Huat’s on my plate: Waste not, want not with Kate Pang

In the second instalment of this series, the hot mama shares kitchen tips and tricks to minimise cooking efforts and maximise food resources

Nothing stands in the way of Kate and her love for cooking good and nutritious food for her family. Image of Kate’s onscreen character in 2012 Channel 8 drama, Joys of Life.

Photos: Kate Pang

“Kandie’s Kitchen” – that’s a brand new cooking segment featured in celebrity couple Kate Pang and Andie Chen’s self-managed video channel for young parents, Kandie Network, in which mummy Kate will share easy-peasy DIY (do-it-yourself) recipes for babies and toddlers and cost and time-efficient cooking tips based on her own experiences in the kitchen.

Kate’s love affair with cooking began long ago -- way before she even left Taiwan for Singapore to join show business and become a TV actress in 2010. When she was still a student, we learned from Kate that she’d visit the nearby market on a daily basis to pick up fresh produce for her daily meals.

And when she moved back to Taiwan in late 2013 with her husband, Kate continued with her daily morning routine which consisted of visiting the market downstairs with a grocery basket in arm. Although it’s impossible to upkeep this habit in Singapore (unless you’re “super hardworking”), the expectant mother shared that she makes multiple trips to the supermarket on a weekly basis as she prefers to buy her groceries in small quantities to ensure freshness instead of buying in bulk.

The face of a satisfied baby who clearly digs the home cooked meals lovingly prepared by his mum

The Taiwanese actress tells us the love and joy she gets from cooking also motivated her to study a subject related to food in university, although her degree in F&B (food and beverage) management focuses more on the hospitality side of the business and not so much on kitchen work.

“As students from this faculty, we have higher expectations about the service we get at F&B outlets instead of focusing about the quality or taste of the food,” quipped Kate as she recalled bits and pieces of her university days in Taiwan, during her interview with Toggle.

Brought up by her grandmother who lives in Kaohsiung, Kate also spoke fondly of the Chinese New Year celebrations back in her hometown – something she had to sit out of since she started working on this little red dot.

The 2016 Star Awards Best Programme Host nominee still remembers ending a phone call with her granny in tears, during her first year of work, when she had to skip their reunion dinner at home. “She said that it was the first time since young that I’d not be eating with her and it dawned on me that what’s really important to her (having reunion dinner together) seemed insignificant to me. It was heartbreaking.”

Nothing makes Kate happier than seeing her baby enjoy his food.

By the time you’re reading this, Kate would be back in her hometown with husband and child in tow for a month-long holiday, spending precious time with her loved ones and possibly indulging in her favourite fried nian gao (Chinese New Year cake) and dumplings.

Dumplings are one of her family’s must-haves for the festive season because its shape represents ingots (read: money and good fortune), shared Kate. Her granny would even wrap a sweet or chocolate in one of the dumplings and the person who eats it will be guaranteed good luck all year round.

“One year, my sister brought her friends home and my grandma got really mad ‘cos one of them ate the ‘lucky’ dumpling. To her it was like having an outsider ‘steal’ the good fortune at home,” she added with a chuckle.

Kate shares her favourite go-to soup stock recipe and singles out a few household essentials that help save time and food wasted when it comes to cooking for her son and family. Read on for more!

More Huat’s On My Plate stories:
Kym Ng’s journey to domestic goddess-hood

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