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KajoReviews: Sakuraco, Japanese premium snack box Flavours of Hakone edition

Even though you have never ordered this, you might have seen this snack box being promoted by your favourite influencer or Youtuber.

It was also featured on Forbes, BuzzFeed, Vice, Cosmopolitan and even The New York Times.

Sakuraco is a monthly curated Japanese snack box.

In each box, there are 20 authentic Japanese snacks and candy as well as the perfect tea to pair with them.

It also comes with a 24-page guide so you can read the stories of where your snacks come from.

To complete this unique experience, every box will have home goods such as ceramics, chopstick or furoshiki (traditional Japanese wrapping cloths) sourced from traditional makers.

The snack box that arrives to your home is different every month so you will never get tired of trying the same thing.

They work closely with many Japanese family-owned businesses who dedicated their lives to the art of snack making.

For the month of May 2024, Sakuraco collaborated with Kanagawa Prefectural Government to bring their customers Flavours of Hakone.

It is a snack box pay to tribute to Hakone, a historical place with breathtaking natural beauty which situated amidst the mountains of Kanagawa Prefecture.

Travellers have been dipping in Hakone’s revitalising onsen or hot springs for centuries.

Flavours of Hakone would bring any snack lovers a tour of this majestic place through their palate without having step out from their homes.

With 20 different snacks and candies to choose from, it is hard to pick your favourites.

After trying them all, here are KajoMag’s three favourite snacks from Flavours of Hakone courtesy from Sakuraco:

1.Strawberry Milk Almonds

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This simple, crunchy snack is made from almonds with strawberry milk coating.

Despite its rich coating, it is not too sweet and has the perfect balance tastes of nutty almond and fruity strawberry.

2.White Miso Financier

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Who would have thought that white miso would make a great ingredient for a financier?

A financier is a traditionally small French almond visitandine, flavoured with beurre noisette while white miso is a mild fermented Japanese soybean paste.

The saltiness of the miso surprisingly enhanced the sweetness of the cake, making it a perfect companion for a well-brewed tea.

Despite the fact it is packaged and travelled from Japan to Borneo, this White Miso Financier still retains its softness and delicate texture.

3.Seven Flavours of Arare

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For those who are unfamiliar, arare is a type of bite-sized Japanese cracker made from glutinous rice and flavoured with soy sauce.

The bag of arare which comes in Sakuraco’s Flavours of Hakone contains various kind of flavours including such as seaweed, green laver and seaweed.

We only wish it comes with a bigger bag because this is perfect to munch on while watching TV.

4.Yokohama Raisin Sandwich

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Who doesn’t love a snack with a unique twist in it?

This snack is made of plump raisins soaked in brandy syrup and mixed with cream filling that are nestled between two buttery cookies.

Alcohol? Checked. Something sweet? Checked. Something creamy? Checked. Something buttery? Checked. Do we need to say more why we loved this snack?

It is just one of those snacks that makes you crave for more.

5.Matcha Konjac Warabimochi

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When you thought that this snack box couldn’t further surprise you even more? They had to put this unusual snack in to the mix.

Basically, it is just konjac jelly with matcha green tea.

However, the soft texture of the jelly and the light flavour of the green tea is perfect for those who are looking something light (and healthy) to snack on.

So who do we think should purchase Sakuraco?

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1.If you are a snack lover

First of all, Sakuraco is catered those who loved all kinds of snacks.

Every snack inside the box has its own distinct taste and texture. There is no snack or candy that is similar to the other.

If you are the type of foodie unafraid to explore unfamiliar tastes, Sakuraco is definitely for you.

2.If you are a tea lover

The founder of Sakuraco, Ayumi Chikamoto started this unique subscription to focus on traditional Japanese snacks that provide a relaxing afternoon tea experience.

Thus, this snack box is for you if you are a tea lover looking for something light to munch while sipping on your favourite tea.

3.If you love Japanese culture

Some have purchased Sakuraco because it reminds them of the country they once visit while others have bought it out of curiosity the land they wish to visit.

It doesn’t matter if you have visited the Land of the Rising Sun or it is still on your bucket list, give Sakuraco a try. You might find yourself booking your next trip to Japan.

4.If you are looking for a one-of-kind gift

Not everyone has the knack for selecting gift. There are some people just struggle to choose the perfect gift for their friends or family.

Regardless you are looking for a personal present or corporate gift, we bet that a curated traditional snack box is not something common to receive.

Imagine the face of your loved ones as they open one snack after the other when they received their very first Sakuraco, it is like opening up presents within the present itself.

To know more about thi subscription snack box, click here.

How to throw a Vietnamese spring roll party at home

A popular appetizer that can be found in most Vietnamese restaurants, a Vietnamese spring roll is a dish consisting of pork, prawn, vegetables, rice vermicelli and other ingredients wrapped in banh trang or rice paper.

It is served fresh at room temperature and not fried like Chinese spring rolls.

This dish also can be part of healthy diet for those who are looking for something with protein, lots of fresh vegetables and low in carbs.

But if you are looking for a fresh new idea to host a party at home, how about throwing a Vietnamese spring roll party for your guests?

It is a fun way to get your friends to gather round the table and DIY their own spring roll while catching up with each other.

