The Carousel talks exclusively to Marion Grasby about the special relationship she has with her mum and how she inspired her to be the cook she is today.
Tell us how your mum inspired you to cook.
My mum is a trained chef and her passion for food and cooking is what certainly influenced my love of food from an early age. She would take me market shopping and show me all the amazing Asian herbs and vegetables. I just loved the colours and the exotic aromas even when I was very little.
What are some of her top tips she passed on to you or favourite recipe?
Less is more when it comes to everyday Thai cooking. One of my favourite childhood dishes is a simple prawn fried rice and my mum’s is the best (of course!) LOL.
What’s it like working with your mum?
I feel so lucky and grateful to have my mum working with me. She’s now the quality control chef for my Marion’s Kitchen products, which means she heads up the team that tests each batch to make sure everything is tasting as good as it should. She’s super professional and very proud to be starting a new job in her sixties!
How would you describe your mother daughter bond?
We’re very close and we love to have a good wine session!
What are some of your most cherished memories of you and your mum?
Cooking together of course. It’s when we’re at our happiest!
Thai Fried Rice With Prawns
This dish was like the ham and pineapple pizza of my childhood. I never got sick of it and could eat a mountain of it at a time. Of course, it always had to be cooked by my Thai mother. No other fried rice ever tastes as good as hers. So this is her recipe, which has been handed down to me. It’s these simple home-style recipes I learned from cooking alongside my mother that I treasure the most.
Thai Prawn Fried Rice
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ brown onion, sliced
300g peeled & deveined shrimp
3 cups day-old cooked rice
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
¼ tsp sugar
¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
¼ cup finely sliced scallions
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 small cucumber, sliced on the diagonal
1 tsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 For the omelette, whisk together the eggs, fish sauce and a generous grinding of black pepper. Heat oil in a wok or skillet and pour in the egg mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes until almost set, then flip over. Cook for 10 secs and remove from heat. Slice the omelette into thin strips and set aside.
2. For the fried rice, heat vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet until smoking hot and stir fry garlic and onion until fragrant (about 20 secs). Add the shrimp and stir-fry until cooked. Add rice, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and another generous grinding of black pepper. Stir-fry until well combined. Toss through the omelette strips, cilantro and scallions. Remove from heat and serve with lime wedges and cucumber.