A hint of spice

A hint of spice

A hint of spice

I enjoy preparing pan Asian cuisine and experimenting with spices. My tryst with cooking started as a kid, when I would keep peeping into my mother’s kitchen.

I went on to study in PES Institute of Hotel Management. I interned with The Taj and Oberoi groups but decided to work in a standalone restaurant where I could get more creative with the food. I started working in Bangalore Bistro on Cunningham Road. We had a salad bar and would serve a mix of Continental dishes.

I even ended up in Celebrity Cruises and travelled across the United States and Canada. But they also had a set menu and I wanted to be more creative.

Following that, I came to the Olive Bar & Kitchen and met Chef Manu Chandra. I worked there for seven to eight years and then went on to work with the same team in Monkey Bar, which was also run by Chef Manu and Like That Only in Whitefield. After that, I joined The Fatty Bao where we prepare a host of Asian dishes.

I have always loved food with different flavours and ingredients and prefer fresh, simple ingredients with bold flavours and food influenced by Mediterranean cuisine and Asian flavours. I borrow and interpret cooking styles and techniques from many cultures and this makes me create different dishes that incorporate various ingredients.

Cooking is all about fun techniques and one can experiment a lot with Asian flavours.
For instance, even when I prepare slow cooked duck in the French style in butter, I add Asian spices to it. I also like to experiment with tempura which is Japanese.

The recipe that I am sharing is of Yum Yai Seafood Salad, which is a traditional Thai salad with lots of elements and different techniques like poaching and frying. It’s a basic salad with a layer of spicy and sour dressing.

I came across this dish when I went to Bangkok and it was one of my first meals over there. It was prepared at one of Asia’s top restaurants called Nahm which is run by Chef David Thompson.

This salad can be easily made at home. However, one will have to use bottled fish sauce unlike the fresh one that we use. Octopus is also available in the market but in case you are unable to get it, you can replace it with any other seafood. The anchovies add to the texture and make the salad crisp as it could become very chewy otherwise.

Chef Prashanth ,The Fatty Bao
(As told to Deepa Natarajan Lobo)

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