Moreover, your guests who are watching out for their weight would not feel guilty feasting during the party.

With easy to prepare ingredients, here is how to throw a Vietnamese spring roll party at home:

Vietnamese spring roll
Image by Tonda Tran from Pixabay

1.First of all, you must have rice paper

Vietnamese rice papers are so easily available these days especially at supermarkets.

There are two types of rice paper that are commonly found in stores. The common one is the white rice paper made from white rice.

If you prefer brown rice over white, there is also brown rice paper for you to choose.

2.Prepare your protein

There are various meat fillings for Vietnamese spring roll. Typically, you can prepare pork slices and shrimp.

Other meats include fish, squid, beef, tofu and sausages.

If you are having a barbecue at home, laying down some extra ingredients for Vietnamese spring roll is definitely a good idea. Just toss some of those freshly grilled meat into your rolls.

3.Slice up your vegetables

Vietnamese spring rolls cannot go without fresh vegetables.

It is the freshness of these veggies that add different textures to your spring rolls.

Make use of your knife skill and slice up plenty of vegetables before your guests arrive.

You can chop up some carrots, cucumber, bell pepper or cabbage julienne-style.

On top of that, you can also prepare some herbs such as coriander, basil or mint to add extra flavour into the rolls.

4.Remember your rice noodles

Now, it is time to prepare some carbs. Boil ahead rice vermicelli according to the instructions.

Take note that different brands of rice noodles have different cooking time.

Watch out for the time so that you can cook your noodle to perfection.

5.Finally, spice them up with a variety of condiments

Vietnamese spring roll can be served with peanut sauce or other types of dipping sauces.

The simplest way to make the traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce is to add in some lime juice (or vinegar) into one part fish sauce, one part sugar and two parts water.

Other sauces that are perfect for these rolls are hoisin sauce and sweet Thai chilli sauce.

Recipes for these dipping sauces can be found online and the ingredients to make them are usually very simple.

KajoPicks: 10 Housewife vloggers you might want to follow on YouTube

20 years ago, you would never imagine a common housewife could have millions of followers online by just sharing what she did in her daily life like cooking and cleaning.

But that is the reality we live in today. People on the net are actually interested in watching a stranger doing something that our mothers or grandmothers did on a daily basis.

These housewife vloggers sometimes even scored impressive brand deals while making content at home.

There have been some debates online for examples on Reddit about the safety of producing family vlogs.

Questions are raised especially when parents are sharing too much online about their children with almost no regards for their privacy. For instances showing their children’s names, ages and faces as well as their bedrooms.

What makes these housewife vloggers on this list different from other typical family vlogs is that the focus are on them and their lives as homemakers.

Some of their children are not even in these vlogs and even if they did, their faces are never shown.

With the amount of times that they spent daily running their households, these amazing women naturally have many cooking and cleaning tips as well as recipes to share.

Here are 10 housewife vloggers you might want to follow on Youtube:


Roha is one of many South Korean housewife vloggers who has been sharing their lives online.

Her journey on YouTube started before she was pregnant with her first child. Now her daughter has grown into a toddler.

While it is fun watching her spending her daily life cooking and visiting cute cafes for her 609,000 subscribers, there is one video of hers that is definitely worth watching even if you are not a housewife.

It is a tutorial video on how to care and store your fresh ingredients in the kitchen.

Check out her channel here.


With more than 2.2 million subscribers, Haegreendal sure proved that you can make it big online even while staying at home.

All of her videos were nicely recorded with pretty props and aesthetic vibes.

Unfortunately, her most recently uploaded video was back in February 2022.

Regardless, her old contents especially her recipes are still relevant to this day.

Check out her channel here.


Hamimommy is a housewife in her mid-30s living in Seoul. She is currently taking a leave of absence from work to take care of her child.

During this break of hers, she is producing one of the best homemaking Youtube channels.

She started her channel in August 2019 and since then she has gathered at least 2.26 million subscribers on Youtube.

Her most popular video is a vlog of her daily cleaning routine which has more than 11 million views.

While her cleaning vlogs are so thearaputic to watch and might inspire to do your own cleaning, we also love her cooking meals for her family.

Check out her channel here.


Scrolling through heymayday’s channel and looking at her video titles, viewers can see that she is excited to share her life as a Korean housewife.

From showing her daily life as a Korean housewife, her winter life as a Korean housewife to a Korean housewife’s night routine, we can watch them all on her channel.

However, our favourite ones are videos of her sharing her favourite items that she uses at her home.

While we might not bother to buy them for our own homes such an auto sensor trash can from Xiaomi, still we enjoy watching strangers online using fancy stuffs at their homes.

Check out her channel here.


A housewife that has a passion for crochet is not something rare.

This Youtuber shares not only her daily works as a homemaker but also her hobby crocheting.

Some of her crochet works include bag, indoor shoes and artificial flowers.

Overall, her vlog channel is about living a simple, relatable life as a housewife.

Check out her channel here.


With an impressive audience of 2.09 million subscribers on Youtube to date, Honeyjubu has been making content since December 2019.

Behind the camera lens, she is a simple housewife living in Seoul with her husband, two children and a cute puppy named Lucy.

Apart from sharing her daily life that usually starts from 5 in the morning, she also shares some homemaking tips to her viewers.

