Saturday, April 16, 2011

Final Exam: Exhibition Day


First of all we would like to say Alhamdulillah that we were given the opportunity to have this subject for our 5th semester. Second, we would to thank and show our appreciation to our lecturer/chef Zaid bin Abdul Razak for giving us the chance to take part in this subject. Other than that, we would like to say thanks again to him for his taught and guidance during the whole class and the whole semester. It's been a great pleasure for us to be your student and not to forget to our fellow classmates for the guidance from all of you. This report is about our final exam/food exhibition where we need to introduce/present our own product to the public. Thank you.


Catfish is one of the fish that Malaysians like to consume. This is due to its tender flesh and highly affordable for everyone. Whether it is fried, grilled, or even cook with some gravy. Malaysians just love to eat it. The catfish breeding industries are one of the industries with high turnover due to high demand. Therefor, we would like to incorporate catfish into our menu. Catfish is very easy to cook and has a sweet taste to it. We have heard of normal samosa that has curry fillings but we never heard of samosa that has a catfish filling. Other than that, this particular recipe also can be inject with many kinds of ingredients such as spring rolls, wanton skin, filo pastry, and puff pastry.


Our objective is to make catfish more marketable and globally recognized. We have decided to turn catfish from being the main course into part of snack dishes. These measures may help elevate the catfish breeding industry if the product can be mass marketed. Besides that, the objective in this project it to innovate an alternative snack to the market. By using catfish as our main product, we can produce an innovative delicious snack.


We already been told by Chef Zaid that this subject is too "play" with food. Meaning that we are going to do some experiment on effects of certain ingredients to our food. But that is not our main objective for this class. For this class we have to come out with 3 ideas consists of 3 new product that are not exist in the market or we can innovate any product in the market and make it even more better. Out of 3 ideas Chef Zaid will choose only 1 product and our product that he chose is Catfish samosa. He told that we can use to other product instead of samosa. So, he gave us some ideas like using spring rolls to make popia, using puff pastry for some western style, wanton skin if you prefer Chinese, and filo pastry for more delicate taste.

-1st try (03/03/2011), Spring Rolls - the first try was not that good. It turn out that the spring rolls skin kind of absorbing the oil when we deep fried the catfish popia. For the fillings we make curry fillings. It was just okay. Other than that, we also forgot to make a sauce for the catfish popia. So we only use normal chili sauce.

-2nd try (10/03/2011), Puff Pastry - the second try also didn't turn that well because the we'd ordered pre-made puff pastry. We don't know what went wrong because our puff pastry didn't puff that well. A good puff pastry when you bake it, it will puff and you can see layers of puff pastry. But ours didn't. The fillings we remain the same. This week we made our own homemade Tangy Ginger Chili Sauce. The sauce turn out really well. It goes really well with the catfish because of the acidic and spicy taste.

-3rd try (17/03/2011), Filo Pastry - this week we use filo pastry for our crust. The problem we faced is the filo pastry is so delicate and soft. So wee need to handle it with care. A single mistake can ruin our filo pastry. It may tear apart. A lot of work to do because besides the fillings and everything, we also need to layer the filo pastry layer by layer and each layer need to be brush with melted butter. After we bake it we found that the filo pastry is too oily (due to much melted butter). But it taste very delicious. Even our classmates says that our product for this week is the best.

-4th try (24/03/2011),  Spring Rolls (2nd try) and Wanton Skin - we rotate back to our first trial using spring rolls skin and this time with additional ingredient wanton skin. We try to remake our product using spring rolls but it turn out that it is still remain the same problem. It became to oily after we fried the spring rolls, and so do the wanton skin. The filling have a little bit of a twist with additional ingredient. The sauce remain the same.

-5th try (31/03/2011), Filo Pastry (2nd try) - Again we try to remake our product by using filo pastry. But this time we did 2 styles. One is less melted butter and another one without butter. After we bake it we found that they are a bit dry but for the taste they are absolutely delicious. Chef Zaid told us to use filo pastry for our final product and so we decided to use it. We just need to know how many layers to use for each layer. The filling remain the same like last week (4th try) and so do our sauce.

Task Implementation

Before Event Day

As usual right before we start the event, we do the mise-en-place first. In term of the product, and the presentation table. We divide into two groups. One group for cooking the product and another group setting the presentation table. But, as usual we as a team we work together and helping each other. Alhamdulillah we can catch up with the time even tough we did late for a few minutes.

The procedures to cook this dish remain the same. 

During event day

Right after the event started. Everyone started coming in non-stop. They are here to evaluate our product and other groups product. 

Some of them says that our dish is taste good, some of them said need to be improve and some of them didn't say anything. We gave them our evaluation card for them to judge/evaluate our product. 

This is our evaluation card:

For our evaluation card, the tasters were given a column for each criteria to be marked from the scale 1 to 5. This would be easier for them to evaluate instead of them to write a comment about our product.

After Event Day

After the event finished, all the students headed back to the kitchen to clean up the working station. All of us are working together. Everyone seems so happy even though it was a tiring day. The event was successful and it was totally awesome. It means that, our subject, Food Innovation and Design has successfully finished and hereby we would like to say congratulation to everyone that has made this event a success.

