YUMMY, MUMMY: Celebs dish on their mothers’ cooking

We got hungry just from writing this feature

YUMMY, MUMMY: Celebs dish on their mothers’ cooking
YUMMY, MUMMY: Celebs dish on their mothers’ cooking
11 May 2018

YUMMY, MUMMY: Celebs dish on their mothers’ cooking

One of the best things in life is a hearty, home-cooked meal, a simple pleasure that most people would probably associate with their mums. With Mother’s Day just around the corner (in two days, to be exact), we asked a few local celebs to dish on (get it?) their favourite food cooked by their beloved mamas. Read on – and try not to get too hungry in the process.

Joanna Dong
Joanna Dong
11 May 2018

Joanna Dong

What’s your favourite dish by your mum?

My family loves seafood such as crabs and prawns, which my mum cooks often, but the dish I tend to crave the most is her salted egg vegetable soup, or basically anything with that simple, homemade taste.

How often does your mum cook for you?

She’s retired now so she cooks every day, but I’m not always at home to eat it. However, she usually posts pictures of her cooking on Instagram, and I can tell how she’s feeling just by looking at the food she cooks: for instance, if it’s a very complex dish, you know she’s in a good mood, but if it’s very simple, then you know it’s time to console her. (laughs)

When’s the last time you cooked for your mum?

My mum has always been good at cooking so since I was young, I never dared to step foot into the kitchen because it’s her territory. I don’t want to make a fool out of myself in front of her because if I cook, she would definitely have something to say about it and that’s too much pressure on me.

That said, ever since I got married and moved out, my husband and I would put together a feast every Christmas and invite our families over for dinner. This is the only time we cook for our parents.

Photos: Joanna Dong/Instagram, Joanna Dong

Zhang Zhen Huan
Zhang Zhen Huan
11 May 2018

Zhang Zhen Huan

What’s your favourite dish by your mum?

Sautéed shredded pork with green peppers. It’s a really normal dish, but I guess I like it because I’ve had it since I was young and it has a very familiar taste that brings back a lot of memories.

When’s the last time you cooked for your mum?

I think about four years ago. I cooked fried egg with tomatoes. My mum visited me in Singapore [Ed’s note: Zhen Huan’s parents live in China] and she tried to teach me how to make my favourite dish. However, I wasn’t able to make mine taste as nice as hers.

Are you planning to cook for her this Mother’s Day?

I don’t think I will have the chance to (since she’ll be in China). I have never cooked for her for Mother’s Day because I was already working in Singapore by the time I learnt how to cook.

Photos: Zhang Zhen Huan/Instagram, Zhang Zhen Huan

Chantalle Ng
Chantalle Ng
11 May 2018

Chantalle Ng

What’s your favourite dish by your mum (Lin Mei Jiao)?

Mee sua. Every time she asks me what I want to eat, I’ll ask her to cook mee sua for me, and she’ll be like, “Huh? You’re not sian (bored) ah?” But I really like it because it’s very soupy and comforting!

Does she make it in any special way?

It’s very normal mee sua, she doesn’t add in any special ingredients. But it’s her love that makes it special! (laughs)

How often does she cook it for you?

Once a week or if I’m always at home, maybe even more. I could eat it every day.

When’s the last time you cooked for your mum?

Yesterday! I prepared the steamboat. Is that considered cooking? But if you’re talking about a proper meal, then it was pretty long ago. I enjoyed cooking in the past but after that I just stopped.

What was that last “proper meal” you cooked for her?

Western food. I always cook spaghetti because it’s easy and it looks impressive. I also cook simple meals like vegetables, omelette and rice at home but it’s not especially for her, it’s just, “Oh, let’s have a meal together.”

Are you planning to cook for her this Mother’s Day?

If she wants me to! But we always have steamboat. I don’t know if she’s a fan of my cooking, though. I hope she is. (laughs)

Photos: Chantalle Ng/Instagram, TPGOPEN

Jeffrey Xu
Jeffrey Xu
11 May 2018

Jeffrey Xu

What’s your favourite dish by your mum?

