Meet Anaa Saber, home cook, creative consultant, editor and entrepreneur based in New York City. She's known to make magic in her kitchen, so we caught up with her to hear about the roles of food and cooking in her new routines at home.
What are you cooking this week?
I was really craving some Chinese food the other day, so I thought, why not go ahead and whip it up myself. I decided to make orange chicken, which was probably my best decision of the day.
For the chicken, you marinate it in a batter of eggs, soy sauce, and cornstarch to tenderize the chicken before frying. Fry in oil in your Big Pan and leave to dry after. For the sauce I cook it separately in a Small Pot using water, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest, ketchup, sesame oil, and Chinese five spice, it will thicken up once you put it on heat. Pour over chicken, top it with sesame seeds, green onion, splash more sesame oil and enjoy!
Can you give us some advice for making cooking at home more enjoyable?
I love cooking and have personally found it to be very therapeutic these days. I love playing some music while I'm cooking, it helps me get in the zone. My kitchen has fixtures and appliances that we've kept from the 80s because they don't make 'em like this anymore. I love my mum's black and white kitchen – I will forever have the best memories from it.
What are three ingredients you’ve been using the most over the past week?
Since I have access to my garden, I've been cooking with a lot of herbs; mint, parsley, basil, cilantro, scallions, etc. Herbs can completely transform any dish and take it to the next level. I make herb aioli, I juice them, use them to top off dishes. Plus, they're great for you.
When you're tight on time, what's your go-to meal?
Pickling veggies has been my favorite hack these days, mainly because it enhances the taste of any dish you're making, and it's incredibly simple! I cut up onions, jalapenos, carrots and add some herbs and spices and leave them in different jars to pickle overnight. It's great because if you're making tacos or salads or burgers, you already have the veggies pre-cut, and you can just add it on. Not to mention my ancestors would be smiling down on me watching me pickle these days!