The Peranakans - Kitchen

 

Introduction
Introduction

Ancestral Hall
Ancestral Hall

 Bridal Chamber
Bridal Chamber

 Living Room
Living Room

 Kitchen
Kitchen
Peranakan Cooking
Recipes

 Bedroom
Bedroom

 Library
Library

 Bibliography
Bibliography

 Credits
Credits

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Project Narrative

    
 

Kitchen
- Cooking Area -

A place which you would go when you are hungry...

A place where the Nyonyas exchange their recipes...

the stomach of the house.

    
     T
he heavy aroma of herbs and spices would fill the air as you step into the cooking area. Traditionally located at the back of the house, the kitchen is the heart of a Peranakan house where food is prepared in the midst of the exchange of gossip and news among the women of the household.

        The furniture of the Peranakan kitchen tended to be utilitarian. Wooden meat safes with wire-mesh sides were used to store food and were either suspended from the ceiling or placed in a corner of the kitchen.

batulesong.jpg (17641 bytes)
Batu Lesong

       Stone implements used for grinding  and pounding included the batu giling, batu lesong and batu boh. One sight that was familiar in most Peranakan kitchens was the nyiru used to sun-dry spices.

       One of the most important features of a Peranakan kitchen is the shrine of the Kitchen God, usually set up near the stove. The deity was represented by a slip of symbolic red paper or a wooden plague inscribed with the name of the deity. The Peranakans believe that the Kitchen God observes the ongoing activities in the household and ascends to heaven to report the behaviour of the family to the Heavenly Emperor at the advent of Chinese New Year. To ensure favourable reports, the household will offer sticky cakes such as kueh bakul and huat kueh to the Kitchen God, hoping to inspire him to give a favourable report.