These tips include on how to store bulk ingredients and how to cut down on disposables.

Check out her channel here.

7.Housewife Story

Admit it; there is at least on homemaker that you personally know who is obsessed with cleaning.

This South Korean vlogger is definitely one of them.

Looking at the way she cleans, we bet there is no dust at every nook and cranny of her home.

If you are like her who finds pleasure and satisfaction in cleaning, do check out her channel.

Or if you need some inspiration to tidy, watching her clean on Youtube might inspire you.

Check out her channel here.


Speaking of cleanliness, are you the type that love to clean everything up to the point that you microwave your toothbrush?

This is one of many housekeeping tips shared by this housewife vloggers.

How about those icky stains on your grouts? Heo-ssam suggested in one of her videos to rub candle back and forth along the grouts after cleaning them. This will keep the grouts clean for a long time.

Check out her channel here.


What makes this channel different from the rest on the list is because it features two housewife vloggers.

The content of SisLetter is produced by two sisters Yohee and Joy who live on the opposite coasts of the United States.

Yohee who lives on the west coast is the older sister while Joy the younger sister lives on the east coast.

They both shares their daily lives of cooking and cleaning while raising their kids.

Check out their channel here.

10.Leni Mizzle

From South Korea, we are moving to Indonesia for our next homemaker Youtube channel.

Lenni Mizzle is a mother of two who shares her life online that circles around being a mom, homemaking and succulents.

Besides the usual contents of cooking and cleaning her house, she also shares some tips on planting succulents.

Check out their channel here.

5 famous dishes from leftovers

Everyone who has spend their time in the kitchen at some point would get creative with any leftovers found in the fridge.

Interestingly, some of these dishes later became iconic recipes on their own.

Here are five famous dishes that you might not know come from leftovers:


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Photo by Joshua Miranda from Pexels

This is one of the best-known dishes in Spanish cuisine. It takes its name from the wide, shallow traditional pan used to cook the dish on an open fire ‘paella’. It is the word for frying pan in Valencian language.

Legends has it that this iconic Spanish dish was created by Moorish kings’ servants who mixed leftovers from royal banquets in large pots to take home.

Another version of the origin story is that paella was a dish made during lunchtime meals for farmers and farm labourers in Valencia, Spain. The labourers would gather what was available around them at the rice fields.

Whatever they could mix into the rice such as tomatoes, onions and snails were put into the pan and cooked over an open fire.

The traditional version from the Valencia region is widely believed to be the original recipe of paella.

It consists of rice, green beans, rabbit, beef, pork, lamb, chicken, sometimes duck cooked in olive oil and chicken, fish, seafood or beef broth.


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Photo by J MAD from Pexels.

Although the exact origin of bibimbap is unknown, many agree that it could have started during the olden days when outdoor rites were widely performed.

Traditionally rites such as sansinje (rite for mountain gods) or dongsinje (rite for village gods) required the believers to ‘eat with the god’.

Since these rites were performed outside where there were not many pots or crockery, they would mix all the food offerings together in a bowl before eating it.

Bibimbap became famous among the Koreans especially during the eve of the lunar new year.

Since they believed that they had to get rid of all the leftover side dishes before the brand new year, the solution was to put all the leftover in a bowl of rice and mix them together.

Today, fans of Korean food do not have to attend a traditional rite or wait for the eve of lunar new year to enjoy a bowl of bibimbap.

A typical bibimbap contains rice, soy bean sprouts, mushrooms, radish, egg, gochujang, sesame oil and sesame seeds.

3.Chinese Fried rice

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Photo by Trista Chen from Pexels.

Today whenever we have leftover rice, the most common thing to do is to make fried rice out of it.

Apparently, the Chinese have been doing it since the Sui dynasty (589-618 CE).

The rice is cooked with other leftover foods such as meat and vegetables.

Usually if these leftovers go bad, they would feed it to the animals. If the foods are still good to consume, they whip out something hot from it and that was how fried rice came about.

4.Chazuke or ochazuke

Speaking of leftover rice, there is one simple dish that everyone can make at home even those who are lack of culinary skill.

Chazuke or orchazuke is a simple Japanese dish made by pouring green tea, dashi or hot water over cooked rice.

It is taken as a quick snack which now is commonly topped with nori (seaweed), sesame seeds, furikake and tsukeono (Japanese pickles).

The history of chazuke can be traced back to the Heian period of Japan (794-1185) when water was commonly poured over rice.

Then during the Edo period (1603-1867), people started to use tea instead.

5.Pain Perdu

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Most people are not familiar with the French phrase pain perdu but only its English cousin French toast.

Pain perdu literally translates ‘lost bread’, referring to the use of stale bread that would otherwise be lost.

The original French toast is known to come with a crisp buttery exterior and a soft custody interior.

Although the name is French, some believe that France did not come up with the dish.

The idea of soaking bread in a milk and egg mixture and then fry it in oil or butter can be traced back as early as the Roman Empire from the early 5th century AD.

Regardless of who created it, French toast is definitely our favourite way to make something new out of a leftover bread.

5 types of Christmas cake from around the world to make at home

The Christmas season is incomplete without indulging in good food and great companions.

And what better way to end every Christmas feast than having a slice of Christmas cake.