 Problem Faced

We did have a few problems like:
  • limited time
  • the product is a little bit difficult to make (the filo pastry)
  • takes time to bake the filo pastry
But all the problem are solved right before the event started.


Catfish as we all know have a really fishy odour. So what do we do is we wash the fillet with some lemon juice or you can just use tamarind juice. That is what we do everytime we use catfish. As for the filo pastry, they are so delicate and soft, so do handle them with care or they may tear apart.


We can conclude that this subject is really interesting. Who could imagine that all the students can think "outside of the box" for creating and innovate something new to the culinary world. As for our group, it was really fun to work with catfish. Filleting them it was the most 'bloody' situation ever in the kitchen.


Reviews given by tasters for Food Innovation and Design

The average rating given is:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

8th Week: Our own product. Catfish Filo Pastry (this is our 2nd try)

Once again our group will retry our Catfish Filo Pastry. Nothing much to change just the layers of filo pastry we will use gonna change a bit. Here it goes...

Before the task:

Prepare the ingredients:

The ingredients are:

The catfish

Filo Pastry
Red and green capsicum
Potato (boiled)
Turmeric powder 
Curry powder 
Chili boh (paste) 

Coconut milk

*Combine turmeric powder, and curry powder with enough water to make curry paste (save some of the turmeric powder for marinating)

During the task:

The procedures:

1. Clean the catfish, and fillet the catfish.

2. Marinade the fillets with turmeric powder, salt, and a little bit of flour. In a saucepan, heat enough oil for deep frying and deep fry until the fillets are cooked and cripy.

3. Break the fillets apart into chunks and remove the bones.

4. Using the same saucepan, remove the oil (leave enough for cooking curry) and  re-heat the cooking oil and sweat the garlic and onion until they are soft.

5. After the onion and garlic are soft, put curry paste and keep stirring to prevent the curry to burn.

6. Put a little bit of water and let the curry reduce itself. After the curry has reduced, put the capsicums, catfish, and coconut milk.

7. Lastly, put the potatoes.

8. To assemble: on a clean surface, lay the filo pastry. For each layer we use 3 sheets of filo pastry.

9. Each layer of the filo pastry are brush with melted butter.

10. Put the curry filling right at the bottom of the filo pastry. Leaving about 2 inch from right, left, and bottom side. 

11. Fold the filo pastry way up until the end. Each rolled are brush with melted butter.

12. After the filo have been rolled. Fold the right and left side down to the filo pastry. Brush the top with egg wash.

13. Bake at 170 - 180 C for 45 minutes or until the filo are golden brown.

Finish baking!

After the task:

We evaluate both product. the left one we brush each layer with melted butter (excess) and the right side just a little bit. The right side seems to be dry and the left side are oily.


We recommend for each layer, use only 2 sheets of filo pastry. If you use more it will be too thick and it will takes time to cook. Do not use to much melted butter for each layer or it will be oily or too oily. 


We can conclude that using filo pastry is the best way to produce our product. The texture and the taste are much better when using other ingredients (spring rolls, wanton, skin, and puff pastry). So we decide to use filo pastry as our Final Product. Just a little bit of changing here and there then it will be perfect.

Take Care!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

7th week: Our own product. Catfish Popia (this is our 2nd try)

This week our group will retry our Catfish Popia and hope it will turn out much better. Other than that, we are using wanton skin too. So here's the thing...

Before the task:

Prepare all the ingredients for both recipes.

The ingredients are:

Meet my friend the Catfish.

Spring rolls skin (popia)
Wanton skin
Red and green capsicum (diced)
Onions (chopped)
Garlic (chopped)
Potatoes (diced and boiled)
Chives leaves (sliced)
Curry powder
Turmeric powder
Chili powder
All purpose flour

*Mix turmeric powder, curry powder and chili powder with water to make curry paste (save turmeric powder a little bit for marinating the catfish).

In addition, coconut milk.

During the task:

The procedure:

1. Clean the catfish and fillet them. Soak them with some lemon juice to remove the fishy odour.

2. Marinate the fillets with turmeric powder, salt, pepper, and flour (to make it more crispy).

3. Deep fry the fillets until they are cooked and the texture are crispy. Set aside and let it cool for a while.

4. Mash the fillets into chunks. Remove all the bones.

5. Saute onion, and garlic until they are fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic.

6. Add the curry paste and continue saute / stir the curry until they are a bit dry.

7.  Next, we put coconut milk, capsicums and the catfish. Season with salt and pepper.

* The finished catfish curry*

8. Put the filling onto the middle of the spring rolls skins and wanton skins. Shape them with your desire shapes.

*The popia and the wanton before we fry them. But, for the wanton, Chef's Zaid told to make a boat shape so we changed them into boat shape*

*Chef Zaid assisting us shaping the products*

9. Heat enough oil in a pan for deep frying and deep fry the popia and the wanton until they are golden brown.

*This is the outcome after we fried them*

For the Gingered Chili Sauce:

The ingredients:

Red chillies
Coriander leaves

The procedure:

1. Fry all the ingredients except sugar, salt, and vinegar with a little oil until they are browned.
2. Blend them in a food processor with some sugar, salt, and vinegar as you desired.

