Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Invention Test @ Malaysia's Blogger MasterChef Semi-Finals

So, after we drew our numbers, we went into the kitchen to find our respective cooking stations and prepare for the Invention Test. I was very pleased with the cooking station that I got.... I think I got the workstation with the most space. My lucky stars must be shining on me :)

Each of us got a MasterChef Malaysia apron to put on

 My workstation and the box of mystery ingredients

So what is an Invention Test? A mystery box with one main ingredient will be given to each contestant and the contestants must invent and cook a dish in 45 minutes from scratch.

The invention test may look easy on TV, but trust me.. it is NOT. Firstly, you have to work in a kitchen you are unfamiliar with - we weren't given a tour of the kitchen and had to find our own way around it. At home, I could cook at my own leisure and had all the ingredients I needed for a recipe/dish available to me. Herbs and dairy products were provided here but in limited amounts, basically you need to be very quick and grab all the ingredients that you need. I had wanted to make a minty pineapple salad, but couldn't get my hands on any lime so I had to ditch that idea. We also had pretty limited kitchen tools ie 1 frying pan, 1 spoon, 2 bowls etc so had to just work with what we were given and make the best out of it. With only 45 minutes given to us, I definitely felt the pressure.

And the mystery ingredient that we got was..... PRAWNS! We were given 8 prawns each, and luckily, they were really fresh.

We were told to use as many ingredients as we could from the mystery box and also all the prawns given to us. I was actually quite pleased with the selection of fruits and vegetables given to us, very colorful.

Box of mystery ingredients

At each workstation, contestants would be given these basic cooking ingredients - cooking oil, vinegar, tomato ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper. I quickly grabbed some herbs, sugar and olive oil from the communal stash at the other end of the kitchen.

 Big, fresh prawns 

 I like the apron very much, but we weren't allowed to take them home...

To be honest, I didn't even know what other equipments were provided to us here. I just stuck to my frying pan, chopping board and knife, too busy to walk around the kitchen to look for things. Only when I came home and saw the photos did I know what was available.

Cute mixer

Very busy kitchen  - contestant's friends and family were allowed in to watch and take photographs.

 Contestants busy preparing 

I was at the front of the kitchen, but I didn't have much time to look around and see what the other contestants were up to! The clock is ticking... tick tock tick tock..

What were the contestants cooking? So many possibilities...

Someone was boiling potatoes 

One was seen dicing her prawns

One was making a special sauce for their prawns

Mmmm I wonder what he is doing..

Fry them

Cook a sauce perhaps?

Meanwhile, I was deveining my prawns..

Still deveining

Haha I must be the slowest prawn-deveiner in MasterChef history... 

Still not done.. lol

Finally done! I then marinated the prawns with some "mystery ingredients"...

Everyone concentrating hard

Really quiet outside at the main reception

Judges table

Soon to be very busy in here

The sponsors for this contest

Time to plate up my vegetables.. I tried to use as many of them as possible to create a colorful dish... carrots, zucchini, pineapple, red pepper..

Prawns marinating nicely... and I'm tearing the curry leaves into the olive oil/butter mixture in the frying pan..

Infusing the garlic butter oil with curry leaves.... smells good!

 Time to plate the food... some other contestants dishes ready for plating...

Putting the finishing touches to my dish...

Everyone off to the judging room

Next up, all the contestant's dishes and what the judges had to say about my prawn dish. Can you guess what I cooked?

Click here to see full set of photos.


The actual cooking show, MasterChef Malaysia premieres on 22nd October 2011 at 9.00pm on Astro Ria (Channel 104). It will air every Saturday - Wednesday and the Master Class will be on every Friday 9.00pm.

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  1. looks good! what i think i like most about using someone elses kitchen is you dont have to clean. imagine all the oil splatter in your own kitchen!

  2. Good blogging... I was there, yet I am still looking forward to reading the rest of the MasterchefMY semi finals story, keep the blogs coming :-)

  3. Thanks Joe! Yeah, I guess there are perks of working in someone else's kitchen... it looked a real mess after everyone finished cooking. But the staff managed to clean it very quickly for our second test.

  4. Next blog will be posted tonight, hopefully :)

  5. i spot a pineapple on the table! but i guess making a pineapple prawn curry would have been too time-consuming =)

  6. I can't wait for your upcoming blog posts. Very kan cheong!

  7. Sean: I didnt think of making prawn curry since that would mean I need to cook rice too to accompany it. And would have struggled with only 1 frying pan. Lol.

  8. Michelle: Thanks dear! Will be posting another one soon :)


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