If you are looking for inspiration on what to have for dessert this Christmas season, here are five types of Christmas cake around the world:

1.Fruitcake (United Kingdom and former British colonies)

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Fruitcake. Image by

As a former British colony, Malaysians often associate Christmas cake with fruitcake.

The traditional Christmas cake in the UK is a round fruitcake covered in marzipan and then in white royal icing or fondant.

It is typically decorated with snow scenes and holly leaves.

The cake is made with currants, sultanas and raisin which have been soaked in alcohol such as brandy, rum and whiskey.

Thanks to the alcohol content, a fruitcake can be edible for a very long time.

For example in 2017, a 106-year-old fruitcake was discovered from explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition.

The Terra Nova Expedition or the British Antarctic Expedition was an expedition to Antarctica that took place between 1910 and 1913.

The fruitcake was described to be in “excellent condition” and the smell was “almost” edible.

Maybe it is time to store the fruitcake you made this for your future great-grandchildren?

Read on how to make it here, here and here.

2.Stollen (Germany)

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Stollen. Image by

This Christmas cake is not exactly a cake but a cake-like fruit bread with yeast, water, citrus zest and flour.

There are also other ingredients such as orange peel, raisins, almonds, cinnamon and cardamon in it.

It is coated with powdered sugar or icing sugar.

Augustus the Strong (1670-1733) who was Elector of Saxony and King of Poland once ordered bakers to make a giant 1.7 tonne of stollen.

They had to custom build oversized oven and knife in order to make it happen.

Read on how to make it here, here and here.

3.Panettone (Italy)

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Panettone. Stock Image by

While the Germans have their stollen, the Italians have their panettone.

Originally from Milan, it is a type of sweet bread that usually enjoyed for Christmas and New Year.

The typical shape is a cupola but some panettone also comes in octagon or frustum shape.

Unfortunately, panettone is not for those impatient bakers to make.

This is because it requires a long process that involves curing the dough.

However if you can bake sourdough at home, baking this Christmas cake should not be a problem for you.

Read on how to make it here, here and here.

4.Sponge Cake (Japan)

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For beginner and intermediate bakers out there, how about making Japanese Christmas cake?

It is a simple sponge cake, frosted with whipped cream and often with strawberries.

On top of it, there is Christmas-like decoration.

Basically, it is a strawberry cake with Christmas deco.

Here is an interesting fun fact about Christmas cake in Japan.

The term ‘Christmas Cake’ is used as a metaphor term for a woman who is unmarried after the age of 25.

It is a reference to Christmas cake which are still unsold after the 25th.

Read on how to make it here, here and here.

5.Yule Log (France, Belgium, Switzerland and some former French colonies)

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Stollen. Stock image by

Also known as buche de Noel, this traditional Christmas cake is originally often served in France, Belgium, and Switzerland.

It is commonly made from a yellow sponge cake and chocolate buttercream to resemble a miniature Yule log.

The Yule log or Christmas block is a specially selected log burnt on a hearth as a winter tradition in Europe.

This particular custom is believed to derive from Germanic paganism where a portion of the log is burnt every evening until the Twelfth Night (January 6).

According to traditions, one can discern their fortunes for the new year according to how long the yule log is burnt and how many sparks it could produce.

As for the yule log cake, a fork is dragged across the icing to make it look like tree bark and powdered sugar sprinkled on top to resemble snow.

Read on how to make it here, here and here.

10 Malaysian leaf-wrapped rice you should know about

Before there were tiffin tins or plastic containers, our ancestors had a more sustainable way of packing their food, especially rice – they used leaves.

Leaves were also used as plates to serve food.

Being a multiracial country, Malaysia is blessed to have variety of food including leaf-wrapped rice.

Some of these leaf-wrapped rice shared some similarities especially the ones that come from East Malaysia.

Here are at least 10 Malaysian leaf-wrapped rice dishes you should know about:


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Illustration by Arabarabara

Perhaps the most popular type of leaf-wrapped rice is from the Malay community, the ketupat.

It is a rice dish packed in a diamond-shaped container of woven palm leaf.

Usually served during Hari Raya celebration, ketupat is a staple food in place of plain steamed rice.

It is made from rice that has been wrapped in a woven young palm leaf pouch and boiled.

When the rice cooks, the grains expand to fill the pouch.

This gives the ketupat its signature diamond-shaped characteristic.

Similar to ketupat is nasi himpit, which literally translates to ‘compressed rice’. Unlike ketupat, cooked rice is compressed into a pan or a container overnight to make nasi himpit.

These two dishes are the common accompaniment for rendang and curry.


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Illustration by Arabarabara

While the Malay community is known for their ketupat, the Chinese community is famed for their zongzi.

In Malaysia, zongzi is also called bakcang or bacang, a term commonly used among the Hokkien.

The westerners called them rice dumplings or sticky rice dumplings.

It is basically a rice dish made of glutinous rice stuffed different fillings and wrapped in bamboo leaves.

They are cooked either by steaming or boiling.

Even though it is common to find zongzi being sold on daily basis, it is traditionally eaten during Duan Wu Jie or the Dragon Boat Festival.

