By SARA KHONG
WHAT happens when you put a tech-savvy Gen-Y girl who cannot cook in the kitchen? She hacks recipes and kitchen tools!
In the social media generation, “hack” doesn’t mean to chop something up repeatedly. According to Internet nomenclature, it either means like hacking a computer, or more recently, finding shortcuts to get something done – a “life hack”.
We are a generation where the best, most efficient way to do anything is just a Google search away. There are plenty of life hacks out there, and some are really clever. For example, cleaning a blender can be as easy as “blending” water and dishwashing liquid.
Knowing that many modern women are also lacking the time to really indulge in their kitchen hobbies, I started JewelPie.com, where I share all the life hacks I’ve personally tried and tested; smart ideas and simple tutorials on how to cook, clean, entertain and dress up with minimal time and effort.
But for today, let’s have a look at my five favourite life hacks for the kitchen.
Top five kitchen life hacks
1. Porridge in a ziploc bag
Have you ever been so sick you could barely walk straight, but still had to cook for yourself? I have. So I came up with the idea of frozen instant porridge.
I put washed rice and chopped vegetables such as carrots into a ziploc bag and freeze it. When I’m not feeling well, I just dump everything in the bag into the rice cooker, add some water and press “cook”. In an hour, I’d have a pot of nutritious porridge.
2. Ikan bilis in a microwave
Deep frying takes skill, and the process can get pretty messy. But I found a fool-proof way – do it with a microwave.
Simply wash peeled ikan bilis, drizzle them with oil, and pop ‘em in the microwave for two minutes. Not only would the ikan bilis be perfectly cooked and crispy, it’s much faster, and you don’t need to clean up a big, oily wok.
I used to like freezing batches of spaghetti bolognese sauce. Then I saw an even simpler way – cooking it in a rice cooker.
Just break some spaghetti in half and add some canned pasta sauce, water and your desired ingredients, like tomatoes and sausages. Press “cook” and you’ll be slurping spaghetti real soon.
4. Cry no more over onions!
I love sambal belacan a lot, but I absolutely hate how cutting onions – one of the main ingredients needed – makes me cry bucket-loads. But then I learnt that you can do the job using an apple corer in one swift motion! It only takes a few seconds, and no tears!
5. Peeling a tangerine
I found a nifty way to eat tangerines without ruining my manicure. Cut off the top and bottom of the tangerine, cut a vertical slit all the way down the side, and then you can just roll the orange out. This idea is even shared on lifehacker.com.
Don’t believe everything!
Though most life hacks are good ideas, not all of them work. I’ve tried a few that sounded smart, but just didn’t work. One was to make a grilled cheese sandwich on a toaster laid sideways. Something started burning (because the bread crumb tray was tipped sideways), and the toaster shot the bread and melted cheese straight out and onto my kitchen floor.
The writer is a member of the BRATs, a young journalist programme organised by R.AGE. She writes at JewelPie.com, a home living magazine with smart, time-saving life hacks for Gen-Y women. For more info on the BRATs, log on to facebook.com/starbrats.