Wednesday, March 11, 2009

About Me

I like sunny days, just like my pretty pot of portulaca grandiflora!

Welcome & thank you for visiting my blog.

The URL of my blog - 'nyonyapendekmelaka' - which means Petite Nyonya of Melaka, was made in reference to my deeply missed late Mom. I started this blog 2 months after her passing as a way to heal myself and to remember all the foods she had taught me. She was a petite nyonya lady who was much adored by everyone who knew her. She was known for her exceptional cooking skills but most of all, she was admired and loved for her boundless generosity, kindness, compassion and love.

Coming from a Peranakan or BabaNyonya family from the historical town of Malacca (or Melaka), Malaysia, we love to cook, eat and chatter. Our food is our pride. You can read more about the Peranakan or BabaNyonya culture here Peranakan - History & Culture At A Glance.

Traditionally, in the Peranakan culture, the Nyonyas (females) are expected to learn cooking by the time they reach their mid teens. By this standard, I consider myself a late bloomer since I started learning how to cook only at age 18.

I secretly baked my first cake when I was 11. I waited one day until my Mom and sis were out shopping or something. It was a chocolate rice cake, with a burnt bottom! It was one of my proudest moments! Without a doubt, my interest in cooking and baking stems mainly from being my phenomenally amazing late Mom's daughter.

I love being in the kitchen and in the garden. If only I have a big garden! I love to collect table-and-bakewares and recipe books. Can never get enough of these stuff.

In a typical Nyonya household, the indispensable cooking ingredients would always be things like belacan (Asian shrimp paste), chilies (fresh & dried), shallots, garlic, tamarind paste, lemongrass, kaffir leaves, galangal, turmeric, tauchio (soya bean paste) and gula melaka (palm sugar).

I think that successful cooking and baking is 50% interest, 25% inspiration and 25% common sense. I enjoy cooking for those who equally enjoy eating.

Contact me at

Best wishes


  1. Hey, Jocelyn! So nice to get to meet you! You aren't as petite as I'd first thought. Eh ... =P

    Thanks so much for the lovely flower & red packet! I hope I can make you something next time. Sorry that I came to visit you guys empty-handed today!

  2. Hi Jocelyn!
    It was so nice to meet up with you! Thanks so much for the daisy! Very sweet of you. ;) Yes, I have told Singapore you miss her, heehee. :D Do let me know when you are back to visit, we can go Katong to eat laksa! ;D Take care and hope we can meet up again soon. :)

    P.S.: Sorry, but I might have accidentally press "reject" instead of "publish" on the comment you left on my blog! Super blur! Anyways, thanks for dropping my. ;)

  3. Pei-Lin & Bee, it was really nice meeting both of you too. Hope there'll be more opportunities in the future :)

  4. Hello Jocelyn

    Just came across your wonderful blog, especially your Apple Butter Cake With Cream Caramel Sauce which looks absolutely delicious and on my "to do" list. I am currently having a Nyonya fest here in London cooking all sorts for my friends but I'm having problems getting hold of dried sour fruit (asam gelugur) here. Any ideas what to use as a substitute?
    PS I have some very fond memories of Malacca, having first been there 27 years ago!

  5. hi zedman, thank you very much for your compliments :). have you tried searching for asam gelugur in an Asian grocery store? maybe they have it there if you can find such store. or else, try asking a Malaysian food restaurant/cafe there if they would be willing to sell some to you? 2 substitutes i can think of is lime or lemon. it depends what you cook but i think they should work fairly alright. happy to hear you're having a nyonya fest there. all the best and have lots of fun!! Malacca has changed a lot over the last decade or so. but it still has its historical charm. have a good day!

  6. Hello
    I just came across yr blog and I think you you have very nice recipes. I am also a fellow nonya though not that petite due to all the makan sessions. I am currently living in Singapore. I moved from my hometown Malacca 31 years ago...Hope to be a friend. My email as I love cranberries.

  7. Hi there

    I would like to invite you to a "Angry Birds" Cupcakes Decorating class to be held at Cake Connection, PJ. Could you email me your email address and I'll send you the invite. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks.


  8. Hi Jocelyn

    Thank you for keeping the recipes alive. I've added you to my blogroll because I want to keep coming back for your delicious recipes! yummy!

    1. thanks Maya! glad to have met you on the virtual space ;)

  9. Dear Petite Nyonya,

    It is wonderful to think your blog started in memory of your late mother's beautiful recipes. The best tasting food are always our mothers' and grandmothers' recipes. I think it's always good to start developing an interest in cooking at an early age but when I was 18 in university, I didn't even know what garlic looks like. But these days, I count cooking and experimenting with seasonal ingredients as one of the most enjoyable and therapeutic experiences. Happy cooking!

    1. hi ChopinandMysaucepan, thank you for stopping by. yes, cooking is indeed enjoyable ;)).

  10. Hi petite nyonya, I am Chef Ricky Ng, author of 12 cookbooks, mostly nyonya, I am a true blooded Northern baba and happy and glad that you are keeping the Nyonya Heritage alive.My email address is contact me.

    Chef Ricky Ng

  11. I chanced upon your blog and very happy to see a fellow Malaccan. I migrated to Singapore 44 years ago, from Heeren Street, Malacca.