3.Hor Yip Fan

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Illustration by Arabarabara

Another leaf-wrapped rice dish from the Chinese community is the hor yip fan or lotus leaf-wrapped rice.

This fragrant and savoury dish commonly makes its appearance during Chinese wedding banquet.

The lotus leaves are usually sold in dried form so they must be boiled until soft before using them.

In order to shorten the cooking time, it is best to partially steam the glutinous rice before cooking them with the filling.

Speaking of the filling, the common ingredients are lap cheong (Chinese sausages), mushroom or char siew.


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Illustration by Arabarabara

This Malaysian leaf-wrapped rice is known by many names in Sabah and Sarawak but the common name is kelupis.

The glutinous rice is boiled in coconut milk until it is half-cooked before wrapping it in leaves.

It is usually eaten as a snack. Some enjoy it with dried coconut while other have it simply with sugar.

This delicacy is similar to Kayan people’s serupi or pitoh.


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Illustration by Arabarabara

Speaking of the Kayan people, here is another leaf-wrapped rice from this indigenous community of Sarawak called serukong.

To make a serukong, the uncooked glutinous rice is tightly wrapped in a palm leaf in a triangular shape and then the leaf is tied in a knot to secure the rice within.

Then these small triangular-shaped pouches are boiled in water for at least an hour.

It is commonly served during large gatherings such as Christmas celebration, wedding and funeral.

To peel off the leaf, you can untie the knot to unwrap the serukong or make your life easier by cut it in half.


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Illustration by Arabarabara

Also known as burasa or burasak, this Malaysian leaf-wrapped rice is quite similar to lontong.

It is basically rice cooked with coconut milk packed inside a banana leaf pouch.

Compare to lontong, buras has a richer, intense flavour derived from coconut milk.

Originally, it is a traditional food of the Bugis and Makassar people of Indonesia.

However, you can still find them the Bugis diaspora in Malaysia especially in eastern Sabah.

It is made by steaming the rice until half-cooked then proceed cooking in coconut milk mixed with daun salam (a type of bay leaf) and salt.

Once the coconut milk is absorbed into the rice, the mixture is wrapped inside banana leaves into pillow-like shapes.

The wrappings are then secured using strings. Traditionally, strings made from banana leaf fibre are used.

Today, raffia string is used instead.

These rice wrappings are them steamed until they are cooked.

The common accompaniment for buras is serundeng, a type of condiment made from grated coconut.


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Illustration by Arabarabara

In the olden days, instead of using containers, the Kadazandusun people would bring rice wrapped in typically tarap leaves for their ration while working in the farm.

Today, you can find this Sabahan traditional cuisine during festival or wedding.

This traditional way of ‘tapau’ is the best way of green living because the wrapping is 100 per cent biodegradable.

The equivalent of a linopot from the Sarawak Bidayuh community is songkoi tungkus.

8.Nuba Laya

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Illustration by Arabarabara

From the highlands of Borneo, we have a Malaysian leaf-wrapped riced called nuba laya.

It is made by cooking and mashing the rice into a soft consistency, almost like mashed potato.

Then it is wrapped using leaves scientifically known as Phacelophrynium maximum plant.

The Lun Bawang and Kelabit peoples usually enjoy it with other traditional dishes such as beef cooked with wild ginger and dried chilli and shredded fish.

This rice dish is almost similar to Kayan’s kanen amo.


Here is another Malaysian leaf-wrapped rice from Sabah.

Sinamazan is a traditional food from the Kadazan Dusun community specifically the Dusun Puawang from Kota Marudu.

It is made from rice, sweet potatoes and wrapped using a type of leaves locally known as wongian leaves.

To prepare sinamazan, cook rice and sweet potatoes together before mashing them together.

Then, wrap the mixture using wongian leaves.


Instead of sweet potato, tinapung uses banana to make.

Soak white rice in water until it expands and drain it.

And then mash the rice into a flour-like texture before mixing it together with mashed bananas.

This mixture is then wrapped using irik leaves and then steamed to cook.

Tinapung is a traditional food of the Dusun Tatana community in Sabah.

Do you know any other Malaysian leaf-wrapped rice? Let us know in the comment box.

3 yummy Asian steamed egg dishes you should try to make at home

One of the easiest dishes to make at home using the most simple ingredient is none other than steamed eggs.

Due to its gelatin-like texture, many people call it ‘egg custard’.

In Asia, there are three types of steamed egg dishes originating from three different countries namely China, South Korea and Japan.

Although these dishes are prepared pretty much the same way, they are somehow different from one another.

Here are 3 Asian steamed egg dishes you should try to make at home:

1.Chinese steamed eggs

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Illustration by Arabaraba

This is the most common type of steamed egg dish because it can be found in any Chinese diaspora communities.

Originally, the dish started humbly using a simple combination of eggs, water, spring onions and salt.

Today, there are so many additional ingredients such as minced meat, shrimp, century egg, mushroom, crab meat, vegetables making the dish the more elaborated compared to its plain origin.

To make the perfect Chinese steamed eggs, the best ratio of water to eggs is said to be 1.5: 1.

Additionally, the water has to be warm.

The egg mixture is then poured into a dish and steamed until fully cooked. Remember to cover the dish when steaming or else it will have water on top of the eggs due to steam.

