Food For the Soul

Words by: Gabriela Fannia
Art by: Stephanie Wong

You can ask anyone from different backgrounds and cultures, and they would agree that food is a  huge part of their lives. Food is universal — universally enjoyable. According to trusty ol’ Oxford  Languages, ‘Comfort Food’ describes edibles that provide consolation and a feeling of wellbeing.  Put simply, it could be anything of sugar, spice and everything nice, right? Well, it’s still subjective. As a foodie myself, all things can be comfort food at this point; some days, Flipboard’s fudge chocolate brownie is my comfort food, sometimes it’s the $3 salmon sushi rolls. Yes, our comfort food is never consistent!  

Whilst food that comforts you can be anything depending on your mood, the weather, and your  bank balance, there will always be that special someone — err… I mean special food — that makes you go, “ahh yes” with every first bite. Forget about soulmates, this is your soul food.  

I personally believe that your soul food doesn’t need to be perfect, and it surely doesn’t require fancy spices that you need to google for an image reference. As much as you enjoy munching  your comfort foods, you should be able to enjoy preparing them too. So if your comfort food involves you running through heavy rain, making a return trip across town, then maybe it’s just a strong food craving.  

Coming from a South-East Asian background, I do enjoy food with a lot of spices; but funnily  enough, I find comfort in the simplest of dishes. 

Here’s a short recipe of it: 

My Soulfood Ma Ling Rice Bowl  

*This meal contains pork.  


  • 1 can of Ma Ling Pork Luncheon 
  • 1 cup of baby spinach 
  • Chopped cherry tomatoes (optional) 
  • White rice 
  • Egg 
  • Sweet soy sauce 

Cooking steps: 

1. Cook your rice, until nice and fluffy. 

2. Heat up your pan and fry a big slice of luncheon meat (no oil required; oil will seep out of the  meat when it is heated)  

3. Place cooked meat in a separate plate, and with the same pan cook the spinach and cherry  tomatoes (optional) until soft.  

4. Place the cooked spinach in a separate plate, cook the egg (sunny-side up works best, but  you can do them scrambled) 

5. When the rice is cooked, add them to a bowl and place the luncheon meat, spinach, and  sunny side up on top.  

6. Drizzle a bit of sweet soy sauce. 

7. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.  

Your soul food needs to be yours; a meal that gives you a warm cuddle, a dish that feels like it was meant for you, and only you. Don’t worry if other people don’t enjoy it. At the end of the day, it is your soothing meal, a good reminder that as much as you need to fill your belly with proteins, carbs, and fats, we are humans. We need to fill up our souls too.  

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