Why Eat Wholegrain?

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Due to the number of food trends, you may be perplexed as to what classifies certain food groups, like whole grains. Grains of all kinds begin as whole grains in their natural state as they contain the plant’s entire seed. This seed contains three parts: the endosperm, germ, and bran, which are protected by a husk to safeguard against external elements. When these three parts are retained, they provide a number of health benefits. It’s no wonder they have been an essential meal component, even in ancient diets.

Good for you

Brown rice is probably one of the most common whole grains, and at Wafuken, our brown rice featured here, imports rice in its raw state to retain freshness, which is later on milled when it arrives in the country, for the best quality. This grain helps stabilise blood sugar levels, and is likewise rich in antioxidants, fibre, manganese, and selenium, which prevent chronic and terminal illnesses. There are various other whole grain options such as quinoa, barley, bulgur, millet, sorghum, and freekeh. These also contain vitamin E, B vitamins, and iron. Studies show that regular consumption of whole grains lessens the chances of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, digestive- and hormone-related cancers, and high cholesterol too.

Easy to prepare

People who have never cooked whole grains before may be hesitant to do so, thinking it requires a more complex procedure than say, cooking white rice, if that is what they are used to. However, this website walks you through the process as it provides detailed reviews on various rice cookers you can choose from. This will make the entire process stress-free as rice cookers do all the heavy-lifting for you. You’ll soon realize that all it takes is following the recommended instructions for each type of grain, and then you’re pretty much good to go. You can also mix it up from time to time – there are so many whole grain options to choose from, so you’ll never run out of new grains in your arsenal.

Delicious alternatives

Singaporean cuisine, or Asian cuisine, in general, is heavily reliant on white rice. If you’ve got a craving for a home-cooked dish but are trying to stay healthy, you can always look for substitutes for some ingredients without compromising flavour. In fact, dietitians like Ashley Koff advise against cutting carbs completely out of your diet as you will run the risk of missing out on essential nutrients. Instead, switch out refined carbs for healthier alternatives like whole grains – it’s a great place to start and you may hardly even notice the difference. You can continue to make Hainanese chicken rice with brown rice, Nasi Goreng with quinoa, congee with millet, or mix-and-match your favourite dishes served on healthy grain bowls donburi-style. The iterations are endless.

Interesting textures, varied flavours, extreme versatility, numerous health benefits – what’s not to love? If you’re still sharpening your culinary skills, Wafuken also offers healthy and customisable lunch/dinner delivery for you to enjoy guilt-free.

Reference links:

Article for www.wafuken.com by Jeni Been

8 EASY Tips to Keep that Waistline through this Festive Season

Regent Singapore CNY highlights

Regent Singapore CNY highlights

Chinese New Year, the period of sinful, calorie-dense treats you simply can’t avoid when you go to any house visiting. With containers of bak kwa (pork jerky), pineapple tarts, love letters, shrimp rolls, kueh bangkit stacked high in each home, together with all the mouth watering festive meals that will be consumed (such as yu sheng, steamboat and many more), it is nearly impossible to avoid over indulgence, which results in gaining a few extra pounds.

Knowing all that, it does not mean that you should not enjoy all of these festive goodies. After all, one of the best things about this festive season is without a doubt, the food along with the company. Everyone is entitled to indulge a little but the key to keeping that waistline is balance and moderation.

Since 8 is an auspicious number, here are 8 easy tips to stay healthy through this festive period.

Tip 1: 

Stay hydrated.

Surprisingly, one of the main culprits of overeating is dehydration. One of the most perplexing trick your body plays on your mind is disguising dehydration as hunger. When you are dehydrated for long periods of time, it often leads to unhealthy eating habits and subsequently, causing you to put on weight over time. 

You may wonder “Why does my body do that?”. It is due to having insufficient water in the liver resulting in the inability to produce glycogens, the substance that gives you that ‘full’ feeling. Having a low glycogen count would often trigger you to start looking for food that are high in sugar (usually processed or baked goods). When there is too much sugar in the blood, it causes an insulin* spike, which stops the body from burning fat until insulin levels are lowered. When insulin levels are too high, it also causes your body to store the excess body fat since it prefers glycogen* as its energy source so that the body will not burn the stored fat for energy. 

*Glycogen: A substance deposited in bodily tissues as a store of carbohydrates. It is a polysaccharide which forms glucose on hydrolysis.

*Insulin: A hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates for energy or for storage till the body requires it. Insulin helps keep the blood sugar levels from getting too high or too low. 

