I had the awesome opportunity to cook with Belinda Chee a couple of days ago! She created a hearty Fish and Vegetable Soup recipe and I helped her create the dish. It’s a contest called Celebrity Potluck organized by MAGGI and we were the second team to present a dish.
I asked Belinda about why she choose this recipe – it’s something that she cooks herself at home and it’s easy to cook but tastes delicious at the same time.
The first team came up with a Seafood/Vegetable Tom Yam Soup. Peter Davis (of Mixed Martial Arts fame) cooked the first one and Sazzy Falak cooked the vegetarian version. It’s basically the same thing, except one has more protein in it, had a nice chat with Peter about MMA competitions and weights categories too.
Anyway, I actually cooked twice in this MAGGI Celebrity Potluck event. The first was helping Belinda out with her recipe and it goes like this:
Yup! I didn’t realize that the walls of MAGGI Masak-Masak Kitchen was actually hand-written with the 3 recipes from the 3 different teams. It was so nicely done I thought it was the décor!
The trick to Belinda’s Fish and Vegetable soup is to stir-fry the thinly sliced shallots with a bit of oil in the pot first before anything else. Chopped garlic and ginger was added to the mix and sautéed for a while for that extra bit in taste.
The item that makes this really fast and easy are the MAGGI Ikan Bilis Stock Cubes. These are soup cubes (ikan bilis is the local word for anchovies) that produces the wonderful flavor and aroma. It’s really very versatile as I came to find out later.
I tasted it while we were cooking and it’s delicious! You just need 2 MAGGI Ikan Bilis Stock Cubes for 1 litre of water – it’s a standard, convenient pre-measure that makes it easy to scale up or down.
That makes it really convenient to cook delicious and fast dishes! Two MAGGI stock cubes for each liter of water, it can’t get any easier than that. It’s also surprisingly tasty since the ingredients they use basically concentrates the flavors so you get instant stock/soup/topping/whatever you can think of.
The Fish and Vege Soup was left to simmer for 15 minutes and served to the audience afterwards. I didn’t get to eat this one coz it was all gone by the time I got down from the kitchen on the stage. Haha!
No worries though coz there’s a second cooking competition! I was paired with Belinda again and 4 other members of the media joined us for the MAGGI Mystery Ingredient team challenge to create a dish with the following:
- 1 mystery ingredient
- MAGGI Stock Cubes
- Ingredients from the table
- 30 minutes for everything
It felt like a I was in one of the popular cooking shows on TV. Heh. We got “Dory Fish Fillet” from the mystery box and there was a mad rush to grab items from the table.
We could only use those and some of them were nicked by other teams and once it’s taken, it’s gone, we had to make do with what’s left!
Our well equipped kitchen island!
We wanted to make something a little different so we went fusion and decided to bake the fish fillets. We’ll just use ginger, garlic, shallots, button mushrooms and celery (I know, a lot of people went “Celery?” too, but it worked out well) to pile on top of the dory fish fillets.
The fillets were sliced and then marinated – the most important part of the cooking. It was a quick marinade (more of a topping) made with MAGGI Tom Yam Stock Cubes. We crushed two of the cubes into 2 tablespoons of water (it’s very versatile – you can use it like this too) and then realized we didn’t have starch to thicken the mixture (!!!).
Luckily, there was custard powder on the table. It’s flavor neutral e.g. not sweet, and it coagulates the tom yam topping to the texture we wanted, so that’s perfect! We dissolved that into the hot water with 2 MAGGI Tom Yam Stock Cubes and poured the mixture on top of the fish fillets before adding MAGGI Thai Chilli Sauce and MAGGI Concentrated Chicken Stock and chucking it into the preheated oven (220 Celsius) for 5 minutes.
We were running out of time and we thought 5 minutes wasn’t enough but that’s all the time we had in the 30 minute cooking challenge. It turned out fine coz dory fish fillets cooks really fast! We all tasted it and concluded it was delicious!
I ate a lot of it myself coz it was so good! There were a couple of fish fillets left after we plated 3 of them for the judges (Siew Ling, the Brand Manager was one of them) and everyone came in and ate some. We didn’t have enough to serve everyone – it’s my fault guys, sorry, I was the one who ate the rest of the fish fillets. I evaded the question at the time, but it was me who ate it all. I apologize. It was tooooo good!
Our dish was presented to the judges and we didn’t win but we all got a consolation prize anyway! It was a large senduk (a kitchen utensil used for scooping stuff from liquids) which was perfect! I cook a lot more nowadays since it’s a common hobby I share with my girlfriend. I cook for her sometimes, she cooks for me sometimes. The MAGGI stock cubes will really come in handy here. I want to try out Awal’s recipe for Golden Braised Chicken with Fresh Mushrooms. It was the winner and a well deserved one! It’s so tasty that I must cook it at home – I shall be using the recipe add to my kitchen accomplishments! Haha! 🙂
It was a really fun session! Thanks for helping with the photos Sue Ann! 🙂 I got to cook in a nice kitchen (the MAGGI Masak-Masak Kitchen is really something) and got great tips from the MAGGI Executive Chef (Chef Muluk) and I learned the versatility that comes with MAGGI Stock Cubes. The sky is the limit, it’s not just for soup, but can be used for practically anything! I can’t wait to try it in my kitchen. I’m planning to cook a nice dinner as a surprise for my girlfriend during our anniversary and I bet she’ll love the golden braised chicken. It’s always better to cook than to eat out, I believe – cooking comes from the heart.
We named our dish Siamese Fish Fillets. The crunchy texture of the shallots and ginger goes really well with the baked dory fish fillets topped with MAGGI Tom Yam Stock Cubes. I’ll share the recipe we used if anyone is interested! 🙂