Khairul Amin Kamarulzaman is famous for sharing his recipes and cooking tips with fans on social media, but it’s his sense of humour, honesty, and lively personality which has propelled him to become one of the top cooking influencers in Malaysia, attracting more than 2.7 million followers on his Instagram page (@khairulaming).
Khairul simplifies cooking using his own unique methods, which has made him popular with people from all walks of life.
“I want to show people how to cook a meal in the easiest way possible, using (available) ingredients that can be found in a local mart,” said Khairul.
He posts step-by-step guides to his mouth-watering cuisines, including a variety of delicious and delectable desserts such as his No Sugar Cheesecake, making complicated techniques look easy.
His unique cooking videos are beloved by many, especially during Ramadan.
“I do a lot of research. Before I cook, I think about how to make cooking accessible to my followers. For example, to bake a cheesecake, an oven is needed but some may not have one. I will look at it from my followers’ perspective, and I will put myself in their shoes and think: ‘What can I do?’
“I will try to find ideas to present cooking in a simpler way, to encourage others to try,” said Khairul, who in the past has even used home appliances such as a clothes iron to toast sandwich bread.
“My main intention is to prove that everybody can cook. They just have to learn and practice.
Sometimes, cooking can be simple or complicated, and yet anyone, irrespective of their age, can cook a delicious meal at home,” he said.
Khairul can cook many dishes in a simple manner, but he is particularly loved for his Malay and Western food.
“I like to do different styles of cooking with one recipe rather than just one method of cooking,” said 28-year-old Khairul.
“I used to cook in the kitchen and now, I am exploring cooking outdoors.”
Khairul also has no qualms about experimenting with his cooking style, techniques and ingredients, intriguing and inviting his viewers to look forward to his next video postings.
He also finds suitable substitutes for ingredients used in Western cuisine which are either too expensive or unavailable locally.
“I will try to substitute with local ingredients that are accessible to Malaysian followers.”
He is not just funny and relatable in his videos, but he is also willing to reveal some of his past cooking disasters.
“Once, I flipped an omelette in a frying pan, and half fell into the pan, while the other half fell onto the fire pit on the stove.
“I have accidentally burnt sugar while making caramel sauce, and the entire house was filled with smoke.
“Recently, I wanted to try making barbecue burgers outdoors, but it rained. The meat got wet and I had to cancel my video shoot.
“Sometimes, when a cooking disaster happens, I will still upload it. I do not hide it because I want to show my followers that it is normal to fail, even for me.
“When I try to cook certain recipes, it would sometimes turn out very badly.
“I will always be myself. I would like to be honest with my followers. I will tell them if the food is good or bad. I will always think of them, first, whenever I am choosing a recipe, ingredients, or cooking equipment and ensure it is available or accessible to them.”
Disasters do not deter him, as he learns from mistakes and remakes a dish several times until he gets it right.
Khairul once remade his caramel sauce a total of four times, before tasting success at last.
Success came when he least expected it. During Ramadan in 2018, Khairul launched a 30 days, 30 recipes challenge, and the rest is history.
His followers rose from 800 people to 100,000 within the first week and later, 400,000 within the same month.
“It was shocking. Suddenly, everything changed within a month. To be honest, I was scared, at first. The thought of strangers looking at my photos, my family and friends made me feel, a bit insecure.
“After a while, I got used to it,” said Khairul, who still gets stopped by fans when he goes out, and has been recognised even while wearing a mask.
In the future, he plans to grow the number of his followers on Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok, and venture into creating pre-cooked meals, sambal, or paste products. He also hopes to start an online bakery business.