Other than hunger, some other signs of dehydration includes:

1.1 Fatigue

When your body is deprived of water, it becomes less effective in supporting the hundreds of biological processes occurring in the body. The organs would have to work much harder to do their jobs, resulting in fatigue. This will lead your brain to crave for a quick ‘pick me up’ through snacking, and the cycle repeats once your energy depletes. And it all starts from not drinking enough water. 

1.2 Craving for salt

Another bizarre trick that your body does when it is dehydrated is reading thirst as the need for salt. A dehydrated body has the tendency of craving sodium - a nutrient that causes dehydration. What an irony!

However, the occurrence of that phenomenon is due to losing salt and water through sweating, resulting in the body feeling the need to replenish the sodium that is has lost. Our body requires salt for our nerve and muscle function and the regulation of fluids in the body, but we just have to be sure to pay attention to the salt intake in our diets, as over consuming sodium causes not only dehydration, but may also lead to high blood pressure or hypertension, which may lead to heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

That being said, the solution is simply just to drink more water. Be sure to drink at least 2L of water a day to keep the body running optimally. 

Tip 2: 

Watch your portions.

Being surrounded with all the Chinese New Year goodies makes it extremely difficult to resist going for seconds. Instead of going on a complete snack ban, allow yourself to 1 to 2 pieces per snack and be sure to stick with the limit.

As for the bigger celebratory meals such as steamboats or an open house buffet, the trick around this is using a smaller plate! Filling a smaller plate tricks your brain to feel satisfied with much less. This is called the Delboeuf Illusion. 

Tip 3:

Avoid going visiting with an empty stomach.

It is always good to have a handful of healthy snack before visiting. Having snacks that are packed with fibre, protein and healthy fats, keeps you feeling full for longer periods of time as our body digest them slower than simple carbohydrates.

2 common healthy snacks that are readily available this season:

3.1 Mixed nuts

During visiting it is often that we find containers of pistachios, cashew nuts and peanuts laying around. Nuts are rich in fibre, magnesium and have a low glycemic index (GI). They promote satiety* and increase the action of insulin, thereby improving the blood sugar control, appetite regulation and metabolism. 

It is recommended to eat 28g (1oz) serving of plain baked or roasted nuts a day to get various vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals* and gain health-promoting nutrients. 

*Satiety: The feeling of appetite satisfaction

*Phytochemicals: Substances found in fruit and vegetables that are known to protect against cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases. 

3.2 Fruits

Since there are an abundance of Mandarin oranges (a traditional symbol of abundance and good fortune) in each household this season, it is a good snack for curb your sweet tooth, while providing you with vitamin C which supports your immune system, fibre to keep you full for longer periods of time and many other health benefits such as lowering of cholesterol levels and having antioxidant functions.

Tip 4:

Stay Active.

In the midst of all the feasting and sitting around while catching up with your friends and family, it is important to stay active during your free time to burn off those calories!

Make time for a workout schedule and commit to it. Either 30-minute walk or a 10 minute high intensity interval training (HIIT) a day. Do both if you have the time! You can do this the first thing in the morning so that you can refrain from having any excuses or distractions to stop you from getting your workout in. Having a workout in the morning also helps kick start your metabolism and burn calories for the day.

Here’s a 10 minute HIIT workout you can do at anywhere to get your heart rate up and burn those calories. No equipments needed. 

Do each exercise at high intensity for 45 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of rest.

  1. Mountain Climbers

  2. Push-Ups

  3. Squats

  4. Crunches/Flutter Kicks

  5. Burpees

  6. Plank

  7. Jump Squat

  8. Tricep Dips

  9. High Knee

  10. Lunges

While you’re at it, you can download the Health 365 mobile app and participate in the National Steps Challenge™, a physical activity initiative by the Health Promotion Board (HPB). Just by being active, you will be able to earn Healthpoints, in which will allow you to redeem various rewards on their app. For more information, head down to https://www.healthhub.sg/programmes/37/ns

Tip 5:

Get enough sleep

During Chinese New Year, it is a yearly ritual to play Mahjong, Blackjack, and many other card games till the wee hours of the morning. The only problem with that is having insufficient amount of rest which often leads to more snacking and cancelled workout plans. When you are tired, the tendency to snack for the spike in blood sugar to give you a short burst of energy is very compelling. And before you know it, you have already gone through a whole container of Chinese New Year goodie unknowingly. 

But fret not. The occasional all nighter would not totally disrupt your well being. Just be sure to have a balance of rest and play to prevent yourself from getting ill and dampening your metabolism. Take any chance of having a nap while you can to get some rest in. 

