GOURMET GURU

GOOD FOOD GUIDE

CITY OF ORIGIN
Kurunegala

FAMILY
Wife
Daughter
Son

LEISURE HOURS
Exploring new flavours and spending time with his family

FAVOURITE DISH
Baked Asian seabass

FAVOURITE DRINK
Gin and tonic

HIMSELF IN ONE WORD
Spirited

Thushi Munasinghe is the Chef de Cuisine at Monsoon Colombo

Q: What was your first dish?
A:
Steamed barramundi.

Q: And what do you consider your greatest achievement as a chef to be?
A:
Coming from a beautiful village in Kurunegala, my greatest achievement is getting to where I am today as the Executive Chef at Monsoon Colombo.

Q: So how does your workday unfold?
A:
My day begins early with a walk around the kitchen with my sous chef to ensure that the produce from local suppliers is fresh and of the highest quality. I then check all the entries and reviews of the previous day from my team and our guests.
After making sure that all the pre-preparation duties have been met by the team, we gather around for a briefing before opening the res-taurant to diners. In the afternoons, I sit outside with a cup of tea and reflect on the day and forthcoming evening’s operation, as well as join in friendly conversation with my colleagues.

Q: What was the most challenging ‘cookout’ you’ve experienced?
A:
It would be a catering service that we arranged for an embassy in Colombo, which was hosting a group of diners. Since we were required to recreate our delicious and authentic Southeast Asian dishes in a different location, it was both a challenging and exciting experience.

Q: What are the emerging trends in food and drink?
A:
People want to soak up local flavours, and experience offerings from diverse food and drink cultures. At Monsoon, we focus on serving healthier, guilt free, and sustainably sourced food and drink.

Q: With the pandemic keeping people indoors, what cooking tips and advice do you have for the home cooks among them?
A:
The art of wok frying is an interesting and easy way of preparing a quick lunch or dinner at home. It can be used to prepare anything from fried rice to stir fried noodles.

Q: What are your three favourite ingredients – and why?
A:
Kafir lime leaves, lemongrass and galangal – these three ingredients can provide an extra punch and flavour to any dish.

Q: Name three utensils that you can’t do without…
A:
My knife, a pen and a tasting spoon.

Q: Any cooking tips or tricks…
A:
I suggest that people watch cooking videos on YouTube as they provide an opportunity to learn new recipes and cooking methods.

Q: What plans do you have in mind for the future?
A:
To help youth become all-round culinary artistes and be at the forefront of the brand ‘Monsoon.’

Q: Your advice to aspiring chefs would be…?
A:
Do the right thing in the right way at the right time.

SIGNATURE DISH

PRAWN SARONG

Thushi Munasinghe
Prawns wrapped in crispyvermicelli noodles, and served with a sweet and spicy chilli sauce.

Ingredients
  

PRAWN SARONG

  • 320 g prawns (or eight prawns)
  • 100 g rice vermicelli noodles
  • 5 ml oyster sauce
  • 2 ml sesame oil
  • 5 g garlic (finely chopped)
  • 5 g coriander leaves (finely chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

MONSOON CHILI SAUCE

  • 80 ml Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 2 g lemongrass
  • 2 g garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 g coriander leaves (finelychopped)
  • 2 g red onions (finely chopped)

Notes

MARINATION

Place the prawns in a bowl and add the garlic, chopped coriander leaves, oyster sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and keep aside for a few minutes to marinate.

PREPARATION (NOODLES)

While the prawns are marinating, soak the vermicelli noodles until they’re soft. Once soft, create long strides of noodles to wrap around each prawn. When wrapping, keep an extra length of noodle – because when frying, this additional bit becomes the net on top of the prawn.

SWEET CHILLI SAUCE

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside for few hours for flavour enhancement.

FINAL PREPARATION

Tightly wrap the strings of noodles around the marinated prawns because they may break off when they’re being fried.
Once all the prawns are prepped, place some high heat oil in a deep pan and heat to 200°C. For better results, place the prawn on the right-hand corner of a deep-fry strainer and keep the noodle strands loose towards the left-hand corner.
After the prawns are prepared for frying in the deep-fry strainer, lower a prawn at a time into the hot oil and fry until golden-brown.
SERVING: Plate the fried prawns with the sweet pchilli sauce on the side and enjoy it warm.
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