Of cooking disasters and social media lies

Social media paints an image of how we want others to perceive us. If you want an even more nuanced portrayal, you can pick and choose which social media platform you want to post on. Pinterest for a doughnut recipe or Twitter to just inform people that you’re eating a doughnut.

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(Via Pinterest)

So I was reading the summary of Success Secrets of the Online Marketing Superstars on blinkist, which is basically the movie trailer of books, and this portion on blogging caught my attention:

Your blog benefits from great strategy too.

  • Research: find ways to set yourself apart from competitors.
  • What do they write about?
  • Do they do it well?
  • What is their content missing?

This led to me thinking about this blog. And its name, of course. I clearly am not the best cook nor writer. There are a gazillion recipes for any ingredient, cuisine or skill level out there on the internet. So what makes the jialat cook any different or worth reading?

For most part, I have only shown photos of what I have successfully cooked or look somewhat presentable even if they did not turn out how I wanted them to. If it doesn’t taste good or it looks terrible in the photo, I don’t blog about it at all. However, given the name of this blog, I am guessing that maybe I should. Whether anyone is interested in my cooking failures, is another matter. Here’s my list of cooking disasters to date:

1. Drunken prawns –

I wanted to steam  prawns in danggui and shaoxing wine as I had done so in Palette Sensations (cooking class). However, the dish was doomed for failure before I even started cooking. Why? The prawns were not fresh and the heads were falling off as I was deveining them. :/

Lesson learnt: If any seafood smells like seafood (in a way that is not sweet), stay away even if it’s on offer.

2. Salmon head miso soup –

I love salmon. I just didn’t realise how fishy salmon bones and head could be, disregarding the recipes that advised one to pan fry the pieces of salmon before putting them into the soup. The result? A (not in a good way) fishy-smelling soup stock :/

Lesson learnt: Fry the salmon head & frame before putting it into the soup.

3. Clams –

I also love clams and was thrilled to realised that they are not expensive, even when purchased from Cold Storage. Unfortunately, the process of removing grit from the shellfish is time-consuming. If you buy a pack of clams at 8pm, you may want to think twice about cooking it for dinner that same day, especially if you are very very hungry. I ended up cooking the clams, and washing them before throwing them into my ramyeon – what a waste of all that clam juice.

Lesson learnt: Prepping clams takes at least 2 hours and are not the best choice for a quick meal that can be ready in under an hour.

If I were to think harder, I might be able to come up with more examples but that’s all I can come up with, right now. What cooking disasters/mishaps have you experienced and what did you learn from it?

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