Here is a simple trick to make the egg custard turn out silky; strain the egg mixture before steaming it. This simple trick will make the texture of the steamed eggs to be smoother.

The common garnish for this dish is chopped spring onion and sometimes sesame oil or light soy sauce drizzled on top of the finished dish.

Read how to make Chinese steamed eggs here, here, here.


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Illustration by Arabaraba

‘Gyeran’ means ‘eggs’ in Korean while jjim refers to any steamed dish.

Even by looking at its fluffy appearance, gyeran-jjim looks different from Chinese steamed eggs.

However, the idea and mechanism behind it are still the same.

The difference is when mixing the egg mixture. To make gyeran-jjim, the eggs are sieved and whisked with water until the mixture are completely blended in a cream-like consistency.

For a more savoury taste, kelp or anchovy broth is used in place of water.

To take the dish to another level, additional ingredients such as mushrooms, peas, Korean zucchini and carrots may be added into it.

While Chinese steamed eggs are left untouched when the dish is being steamed, gyeran-jjim requires stirring while it is still in the steamer.

Before serving, garnish it using chopped scallions, gochutgaru (chili flakes) and toasted sesame seeds.

Read how to make gyeran-jjim here, here and here.


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Illustration by Arabaraba

Chawanmushi is made from egg mixture typically flavoured with soy sauce, dashi and miri.

You may also find other ingredients such as shiitake mushroom, ginkgo and shrimp inside your chawanmushi.

Since the name chawanmushi literally translates to ‘tea cup steam’, the dish is usually served in a tea-cup-like container.

This Japanese steamed egg dish is believed to be originated in Kyoto and Osaka during the Kansei period (1789-1801), later spreading to Edo and Nagasaki.

Another version of its origin story stated that it was brought by the foreign merchants who lived in Nagasaki and the dish instantly became a part of Shippoku.

Shippoku is a Japanese culinary style that is heavily influenced by Chinese cuisine.

During the Edo period (1603-1868), Nagasaki was the only place in Japan where foreigners including the Chinese, Dutch and Portuguese) were allowed to reside.

If you have a chance to visit Nagasaki, you must visit a local restaurant called Yossou.

Established in 1866, it has been serving chawanmushi for more than 150 years.

In the meantime, if you are making it at home try the recipe here, here and here.

10 types of donburi you should try to make at home

Raise your hand if you are one of those who always order a hearty bowl of donburi each time you dine at a Japanese restaurant.

Also known as Japanese rice bowl dish, a donburi consists of meat, fish, vegetables or other ingredients simmered together and served over rice.

The best thing about donburi is you can make one with ingredients that are already available in your fridge.

Enjoy your donburi with a bowl of miso soup and simple salad, and now you have a balanced meal.

This dish is perfect for those living alone or if you only need to make a meal for one.

If you are looking to spice up your dinner table, here are 10 types of donburi you can try to make at home:


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Gyudon. Image by

A gyudon is made up of a bowl of rice topped with beef and onion simmered in sauce.

The sauce is usually made from dashi (fish and seaweed stock), soy sauce and mirin (sweet rice wine).

It is believed that the dish came from gyunabe, a beef hot pot found in the Kanto region of eastern Japan.

People started to pour their beef hot pot over their rice and eventually it became recipe on its own.

Here is a little fun fact about gyudon; in the aftermath of the Great Kanto Earthquake 1923, the dish was one of the food items readily available for Tokyo residents who were devastated by the disaster.

During this time, gyudon gained its popularity among the Japanese regardless of their status.

Before the earthquake, the dish was widely known as food for the working class.

Read how to make it here, here and here.


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Oyakodon. Image by Pixabay.

The term oyakodon is literally translated as ‘parent and child donburi’. It is because it contains both chicken and egg.

Together with other ingredients such as sliced scallion and onions, the dish is simmered together with sauce made with soy sauce and stock.

It is unconfirmed on how the dish came about but the term ‘oyakodon’ was first mention in a newspaper advertisement dated back in 1884.

Read how to make it here, here and here.


Katsudon. Photo by Unsplash.

If you are a fan of tonkatsu, this is the donburi for you. A tonkatsu is a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet.

According to historical records, a tonkatsu came about during the Meiji Era of Japan during the late 19th century.

The early version of the recipe was beef until the pork version of it was invented in 1899 at a Tokyo restaurant called Rengatei.

A katsudon is made with tonkatsu simmered in the sauce, caramelised onions and eggs before topping it on a bowl of rice.

Read how to make it here, here and here.


Another dish that came about during the Meiji era (1868-1912) was Japanese curry.

At the time, the British was ruling the Indian subcontinent. Anglo-Indian officers of the Royal navy then brought over curry powder from India to Japan.

A karedon is consists of thickened curry flavoured dashi poured over a bowl of ice.

It is derived from curry udon.

With instant Japanese curry easily available these days, a karedon is just too easy to make at home.


Once you master the art of making donburi sauce, it opens so many opportunities in making Japanese dishes.

The simplest donburi to make is tamagodan.

It is basically a scrambled egg mixed with sweet donburi sauce on rice.

Read how to make it here, here and here.


A simple scrambled egg is too simple for you? Level your egg dish up by making a crab meat omelette.