Stir-fried tomato and scrambled eggs, and the Shanghainese version of Borscht, because they were dishes I enjoyed from young. If I have to pick one out of the two, I guess I will choose the Borscht. (laughs)

When was the last time your mum cooked that for you?

Wah, I think it was more than ten years ago. I forgot to ask for it when I returned home [to Shanghai], and we usually eat out because of tight schedules. My mum doesn’t cook very often nowadays. I remember asking for home-cooked dishes when I was in university, but even so, my mum would only cook when she was in a good mood!

Will you request for the dish the next time you return home?

Yes. Please remind me to do so.

When’s the last time you cooked for your mum?

I don’t think I have ever cooked for her. I do have plans for it though. Do remind me again when she comes to visit me.

Are you planning to cook for her this Mother’s Day?

No, because she isn’t in Singapore. But [my girlfriend] Felicia [Chin] is very sweet, and she’s planning to send my mum a bouquet of flowers to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day. I plan to do the same for her mother too, and maybe buy her some food as well.

Does Felicia’s mother cook for you? What’s your favourite dish?

Yes, she does. I really like her pork rib soup. It’s very nourishing for the body. Her mother prefers to cook healthier dishes without adding too much condiments.

Photos: Jeffrey Xu/Instagram, TPGOPEN

Ian Fang
Ian Fang
11 May 2018

Ian Fang

What’s your favourite dish by your mum?

My mum makes really great Shanghainese dishes. She only started learning how to cook when I started living in Singapore for a longer period of time. Soups are her forte, and she is particularly great at making stewed pork soup.

When’s the last time you cooked for your mum?

I cook for her often. My mum loves vegetables, so I usually make vegetable dishes for her. I also cook instant noodles for her because she likes them. Weird hor? At night, I will cook instant noodles for her supper if I have the time.

Are you planning to cook for her this Mother’s Day?

We normally eat out every Mother’s Day because I don’t have much free time. Cooking and washing up takes one to two hours, but it takes only half an hour to finish it all. It’s tiring and laborious. (laughs) So I think I’ll still bring her out for a meal this Mother’s Day, and we’ll have her favourite Japanese food.

Photos: Ian Fang/Instagram, TPGOPEN

Romeo Tan
Romeo Tan
11 May 2018

Romeo Tan

What’s your favourite dish by your mum?

I have more than one favourite dish, but I’ve loved my mum’s sweet and sour pork ribs since I was young. I can eat it three to four times a week. In fact, I just had it last night.

When’s the last time you cooked for your mum?

Does making coffee count? I think it was quite a while back, I can’t remember when. (laughs) I think I was trying to be kaypoh (nosy) so I went to help her in the kitchen. I remember she was cooking fried rice. Actually, my mum dislikes it when people enter the kitchen because that’s her world. She thinks it’s her territory, so I don’t get many chances to help her out.

I’ve made baked pasta before, and I got my mum to try it to evaluate my cooking. She told me it was “not bad lah” but told me to add many other ingredients. (laughs)

Are you planning to cook for her this Mother’s Day?

Not likely. We will probably just have a simple family dinner outside because that’s the easiest way. We usually don’t want my mum to cook on Mother’s Day, so I’d give her an “off day” and bring her out somewhere nice to enjoy good food instead.

​​​​​​​Photos: Romeo Tan/Instagram, TPGOPEN

Shane Pow
Shane Pow
11 May 2018

Shane Pow

What’s your favourite dish by your mum?

There’s this dish that my grandma taught my mum how to cook. We call it “Ah Ma sam chan bak (pork belly)”. It’s kind of like fried carrot cake, but with pork belly, and it’s very, very shiok (nice) but very, very sinful. I can only have it once every few months.

When’s the last time she made it for you?

Wow. I think last year, maybe.

When’s the last time you cooked for your mum?

It’s been a while. I think it might have been a few months ago. I can’t remember what I cooked, but it was something very simple, maybe pasta. I don’t remember ever cooking a very elaborate meal for her before.

