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Like everyone else whipping up a storm on social media, you want to be an Insta-cook too, but you do not know where to start.

Learn from the professionals themselves, as chefs take to Facebook and Instagram to share simple recipes for beginners.

Most dishes require basic pantry ingredients and the chefs teach you how to minimise food waste and repurpose leftovers.

Although interaction is limited to responses via the comments section, it is fun getting a sneak peek into their home kitchens.

The Sunday Times checks out five chef accounts to follow.

• Follow Straits Times Food on Facebook and Instagram @straitstimesfood


Lennard Yeong, 31

In-house chef at luxury home appliance brand Miele Singapore

Follow: @lennardy on Instagram

A big batch of ginger-scallion sauce in the refrigerator could last you through the circuit breaker. Spoon it onto seafood or meats, or toss noodles in it.

Pre-made sauces like this are a “lifesaver” for their versatility, says the former MasterChef Asia contestant, who has gained a steady following for his hardworking recipes on Instagram.

He made steamed garlic prawns (above right) last Friday, adding to popular recipes such as kimchi fried rice; ajitsuke tamago (marinated ramen-style eggs with a jammy yolk), good for those who want to “chef up” their instant noodles; and rosti quiche, with a quiche base made with grated potatoes.

His kimchi fried rice transforms leftover rice into lunch. Then, the leftover kimchi fried rice morphs into an omu rice dinner, topped with a perfect omelette split down the middle.

Doing the videos has been a learning process for Yeong. He says: “I never used to take this many videos, but I’ve since learnt to shoot and edit to a point where I quite enjoy the process. I feel like I’ve learnt a new skill.”

His offerings are usually one-or two-pot meals, with a few elaborate dishes that call for nifty knife skills and pretty plating.

His advice for home cooks – now is not the time to go crazy with complex recipes that require specific ingredients.

He adds: “If you’re going to go out just to buy a particular ingredient to make one recipe, and don’t have any idea what to do with the leftovers once the recipe is completed – attempt it some other time.”

Milind Sovani, 56

Culinary director of Chef Milind Sovani Consultancy & Innovation Centre

Follow: @chefmilindsovani on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube

After the coronavirus hit, the former chef of Indian establishments Rang Mahal and The Song of India made a swift about-turn. He adapted his cooking videos of exotic, complicated dishes to the times.

His focus is now on simple “healthy and immunity-building” recipes, with a touch of “Milind magic”. While most videos are in English, the chef, who is from the state of Maharashtra in western India, also speaks Marathi in some of them.

His winning recipes include aloo capsicum (above right); eggs kejriwal, which is fried eggs on toast layered with chilli and cheese; and a range of “jazzy dips”, such as tomato salsa and guacamole.

He also dishes out tips and hacks on using ingredients and storing food, in posts titled Chef Milind’s Saucepan Of Advice.

Learn to make the most of a bay leaf and prolong the shelf life of mushrooms.

Upcoming recipes make the most of frozen prata for prata quesadillas, pizza and sausage rolls.

Janice Wong, 36

Chef-owner of her eponymous sweets boutique and 2am:dessertbar

Follow: @janicewong2am on Instagram and YouTube channel Bake At Home

Already a pro cook? Then pick up baking tips from Singapore’s pastry queen herself.

New recipes – which feature her Bake At Home pre-mixes – are rolled out about three times a week, from banana cake to classic butter cake.

The pre-mixes, along with baking ingredients, can be purchased from her website (www.janicewong. online/bake-at-home).

These are good for those having trouble finding baking ingredients in the supermarket or who want to whip up quick treats with the kids during the holidays.

Recipes to check out include salted caramel (above, drizzled over cookies with mousse and berries); and chocolate truffles with Milo, Horlicks and gula melaka.

She also shares technical tips, from tempering chocolate at home to the best way to hold a chocolate scraper.

Eric Low, 47

Chef-founder of culinary consultancy Lush Epicurean

Follow: @chefericlow on Instagram and Facebook. Sign up for cooking classes at lushepicurean.com/online-cooking-classes-with-chef-eric-low

Chef Low has been hard at work converting the experiential nature of cooking lessons – “the taste, smell and interaction” – to online tutorials. He offers free, short videos on social media, some with him speaking in Teochew.

Well-followed sessions include claypot tofu with chicken and salted fish; and sang choi bao (above right), lettuce wraps with diced vegetarian char siew, corn and onion.

His recent kang kong dish is also easy on the wallet – with all the ingredients coming in at a mere $2.

Those who want to learn more can register for classes that cost $15 for a 40-to 60-minute Zoom session.

Of course, not everyone is keen to pay, he acknowledges, since free content is available on many platforms. But he hopes people understand that he – like many fellow chefs – has been hard-hit by the crisis and could use some support.

“Now that people have started cooking again, I hope they value it as a life skill. It is not about how well you cook or what luxury ingredients you use. Many people now have to cook to get by, and when you can stretch your ingredients, you save money too.”

Eric Teo, 57

Managing director of event catering and private dining company 3 Embers Culinary Craft

Follow: @chefericteo on Facebook and Instagram

The celebrity chef – a familiar face to many who have watched his cooking demonstrations at supermarkets and on television – is no stranger to the camera.

He posts recipes once a week, usually on Wednesdays before noon, so viewers can try these out in time for dinner.

Favourites include teriyaki chicken chop, kimchi fried rice (above right) and salted egg squid – a month-old post which has 11,000 shares on Facebook.

Some of his videos are in Mandarin and Hokkien and provide light-hearted entertainment.

Cook with these top chefs online, Food News & Top Stories
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