HAPPY HOLIDAYS
January 12, 2020
DANCE DEFINED
January 12, 2020

GOURMET GURU

A TOUCH OF THAI

TONG PANYA SUPHA-UAN
– Compiled by Andrea Melisa
 

Q: What’s a typical day in the kitchen like for you?
A: My day in the kitchen begins at 9 a.m. I usually start with the mise en place and ensure that everything is in order for the day. Apart from all the cutting and chopping, I really look forward to preparing the different sauces – be it pad thai sauce, nampla sauce or anything similar – because sauces are my speciality.

Q: Who inspired you to venture into the hospitality trade?
A: My close friend and mentor Jim from Thailand convinced me to join him in this industry. Jim was a great chef himself and I had the pleas-ure of working under him for a very long time even after moving to Sri Lanka.

Q: Your first dish was...?
A: My very first dish was the pad thai noodles – and it has been my ‘go to’ dish ever since.

Q: What would you say is the best part about your job?
A: Cooking is extremely rewarding. It’s something that I’m passionate about and there is nothing else that I would rather do than spread joy through my food.

Q: Can you name two dishes that you enjoy preparing?
A: Red curry is easily my favourite dish to prepare. It’s a popular Thai dish where red curry paste – which is a popular Thai base – is cooked in coconut milk with meat or tofu added. It’s also quite simple to make.
Q: Can you name two dishes that you enjoy preparing?
A: Red curry is easily my favourite dish to prepare. It’s a popular Thai dish where red curry paste – which is a popular Thai base – is cooked in coconut milk with meat or tofu added. It’s also quite simple to make. Thai glass noodle salad is another dish I enjoy making. It consists of crunchy vegetables and interesting flavours, and is a staple dish in any Thai home.

Q: In your opinion, what are the most popular dishes in Thai cuisine?
A: One of the most popular dishes in Thailand is pad thai noodles – a stir fried rice noodle dish. Thai ca-shew chicken in sweet oyster sauce is a traditional snack served in almost all Thai restaurants and green curry is another well-known speciality.

Q: Name three of your favourite ingredients…
A: The three ingredients I love working with are lemongrass, kachai (Chinese ginger) and kaffir lime leaves. They add so much flavour and essence to any dish.

Q: And three favourite utensils that you can’t do without..
A: I definitely need a spatula, a knife and a wok spoon to get through the day.

Q: So what are your future plans? Do you have any goals?
A: I plan to establish myself as a renowned Thai chef here in Sri Lanka and back home as well. However, my ultimate dream is to open my own restaurant in Thailand someday.
SIGNATURE DISH STIR FRIED SEAFOOD PAD THAI NOODLES
INGREDIENTS

  • 3tbsp tamarind pulp
  • 5tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • ½tbsp salt
  • 1tbsp fried onions
  • 300g pad thai noodles
  • 80g seafood (prawns and cuttlefish)
  • 50g bean sprouts
  • 20g spring onions
  • 2 eggs
  • 2tbsp vegetable oil
RECIPE Soak the pad thai noodles in a bowl. Start preparing the pad thai sauce by boiling the tamarind pulp and tomato sauce for five minutes. Add sugar, salt and chopped fried onions to the concoction, and simmer for five more minutes.

While the sauce cools, pour the vegetable oil into a wok along with two eggs and stir fry for a few seconds. Add the seafood (prawns and cuttlefish) and continue stir frying for about three minutes. Then add the soaked noodles, bean sprouts, chopped spring onions and a teaspoon of salt, and cook for a few more minutes.

If you wish, you can garnish the dish with ground peanuts and a wedge of lime, and serve it along with accompaniments like soya sauce, dry chilli flakes, chopped green chilli marinated with vinegar.
 
CITY OF ORIGIN
  • Bangkok
STATUS
  • Single
LEISURE HOURS
  • Spending time at the temple
  • Reading
  • Relaxing
FAVOURITE FOOD
  • Thai steamed rice, stir fried chicken with basil leaves and chilli, and a boiled egg
FAVOURITE DRINK
  • Decaffeinated coffee
HIMSELF IN ONE WORD
  • Hardworking
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