Suffering from MasterChef withdrawal? Well, get ready, here comes the Chinese version of Celebrity MasterChef! SBS 2 is currently airing the first season of Celebrity Chef 星廚駕到 at 6pm every Saturday, and also being repeated every Sunday at 1pm. The first episode started last week August 1, and last night’s was the second episode.
In this TV series, ten Chinese stars – all self-confessed foodies – are tutored in a variety of special regional styles of food preparation. The celebrities are then called on to use their newfound skills in a series of studio-based challenges, competing against one another to impress a panel of judges and proceed to the next round.
I only caught the first repeated episode last Sunday by accident about half way through the episode. Although the show was based on the original BBC’s Celebrity MasterChef, it has a definite humorous Chinese self-deprecating TV vibe to it, and refreshingly lack of any politically correctness. In one scene, the losing contestants were ushered into a back room called “penalty box” to wash dishes the old fashioned Chinese way of sitting on low stools on the floor, while watching the other contestants continuing with the next challenge on a TV screen in the room. In another challenge of making a Hong Kong Stocking Milk Tea, contestants actually had to get fresh milk by milking one of the two cows in the studio (and we can all foresee that the cow was going to relieve herself at the most opportune time), which I think will never happen in the western versions of MasterChef which have too much health regulations attached.
What I like most was seeing all the Chinese dishes being made on the show and learning a bit more of the lesser known regional dishes in China. In the second episode last night, they had to cook the famous Sichuan dish Mapo Tofu 四川麻婆豆腐 but first had to make tofu from scratch, which I have never seen being made before which was very educational. So check out the third episode next weekend if you are unaware of the show. There are 12 episodes in total for the first season, and hopefully we will get the second season later on soon which has just finished screening in China earlier this year.
Recipes (in Chinese) below are given in ingredients and methods only, no quantities are given which is just typical! You may look up similar recipes online to get an approximation of quantities needed, but they may not be the best recipes, so experiment and adjust to your taste, is all I can suggest.
Ep 1 (August 1, 2015) – Stocking Milk Tea
星厨第一集菜谱 — 丝袜奶茶
Ep 2 Hot & Spicy (August 8, 2015) – Chongqing Hotpot, Mapo Tofu, Sichuan Hot & Sour Sweetpotato-Noodle
星厨第二集菜谱 — 重庆火锅 & 麻婆豆腐 & 酸辣粉
Ep 3 Poultry (August 15, 2015) – Duck Blood Vermicelli Soup
星厨第三集菜谱 — 鸭血粉丝汤
Ep 4 Banquet (August 22, 2015) – Clan Banquet, Lotus Seed and Lily Bulb Sweet Broth, Lotus Root Stuffed with Glutinous Rice
星厨第四集菜谱 — 家宴集 (肚里乾坤、三足鼎立、文台粉丝、龙门戏珠（酒酿丸子）、红白二乔（肉夹馍）、护国太极羹、骏足中原、群英荟萃（野生小鱼）) & 莲子百合汤 & 冰糖莲藕
Ep 5 Seafood (September 5, 2015) – Salt & Pepper Crayfish, Crayfish with Rice Cake, 13-Spice Crayfish, Handmade Fish-Ball & Fish-Noodle Soup
First Challenger – 任家萱 Selina Jen (member of Taiwanese Mandopop girl-group S.H.E)
星厨第五集菜谱 — 椒盐小龙虾、年糕小龙虾、十三香小龙虾、手打鱼丸鱼面
LOL, couldn’t believe they all kept a straight face when cleaning the geoduck!
Ep 6 Five-Grain (September 12, 2015) – Soy Bean Curd Sheet (Tofu Skin), Pan-Fried Buns, Ricecrust with Sliced Pork, Stir-Fried Shaved Noodle, Beef & Shaved Noodle Soup
Second Challenger – 明道 Ming Dow (Taiwanese actor, singer and model)
星厨第六集菜谱 — 捞豆皮、生煎包、锅巴肉片、炒刀削、牛肉刀削汤面
This is a 水煎包/生煎包 recipe by a Taiwanese chef/cookbook author, I have one of his cookbooks about dim sum making, so this recipe should be quite reliable with lots of accompanying photos, also includes a few different filling recipes.
