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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Low Bee Yin: Introducing the flavours of Malaysia to the world

Posted: 02 May 2014 09:00 AM PDT

From a little food blog to record family recipes, Rasa Malaysia is now on a global platform introducing Malaysian food to Americans and the world.

THE biggest independent Asian recipes site on the Internet, Rasa Malaysia was ranked ninth in the world by The Daily Meal in its list of Top 25 Food Blogs 2013. And soon, fans of Rasa Malaysia will get to watch its founder, Low Bee Yinn in action as she recently teamed up with Life Inspired to shoot a series of television shorties, Flavours Under 30.

The eight vignettes will air on Ch 728, starting this month, with each vignette featuring one of her recipes that is hassle-free and will take less than 30 minutes to prepare.

At Rasa Malaysia, Low actively updates her site with at least three articles per week. The site offers some 700 recipes, and has garnered some two million followers on social media channels.

As she is based in the United States, Rasa Malaysia is catered to Americans. To suit their taste buds, she sometimes reduces the spiciness of the dishes.

According to Low, Malaysian food is not very popular in the US, but that doesn't mean that it's hard for her to get all the ingredients needed. Almost everything she needs to prepare Malaysian dishes is available in nearby grocery shops, except for torch ginger flower (bunga kantan), which is the soul for many nyonya dishes. Low said she would not substitute bunga kantan and prefers to skip that ingredient entirely.

With Rasa Malaysia, she keeps to her tagline of "easy Asian recipe", with recipe reliability an important emphasis for her.

"I summarise recipes that sound complicated and make it easier for others," she said. "For every recipe, I test it in my kitchen and only when it is yummy, will I share it online."

Bearing in mind most people have hectic schedules, especially on weekdays, she prepares easy, but delicious and nutritious recipes. During weekends, when people have more time to cook, complicated recipes for a family dinner may be posted online.

Considering that Rasa Malaysia receives a high volume of page views and unique visitors per month, she strongly feels that Facebook and the site are important platforms to share her daily food ideas.

When asked whether it is necessary to constantly post recipes online, she replied: "Not really, as I have a constant stream of traffic regardless. However, I want to keep sharing new recipes with my fans and readers whenever I can."

At the time of her first post back in 2006, Low, who was the director of International Development of MySpace, had no intention of transforming her passion into a full-time job.

An easy fish dish for Flavours Under 30 by Rasa Malaysia's Low Bee Yinn. GLENN GUAN/The Star

An easy fish dish for the show.

Rasa Malaysia started out exclusively as a Malaysian recipe blog. But after a couple of years into it, she expanded it to cover Asian recipes – thanks to the rave reviews that she got from her friends.

"I started the blog to document my family's recipes so I never expected myself to be so famous nor to be introducing Malaysian food to the world. But now I'm educating the world about Malaysian food," said Low, who has a cookbook, Easy Chinese Recipes that is one of the best selling Chinese cookbooks on Amazon.

"I think Malaysian food is one of the most underrated cuisines in the world. We have an amazing array of dishes with complex flavour structures. The world should be aware of what we have to offer," Low said.

With years of experience under her belt and having been exposed to different kinds of food and cooking styles, figuring out a recipe to a dish comes naturally to Low. So it's not surprising that Low can produce a dish similar to the one she tasted.

Low Bee Yinn has taken her Rasa Malaysia website to unimagined heights. GLENN GUAN/The Star

Low has taken her Rasa Malaysia website to unimagined heights.

"You can easily crack the recipe code after trying out different types of food. Cooking is an art you can modify. It is up to you to put in the amount of salt, sugar and spices," Low said.

Low also shares that cooking is not as difficult as what many think – you will get the hang of it once you understand the fundamentals of cooking. To her, it is not impossible for everyone to cook, as it is not something that you can't achieve.

When situations do not go as planned, she holds on to the mantra "anything is possible, the right time will eventually come". Her loyal fans have been the biggest motivation for her.

In the near future, Low hopes to expand her empire. "I would like to have an e-book, perhaps to offer video contents. I also hope to do more videos for TV," she said.

After growing up and spending most of her life in Penang, Low suggests everyone to try out the local street food, instead of an upscale restaurant. While speaking, she couldn't help but reminisce about those tough times when her late parents were there for her.

"I love Hokkien Mee and Asam Laksa! These are my favourites! When my friends are in town, I always ask them to try out the street food and watch it being fried right in front of them."

To find out more about Low and her unique recipes, watch Flavours Under 30 on Life Inspired Astro B.yond Channel 728 starting this month. Low's recipes can be obtained from rasamalaysia.com

'The Mindy Project' loses its optimistic receptionist

Posted: 01 May 2014 09:10 PM PDT

Show regular Zoe Jarman is leaving the series but may return as guest star.

Fox's The Mindy Project is downsizing for its third season. Regular Zoe Jarman will be leaving the series, a show representative told TheWrap.

Jarman has played the reserved and optimistic receptionist for the OB/GYN office, Betsy Putch, since the series' debut in September 2012.

The show rep released the following statement: "The character of Betsy Putch, played by Zoe Jarman, is still alive and well in the world of The Mindy Project. However, Zoe will not be returning as a series regular. She has been asked to guest star, so it's possible that fans will see her next season."

There was no further explanation on the reason Jarman has been downgraded to a possible guest star.

Fox gave The Mindy Project an early renewal in March, along with two other shows: the Andy Samberg cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Kevin Bacon thriller The Following. The Mindy Project has been averaging 3.8 million total viewers in its current second season. — Reuters

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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