This is the first of 8 inventions by Malaysians which deserves credit where it is due.
1. THE AUTOMATIC EGG BOILER [First of 8 Malaysian inventions].
Located in almost every kopitiam and mamak shop, this nifty device made all half-boiled eggs perfect to its core.
The Inventor : Datuk Hew Ah Kow
What it is: It is a detachable 4-piece plastic ware. Basically, you place raw eggs into the container, pour in boiling water, then wait for the water to slowly drip to the bottom. Your eggs are done when the water has drained fully!
Datuk Hew Ah Kow invented the device that would revolutionise all soft-boiled eggs forever.
How did it happen? Back in the days when Datuk Hew Ah Kow was just a lad working as a bulldozer operator in the jungles of Kelantan in 1973, there was little time to keep count of the minutes.
“There were about 20 of us in a lumber camp who liked nothing better than to start the day with half-boiled eggs. The problem was, we always lost track of time, carried away with things like checking the engines and refuelling. So, by the time we got back to our eggs, they were always overcooked,” recalls Hew.
“Young and full of bravado, I took it as a challenge and began to conduct my own experiments, puncturing the bottoms of Ovaltine cans with a nail and filling them with eggs and hot water,” says Hew.
It took a year before Hew found the correct ratio of water to eggs. As he drew closer to a solution, Hew’s tests made him go off eggs. It also affected his colleagues who had to help eat his experiments.
The effort eventually paid off when one day, a direct-selling stockist rode his Honda Cub into Hew’s work camp and got marooned by the rain, forcing an overnight stay. At breakfast, he got to sample the most perfect half-boiled eggs he had ever tasted.
“It was the camp cook who pointed me out. At first, he came to me and asked if I could give him one of my Ovaltine cans to take home. I said ‘No way.’ Then he asked if I could sell him the prototype so I said, ‘Fine, let me see the money first.’ He returned and gave me RM7,000,” recalls Hew.