Huat’s on my plate: Kym Ng’s journey to domestic goddess-hood

Actress lets in on how her husband cultivated her love for cooking

When we think of Kym cooking in the kitchen, this image of her character in Kelvin Tong’s 2011 film It’s a Great, Great World comes to mind. 

Photos: Kym Ng, Toggle, Golden Village Pictures
Video: Teng Siew Eng & Foong Mien Shi

#ICANCOOK: That’s a hashtag most frequently used by the actress on her Instagram account (@kym_ng) nowadays. In case you haven’t noticed, Kym Ng’s been doing an awful lot of cooking lately: her Instagram feed’s filled with food snaps of her – yes, believe it – home-cooked meals.

She only started cooking in the last year, but does it like a culinary pro already.

Each meal picture features perfectly-garnished dishes accompanied with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a bottle of wine on the side. It’s so beautifully plated and presented, you’d think Kym and her husband’s been dining out at fancy joints like her sister-in-law did, if you didn’t read the fine print (i.e., #icancook).

We learned, during an interview with the actress-host, that her journey to domestic goddess-hood began one fine day when her husband (a man known to the public as Mr Yang) said to her ‘Why don’t you learn how to cook?’ She picked up her wok and spatula and the rest, as they say, is history.

Restaurant standard: Is it any wonder why Kym’s husband calls her home-cooked fare ‘River Valley’s exquisite Chinese cuisine’? More of such pictures on Kym’s Instagram account.

After she began cooking regularly one year ago, Kym, who is believed to be in her mid-40s, shared that she whipped up a tiny spread of three to four dishes for her family members at a Chinese New Year gathering last year. That was Kym’s first time cooking for her mum too.

“As my mum ate, you could see tears welling up in her eyes. She was so touched by it and kept saying: ‘Kiang si, kiang si, kiang si’ (Teochew for talented),” she laughingly quipped. And everything was promptly wiped out -- there was no leftovers.

A mummy’s girl forever, Kym shared that Chinese New Year is not complete without her mum’s signature dish: a sweet and sour combination of black fungus, pork liver and pineapple. She took a video of the cooking steps last year and hopes to successfully recreate it in her own kitchen this year.

Singapore chili crabs is also on her must-cook list in 2016, “but only after a new wok has been bought,” she added. Her non-stick wok went kaput after cooking clams for her husband twice in three days due to a special request made by him.

“I try not to repeat dishes at home,” she explained, “But I know he really loves it if he requests for me to do a particular dish one more time.” 

Kym scores points for both cooking and presentation efforts. 

Kym puffs up in pride when she tells us about that one time she whipped up a few extra dishes – at her husband’s request – to “add on to the dinner menu” at his brother’s place. “I think he’s quite proud of my cooking!” she chuckled. 

She relishes in doing everything, from prep work to cooking and cleaning up, by herself in the kitchen. “Sometimes he’d help me with the dishes, like when I have work after dinner. But I prefer for him not to help because I feel it’s my job and I like it when, after everything is done, I’ll ask him: ‘Am I a good wife?’ and when he says ‘yes’ that makes me very happy,” she coyly added.

That smile on Kym’s face says it all.

The vivacious host shares more about her Chinese New Year celebrations at home, cooking tips, her favourite recipes and talks about that one time she cooked a special meal for her husband. Read on for more!

Catch Kym in House of Fortune, weekdays, 9pm on Channel 8. Watch it on Toggle.

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