The first time I met Chef Yenni Law was at the launch of her first cookbook “Meatology” back in March 2015. I can’t believe that more than 2 years had passed since I got to know this warm and vivacious chef. And of course, I have dined many times at her restaurant Meatology in TTDI (which used to be the Boathouse) and our friendship has strengthened over time.
Passion for cooking and her restaurant is what drives Yenni and she’s constantly renewing, revamping and creating new stuff. Many months ago she told me very excitedly that she’s working on her 2nd cookbook and this time with Her World magazine. Imagine my surprise too when she said it’s a compilation of more than 40 rice recipes! I was wondering just how many ways can rice be cooked but I had no doubt Yenni would come up with some amazing stuff. The process was like a marathon as she had to work within a very tight timeframe. Bear in mind that she still had to run her restaurant while working on those recipes. The testing, ingredients sourcing, re-working of processes, writing and re-writing the recipes practically had her burning well beyond the proverbial midnight oil amidst plenty of whisky fumes and ciggie smoke.
Well, long story short, finally Yenni Law’s “The Rice Pot” was published a couple of months ago by Her World. Needless to say, we (and anyone who knows Yenni) are all very proud of her and quickly got an autographed copy.
Recently, the publishers, Her World held a Tasting Party at Meatology (but of course) for media and friends where we all got privileged tastings of some of Yenni’s recipes from The Rice Pot. Her World is no stranger to many of us, me in particular, as I grew up reading this magazine. Yes, way back in the 1970’s as a schoolkid, believe me, and when I started working, a small portion of my salary went into buying this well-loved magazine every month. I always looked forward to the last few days of the month when I would keep a keen eye out for the latest issue to hit the news stands. God knows how many pleasurable hours I have spent since – poring over the varied articles covering everything from fashion, make-up, lifestyle, home matters and food!
Chef Yenni Law with Eena Houzyama (Editor, Her World magazine)
So, you see, being among the people of Her World and enjoying Yenni’s rice creations at Meatology at the Tasting Party was like being on very familiar grounds. Some of the rice dishes we tasted were:
Carmague Red Rice Salad – this recipe is found on page 33 of the cookbook. It’s a playful and light appetizer, with cubes of feta cheese lifting up the healthy grainy red rice.
Steamed Otak-otak – Yenni’s interpretation of a one-dish meal, marrying cooked Thai fragrant rice with seafood like shrimps, squids, crabmeat, fish fillet and mussels. Everything is then mixed with eggs, coconut milk and otak-otak spices and steamed together in one plate, minimising fuss and ready to eat on the go! Page 28 of the cookbook has all the details.
Shrimp Fritters – a more robust version of the local delight “cucur udang” as cooked red rice is added to the batter. Rice flour makes the fritters really crispy and they are delicious when eaten with an Indian mint dip. The recipe is on Page 44 of the cookbook.
Salmon Rice Muffins – these cute babies would be excellent for any party and they are so filling too! Page 42 has the recipe.
Mint Rice with Lamb – The mint rice is made with basmati rice cooked with a variety of spices, cashew nuts and cauliflower. This incredibly fragrant rice can be eaten on its own but we had ours served with grilled lamb loin and tomato raita! Check out the recipe on Page 58 and impress your friends at your next house party!
Seafood-teh Rice – Chef Yenni’s take of bak kut teh broth cooked with assorted seafood with Thai fragrant rice. The sweet flavours of the seafood together with the aromatic chinese herbs make this pot of fluffy tasty rice pretty irresistible! Details on Page 80 of the cookbook.
Rice Crème Brûlée – warning: this is a really filling dessert as risotto rice is used. And there’s also banana, raisins and rum in it – oh my! Spare some considerable tummy space for this! Learn how to make this on Page 104.
Now I’m so inspired to try out some of Yenni’s recipes in the cookbook which is not only reader-friendly but also kitchen-friendly. There are so many ideas to cook with rice (in all its glorious forms and varieties) – from appetisers, mains to desserts!
Lemongrass Chicken – this is not in the cookbook , it’s a new item on Meatology’s up & coming revamped menu!
Chef Yenni flambe’ing the sauce for Crepe Suzette (she loves her flambe, she does!)
Crepe Suzette, a signature dessert at Meatology
This Her World Cookbook 2017 (Volume 84) featuring Chef Yenni Law’s “The Rice Pot” priced at RM18 is available at all major bookstores and news stands nationwide. A digital version can also be downloaded for USD2.99 on the App Store or Google Play.