, email me here.

16 Responses to "About"

All of your foods look so delicious. I may try that Brussels sprouts recipe soon because I have had only one experience with them–and that experience made be cry because I refuse to believe in others’ denouncement of them.

Wine bottle? Your wine bottle should meet my friend’s soy sauce bottle and my metal water bottle. They hold the same job and can share a few stories, probably ;]

The trick with brussels sprouts is not to overcook them…if you do, they have a very bitter taste.

I blanch them first and then cut each sprout in half, toss in a skillet with equal portions of butter/olive oil, onions and a little salt and pepper…they are perfect!

Hey fattydumpling! Thanks for visiting my blog. You know, sometimes you just have to improvise to get some work done. I have finally bought a rolling pin, so my wine bottle had a break from all the hard work. Guess where the wine ended up? LOL.

Hey Kwok your site looks great and your food even better! Brilliant presentation on some. I still think you need to start a show “kwok and his wok”!

Hah, thanks Marty! I will consider that.

Hi Kwokmun,
I’m Malaysian currently in Russia. I know what exactly you mean when you say, you can recreate the authentic taste only by starting from scratch. Was in Australia before this, had all the ingredients to do that- the luxury! But now, I’ve got the challenge of working with limited ingredients. But perseverance is the key ain’t it? Especially when you miss the taste of home. I’m still awaiting my wonderful cili kering to make the perfect sambal. Love your pictures and especially the stories coming along with them. G’luck! and thank you.

Thank you! For Malaysians abroad like us, food is probably the most important thing that makes us feel at home. With food, comes many vivid memories as they are often built around the dining table. Yes, ingredients can sometimes be limited but do the best with what you have. And keep trying!


Hi Kwokmun! As an Asian, love your blog and I like cooking too! Your recipes are superb and amazing and we both like Jamie Oliver! As a matter of fact, I am suing your blog to try other recipes (It’s fast becoming my cooking bible-digital however lol! Continue cooking and please don’t stop posting your gastronomical adventures! Selamat detang! (I hope I get it right!) Ciao ;)

Thank you for your support! I have stopped blogging lately because I am transitioning from my current job. My small kitchen in my new apartment doesn’t help either. I promise I will be more diligent in posting more recipes and other culinary encounters in the near future. Do stay tune! =)

hi, stumbled on your blog, loved cooking and bread making.
Any good recipe to share for hard rolls ?

Hi Kerry,

Thanks for stopping by! I haven’t got a chance to make hard rolls lately but I will share the recipe in the future if I have one.

Thanks , I have a great soft bread recepi if u are keen to try . Great culinary class Picts u. Have !

I would love to try your soft bread recipe! It’s about time I start baking bread again.

haha … this is after 8 months of experiment ! and loads of it thrown to the dustbin ! I call it ” my Breakfast loaf ”
Here it goes :
Pre Dough:
350 bread flour
4gm yeast
220 water – mix it up to form a dough & rest for 4 – 6 hours in 26 – 24 degrees temp.

Main Dough:
150 bread flour
15 gm milk power
8 gm yeast
8 bread improver ( u can subtitute with vital gluten )
8 gm salt
30gm sugar
30 gm veg shortening or Crisco
110 water

Knead the main dough or use a stand mixer .
add the pre dough.
( I am sure you know when the dough is kneaded enough to be proofed ! )
Rest for 1- 1.5 hours
shape, proof for another hour
preset temp to 200 C
bake for 20 – 30 mins

join me on FB to see my picts : Kerry tan
Keep me posted of your results !

Aloha!! Found your blog by accident (and am so glad I did!) while searching for a recipe on “Mui Choy Kau Yoke”. Like you, was born in Malaysia, but have lived in US for many, many years. Your blog brought back many childhood memories. My family and relatives were avid foodies and was very fortunate to be exposed to it. However, I never really appreciated what went into or how much love and effort that went into making my favorites until I moved to the US, especially the Big Island, Hawaii. Thank you for sharing your recipes and your food adventures!!

Hello Eric, I’m very glad you enjoyed my blog and recipes. I hope you continue with your culinary journey as the island of Hawaii is blessed with an abundance of fresh produce and ingredients, making it much easier to replicate some of the dishes we remember so fondly!

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Hi, my name is Kwokmun Lee. Learn more about me and my site here

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