Before I started cooking for real on a daily basis, I've always thought that it is a very tiring tasks - the fact that I got a day job and after work just tires me. At this age, most working women that I know hires a maid or eat out, or does not cook because they don't have the time.
I used to think like that and don't get me wrong, I enjoy cooking just a very lazy person and the excuses above stated. But the other thing that I've always find every single excuses to go for it; grocery shopping. I know I have mentioned this before in my last posting but I find shopping for fresh foods very.. addictive.
However, I no longer shop at supermarkets for meat and vegetables, just at the wet market only. I have fallen in love with the smell of fresh and beautiful colours around the area. Not only do they offer the best ingredients with cheaper prices - they offer you recipes and tips as well.
Of course in google, we can search for many recipes but it is not as life like as talking to the butcher to buy my chicken meat. She would offer me weekly tips on what to do with the chicken - like today, you salt the whole chicken and just steam it, good enough and it already taste great. I told her, I will keep this simple recipe in mind and see her next week. Then comes to the other pork butcher, he would say, what do you want to cook today? boiled? steamed or fry. I would reply fry and he would say, you get this portion which is not as hard but soft, so that the fats will go into you sauce and it will bring out the flavour.
After gathering the poultry, I would look for some nice fish and speak to the fish monger, whom tells me, if you are going to steam a fish today, get this sea bass. I assume it was his wife or daughter in the next stall would add, "ah so you're steaming that sea bass, here you will need this ingredients in which she gave me fresh chinese parsley, and spinash".
In conclusion, for working executives like me, don't be intimidated by the market, sometimes if you don't know what the fish is called or the cut of the meat. Just tell them what you feel like cooking today and get your recipes every time you order something from them.
These are my delights in my frequent visits to the market, I learn cooking from them. The kind of knowledge you won't get at the supermarket but mere price tags and packed without emotions. So go on, try.. head to the market and its not the Night market "pasar malam" its the one you need to wake up early in the morning because it closes fast at 10am.