The founder of Oh My Kebab shares one main dish and one dessert.
By Ashima Sethi
Saran Singhsathitsukh was born and raised in The Land of Smiles, attending Thai Sikh International School before completing his last two years at Bangkok Preparatory and Secondary International School. For his higher education, he pursued a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology, Thammasat University, going on to work as an engineer for a year and a half before taking his first step towards mastering the culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu Dusit.
When asked about when he discovered that cooking was a passion, Saran replied with: “When I was young, I loved watching both my grandmothers cook. I’d sneak into the kitchen to taste the food at different stages of it being cooked, I was definitely the ‘eat everything that could be devoured’ child. In my teens, I began focusing on cooking things from scratch so I’d go shopping with my mum, we’d buy the ingredients, and then make something together. I was in-and-out of the kitchen after that. While studying to become an engineer, I would cook and experiment with my roommate with the limited equipment we had. One day while working in the field, it just hit me that this wasn’t what I wanted to do. So I left, I joined culinary school, and the rest is history.”
Since igniting his spark for cooking, his love for the craft has continued to grow. “I love cooking because of how meditative and creative the process is. I can just get lost in it all, everything else around me disappears, and it’s just me and what the ingredients are telling me to do.” When it comes to coming up with unique recipes, I ask Saran what his process looks like: “It’s a combination of base knowledge from culinary school, experimenting, and elevating classic dishes, but also my habit of constantly mixing foods together when I’m eating. All of these things definitely come into play when I’m trying to come up with recipes.”
Although Saran has experience cooking across several different cuisines, he explains some of his favourites: “I don’t have a favourite personally, but when it comes to cooking I’d say Mediterranean cuisine is definitely at the top. This was the impetus for starting my restaurant, Oh My Kebab (Instagram: @ohmykebab.bkk) with my brother as I like the wood-fire cooking method a lot. We opened the restaurant towards the end of 2021 and it’s a fast food, quick-bite, takeaway spot that has allowed me to continue perfecting my craft as a chef. However, I want to explore my passions further and in the near future venture into something more in line with fine dining so I can take my cooking to the next level.
DUCK DUCK MOUSSE
- 1 duck breast
- duck bones or chicken bones
- 1 red onion, diced
- 250ml red wine
- 1tbsp blackcurrant jam
- ¾ to 1 cup of stock (your choice of vegetable,
- chicken, duck)
- 1 pumpkin (can swap with squash)
- All seeds from pumpkin
- 2 white onions
- ¾ tbsp tomato paste
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup whipping cream
- 2 bunch basil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1.5 handful of grated parmesan
- ¼ cup edamame
- 6 tbsp olive oil
For the duck:
- Score duck breast skin with a criss-cross pattern and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Place duck breast on a cold pan skin side down, then turn heat to medium high allowing the pan to heat up.
- Once hot (around 40 seconds), reduce heat to medium to render the fat (keep pouring it out into a container for later use) and crisp the skin up, around 12 minutes.
- Turn duck onto its side, 2-3 minutes each side to give it a nice sear.
- Place duck skin side up, sear the belly side for 2-3 minutes.
- Take duck breast and place it on a rack to let rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting into it.
For the duck jus:
- Sear bones in a saucepan with the duck fat and then strain.
- Add the red onion into the same pan on medium low heat with a touch of salt and a little bit of duck fat or butter. Sauté till soft.
- Add in red wine, reduce by ⅔, then add in the blackcurrant jam. Mix it in.
- Add seared bones and stock in and then bring it to a boil, and then let simmer for around 40 minutes.
- Strain the sauce and reduce until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- For the masala pumpkin mousse:
- Dice and then sauté one white onion until soft.
- Add in tomato paste and cook for a minute.
- Add half a pumpkin, cut and peeled into cubes, into the pan along with paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
- Add enough water to cover the pumpkin. Let boil until soft then add in the whipping cream and turn off heat.
- Allow it to cool down, then transfer to a blender to purée.
- Bring it back on heat to reduce the excess water, keep whisking at this stage as the cream can split if overheated.
- Once desired texture has been reached, turn off the heat.
For roasted pumpkin:
- Cut and peel the pumpkin into any shape you like (big pieces).
- Rub it with duck fat or oil, salt and pepper, and place in the oven at 180°C.
- Cook until soft, around 15-20 minutes.
- For pumpkin seed and edamame pesto:
- Blanch the edamame in boiling salt water for 30-40 seconds and then immediately cool in an ice bath to give it a nice green colour.
- Take pumpkin seeds, wash and dry them, then roast at 180°C for a few minutes.
- In a food processor add garlic, basil leaves, pumpkin seeds, edamame, parmesan, olive oil, a bit of duck fat, salt and pepper, and blend all together.
For charred onion:
- Take one unpeeled white onion and cut in half.
- Add butter to a hot pan and place the onion cut-side-down to char it.
- Transfer to oven and cook at 200-250°C for 10-15 minutes or until soft.
- Remove, then open up the onion as petals one by one, keeping them whole.
- This will be used instead of a bowl to hold the sauce
DECONSTRUCTED LEMON TART
For the crumble
- ¾ cup almonds
- ⅞ cup atta
- 5 tbsp butter, unsalted
- ½ cup sugar
For the lemon curd
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
- The zest of two lemons
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup lemon juice
For the candied lemon zest
- 2 lemon peels cut into strands
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 4 egg white
- Pinch of salt
- 120g sugar in three batches
For the crumble:
- Roast almonds in an oven at 140°C for 15 minutes.
- Melt 3 tbsp of butter in a pan, add in the atta and roast until brownish red.
- Blend the roasted almonds into a powder then transfer it to the pan with the roasted atta, add in 2 more tbsp of butter.
- Mix in the sugar, keep cooking until the sugar dissolves, (low heat so it doesn’t burn).
- After it becomes a dark golden brown, turn off heat and let cool.
For the lemon curd:
- Take granulated sugar and mix it with lemon zest in a food processor until sugar becomes yellowish.
- Whisk egg yolks, add in the sugar zest, and whisk until it changes to a light yellow colour.
- Add in the lemon juice, mix together, and then transfer to a thick walled pan or double boiler to cook until desired thickness.
- Turn off heat and strain it. Leave to cool.
For the candied lemon zest:
- Cut lemon peel and add to pot with 1 cup of water and sugar.
- Cook until all water evaporates and sugar caramelises and browns slightly.
- Add in a splash of water, this stops the caramel from cooking any further.
- Let water evaporate almost completely and turn off heat. Transfer to another container to cool down.
For the meringue:
- Whip 4 egg whites with a pinch of salt.
- When texture turns to foam, add ⅓ of the sugar in and continue whisking.
- When almost frothy add in another ⅓, and continue whisking.
- When soft peaks form, add in the last batch of sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.
- Put into a piping bag, and pipe a bit on a parchment paper lined baking tray.
- Bake at 120°C for 10 minutes or until brown.