“Easter cooking, for me, is baking the biggest snapper I can find, paired with some provisions and callaloo.”
This is what Rishi Ramoutar had to say when asked about his idea of Easter cooking.
Ramoutar has been cooking for over 25 years. His journey started with him helping his mother in the kitchen. As he was a picky eater, his mother was thrilled to show him how to prepare the foods he actually liked, and from there his passion grew.
“It transferred to me liming with my friends,” said Ramoutar. “We would go to beach houses and cook. Back then, my specialty was barbecue.”
This passion and hobby turned out quite successful for Ramoutar, as he now owns a chef’s table in Arima. His business, 12byRishi, is quite popular.
Ramoutar said he loves cooking and food because, “Food is a language of love passed on from generation to generation in the Caribbean. I love sharing my passion and childhood experiences with people.”
Cooking, for him, is synonymous with memories and traditions.
“Like we say in Trinidad, ‘Let your ancestors guide you,’” he laughed.
Even 12byRishi’s slogan mentions tradition: “Innovation respects tradition but tradition doesn’t fear innovation.”
12byRishi is known for its modern and progressive Trini cuisine, but also for making and selling authentic ramen.
Here’s his spicy shrimp ramen recipe:
3 lbs 16/20 shrimp*
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 medium onion
1 head garlic
2-4 hot pepper
1 knob ginger
Clean and devein the shrimp, keeping the heads and shells. Season the shrimp with salt, black pepper and green seasoning. Store in the refrigerator.
Chop onion and garlic.
In a medium-sized stock pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil.
Sauté onion, garlic and shrimp shells and head. Add a pinch of salt.
As the shell and head change colour (to an orange-like shade), add tomato paste and cook for five minutes. Add water and bring to a simmer.
When the stock reaches a simmer, add hot pepper and ginger. Cover and continue simmering for 30 minutes.
Remove hot pepper and blend stock.
Strain and adjust seasoning, adding salt little by little until you reach the desired amount you like.
Shred the cabbage, chop the chives and rehydrate the mushrooms in cold water then chop.
Boil noodles and soft-boil the egg (6 minutes )
Flour and fry shrimp. Add broth to bowl. Add noodles and toppings.
Costs about $200 and serves four to five.
*16/20 refers to the number of shrimp per pound. When shrimp are sold by count per pound, the number will indicate the number of shrimp in the package or the pound. If it reads 16/20, you know there should be from 16-20 shrimp in each pound. So the smaller the number, the bigger the shrimp will be.