Tip 6:

Eat and drink mindfully 

It is no surprise to anyone now that majority of the traditional Chinese New Year goodies are loaded with sugar and fats. 

Here are the calories count for some of the most popular Chinese New Year goodies:

This article was originally published in JustRunLah ( https://www.justrunlah.com/2016/01/26/know-how-much-you-are-eating-this-chinese-new-year/ ). Read more at www.justrunlah.com .

This article was originally published in JustRunLah (https://www.justrunlah.com/2016/01/26/know-how-much-you-are-eating-this-chinese-new-year/). Read more at www.justrunlah.com.

As shocking as the numbers are, it does not mean that you have to abstain completely from it. So long as you are aware of the amount that you are eating as mentioned in tip 2 to minimise overeating. 

It is also important to drink mindfully as well. Did you know that a 250ml sweetened packet drink contains as much as 5.5 teaspoons of sugar? That is half of HPB recommended daily limit of sugar intake. Try opting for drinks that have reduced sugar or unsweetened drinks. However, nothing beats good old plain water, it does the job and best of all, it has ZERO calories.

Tip 7:

Balancing your food intake

While it is enjoyable to indulge in some sinful goodies, do attempt to eat cleaner where you can. For example, during a steamboat, go for the lean proteins first, vegetables next and then indulge a little in whatever else that is on the table. Protein and vegetables have satiating properties that will lower your chances of overeating. 

Tip 8:

Eat till you’re three-quarters full at most

When you overeat, it causes the stomach to expand beyond its normal size to contain the large amount of food. The expanded stomach pushes against other organs, resulting in discomfort in the form of feeling tired, sluggish or drowsy.

Eating too much food requires your organs to work harder. They secrete extra hormones and enzymes to break the food down. To break down food, the stomach produces hydrochloric acid. This acid may back up into the oesophagus resulting in heartburn. If you consume food that are high in fat, which most of the Chinese New Year goodies are, may cause you to be more susceptible to heartburn and sore throat. 

Sources & references:










Eat Better, Live Longer: Understand What Your Body Needs to Stay Healthy / Dr Sarah Brewer, Juliette Kellow

The Magic of Food: Live Longer and Healthier — and Lose Weight with the Synergetic Diet / Michael T. Murray, ND

The 150 Healthiest foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What You Should Eat and Why / Jonny Bowden, Ph.D, C.N.S. 

Singapore Business Review Feature

Edmund Goh Chang Yang, 28, and Jake Pang Zhi Wen, 26, owners of Wafuken

Edmund and Jake have not much kitchen experience and zero business background but have overcome great obstacles and grown from strength to strength to successfully build a solid brand well known today in the health-food industry and fitness community in just one year. Wafuken, located Asia Square’s Food Garden, offers healthy Japanese-style rice bowls.

Edmund has a Diploma in Culinary Skills at Shatec and had a one year internship at The Shangri-La Hotel. Jake, on the other hand, graduated Bachelor in Information Technology from Monash University

After getting his Diploma, Edmund decided to do something different other than following the usual route of furthering his education or diving straight into his kitchen career. He worked as a flight steward for Singapore Airlines to travel and learn more about food and F&B concepts around the world. “Travelling gave me tons of ideas to create dishes inspired by my trips. That creativity has helped create the concept and dishes I now serve our customers,” he said.

Jake meanwhile is self-taught through books, videos and tons of experimenting. He shared that he used to be overweight but started to diet and exercise. He is now selling the same diet techniques to his customers.


Singapore Successful Brand: Wafuken

Health Tasting Good

Healthy food can and should go beyond pedestrian salad offerings, being able to offer as much flavour as they do nutritional content for satisfying and wholly-balanced meals. Wafuken, headed by founders Mr Edmund Goh, Mr Desmond Sim, Mr Jake Pang and Mr Deon Tee, has been delivering customisable, quality Japanese sous-vide both for dine-in and delivery to Singapore’s city-centre since 2015.

Coming from previous fields such as IT, finance and hospitality, the directors united in their passion for cooking while recognising the potential in providing more varied options for nutritious meals. Opportunity waits for no one, as the directors started Wafuken despite not having much prior experience in F&B.

The name Wafuken is a portmanteau of “wafu”, Japanese-style western cuisine, and “ken”, short for “kenko”, meaning wellness. Sous-vide became the cooking method of choice for Wafuken as the gentle cooking method doesn’t mask original protein flavours, nor require excessive seasoning, unhealthy fats or sugar to produce delicious dishes.