Are you planning to cook for her this Mother’s Day?

I don’t have anything planned yet, but I will probably bring her out for a meal instead.

Photos: Shane Pow/Instagram, TPGOPEN

Xiang Yun
Xiang Yun
11 May 2018

Xiang Yun

What’s your favourite dish by your mum?

I love my mum’s Mee Hoon Kueh. She’s from Ipoh, Malaysia, and her parents used to grow vegetables for a living, so she’s particularly good at making dishes with vegetables. There is this vegetarian dish she makes every New Year, and my family and friends love it a lot. She will cook it with pickled tofu, and my childhood friends look forward to having it at my house every year. My two children look forward to it as well, so she always cooks a generous amount.

When’s the last time you cooked for your mum?

I have never done that before! Now I’m feeling guilty about it. I normally bring her out to have her favourite food when I’m not busy with work, or I’ll order food that she likes for takeaway.

Are you planning to cook for her this Mother’s Day?

I will check with my mum to see if she already has plans because all my siblings would want to celebrate with her (laughs). She normally prefers to go to my younger sister’s house.

Do your children (Chen Yi Xi and Chen Yi Xin) often cook for you?

Sometimes. Even before Yi Xin was born, I always told Yi Xi I wanted to bake a cake for him. However, when he was in secondary school, he baked a cake for me before I even fulfilled my promise! (laughs)

Yi Xin is also a really great cook. Since she was in Secondary 1, she started learning how to cook by watching YouTube videos. They make food like salmon, steak and curry rice, and when they cook, they want [my husband] Edmund [Chen] and I to stay put and not help them in the kitchen. (laughs)

​​​​​​​Photos: Xiang Yun/Instagram, TPGOPEN

Ben Yeo
Ben Yeo
11 May 2018

Ben Yeo

What’s your favourite dish by your mum?

Everything she cooks is delicious, but I love her bak chang (rice dumplings) the most. She only makes it during the Dragon Boat Festival every year. If I want to eat it on any other day, I have to go out and buy it myself. (laughs)

When’s the last time you cooked for your mum?

I don’t remember, it’s been too long, but I think I cooked chicken and I don’t think it was for any special occasion. And anyway, my mum is the queen of the kitchen. If I try to use her kitchen, she will nag at me. (laughs) I think most mothers are like that!

Did she enjoy the last dish you cooked for her?

Of course she did! She enjoyed it because I made it for her. (laughs)

Are you planning to cook for her this Mother’s Day?

If there is time, I would really like to, but because cooking at home requires a lot of time and effort, most of the time we just go out to eat together, or my mum will cook and invite us over for a meal.

Photos: Ben Yeo/Instagram, TPGOPEN

Richie Koh
Richie Koh
11 May 2018

Richie Koh

What’s your favourite dish by your mum?

It’s very hard to choose. Spaghetti? Because it’s different from her usual Chinese dishes. And also this porridge that we grew up eating. It’s very, very plain, but it has a lot of memories because we used to have it for lunch before going to school. It used to be cooked by my grandma, but now my mum cooks it instead and it tastes exactly the same.

What’s so special about it?

It’s just soup with minced meat, fish, and some soya sauce and pepper. It’s a normal plain porridge. It doesn’t really taste nice but it brings back a lot of memories. (laughs) I’ve eaten it for as long as I can remember.

How often does she cook these dishes for you?

Maybe once a month? But the last time she cooked them for me was in December last year.

When’s the last time you cooked for your mum?

(Laughs) I don’t think she’d want to eat what I cook for her! Because she doesn’t eat much and I like super spicy stuff, which she doesn’t. I’ve offered to cook for her before, but she didn’t want me to because she was afraid it’d be too spicy.

Are you planning to cook for her this Mother’s Day?

I hope I’m not working then! I hope to be able to go out and have a family meal together with my grandma as well. We usually do that every year.

Photos: Richie Koh/Instagram, TPGOPEN

Report a problem