Trending all over the internet these days are videos of tiny-sized human meals being made by normal-sized humans beings.
Why are they so popular? It’s probably because these videos embody a human fascination for both the peculiar and the delectable. We’re not denying that it’s most mesmerising to watch a pair of giant hands frost a puny birthday cake with finesse.
So when we watched this Singapore Airlines video that had not one, but SIX! mini meals, we were enthralled.
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All the fascination over such tiny meals had us wondering. Just how difficult can it be to whip up a tiny dish? Surely it only requires a fraction of the effort needed, seeing how it’s a fraction of the size of a normal dish.
We may not have the tiny little knives and miniature stoves and everything else the artist has in the video, but hey -- do we really need them?
Use a normal sized knife and you’ll be more efficient. Use a normal-sized pan and you’ll be able to cook the whole dish at once! Duh, since all the tiny ingredients fit inside.
Shouldn’t be too difficult.
Of the six meals featured, we chose to recreate the steak.
Why? Because everything else was too exotic and couldn’t be bought from Sheng Siong. Saffron sauce? Fava beans? Coorgi Murgh Korma? We don’t even know what those are (But the fancy chefs hired by Singapore Airlines to curate their inflight meals most certainly do).
Nah. We’ll go with the steak (even if we’re not entirely sure what Choucroute is). Also because STEAK!
We wanted to record our re-creation (or creation! as we should say) of the Singapore Airlines steak as closely as aesthetically possible to that of the video. Of course, that’s because our creation has to be as beautifully shot as it was lovingly cooked.
Normal-sized or not, these kitchen utensils will do the job. Who has tiny little pots and knives and burners lying around the house anyway?
With everything we needed amassed, it was time to get cooking.
First up -- to chop everything into tiny, tiny pieces. It was tricky to get everything sliced small and thin, but no fingers were harmed.
Next -- seasoning the beef. Such a cute little piece of meat. So calming. Much zen.
So far, so good. Singapore Airlines could probably hire us as chefs.
Cooking the steak
Despite our initial confidence, we started to get a little wary at this point. Mostly because we saw how puny our piece of mini steak was, on a pan that suddenly seemed to have been enlarged 400 times.
With such a small piece of meat on a huge pan, controlling the heat was an issue. It was a thin, thin line between getting the perfect sear on the steak and letting it burn completely.
We were perspiring. Why was it suddenly so difficult?! The artist didn’t have this problem!
Flustered, we decided the best way to get the perfect crust on the steak was to place it directly on the flame for a few seconds. Just a quick few seconds.
To our horror, the smell of burnt meat started wafting around the kitchen. What the heck? We lifted the steak and saw with sunken hearts -- it had become a sad looking piece of charred meat.
So small and already ruined. They say only the best go so young </3.
Making the sauce
Our pride refused to leave us sulking over the failure of the steak. Sure, we burnt it, but we could still salvage it with sauce – classic kitchen hack.
Making the sauce was easy – add butter on the meat juices and then the red wine. We google-ed it to double confirm.
When the red wine hit the pan with a hiss, it looked like a scene straight out of Masterchef -- Yes! It’s working!
Then we watched the alcohol sizzle. And the little puddle shrunk, shrunk and shrunk -- until it was no more.
WHAT? Why? Pour more wine in!
On the third try, we managed to to scoop up some semblance of the maroon, luscious looking sauce that had dressed the Singapore Airlines steak so beautifully. Except ours looked more like viscous dog poop freshly scraped from a shoe.
With time running out, this was the final chance for us to save our mini meal. We had failed in amping up flavour for the food. We could at least try to make the food look pretty on the plate.
Just in case you were wondering, we also burnt the potato fondant -- that’s the charred, yellow kernel-looking piece. Because of the damned human-sized pan.
42 minutes into making the dish and we were finally done. 42 minutes! We should have just cooked a normal-sized dish.
Curious to know what our colleagues thought of our “little” 42 minute experiment? Here’s a reaction:
You guys spent so much time and came up with this?!
Moral of the story
As easy as it looks on video, the thought, dedication and skill required to whip up a tiny meal is pretty ginormous.
It seems like the main reason why we failed this time was because we overlooked so many details...which is exactly what the Singapore Airlines video seems to enjoy reminding us about.
Thinking that normal-sized kitchen equipment would work for us because we couldn’t be bothered to find tiny utensils obviously showed our lack of dedication and thought.
If we had paid enough attention to the details that go into the creation, preparation and presentation of the dish, we would have been proud of our mini creation.
To be fair, Singapore Airlines specifically hired a miniature food artist (yes, it’s an occupation) to replicate mini versions of inflight meals. Not to mention they also have a panel of international chefs to keep the menu refreshed and a simulated pressurised cabin to make sure the human-sized inflight food tastes awesome at high altitudes.
In conclusion: We lost to skills and experience. And conscientiousness.
Moral of the story: if you want every detail of your meal to be perfect, let the pros handle the cooking.
This sponsored post allows us to consume actual full-sized meals onboard flights, instead of the sad, tiny versions we created ourselves.