Passion is what brought the founders together, with the support of family, friends and staff giving Wafuken its head start. In fuelling Wafuken’s lasting success however, it is the founders’ dedication and hard work that endures. The founders recall “hell week”, Wafuken’s first opening, when a mishap in the kitchen landed Mr Jake in the A&E during a time when they still needed to prepare ingredients until five in the morning.

Today’s Wafuken continues to serve delicious meals based on restaurant-grade meat from premium suppliers, as it is their belief to only use quality ingredients for quality meals. The highly customisable online a-la-carte menu and ordering portal features a large selection of proteins including chicken, salmon, dory, Oyster Blade steak, Wagyu Rump and more.

These can be ordered and paired with varied add-ons such as vegetables and carbohydrates, including Japanese brown rice, for an affordable, nutritious and delicious bowl. With two locations in Singapore’s city-centre, patrons can also choose to dine-in at Wafuken’s new OUE Downtown location as delivery is currently limited to Singapore’s CBD area.

As these affordable sous-vide meals became the daily routine of its regulars while also being featured on radio shows and in newspapers, Wafuken continues to engage patrons and garner feedback for menu updates through social media and regular campaigns. In staying true to its fitness and health roots, the restaurant is also active in sponsoring health and fitness campaigns.

Wafuken would not be where it is today without the consistent support of its staff, and the founders promote working as a family within the team of 22. As Mr Goh notes, “hospitality is key in any business transaction”, which rings equally true for both customers and staff. “If our staff is happy, chances are our customers will be satisfied too.” With benefits such as meal allowances and ample rest time, Wafuken’s staff now quite literally “works as a family” as team members have now also brought their own family members on board to become part of the Wafuken staff.

Wafuken continues to focus on strengthening its brand within Singapore, envisioning more outlets island-side while also rolling out island-wide delivery. The brand is also exploring franchising options for entering current patrons’ home markets regionally and internationally.
Without compromise to dedication in consistent food quality, Wafuken will continue to provide healthier, scrumptious sous-vide options for the CBD and the whole of Singapore in years to come!

iFitness Magazine

Delectably healthy food at Wafuken

Wafuken at Asia Square is one healthy eatery you want to keep in your to-go list. Meat and fish (proteins) are sous vide to ensure it is cooked evenly, and that it retains moisture, flavour and most importantly, nutrients.

This method of cooking is usually used in higher end gourmet restaurants but more chefs are beginning to learn the benefits of sous vide and choosing to use it in their kitchens. Yet it is still a rarity in food stalls located in foodcourts, which is why Wafuken is unique in their offerings.

Wafuken’s food also does not contain unhealthy fat or excessive sugar. They season and flavour their dishes with a combination of herbs, spices and quality ingredients. But the proof is always in the pudding and Wafuken does not disappoint.

Their signature Truffle Wagyu Don (S$24.90) is amazing and you will likely get hooked on it. The sous vide Wagyu steaked is so tender and flavourful. It is seasoned with truffle salt and topped with black winter truffle oil. It is perfect on its own but if you are into stronger flavours, you can choose the Garlic Soy or Yakiniku Tare sauce.

The Chicken Don (S$8.90) with their sous vide chicken breast seasoned with shiso salt, is deliciously healthy and the most affordable set on their menu.

If you are feeling a little fussy or maybe creative, you can also create your own meal with a choice of one protein and two vegetables/carbs. Prices vary depending on the choices you pick. A sous vide salmon with asparagus, soba salad, plus an add-on onsen egg will set you back about S$14.90.

You can check out their full menu online at www.wafuken.com


Pinky Piggu Feature


Wafuken @ Asia Square ~ Food Kisok That Sells Healthy Japanese Rice Bowls

My tummy was fixed on getting that Instagram-lovely bowl of beef donburi from Wafuken, but Mr Ang made a special mention that the owners are hot. "Hot", according to the recent "Hot Hawkers" feature by Straits Times.

A meal with both good looking food and owners? Why not? Humans are such visual beings. Haha!

Located at Asia Square Tower 2 where the food garden is, Wafuken positions itself as a food kiosk that sells healthy Japanese rice bowls.

And looking at the owners' lean physique, it does give the healthy concept a credibility edge. Meet Edmund Goh, 27, a Shatec Institute culinary graduate and ex-SIA crew, and Jake Pang, 25, an avid boxer and gym-goer.

They use high quality non-frozen meat, and employ the sous-vide cooking method to retain its moisture and nutrients. Seasoning is minimum, and Australian brown rice is served (instead of Japanese rice) for more flavor and fibre.

Sounds really guilt-free!

