Sara K.

Healthy Chinese Food with Herbs

Sara K. from Malaysia

About the kitchen

Cuisine Type: Chinese Malaysian. I view food as not only something that satisfies our taste-buds but also nourishes our body. Whenever I can, I make my food from scratch with fresh ingredients, chock full of abundant local herbs like pandan leaves, ginger and lemongrass from my mother's garden. I visit the Chinese herbal stores often to stock up on quality herbs like goji berries and angelica roots (dang gui). I often incorporate traditional Chinese medicine principles into my food e.g when the weather is hot I will make 'cooling' food.

As I believe we are what we eat, I use olive oil, sea salt and little sugar in my cooking. Instead I like to infuse flavors into my food through fresh ingredients and herbs. I only buy free-range chicken and eggs.

Here is a sample menu of what I might prepare:

DRINKS: At my home, family and friends are always welcomed with a glass of lemonade or freshly squeezed citrus juice with no water or sugar added. I often make traditional tonics like ginger-lemongrass tea, roselle and red dates tonic. If you're lucky, you might be served ginger ale I brew at home.

RICE: Rice is a Malaysian staple. I either cook brown rice, nasi kerabu or nasi briyani laden with fresh herbs. Sometimes homegrown butterfly-pea flower (bunga telang), pandan leaves or fresh ginger are added to give extra flavors and boost the nutrient content of this staple.

VEGETABLES: Stir-fry dark green vegetables like bok choy, kai lan and spinach are a must in my cooking. I might make oriental salad to suit other dishes.

POULTRY/SEAFOOD: This depends on what we can get fresh in the market. You might get foil-wrapped steam herbal chicken, Indian chicken curry, Chinese-style steam fish or prawns. Red meat is rarely served in my home. I occasionally use pork in some of my dishes.

DESSERT: I believe dessert can be healthy. I normally serve Chinese desserts like red bean soup, black sesame soup or sweet potato soup - all made from scratch. Occasionally I like to make sago gula melaka, my favorite Nyonya dessert which is hard to come by in restaurants.



  1. NameSara K.
  2. LocationMalaysiaPetaling Jaya
  3. LanguagesEnglish, Cantonese, Malay
  1. GuestsMaximum 4
  2. MealsDinner (20:00)
  3. House rulesNo smoking allowed in the house. Dinner ends at 10 pm.
  1. Bio

    When I was little, I lived right across the famous food street, Jalan Alor which is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. I grew up sampling delicious Malaysian food like wantan mee, chicken rice with char siew, clay pot seafood noodles, hokkien mee and beef noodles.

    A few years ago, I obtained a degree in law. However, my passion in food, health and achieving a work-life balance led me to run an online magazine that promotes simple and beautiful living. I spend my days writing, taking photographs, experimenting with recipes, dabbling in home projects and finding smart solutions to everyday problems faced by modern women.

    Food and health are a big part of my life. My work requires me to search and experiment with easy and quick recipes in the kitchen. I love going grocery shopping, convincing restaurants to share their recipes and visit the kitchens of family and friends.

    I have a wide-range of interests. I'm into culture, books, productivity, technology, traditional medicine, food, fashion, and beauty. My idea of happiness includes reading, yoga, swimming, indulging in home spas, and throwing parties at home. Dinner at home is often accompanied with relaxing traditional/new-age music with aromatherapy.

    Traveling is something I do often. I've been to Paris, London, Germany, Belgium, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Korea, Japan etc. Currently I'm seeking to achieve a work-life balance.

    Ideally, I'll love to spend hours in the kitchen cooking and baking for family and friends. I also love meeting new people. However the reality is I often have to rely on quick recipes and most people have little time to party. So I look forward to have you over and cook a feast!

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