After putting it on top of hot rice, then you will have a tenshindon or tenshinhan.

This dish is named after Tianjin city in Northern China.

Read how to make it here, here and here.


For a more balanced meal, try to make chukadon.

It is consists of a bowl of rice with stir-fried vegetables, onions, mushrooms and meat on top.

The name chukadon literally means Chinese-style rice bowl.

For its history, it is believed the dish came from a Chinese-style restaurant in Tokyo back in the 1930s.

The stir-fry food is actually called happosai in Japanese which most people believed is inspired by Cantonese ‘Eight Treasure’ dish.

Read how to make it here, here and here.


Originally created by a restaurant owner in Hokkaido in the 1930s, a butadon is a one-bowl wonder made from stir-fired pork seasoned with soy sauce over steamed rice.

It is now not only a popular dish in Hokkaido but all over Japan.

The key of the dish is its thickly sliced pork cooked in a caramelised sweet and savoury sauce.

Read how to make it here, here and here.


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Tempura donburi. Image by Pixabay.

Are you a fan of tempura? With tempura flour so easily available in supermarkets these days, you can turn your favourite vegetables into tempura at home now.

Serve your tempura over steamed rice and drizzle them with tentsuyu dipping sauce, then voila!

A tentsuyu (tempura sauce) is a simple sauce made from dashi, sake, mirin, sugar and soy sauce.

Now you have yourself a bowl of tendon or tempura donburi.

Read how to make it here, here and here.


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Karaagedon. Image by

Karaage is Japanese style fried chicken, made with marinated chicken and coated with starch or flour before deep frying them until they golden brown.

This process is different from making tempura which is not marinated and uses a batter for its coating.

The preferred part of chicken when comes to making karaage is the thigh but the breast will do too.

As for the sauce, mix soy sauce and roasted sesame oil together and add Japanese chili oil if you want it to be spicy.

Once you have your karaage, put it over steam rice and finish the dish of by drizzling Japanese mayo and the sauce.

For that extra green colour in your donburi, never forget to garnish it with green onion slices.

Read how to make it here, here, here.

10 viral TikTok recipes that you should try at least once

One of many ways the younger generation spent time during this Covid-19 pandemic was by spending time on TikTok.

This video-sharing focus social networking service from China is home to viral dance, comedy and cooking clips.

Thanks to TikTok, countless recipes have gone trendy as users keep on trying and sharing their takes of the recipes.

Out of these dozens of recipes, here are 10 viral TikTok recipes worth trying:

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Dalgona coffee.

1.Dalgona Coffee

No mention of viral TikTok recipes is complete without a word about dalgona coffee.

It is a beverage made by whipping equal parts instant coffee powder, sugar and hot water until it becomes creamy before adding it to hot or cold milk.

On how it became famous is all thanks to the lockdowns that came with the pandemic.

People started to publish videos of them whipping the coffee on social media like TikTok, bringing about this beverage’s overnight fame.

Read how to make it here.

2.Baked Feta Pasta

Are you a fan of the tangy, salty, acidic taste of feta cheese? If yes, this is the pasta recipe for you.

It is so simple to make.

Throw in a block of feta, tomatoes and olive oil together in a baking dish and bake it in the oven until softened.

Later, mix it all together with pasta and fresh basil.

There are many variations of this TikTok viral recipe you can find online.

Some call for red pepper flakes and others add in roasted garlic for the extra oomph of flavour.

Read how to make it here.

3.Nature’s Cereal

In February 2021, a TikTok user @naturesfood shared a recipe that he called “nature’s cereal”.

It is basically coconut water poured over a mixture of fruits such as blueberries, strawberries and blackberries served in a bowl and eaten with a spoon like cereal.

Then it wasn’t until American singer Lizzo posted a video of herself enjoying a bowl of nature’s cereal that the recipe went viral.

Those who have tried it said the meal is an energy boost and it also helps with digestion as well as any kind of constipation issues

Read how to make it here.

4.Pancake Cereal

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Pancake cereal.

Speaking of cereal, here is another viral TikTok recipe that pretty easy to make.

Take your pancake batter, instead of making a regular size pancake, use a squeeze bottle, syringe or plastic bag with the corner cut off.

Pour the batter into your choice of tool, then dispense small blobs of batter into a greased pan.

Cook these tiny pancakes into perfection. Put them into a bowl and enjoy your pancake cereal with the choice of your topping.

Read how to make it here.

5.Tortilla Wrap Hack

Rather than a new recipe, this is a fun food hack. It is basically a new method to make tortilla wrap at home.

Simply take a tortilla, cut a slit into the centre and then cover each of the four quarters of the tortilla with a different spread of ingredient.

After that, take the cut edge of the tortilla and fold it into four quarters.

The final step is to place the folded tortilla wrap in a preheated pan until it is roasted on both sides.

Read how to make it here.

Another variation of this recipe is to use seaweed instead of tortilla.

As for the fillings, use ingredients that are usually used making kimbap.

For protein, you can use luncheon meat, canned tuna, fried egg or tofu into the kimbap.

Meanwhile for veggies, use any green leafy vegetables such as lettuce or thinly slices of cucumber or carrot.

Since the seaweed is thin and easily wet, remember to squeeze out the water from any wet ingredients and do not overload your ingredients.