Ep 7 Sweets (September 19, 2015) – Japanese Chilled Melon Rice Cakes (Melon-Flavour Snowberry Beauties), Lemon Chiffon Cake, Orange Madeleines, Banana Muffins, Taiwanese Pineapple Shortbreads (Fengli Su), Hong Kong-Style Mango Pancakes/Crêpes, Donuts, Japanese Pineapple-Shape Buns (Melonpan)
Third Challenger – 任泉 Ren Quan (actor and producer)
星厨第七集菜谱 — 哈密瓜雪媚娘、柠檬戚风蛋糕、香橙玛德琳、香蕉玛芬、凤梨酥、芒果班戟、甜甜圈、菠萝包
There are many speculations as to whether Honeymoon Dessert (滿記甜品) or Sweetheart Superstar Dessert (甜源居星級甜品) in Hong Kong first created the Durian Pancakes (with green coloured crêpes) and Mango Pancakes (with golden coloured crêpes), but here’s a 榴槤班戟 recipe way back from 2006 that purported to be very similar to the Honeymoon Dessert version. However I would hazard a guess these pancakes are a hybrid of using the idea from Kuih Dadar (Nyonya green pandan crêpes with coconut filling) and filling from 雪莓娘 (by the way the recipe name for 雪媚娘 as written in this episode is wrong, the second word should be 莓 not 媚, as originally it has a strawberry in it and evolved from Ichigo Daifuku Mochi) which became very popular in Taiwan and Hong Kong in the early noughties via Japan. Thinking of it, Snowskin Mooncakes appeared around that time too, ten to twenty years ago, probably from Daifuku Mochi as well. Hey, if I could think of flavouring the Kuih Dadar skin with different flavours ten years ago, surely someone else would have the same idea as well to come up with durian and mango pancakes!
Ep 8 Night Market (September 26, 2015) – Chongqing Spicy Grilled Brain, Xinjiang Lamb Skewers (Kawap), Taiwanese Pan-Fried Layered Onion Flatbread (Pull-Apart Flatbread), Squid Teppanyaki, Fujian-Style Wonton Soup, Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken, Braised Noodle with Beans and Pork, Cantonese Stir-Fried Flat Rice Noodle with Beef (Beef Hofun/Gon Chow Ngau Ho)
Fourth Challenger – 張庭 Zhang Ting (Taiwanese actress)
星厨第八集菜谱 — 烤脑花、烤羊肉串 (喀瓦甫)、手抓饼、铁板鱿鱼、小馄饨 (千里香)、盐酥鸡、焖面、干炒牛河
The followings are some reliable 手抓餅 (Taiwanese Pull-Apart Flatbread, also known as 蔥抓餅) recipes, one from a well-known Taiwanese cookery teacher, two from very well-known Taiwanese bloggers-turned-cookbook-authors:
夜市系列：蔥抓餅 @ 周老師的美食教室
Carol 自在生活 – 蔥抓餅
蔥油餅&抓餅(3種不同配方) @ 妃娟與大、小拉拉的網路日誌
Adam Liaw’s Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken with Basil 鹽酥雞
Chinese Style Braised Noodles with Pork Belly and Snake Beans 豆角焖面 from Everyday Gourmet with Justine Schofield
Anthony Ross’ Stir Fry Beef Hor Fun Noodles 干炒牛河 as shown in Everyday Gourmet with Justine Schofield (Note that the cut of beef used in this dish traditionally is beef rump, or what the Cantonese called 牛冧肉.)
Episode 9 was not shown Saturday, Oct 3, 2015 (due to AFL Footy Final???) but it is now being aired Sunday, Oct 4, at the repeat timeslot, however with bad broken TV signals for me. The TV reception has been very bad for me since early September, no Channel 2, 9, GEM, Go, 10, 11 and 1 for about a month now (finally getting acceptable receptions from 9, GEM, Go the last couple of days), about 30% good TV signals from Channel 7, 72, 73, and SBS. The only TV station that is clear all these times is, can you believe it, the little community station Channel 31. This is what technology brings??? The demise of free-to-air TV??? Well at least it’s made me turn off TV and go do something else useful, LOL.
