Showing posts with label Thai. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thai. Show all posts

Dec 9, 2012

thom kha soup

RECIPE UPDATE: this soup has been tested and revised and will be featured in the upcoming cookbook "Everyday Vegan Eats," by Zsu Dever.

This is a remake of an old favorite - Tom Kha (or Thom Kha) Soup, a Thai coconut-based soup. The last time I posted about making this soup (here), was about two and a half years ago, so I  am thinking it isn't all that repetitious. Besides, I think it gets lost in the blog; a little reminder to give this soup a try is appropriate.

I made this soup last night while a few friends were over and the first comment I heard spoken was how quickly it was done, followed by how pretty the soup was, and lastly that indeed it tasted as good as it looked. In my opinion, I overcooked the broccoli a bit, but didn't mention that. 

Yes, this soup is really quick to make - about 20 minutes in all. And if you have ever had the pleasure of having it in a Thai restaurant (assuming they make it with vegetable broth and not add fish sauce), you will be happy to note that it is an easy to make and quick to prepare soup.

Also of note is that while exotic ingredients such as lemongrass, galanga and kaffir leaves are the ideal ingredients to use, this recipe has alternatives: lemon, ginger and lime. I reassure you, you will be able to achieve the same tangy dish as if you used the ethnic ingredients. 

In addition, you can load the soup with whatever vegetables you have available, although broccoli, mushrooms and carrots are the top choices. Summer squash, green beans, cauliflower, spinach, kale, would all be equally successful.

Cost Breakdown

coconut milk: $3.50
vegetables stock: $3
spices, tamari: $.50
lemon, lime, ginger: $2
vegetables and mushroom: $4

Total to make 8 servings:

Nov 10, 2012

sweet and sour thai tofu

Below is a Sweet and Sour Thai Tofu. Thai food is explosive and fiery, while being warming and comforting. I wanted to make a Thai version of the Chinese Sweet and Sour whatever, using Thai ingredients. 

I marinated the tofu in Red Curry Paste, which can be store-bought or easily homemade. While you could deep fry the tofu to achieve a crispy surface texture, I just stir fried it. I also stir-fried some red peppers and pre-steamed green beans and carrots to add some color. The sauce adds the sweet and sour elements: sweet comes from sugar and the sour is from tamarind paste. 

I used a lot of red curry paste, so this dish sang on the tongue for a while after dinner, but that is part of the allure of Thai food for me. You, of course, can be more moderate with the heat. Are you, too, a fan of Thai food?

Cost Breakdown

tofu: $4
green beans, carrots, onions, garlic, pepper: $4.50
red curry and sauce: $1.50
rice: $1
Total for 6 servings:

Jan 11, 2011

thai winter curry

Asian Night

Curries are a simple and easy way to get dinner on the table fast. That is, as long as you have a curry paste. There are as many different kinds of curry pastes as there are people who make them. And just as many levels of heat to each paste. You can make your own paste easily enough - although it is a little time consuming. When you do make a curry paste there are a few things to keep in mind:

You want to get your paste as smooth as possible. A food processor works well as long as you process the paste long enough. A blender is better.
Make a lot for three reasons: (a) Your machine will work better (meaning it will actually move the food around and will be able to process the ingredients) if you have enough stuff in there. If you have a few tablespoons of stuff in the machine, you are making it very difficult on yourself and the appliance. (b) You don't want to go through making it again any time soon; it is time consuming.  (c) The extra paste doesn't take up that much room in your freezer, especially if you divide it into serving amounts and tuck them in here and there.

Thai curry pastes usually have these ingredients in common:
chilies (the amount and type will determine the level of heat in your paste), lemongrass, kaffir leaves, onion, vinegar, garlic, ginger (or galangal), coriander seeds

Optional ingredients range from:
cumin seeds, cilantro, peanuts, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.

For my Thai Winter Curry, I used a basic red curry paste (The color depends on the chilies you use. If you use fresh green chilies you will have green chili paste.) I have an assortment of winter veggies in my curry: onion, cabbage, cauliflower, butternut squash, tofu, spinach and, of course, the coconut milk. To cut the fat I also used vegetable broth, but make sure you don't make curry soup instead by not using enough coconut milk.

Since I had the curry paste in the freezer, dinner was ready in under 30 minutes.

Cost Breakdown

onion: $.75
cabbage, cauliflower: $3
butternut squash: $2
tofu: $2
paste, tamari, lime, sugar: $1.25
spinach, pepper: $3
rice: $1
Total to make 6 servings:

Oct 9, 2010

thai curried coconut eggplant with noodles

Asian Night

Mikel requested this as a repeat. I had made it once before - last year. Having made it before, I felt free to experiment a a bit. The original recipe is from Buddha's Table, a vegan Thai cookbook, but whereas most of the recipes form this book have been a knockout, I had cryptically written "Find galanga next time?" as my note. Yeah, not too helpful regarding our thoughts of the recipe, I'm afraid.

Having made more than a few of his recipes, and realizing that while having the original-authentic ingredients is ideal, substituting appropriate equivalents is at least acceptable. So galanga became ginger and lemongrass became lemon zest. Also, the original recipe is a bit complicated so I simplified it.

The outcome was outstanding - even David loved it and asked if there was more.
I'm positive he didn't last time.

I salted my eggplant slices to remove a lot of the moisture so the eggplant would keep its shape during cooking. I stir fried my eggplant until golden and removed them to set aside. I repeated the same for any of the vegetables I wanted cooked.

I had made red curry paste for another recipe a few months ago and froze half. This was what I used as my red curry paste which I fried in a little oil. I added some vegetable broth and coconut milk, added back the eggplant slices and simmered the curry until the eggplant was tender.

As accompaniments, I had bean sprouts, tomato slices, yellow and green pepper slices, lime, green onions, the stir fried green beans, cabbage and garlic slices.

I poured the curry sauce over the noodles and added the accompaniments to the dish.

Cost Breakdown:
noodles: $2
peppers: $1
tomato, green onion, garlic: $1.50
bean sprouts, green beans: $2
lime, cabbage: $2
coconut oil: $1
red curry paste: $1
Total to feed  a family of 5:

Sep 29, 2010

thai glass noodles

Asian Night

Tonight we had Thai Glass Noodles from Buddha's Table, a vegan Thai cookbook. This was very easy and quick - just what I need on a weeknight. It was a one pot meal, also a bonus. I stir-fried the tofu and set it aside, then I stir-fried the veggies - onions, garlic, ginger, mushrooms and carrots - and added back the tofu, added the drained glass noodles (which are bean threads), peas and baby corn. It called for a sauce of vegetable stir-fry sauce, vegetable broth and arrowroot to thicken. 

It was very tasty and refreshing. Thai is very versatile and the family enjoys it - although not everyone enjoys the same vegetables! It seems they sort of swap vegetables at the table - my peas for your carrots, etc. Of course, without my knowledge. As far as they know.

Cost Breakdown:
tofu: $2
noodles: $2
onion, carrot, mushrooms, peas: $2
 garlic, ginger: $.50
tamari, stir-fry sauce, arrowroot: $.50
rice: $.50
Total to feed a family of 5: