Chronicling Nyonya Cuisine


Ong Jin Teong painstakingly records – and sustains – the exquisite art of Nyonya cooking.

Inspired by the multicultural influences that have for centuries shaped Peranakan cuisine, Dr Ong Jin Teong decided to undertake an in-depth exploration of Nyonya food and its many gastronomic wonders. Born and bred in a Penang Nyonya family, Ong credits his late mother Khoo Chiew Kin for starting him on his culinary quest. A soughtafter authority on the subject today, Ong is also the author of Penang Heritage Food: Yesterday’s Recipes for Today’s Cook.

I met Ong during the September launch of his second book, a compilation of heirloom recipes titled Nonya Heritage Kitchen: Origins, Utensils and Recipes, to discuss how Penang Peranakan cuisine varies from its Malaccan and Singaporean counterparts. Both Penang and Singapore Peranakan food is strongly influenced by its Malay and Hokkien origins.

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