- Cooking Area -
A place which you would go when you are
A place where the Nyonyas exchange their recipes...
the stomach of the house.
The 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.
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.
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.