Read how to make it here.

6.Pesto Eggs

One of many easy viral TikTok recipes to try is pesto eggs.

We heard that Chris Evans is also a fan of this fish.

Just drops a few spoonfuls of basil pesto in a hot pan and then cracks your eggs into the pesto.

You can make scrambled egg or a sunny-side-up egg with this recipe.

Eat it like that or have it on a toast; your choice.

Read how to make it here.

7.Accordion Potatoes

Step aside Tornado Potatoes, we have a new cool kid in town and it is called Accordion Potatoes.

You guess it; the potato almost looked like an accordion at the end of this recipe. Almost.

It is actually pretty easy to make.

First of all, peel the potatoes and cut the ends off to square them up. 

Then, cut the potato lengthwise into slices to create rectangles.

After that, place the potato rectangles on your cutting board.

Do not forget to place a skewer on each side of the rectangle.

When cutting vertical slices halfway through on one side, the skewers help you not cut all the way through.

Finally bake it and enjoy it with your favourite toppings.

Read how to make it here.

8.Sushi Bake

This viral TikTok recipe is perfect for sushi lovers out there.

For the uninitiated, sushi bake is basically a deconstructed version of California roll made into a casserole.

The trend started some times in 2020.

To make one, spread the seasoned rice into a casserole dish and sprinkle with furikake.

In a large bowl, mix imitation crab meat with Kewpie mayo and cream cheese.

Then, spread the crab meat on top of the rice and sprinkle with furikake again.

Pop the sushi bake into the oven and bake it until it starts to brown.

For extra flavour, drizzle the bake sushi with extra Kewpie mayo.

Serve it with Korean seaweed snack and sliced cucumber.

Read how to make it here, here and here.

9.Cloud Bread

Perhaps one of the prettiest foods that went viral on TikTok is none other than cloud bread.

And they look like edible colourful clouds.

To make one, all you need is egg whites, sugar, cornstarch and some food colourings if you want to make your cloud bread to be colourful.

Whip your egg whites until it frothy and pale, add in the sugar until it dissolves and finally the cornstarch.

Basically, use the same technique as you making a meringue. Shape the mixture into a cloud before baking it until it turns golden.

Read how to make it here.

10.Salmon Rice Bowl

TikTok gave birth to many social media influencers and one of them is Emily Mariko.

She is known for her recipe videos filled with ASMR sounds of chopping, washing and cooking.

Mariko’s most viral video this year is when she shares a rendition of Salmon Rice Bowl.

Start by flaking the salmon and spread it on your plate. Add in rice, dash it with soy sauce, sriracha and Kewpie mayo on top.

Then, mix all the ingredients together.

To make it fancier, you can always add it other ingredients such as kimchi.

Read how to make it here.

Which viral TikTok recipe have you tried, let us know in the comment box.

All images are stock photos by

The history of strawberry shortcake that you never knew

Are you a fan of strawberry shortcake? If you are based in Kuching, one of the places you can get a hand on a strawberry shortcake is at The Hash Cafe. Pair it with a cup of hot coffee or black tea and you have the perfect afternoon tea session.

However, did you know that the dessert we know as strawberry shortcake today (especially in Asian countries) is different from its original version?

Let us take a look into the history of strawberry shortcake

First of all, there are two types of shortcake. In the American version, a shortcake is a crumbly sweet cake or biscuit that has been leavened with baking powder or baking soda.

Meanwhile in the United Kingdom, the term shortcake mainly refers to a biscuit that is similar to shortbread.

A typical shortcake is made with flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, milk or cream and sometimes egg.

Of all the desserts made from shortcake, the most popular one is none other than strawberry shortcake.

It is made from layers of shortcakes with sugared strawberry slices and whipped cream in between.

The first strawberry shortcake recipe appeared in an English cookbook in 1588.

Back then, the dessert was made from biscuits (or scones) and strawberry served with butter and sweetened cream.

By the early 20th century, the topping was replaced with heavy whipped cream.

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The Western version of strawberry shortcake using biscuits. Credit: Unsplash.

The Japanese version of strawberry shortcake

The strawberry shortcake that most Malaysians are familiar with is the Japanese version of the recipe.

And we all have to thank the founder of Fujiya Co. Ltd Rinemon Fujii for this.

Fujiya is a Japanese chain of confectionery stores and restaurants that was founded in 1910 in Yokohama.

In 1912, Fujii went to the US to learn to make Western desserts. During his stay, he was fascinated with a dessert made with butter sponge cake, sweetened fruit and whipped cream.

When he returned to Japan in 1922, Fujii came up with his own version of strawberries, whipped cream and sponge cake.

It was not until the cake appeared in TV commercials in 1958 that the dessert caught the attention of Japanese people.

The dessert is particularly famous during the Christmas season that some might refer it as Japanese Christmas cake.

Today, if you say ‘cake’, most Japanese would immediately think of this sponge cake with whipped cream and strawberry.

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The Japanese version of strawberry shortcake. Credit: Pexels.

Read about other desserts on here:

Nuns or concubines: Who invented Italian pastry, cannoli?

Know the legends behind these 5 famous Chinese desserts

What you need to know about Basque burnt cheesecake

What you should know about French cake, madeleine

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