Cooking at MAGGI Celebrity Potluck with Belinda Chee!

cooking belinda

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.

maggi celebrity cooking

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.

maggi kitchen

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.

belinda chee

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:

fish vege soup recipe

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!

sixthseal belinda

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.

chef muluk

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.

tasting

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.

sarawakians

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.

cooking belinda chee

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!

mystery ingredient cookoff

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

mystery ingredient

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.

ingredients 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!

masak masak kitchen

Our well equipped kitchen island!

dory fish fillets

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.

baking

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 (!!!).

cooking contest

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.

siamese fish fillets

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!

judges

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! smirk

team belinda

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! :)

maggi stock

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.

maggi celebrity potluck

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! :)

RM 62.85 bowl of Maggi Mee with Tiger Prawn, mixed seafood and oyster

start

Okay, now back in the days, my parents don’t exactly let me indulge in instant noodles, due to their misguided belief that it will cause your hair to fall off.

I’m now 29 and I have a healthy crown of hair so I can say with all enthusiasm (complete with an I-told-you-so) expression on my face:

tiger prawn me

MYTH DEBUNKED!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, back then my idea of cooking MAGGI® Curry (it’s my favorite flavor) is pretty basic – 2 packets with 2 (or sometimes 3) eggs.

maggi mee

You know that TVC where this nerdy guy cooks it his way and goes out to the balcony to enjoy his supper of MAGGI® and meets this girl?

boil

Well, that didn’t happen to me but I went to university in Australia and as EVERY person who did their undergraduate degree overseas will tell you – instant noodles is a staple in our diet due to budgetary issues.

However, I did manage to come up with some creativity in my cooking while down under (if you eat it every single day, you gotta find stuff to spice it up, so to speak). I started experimenting and adding in stuff and now that I’m not a poor university student anymore, I still enjoy MAGGI® Mee (Curry of course) but with more…premium, shall we say, ingredients.

recipe

You will need:

MAGGI® Mee (Curry Flavor)
Mixed Seafood – mussels, shrimp, crab sticks
Canadian Oyster
String cheese
Large Tiger Prawn
Eggs

MAGGI® Mee My Way circa 2010 costs RM 62.85 per bowl. Heh!

tiger prawn cook

Tiger Prawn @ RM 34. Don’t over boil this – make sure that it’s tender and juicy when you eat it. It’s actually pretty easy to cook, just chuck it into boiling water seasoned with salt.

mixed seafood

Next up comes the mixed seafood (after you take the tiger prawn out) – use the same stock as the prawn will impart a lot of flavor into the broth.

One habit I’ve never managed to break is using my fingers to test the readiness of MAGGI® Mee – I know it’s two minutes but without a timer, and with my Time Tested (TM) method it’s actually quite easy – just take a bit of noodles up and squeeze it in between your fingernails – with enough practice, you’ll know when it’s cooked.

runny yolk

I like my eggs to have runny yolks so this is another thing you should watch out for. I like to think I’m pretty good at this – making a perfect bowl of MAGGI®. ;)

seafood

Okay, this is cheese. Cheese and MAGGI®, you say? Heresy right? No.

cheese

It’s actually pretty good….provided you don’t let it melt in the soup – just heat it up in the hot soup so the string cheese will be chewy.

prawn meat

The oyster on the top is a appetizer of sorts – a way to make MAGGI® Mee a complete meal!

I’m sure you have your favorite MAGGI® recipe right? If you don’t, you’re not Malaysian but I’ll cut you some slack and point you in the right direction – you can view some past recipes here. Wanna join the MAGGI® Mee My Way contest? There are RM 30,000 worth of prizes to give away with a top prize of RM 8,000 + a RM 100 hamper. All you need to do is to record a video of yourself cooking MAGGI® like the one I did above.

slurp

Your video should clock in at 2 minutes coz that’s the amount of time it takes to cook a packet of MAGGI®! Give it a nice and creative title and make sure you feature all the ingredients you used in the recipe, method of preparation and best of all – how you enjoy the dish!

You know all about the Tim Tam Slam right? Now, here’s the MAGGI® Slurp (TM). =D

I’m sure you’ve all done it before. DON’T PRETEND! I know you do it too. :P

end

Surf on over and do your best on the MAGGI® Mee My Way Contest! Good luck!

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