Masterchef challenge day 22: Stumped

I've been plugging along at the Masterchef Ingredient Challenge mostly without hitch, but this list of ingredients just stumped me:

  • Banana leaves
  • Pak choy
  • Sticky rice
  • Wonton skins
  • Spring onions
  • Plums
  • Duck

I couldn't think of any way to get banana leaves here in Switzerland. Fresh plums are totally out of season in early March. And most of all, there is no way I know of to cook sticky rice (otherwise known as sweet rice) from dry in under 50 minutes. One of the show contestants made a rice pudding with the rice, and was criticized for undercooking it. Well, in my opinion including an ingredient like that was just unreasonable of the judges or producers or whoever makes those decisions. Sweet rice has to be soaked for at least 1 hour, preferably much longer, before cooking to turn into that characteristically gooey, sticky texture!

I can't blame them for choosing the plums, since I suppose they were in season when the episode was shot. And I suppose that banana leaves must be easily available in London.

Anyway, this list just left me a bit grumpy, mainly because of that rice. If I had to make something with it, I would have skipped the rice, and made a wonton soup with the pak choy and spring onions, and perhaps a pan-seared duck breast with plums or something. But I'm just skipping it here. I did do something nice with the sticky rice though, which will be in my next article.

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