Our bowl of Truffle Wagyu Don ($24.90) looked promising with pinkish slices of grain-fed, Kobe BMS 8 wagyu rump seasoned with truffle salt and perfumed with black winter truffle oil. The sous vide beef was tender, but lacked the smoky aroma which I seek. While it is highly recommended to enjoy it on its own, we thought a generous dash of the garlic soy sauce gave a much-needed lift to the overall taste.

Accompanied by an onsen egg and brown rice which gave a nutty and chewy bite, the bowl did feel "cleaner and lighter" than usual. Suitable for you who are looking for a healthier choice.

Besides the Truffle Wagyu don, there are also choices of Beef (Sirloin Steak) Don ($14.90), Chicken Don ($8.90) and Salmon Don ($12.90), as well as "Create Your Own" option.


Daniel Food Diary Feature

“Wafu” is a Japanese style of western cuisine, while “Ken” is shortened from the word “Kenko”, which means wellness in Japanese.

There are 2 Wafuken outlets in the CBD – the first at Asia Square Tower 2, the other at Downtown Gallery.

Wafuken focuses on cooking ALL their proteins using the sous-vide method. I found that the process helped for certain food items such as chicken breasts in keeping them juicy and smooth, but may not be so for all types of meats.

When it comes to ordering, there are 2 steps – choose your proteins, then the sides.

The proteins include Chicken Breast ($4 for half, $6 for full), Dory ($8), Salmon ($10, $12 for salmon belly), Oyster Blade Steak ($7 for half, $12 for full), Hamburg Steak ($10) and Wagyu Rump ($20 for half, $30 for full).

The sides range from Steamed Vegetables, Furikake Japanese Brown Rice ($2.00) Sweet Potato Salad ($2.00), Chawanmushi ($2.00), Wafu Salad ($2.00), and Cold Soba ($2.00).

While this allows customisation, I thought that the portion could be on the pricier side when compared to other salad and grain places around. If you order say 2 proteins and 2 sides, it might have cost more than 20 bucks.

Recommended items to order include the tender Chicken Breast ($4, $6), Salmon which is sous vide then torched to finish for an aburi aroma, and Wagyu ($20, $30) rated BMS 5, sous vide for 12 hours, then given a flame grilled treatment.

I liked the inclusion of Chawanmushi, not often found elsewhere, but included protein in the form of steamed egg, and some wobbly smooth texture in the mix.

As I don’t see any other salad place at Downtown Gallery with the exception of a salad vending machine (maybe I missed out), my humble suggestion is to ‘beef up’ on raw greens – to have spinach, romaine, wild rocket. Possible?


Straits Times Feature


Wafuken, a food stall at the Asia Square Food Garden, specialises in sous vide meat and fish options that are pan-seared, torched or grilled when served.

First, you choose a protein - chicken breast, dory, salmon, steak, hamburger patty or truffle wagyu rump (from $4 a serving and upwards). Next, you can pick the don buri option ($4) with seasoned Japanese brown or white rice, served with an onsen egg; or opt for a choice of carbs ($2 each) ranging from rice to pasta to soba. Side dishes (from $1 to $2.50 a serving) include steamed vegetables, tofu and more. Expect to pay about $10 and upwards for your grain bowl.



Her World Magazine

Looking fit and healthy comes in handy when running a health food kisok, say the co-owners of Wafuken, a two-week-old kiosk that sells healthy Japanese rice bowls.

Mr Jake Pang, 25, says it is much easier to initiate dining collaborations with gyms. He says: "Sadly, the world is superficial, but it is easier to sell a health- related concept when you look healthy and fit."

He and his business partner and former army buddy Edmund Goh are avid gym-goers who dabble in sports such as boxing, mixed martial arts and calisthenics work-outs.

Mr Pang, who is attached, took part in inter-gym boxing matches when he was an Information & Technology undergraduate at the University of Melbourne. He says being good-looking and eloquent helped in negotiating with food suppliers and bank staff when starting up the business.

The stall sells Japanese rice bowls topped with the likes of chicken breast seasoned with shiso salt and Australian wagyu with truffle oil. And business has been brisk, with about 200 bowls sold a day. Both he and Mr Goh spend most of their 15-hour work days in the kitchen, while their shop assistants tend to customers.

Mr Goh, 27, a culinary arts graduate from Shatec Institute, was an air steward with Singapore Airlines for two years before quitting to try his hand at his first business venture.

The 1.75m tall bachelor, who has a brown belt in taekwondo, says that when he was with SIA, some female Japanese passengers called him kawaii (cute in Japanese).

He adds cheekily: "I'd rather customers say that the food we serve looks good, but I wouldn't mind if they comment on our looks too."