From the countries of Asia

Culinary Expert

From the countries of Asia

Best: Chef Anthony DH Photo by Vasu M N

In a chat with Metrolife, the chef speaks about his specialisation — South East Asian cuisine, and the different aspects of it.

“I have been lucky enough to spend a lot of time in various kitchens especially Indian and French kitchens,” he says.

“But I have spent 70 per cent of my time preparing Asian cuisine,” he adds.
So what is South East Asian cuisine? He answers, “It comprises cuisines from the countries of Malaysia, China, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea and Japan.” He adds, “These are the main hubs of South East Asian cuisine. There are smaller places like Cambodia of course, which have their own cuisine.”
According to the chef, South East Asian cuisine focuses on fresh ingredients, herbs and seafood.

 “Most of the recipes are an offshoot of the Chinese cuisine.” Though he specialises in South East Asian cuisine, the chef is a die-hard fan of Indian cuisine.
“I love Indian food and have a lot of favourites, like Andhra Biryani, Kerala Fish Biryani, Tandoori Chicken; I can freak out on something as simple as idli,” he laughs. Chef Anthony also loves seafood. “I love various kinds of Sushi.”

Ask him about the South East Asian street food in Bangalore, and he merely smiles.
“I don’t know much about the street food in Bangalore. But the street food available in South East Asia is very different. You have grasshoppers, prawns and all sorts of creatures available live and fresh. Besides, you have Peking Duck, Steamed Duck, Pork Sautes, Rose Suckling Pig; which are not available commonly here.”

However, he feels the Dimsums available in the City are decent. From the various restaurants that serve South East Asian cuisine in Bangalore, the chef has two favourites — Szechwan Court and Rim Naam.

The chef feels that South East Asian food is extremely easy to prepare at home. “The ingredients of the cuisine are available easily these days at all grocery shops,” he says.

“But the quality of herbs and vegetables is very different here. For instance, Thais use holy basil, which is very different from what we get here. Even their vegetables are sturdier.”

When it comes to the sauces as well, there is an amazing variety in the South East Asian cuisine. “Indonesia has different types of soya sauces, while the Chinese and Japanese have different fish sauces.” Does South East Asian cuisine have anything for Indians?

“There is something called Buddhist cuisine which is vegetarian. Apart from
that, South East Asians are mostly non vegetarians,” he signs off.

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