I am thrilled to have a brand new shiny cookbook available for sale! It’s currently majoring in Singapore but will be available for sale in Hong Kong, Dubai and Malaysia before too long.
A HELPING HAND: Delicious Recipes in English & Tagalog can be purchased here and is aimed at households across Asia who have two things in common: a love of good food and a Filipino helper.
This project has been a labour of love and is the only cookbook in Singapore to be written both in English and Tagalog.
There is a chapter on local food that uses family recipes from my husband’s Nyonya grandmother, Mrs Molly Ong, who was a tremendous cook (and the illustrations are by my mother-in-law Lynne Ong). The rest of the recipes are Western and are intended to appeal both to Singaporeans and expatriates alike. Singapore is such a culinary melting pot, Western food is no longer the preserve of the expat; indeed it forms a staple for most of my Singaporean friends.
I’ve always loved cooking and, living here, I am lucky enough to have a helper (who happens to be from the Philippines). It quickly became clear that in order to cook the food my family enjoyed eating she needed and wanted recipes written and explained in Tagalog. This was the inspiration for the book. I hope it will make the lives of the thousands of Filipino staff helping in homes here a little bit easier – at least when preparing food that is, quite literally, foreign to them. It will also be – I hope – a support to busy working mums and to families from all walks of life who have two things in common: a Filipino helper and a desire to get good, honest food on the table without any hassle or miscommunication – and at far less expense than it would cost to eat out.
In A Helping Hand, I offer up over 80 recipes, including a cheat’s recipe for Kueh Pie Tee (pictured above), Mama’s Mee Goreng and Chicken Curry. They sit comfortably alongside dishes such as Easy Peasy Chicken Pie (below), Kale Couscous Salad and Roast Pork.
Below is extract from my introduction to Potato Dauphinoise which, although clearly a Western recipe, is still full of local flavour:
“The hokkien ‘jiak kantang’ literally translates as someone who likes to eat potatoes (me) but when used to describe someone in Singapore, the inference is that they speak the way potato-eating Anglos speak (me again) or that they are Asian with a Western outlook (me in reverse). In honour of my love of the humble tattie, my accent and my outlook, here is my all-time favourite potato dish – slow cooked in the oven with cream, milk and garlic. I challenge any non-jiak kantangs out there not to love it. It’s the best thing in the world next to a slice or two of roast chicken.”
I’ve been lucky enough to get a host of endorsements from Violet Oon, PS. Cafe as well as a the British High Commissioner and Philippine Ambassador, which has been hugely flattering and all of which feature on page one of A Helping Hand:
“The Tagalog translations are an inspired idea. It’s glossy pages hold the promise of everyone’s favourites, from chicken pie to mee goreng.” -VIOLET OON, Singapore’s Food Ambassador
“Why hasn’t anyone done this before?! A great idea and thoughtful contribution to the Filipino helper community. Well done Frog!” -PHILIP CHIN, co-founder, PS. Cafe
“It is truly wonderful to see all these delicious, predominantly Western dishes clearly and easily explained in Tagalog. I am certain that this will contribute to an even wider understanding and sumptuous enjoyment of Western cooking. I applaud Frog for this excellent cookbook.” -His Excellency ANTONIO A. MORALES, Philippine Ambassador to Singapore
“A great introduction to some classic British dishes.” -His Excellency SCOTT WIGHTMAN, British High Commissioner to Singapore
To buy your copy of A HELPING HAND: Delicious Recipes in English & Tagalog log onto: helpinghandseries.com where books are sold at the exclusive online price of $39.90 (p&p is charged on top, at cost). If you’d rather purchase in person, still check out the helpinghandseries website for a list of current stockists.
*A donation from each sale will be made to HOME, a society and a charity dedicated to upholding the rights of migrant workers in Singapore.