Glitz Spotlight: Kristin Tan Takes Vegan Food To The Next Level

Behind the vegan videos on TikTok and Reels
By: agnes
December 7, 2021

Kristin Tan, also known as @eatwkriss is only 17 years old but is already taking the local food industry by storm. Kristin is famous for her cooking videos on TikTok and Instagram, gaining her over 473k and 52.2k followers respectively. But she doesn’t just whip up regular dishes, she makes unique vegan versions of them! You’ve most probably seen the amazing Malaysian vegan dishes that Kristin churns out via short videos. And on this week’s Glitz Spotlight, we sat down with Kristin Tan to talk about how she got into cooking and how she veganises Malaysian dishes.

Knowing Kristin Tan

1. Hi Kristin, can you introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Kristin Tan, and I’m 17 years old (as of 2021). I make vegan food content on the internet; you can find me on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube!

2. You’re very young! How and at what age did you learn to cook?

I think I really got into cooking during the pandemic, so I was 16 years old. There are many resources online via YouTube, social media, and blog posts and that’s how I learned the theory. Then I spent a lot of time playing around in the kitchen, and slowly but surely my cooking improved over time. I also love to watch other people cook like my mom and aunt, because there are just some things you won’t be able to learn elsewhere.

3. What made you want to go vegan and how has the journey been so far?

My main reason why I’m vegan is for animal welfare, and it’s been pretty amazing. Going vegan has helped me to appreciate my culture even more, because I had to recreate my favourite Malaysian dishes. I’ve also made new friends and discovered new types of foods.

Going Vegan – The Malaysian Way

4. You veganise the most amazing Malaysian dishes – which is your favourite and why?

Thank you! My current favourite is Vegan Pan Mee. For some reason, growing up I didn’t like any other kopitiam food, except for pan mee so I ate it every week until I started to appreciate other dishes haha. It’s one of my comfort foods, and the vegan version brings me just as much comfort and satisfaction.

5. What is the biggest challenge when it comes to veganising Malaysian food?

Malaysian food is so flavourful. Even if it’s not a meat dish, ingredients like belacan or dried shrimp are commonly used. They have nuanced flavours so it can be difficult to recreate, though it’s not impossible!

6. Can you tell us your one must-have ingredient?

I really love tofu, I think I eat it every day. If you freeze then defrost it, tofu develops a chewy texture that absorbs marinade like a sponge, making it really tasty. Personally, I like deep-frying it. You can also make creamy sauces and smoothies with soft tofu.

The Vegan Community

7. Why do you think people should go vegan?

In general, choosing the vegan option is better for the animals, the planet, and your health. I don’t think the vegan diet is suitable for everyone though, because being able to choose what and what not to eat is a privilege. But I would encourage people to try it for at least a month or so. The overall idea is that vegan food is bland, boring, and empty but with some effort and an open mind, you’ll definitely gain new appreciation for it!

8. Do you have any other vegan chefs that you follow on Instagram? Can you share it with us?

I follow a ton of vegan food content creators, and it’s always inspiring to see how people can get so creative. A few of my favourites include Woon Heng (@woon.heng), Lisa Kitahara (@okonomikitchen) and Jeeca (@thefoodietakesflight).

What The Future Entails

9. Are you planning to be a full-time content creator? Or do you have plans to go to college – if yes, what course are you planning to take?

I’m going to take A-levels next year and I have plans to further my studies after that, though I’m not exactly sure what course. Being a full-time content creator is definitely an option for me in the future, but we’ll see where life takes me!

10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

By then, I’ll be 27 years old haha! A lot can change – two years ago I never thought I would be here creating vegan food content. All I hope to see is myself being happy and healthy with my loved ones.

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