After the task:

*Assemble the product on a plate and serve with Gingered Chili Sauce*


There's nothing much to recommend but just for the sauce. We will substitute vinegar with lemon or lime juice because the sourness from the vinegar is to strong. Lemon and lime juice have their own sour and sweetness but they are not too strong.


To conclude, this time the popia and the wanton turns out pretty well but the sauce need to improve more.

Take Care!

Friday, March 25, 2011

6th week: Our own product, Catfish Filo Pastry (3rd try)

This week we will be using Filo pastry. It was a very long filo pastry. 

Before the task:

As usual, we prepared all the ingredients for making the product.

The ingredients:

Filo pastry
Red and green capsicum
Curry paste (Curry powder, chili powder, and turmeric powder)
Turmeric powder

During the task:

1. Fillet the catfish and wash the fillets with lemon juice. After few minutes, wash again and marinade the fillet with turmeric powder and salt. Set aside.
2. Heat cooking oil (enough for deep frying) in a pot and fry the fillets until they are cooked. Set aside to let them cool.
3. Remove the bones from the fillets and mash them into chunks.
4. In a saucepan, saute the onions until they are a soften. Put the curry paste and cook them until the paste are a bit dry.
5. Put a little bit of water (or as needed) and let them reduce.
6. Put all the other ingredients (except filo pastry) and mix them well. Season with salt.

To assemble:
1. Put 3 to 4 layers of filo pastry and fill them with the catfish filling.
*each layered are brushed with egg wash*
2. Put another 3 to 4 layers of filo pastry and brush the top with egg wash.

This is how they look like before bake.

This is after they are baked.

After the task:

Cut the filo pastry and assemble them on a plate.


1. Be extra careful when handling with filo pastry because they are so soft and delicate. A slightest mistake can torn your filo pastry.
2.  Make sure when mashing the fillets, remove ALL the bones because there are a few bones left in our fillet when we eat it.


To conclude everything, using filo pastry is much better when using other pastry. They taste very good and they turn out to be very crispy too. So, filo pastry in our 1st choice but we haven't decide yet on what kind of pastry we will use for the final product.

See you guys next time!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

5th week: Our own product, Puffy Pastry Catfish (2nd try)

Last week we did Catfish popia, this week we'll be using puff pastry and we also twist the recipe for the filling a little bit. Not to forget we will be making our own Chili Ginger Sauce this week.

Before the task:

Prepare all the ingredients for making Puffy Pastry Catfish.

The ingredients:

Pre-made puff pastry (top)
Catfish fillets (bottom)
Shallot, finely chopped
Garlic, finely chopped
Potato, diced
Red and green capsicum, diced
Kaffir lime leaves
Blended chili
Turmeric powder
Fish curry powder
Salt and pepper
Flour, as needed

*mix turmeric powder, and curry powder with water to make a curry paste (save turmeric powder a little bit for marinating the catfish).

During the task:

The procedures:

 1. Marinate the catfish fillets with turmeric powder, salt, pepper, and a little bit of flour.
2. Deep fry the catfish fillets until it is cooked.

3. Mashed the fillets and remove ALL the boned
*this time we make it chunky*

4. Saute the shallot and garlic until they are browned a little bit (be careful not to burn them or they will taste bitter).
5 Add blended chili and curry paste and saute until fragrant.

6. Then put lime leaves, and water. Let it reduce until they are dry.

7. After they are dried enough, we put all the other ingredients (except puff pastry) and season with salt and pepper.

8. On a clean surface, roll out the puff pastry and cut it into a uniform shape.
9. Remove the excess flour.

10. Put the filling onto the puff pastry and close it. By using fork, gently press each side to make sure they will not open when they are in the oven.

11. Brush them with eggwash and assemble them onto a baking tray that has been put parchment paper on it.

12. Bake them in the preheated oven approximately 30 minutes with the temperature 180 C or until they are browned and become puffy.

For the dipping sauce, the ingredients are:

Red chili
Bird eye chili
Coriander leaves

The procedures:

1. Cut the ginger, chilies, garlic, and coriander leaves into chunks and blend them in a food processor with a little bit of water.
2. Adjust the taste with sugar, salt, and vinegar.
3. Heat the oil and put a tablespoon or so into the dipping sauce and mix them well.

After the task:

Assemble the Puffy Pastry Catfish with the dipping sauce and fried ginger.


We recommend that:
1. Don't use pre-made puff pastry because sometimes they are not properly made.
2. Put extra ginger in the dipping sauce because the acidity in the ginger really goes well with fish or seafood.
3. Make sure when mashing the fillets, remove ALL the bones because there are a few bones left in our fillet when we eat it.


For the dipping sauce it was a very successful one but the puff pastry didn't puff very well. We don't know what went wrong. Maybe for the next experiment we will make our own puff pastry. Make from scratch! 

That's all for today. Thanks!