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! :)

ABC soup and the stone soup folk tale

abc soup recipe

ABC soup is basically a soup where you dunk in everything that’s available to make a clear broth soup. The traditional (if such a word can be used to describe this) method calls for:

abc soup vegetables

An onion (whole)
Carrots
Potatoes
Tomatoes

abc soup ingredients

I used to think that ABC soup is called that because it’s easy as 1-2-3 (or ABC) but I’ve been thinking about this old folk tale about the stone soup story. There are variants of this story but the one I heard is about this traveller who comes into a village hungry with nothing but a pot.

abc soup pot

He asks the villagers for some ingredients to put into the soup but no one wanted to part with anything. He then announces that he’s got a “magical stone” that makes wonderful soup and proceeds to fill the pot with water and puts the stone inside. So, he’s sitting there, stirring what amounts to nothing but water when a curious villager comes over and asks if it’s done.

abc soup cook

The traveller says not yet, but it would help if someone had carrots to put in it. Enhances the flavor, the dude casually mentions. The villager grudgingly says that he might have some carrots at home and adds it to the hot water. This became a cascading effect as the villagers watched the traveller cook his soup – each one started contributing their own stuff – a bit of meat, some onions, tomatoes etc and lo and behold – it was the best soup they’ve ever tasted.

abc soup boil

There’s a moral in there somewhere but that’s not why I’m writing this post. Heh! ABC soup has become something of a staple in our cooking since it’s quite versatile and very easy to cook. You basically need onions (sliced in half), carrots (diced), potatoes (whole if you use the tiny ones) and tomatoes (sliced in half).

abc soup peel

Just use to golden rule:
PEEL the stuff that needs peeling
SLICE the stuff that needs slicing
DICE the stuff that needs dicing

abc soup

You bring a pot of water to boil, add some salt to taste and dunk everything in. Allow this to simmer for 30 minutes or so and it’s ready to eat!

abc soup heat

The best thing about this is that even if you can’t finish it you can still eat (we use more ingredients than soup) it in the middle of the night. There’s this thermos like thing (except it’s much bigger) that we use to keep it warm.

abc soup leftover

I can just scoop some out and eat it at 3 am in the morning if I’m hungry. ABC soup is easy to cook and infinitely customizable – we’ve put leftover minced meat inside too, it goes very well with just about anything. It’s really healthy compared to the other stuff I eat too. :)

Rempeyek making and recipe

rempeyek

I was at Johor during the past weekend and managed to participate in a traditional kueh making workshops of sorts during my time there. This kueh is called rempeyek and it’s made with batter and then deep fried.

rempeyek deep fry

There is a contraption where you pour in the batter, add peanuts and ikan bilis (anchovies) before you dunk it into boiling hot oil.

rempeyek done

I shot a video of the rempeyek making process with the help of Iza a.k.a. Bulb. I made mine with extra peanuts and made sure to keep track of the floating bits of kueh so I can eat the one that I made with my own hands. :)

The recipe for rempeyek goes like this:

Batter
200 grams rice flour
100 gram corn flour
2 cups of santan (coconut milk)
½ teaspoon jintan manis (pounded)
½ teaspoon jintan putih (diced)
½ teaspoon ketumbar (grated)
4 red onions – finely diced
2 onions – finely diced
Salt to taste

Condiments
300 grams peanuts
Ikan bilis (anchovies)

my rempeyek

I managed to get the recipe from the kind folks at the place. It should be noted that the peanuts should be fried beforehand. The rempeyek will float to the top once it’s cooked and once that’s done, you put it on serviettes to soak up the excess oil.

rempeyek me

This is the rempeyek that I made. I like the taste of this classic kueh. It’s a traditional savory local delicacy of Malay origin and I’m glad I had the chance to try and make some. :)

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!

maggi banner

Turkey stew with quail eggs, Portobello mushrooms and apples

stew start

The turkey stew is made with half a savory sauce base and half apple juice. It sounds a little weird and we did this as an experiment of sorts but it worked out really well. The stew takes a lot of time to cook (3 hours approximate) but we also made BBQ pork ribs. The hearty stew is served with slices of French loaf topped with Mozzarella cheese slices seared in olive oil.

You will need:

ingredients

  • Turkey drumstick
  • Pork ribs
  • Quail eggs
  • La MASIA extra virgin olive oil
  • Coat & Cook Honey and Soy Sauce marinate
  • Heinz BIG N CHUNKY Stew
  • PEEL FRESH apple juice
  • Mozzarella cheese block
  • BBQ sauce
  • Potatoes
  • Baby carrots
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Onions and garlic
  • Apple
  • French loaf

turkey drum size

Turkey drumsticks are huge – check out the sheer size of it.

turkey drum slice

The turkey drumstick will be the stock of the stew but we wanted the meat as well so we sliced the turkey drumstick with a knife, going sideways as to maximize the return on investment on this bird.

sliced turkey

Mmm…

apple

We started off by preparing the ingredients for the stew. Chop up the onions, garlic, potatoes and apples. The last two should be cubed and diced respectively. Put the baby carrots into the plate as well.

pre stew

Next up, fry the onions and garlic in olive oil…

fry turkey

…and put in the slices of turkey to sear it for the stew.

stew base

Open the can of stew base and dump it into a suitable sized pot. DO NOT ADD WATER.

stew progress

Throw in the rest of the ingredients except the quail eggs and Portobello mushrooms.

quail eggs boil

Boil 6 of the quail eggs (reserve the rest for the stew) and peel it.

turkey drum

You can also throw in the pasta at this time for the two birds with one stone thing (pardon the lame pun).

add apple juice

Pour in the apple juice in lieu of water – trust me on this. Add about 500 ml or so.

turkey stew

Chuck in all the rest of the ingredients and let the stew…well, stew for 2 hours.

Here’s the video!

marinade

This is where you cook the pork ribs. Marinate the pork ribs with Coat & Cook Honey and Soy Sauce and let it sit for a while.

fry pork ribs

Use olive oil to fry some onions and garlic and put in the pork ribs.

pork ribs done

You don’t want to overcook the porcine goodness so flip every now and then and add BBQ sauce before serving.

thicken stew

After 2 hours (do check on the stew from time to time and remember to turn the heat down) put in a few slices of bread to thicken up the stew.

quail eggs crack

Add BBQ sauce and crack in the quail eggs…

mushrooms

…and the Portobello mushrooms.

stewing

Let it stew (you guessed it) for 30 more minutes with the lid on.

Crack the rest of the quail eggs in at this point. High cholesterol but adds a lot to the taste!

bread stew

Chop up the French loaf to go with the stew and heat it with cheese slices on top of olive oil until the Mozzarella cheese melts.

melted french loaf cheese

Cook some pasta to garnish in the middle of the French loaf with melted cheese…

serving

…and serve with the turkey stew with quail eggs, Portobello mushrooms and apples.

stew end

I’m telling you, it tastes DIVINE. It might be a bit sour but it’ll be nothing a bit of BBQ sauce can’t fix and the medley of sour, sweet and savory notes is something to experience. The stew is thick and full of turkey with quail egg and apple surprises!

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