Hunger Management: 10 things Life editor Tan Hsueh Yun must have in her kitchen

SINGAPORE - Life editor Tan Hsueh Yun has helmed a recipes column, titled Hunger Management, since 2008.

Sixty-three recipes from the column have been compiled in a new book. The collection is divided into four sections: Feeling Peckish features appetisers and soups; Just Ravenous has recipes for substantial main courses; Still Hungry has side dishes; and Sweet Cravings covers desserts.

Hunger Management (ST Press, 144 pages, $26.75 with GST) will have a soft launch at the Singapore Coffee Festival and is now available at all bookshops.

Ms Tan picks her must-have gadgets for the kitchen, and ingredients that are always in her pantry.


1. Digital kitchen scale

"It's the most useful thing on the planet. You can use the tare function which is my favourite button. And just measure everything into one pot."


2. Chef's knives, of which she has many


"Your knife's got to be sharp. Once you have a sharp knife, everything is possible, the most insane chopping is doable.

"I get my knives sharpened twice a year at Razorsharp at Tan Boon Liat building. Take all your knives and go there. They are so efficient they will lend you knives when your knives are being sharpened.

"When I go there, I take my entire collection of knives, which is like 15 to 20 knives. I don't use them all but I get them sharpened like clockwork."

3. Le Creuset cocotte

Beef stew in a cocotte. PHOTO: ST FILE 

"A medium size, not too small, not too big. Although I have many cocottes, I use the 24cm one the most often. That bloody thing is indestructible. My friend Lawrence makes claypot rice in it and he gets the fan chew (the rice crust that is the hallmark of a good claypot rice). You can use the cocotte for anything."

4. KitchenAid mixer


"It's the best machine for baking and bread making. Heavy duty and always reliable."

5. Fish Slice


"Thin and flexible, and perfect for flipping fish fillets in a pan, and anything else that needs flipping."


1. Good salt


"I have a variety in my pantry, but the ones I use most often are Maldon Sea Salt, pink Murray River Salt and Diamond Kosher. They do not taste harsh and they make anything I cook taste better in a subtle way."

2. Lemons and limes


"I love acidity in my food, and citrus provides bursts of freshness as well. I use them in stirfries right at the end, in salad dressings, at the table to squeeze over grilled fish, in baking. Endless uses. I never discard citrus without using the peel, which is the most aromatic part."

3. Good quality fish sauce


"Look for the N level on the bottle. It measures the amount of nitrogen there is in the sauce. The higher the number, the more protein there is in the sauce. I love Red Boat fish sauce, and use the N40 for cooking and N50 for sprinkling over food at the table. At Chinese New Year, use the N50 for yusheng. Fantastic."

4. Kampot peppercorns from Cambodia

Red kampot peppercorns. PHOTO: HONG SPICES

"My mum dry roasts them and gives them to me in jars, and I fill my pepper mill with them. Oh, the aroma!"

5. Cheese


"The stinkier, the better, although I love an aged Comte too."