Celebrity Chef Vicky Ratnani shares Mumbai's most underrated pocket-friendly food joints you must visit
Celebrity Chef Vicky Ratnani shares Mumbai's most underrated pocket-friendly food joints you must visit

Chef Vicky Ratnani, popularly know for his cooking shows 'Vicky Goes Veg' and 'LivingFoodz', has been roped in as the brand ambassador of Kikkoman -- globally acclaimed Japanese soy sauce brand.

In an exclusive interview with The Free Press Journal, Chef Vicky says that the one thing that is always available in his pantry is Kikkoman Soy Sauce.

"It’s one of the most important products in my pantry simply because of how versatile the product is. I discovered Kikkoman soy sauce at one of my trips aboard and ever since then I have been using it in almost all of my dishes be it vegetarian, non-vegetarian or any dessert. Yes, dessert! I recommend dropping a teaspoon of Kikkoman Soy Sauce on a scoop or two of Vanilla ice cream to experience a whole new ice cream flavour," he says.

When asked about the negative effects of salt content in soy sauce and if it is safe to consume it daily, Ratnani says, "Its traditional ‘Honjozo’ method of brewing is completely natural, without any taste enhancers or preservatives. This makes Kikkoman Soy Sauce healthier when compared to other brands available locally that chemically process ingredients, add preservatives, and taste enhancers."

"Sauce can be used as many times as one wishes, in as many dishes and in different cuisines be it Indian, Western, Thai, etc. It can be used in cooking, in marination, as seasoning and in glazes. However, inclusion of too much soy sauce is one of the biggest mistakes. Not knowing how much soy sauce to use or including it with random measurement can spoil the flavor of the dish. Pouring the right amount of soy sauce is important. If one does not know how much of the sauce needs to be included in the dish, then please follow professional recipes," he suggests.

The renowned chef, who believes that celebrities should not be held responsible for the brand's misleading ads, says, "I believe that one should always have faith in the brand that you endorse. They should use it themselves and then recommend it."

Chef Vicky also shares his favourite street food, must-visit restaurants in Mumbai and more.

Check out his responses here:

1. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

  • Rajma Chawal is one of the dishes that I can devour for the rest of my life.

2. What’s your favourite street food in Mumbai?

  • Vada Pav and Kebabs

3. Three most underrated pocket-friendly restaurants/cafes in the city that one must visit.

  • Jai Hind, Pali Market

  • Izumi, Bandra

  • The Speak Easy Kitchen

4. A quick and delicious soya sauce-based recipe for our readers

I have been using Kikkoman Soy Sauce for about 18 years now. I have used it in a variety of Indian foods, including some home-cooked dishes, apart from Asian cooking, salad dressings and marinades. Regarding a quick recipe - I have cooked prawns with Kikkoman Soy Sauce. I call it Jumbo Prawn Manchurian.

  • First you need to marinate the 7 jumbo prawns with 1tsp soy sauce, 1tbsp olive oil, 1tbsp lemon juice, ½tsp red chilli powder, and ½tsp turmeric powder. Set aside until needed.

  • To prepare the soy manchurian sauce, heat the oil (1tbsp) in a saucepan, add 1tbsp finely-chopped onions and 1 tbsp finely-chopped spring onions, and sauté for a minute. Add the 1tsp each of minced garlic, ginger, green chilies, celery, and chilli flakes, and cook for one minute. Remove to a plate.

  • Deglaze the pan using the 2tbsp soy sauce, 1tbsp tomato ketchup, 1½ tsp chilli vinegar and ½tsp brown sugar. Simmer for a minute, then add a little vegetable stock and the contents of the plate. Cook the sauce on a low flame for five to seven minutes. Adjust the seasoning with soy sauce and ½ tsp white pepper powder.

  • Prepare a slurry using 1tsp cornstarch and 240ml water. Add the slurry to the sauce and adjust to the desired consistency. Finish with 1tsp chopped coriander.

  • Heat another pan and add some oil. When the oil gets very hot, add the marinated jumbo prawns, and stir fry for about two minutes. Add the soy manchurian sauce and mix well. Simmer until the prawns are cooked. The dish is ready to serve with noodles or steamed rice.

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