Inspired by his mom

Anand Kumar

I have always been impressed with my mom’s cooking. I am the second son, and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen whenever my brother was away at boarding school or when my mother was sick. Gradually, I started learning to cook from my mother, and that’s how I got introduced to the world of food.

Even to this day, I gain inspiration from her. I had no clue what I wanted to be while growing up. When I joined a hotel management course, I was so well versed with the subject that my faculty asked me on the first day if I had worked in hotels before. They noticed that I was different from the lot.

Working with seven different bosses and eight GMs taught me different things at different stages. The best part about my profession is that I can create; while making any dish, I really put my heart into it and even ask my team to cook the food the way they would cook for their family.

The biggest challenges for a chef is to get good raw materials and present a plate to the liking of different people. I appreciate all the housewives and home cooks who can create magic in the kitchen using limited spices and ingredients.

The two staple ingredients that I like to play with are sugar and salt; it can really make or break a dish. My favourite cuisine to cook is Thai; it is really close to my heart because I started my career in a Thai restaurant in JW Marriot (Mumbai). I’d also like to believe that no one can make a better Thai dish than me, this confidence is because I genuinely follow simple recipes. As for my favourite cuisine to eat is Bengali; it’s simple yet tasty.

Being in the industry for more than 16 years, I’ve seen the responsibilities of a chef evolve and increase. They started off with cooking good food and now have increased to managing the cost, kitchen, satisfaction of the guest, business revenue and also overall guest experience.

The dish I would like to present to you is ‘Asian steamed chicken and noodle soup’. I hope you enjoy.


Asian steamed chicken and noodle soup

Ingredients

  • Hokkien noodles or any fresh thin noodle 450 gm
  • Peanut oil 1 tbsp
  • Ginger, peeled, finely chopped 3 cm piece
  • Crushed garlic 2 cloves
  • Red chillies, deseeded, finely chopped 2 small
  • Chicken stock 6 cups
  • Chicken breast fillets, trimmed 500 gm
  • Light soy sauce 2 tbsp
  • Sesame oil 1 tsp
  • Brown sugar 3 tsp
  • Green onions, thinly sliced diagonally 4
  • Baby bok choy, long slice 1 bunch

Method

  • Place noodles in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for three minutes or until tender.
  • Drain and separate the noodles.
  • Heat peanut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Add ginger, garlic and half a chilli. Cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add 2 cups chicken stock. Cover.
  • Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Add chicken, cook for 5 minutes or until just cooked through, remove the chicken and keep aside, slice crossways into strips.
  • Add the remaining stock, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar to the soup. Cover.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and bring to the boil.
  • Add green onion and bok choy, cook for one minute or until leaves just wilt.
  • Divide noodles between bowls, top with chicken, pour the boiling broth into the bowls.
  • Top with shredded green onions and serve with remaining chilli on the side.

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Inspired by his mom

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