Ep 9 “Mini Me” Hometown Signature Dish (October 4, 2015) – Qishan’s Sour & Spicy Minced Pork Noodle Soup (Saozi Noodle), Taiwanese Hot and Sour Soup Dumplings, Guizhou’s Chilli Chicken, Tainan’s Prawn Rolls, Fragrant Tofu Stir-Fried Cured Pork, Taiwanese Pork & Fish Paste Noodle Soup, Japanese-Style Grilled Unagi Eel (Kabayaki), Italian Seafood Risotto
Special Guest – 陈学冬 Cheney Chen (actor and model)
星厨第九集菜谱 — 岐山臊子面、酸辣汤饺、贵州辣子鸡、手工虾卷、香干炒腊肉、肉羹面、日式烤蒲烧鳗、意大利海鲜烩饭（意大利帕米森芝士奶油炖饭佐生猛泰国虎虾衬三分高原藏红花风味汁及南法普罗旺斯野菌黑松露薄片）
It looks like Sunday’s episode is now the new episode, and being repeated the following Saturday…
Ep 10 Arranged-Date Lunch for 20 at Club Med Guilin (October 11, 2015) – Lipu’s Braised Pork with Taro, Prawn Fruit Salad with Thousand Island Dressing, Four Flavours of Life (4 Types of Stuffed Vegetables), Drunken Chicken with Seasonal Vegetable Salad, Guilin’s Eight-Treasure Rice, Honeycomb Taro Dumplings (Woo Kok/Wu Kok), Lotus Duck
星厨第十集菜谱 — 新荔浦扣肉、一心一意色拉（鲜虾水果色拉）、人生四味 (酿菜)、花雕醉鸡佐时蔬沙拉、桂林八宝饭、蜂巢芋角、荷叶鸭
I made these Taro Puffs/Taro Dumplings 蜂巢芋角 11 years ago, I thought I had lost the recipe, and lo and behold, while doing a search found it again. LOL, the wonder of sharing recipes online! Unfortunately have not been able to make them again because it is almost impossible to buy baking ammonia in the Chinese groceries any more, which is an essential ingredient to make these Taro Dumplings.
Ep 11 Final 4 Challenge (October 18, 2015) – Croquembouche, White Jade Peony Rolls (Prawn & Tofu Wrapped in Eggwhite Omelette), Indian-Style Fishhead Curry
Special Guests: 胡兵 Hu Bing (actor)、潘粤明 Pan Yueming (actor)、叶蓓 Ye Pei (singer)、郝洛钒 Hao Luofan (actress, also Dai’s daughter)
星厨第十一集菜谱 — 拔丝泡芙塔、牡丹白玉卷、印度咖喱鱼头
Note: From the EPG, there will NOT be a repeat of Ep 12 next Saturday, so don’t miss the finale today at 1pm!
Update October 31, 2015: They have re-scheduled the repeat of episode 12 for today at 6pm…
Ep 12 Grand Final (October 25, 2015) – Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters, Pan-Fried Sablefish (Black Cod) with Autumn Vegetables & Perfect Mashed Potatoes, Poached Nashi Pear with Peach Gum, Honeylocust & Honeycomb, Duck Rice Paper Roll with Mango Chutney, Prawn Tempura & Horseradish Sauce with Salt & Pepper Prawn Heads, White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Fresh Fruit
星厨第十二集菜谱 — 血腥玛丽佐生蚝、香煎银鳕鱼、秋季时蔬佐完美土豆泥、桃胶皂角米巢蜜炖香梨、煎鸭胸鲜果米纸卷沾酸甜芒果酱、山葵沙律炸虾球伴椒盐虾头、白巧克力鲜果意大利奶冻
And the winner is
Really enjoyed the show, hope SBS airs season 2 soon, maybe on SBS3 since it will be a food channel? Can’t wait!