Entertainment: Celebrity couple Karylle and Yael Yuzon take on a Singaporean cooking challenge with Marvin Agustin

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Many people know celebrity couple Karylle and Yael Yuzon as notable figures in music and TV, but little did everyone know that the two wear many hats in terms of passions and creative pursuits.

Sharing their culinary flair with their fans, Karylle and Yael joined Singapore Tourism Board’s new web cooking series, Zi Char or Char Lang. The YouTube show is hosted by actor and restaurateur, Marvin Agustin.


In Zi Char or Char Lang, Marvin invites his celebrity friends to star as the CHARllengers in the cooking series. He will teach the guests how to cook popular Singaporean Zi Char meals — and if the food tastes good, Marvin will say “Zi Char!”, if not, then it’s “Char lang”.

In the first episode, Marvin is joined by Karylle and Yael as they make Pork Ribs King. This dish is one of the best-loved fare in Singapore that uses Zi Char, a cooking method that means ‘to cook and fry’. Zi Char is a favourite amongst Singaporeans for its big servings and exciting taste, fusing various Asian influences such as Chinese, Indian, Malay, and Peranakan.

The pork ribs are marinated in a special batter to be deep-fried and then doused in a sweet and sour sauce. Deep-frying the pork on high heat makes the marinade flavours come out. That’s why for Singaporean locals, Pork Ribs is definitely KING.

“Bonding yung Zi Char experience,” says Karylle. The singer-actress remembers going on a few trips to Singapore when she shot the drama series The Kitchen Musical and Point of Entry. “It’s really something that you would love to share with your loved ones,” she added.

Meanwhile, Yael also has his own thoughts on why he loves Zi Char. “I like the idea of passing down a recipe from generation to generation. It evolves, but basically stays the same.” One of Yael’s must-visit places in Singapore is Chinatown. He takes time to eat at several Zi Char stalls, especially those that are already decades old, to see for himself the authentic charm of heirloom recipes.

While the couple cannot travel at the moment, the Yuzons shared that food has been the best portal for them to reimagine travel experiences.

When asked how Marvin sees the parallels between Singaporean and Filipino cuisines, he said, “They’re very much like us. They enjoy the entire process — the cooking, the eating, and the bonding with friends and family.”

After all the fun they had, Marvin made the verdict on their Pork Ribs King creation. How well do you think Karylle and Yael did? Watch the first episode of Zi Char or Char Lang on SingapoReimagine’s YouTube channel.

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