Category Archives: Asian – Curries

Yummy Pad Thai

I’ve experimented with a few Pad Thai recipes and this one is simple, flavourful. The recipe is from a site called “Tastes Better From Scratch” that’s got loads of great recipes. I’ve made this a few times now and it’s been great each time. You can find a more detailed post here.

Picture from Tastes Better From Scratch

Ingredients

  • ▢ 8 ounces flat rice noodles
  • ▢ 3 Tablespoons oil
  • ▢ 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • ▢ 8 ounces uncooked shrimp, chicken, or extra-firm tofu , cut into small pieces
  • ▢ 2 eggs
  • ▢ 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • ▢ 1 red bell pepper , thinly sliced
  • ▢ 3 green onions , chopped
  • ▢ 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • ▢ 2 limes
  • ▢ 1/2 cup Fresh cilantro , chopped

For the Pad Thai sauce:

  • ▢ 3 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • ▢ 1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • ▢ 5 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ▢ 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar * see note
  • ▢ 1 Tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce , or more, to taste
  • ▢ 2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter , optional
  • Cook noodles according to package instructions, just until tender.  Rinse under cold water.
  • Mix the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
  • Heat 1½ tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium-high heat.
  • Add the shrimp, chicken or tofu, garlic and bell pepper. The shrimp will cook quickly, about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until pink. If using chicken, cook until just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes, flipping only once.
  • Push everything to the side of the pan. Add a little more oil and add the beaten eggs. Scramble the eggs, breaking them into small pieces with a spatula as they cook.
  • Add noodles, sauce, bean sprouts and peanuts to the pan (reserving some peanuts for topping at the end). Toss everything to combine.
  • Top with green onions, extra peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges. Serve immediately!

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Tomato Coconut Curry with Cod

My sister and her boyfriend gave this recipe to me as a part of my birthday present. I must say, I’ve made it at least a dozen times since then. It’s super easy, and really yummy. You can find a collection of their discerning recipes on this website right here.

This photo comes from Epicurious also a great food website:)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more
  • 1 2″ piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup mild red curry paste
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 (5.4-oz.) can coconut cream
  • 4 (5-oz.) skinless, boneless cod fillets, patted dry
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Pour oil into a large wide saucepan and add shallot. Set over medium-high and cook, shaking pan often, until shallot is golden brown, 3–5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallot to paper towels to drain; season with 1/2 tsp. salt.
  2. Return pan with oil to medium-high heat and add ginger and curry paste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until paste begins to stick to pan, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cream and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes begin to burst and curry just starts to stick to pan, 6–8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Season fish fillets all over with 1 tsp. salt and arrange over tomato mixture. Transfer pan to oven and bake until flesh is opaque all the way through, firm to the touch, and easily flakes when thickest part is pierced with a paring knife, 18–22 minutes.
  4. Transfer fish and curry to a platter. Toss basil with lime juice and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Scatter over curry. Top with crispy shallots.

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Scallop Tom Kha Thai Soup

I tried this last night and loved it! Of course I changed the recipe and used prawns instead of scallops and added garlic and onion and served it with brown rice. But that was it!  It’s definitely a keeper. Wait a minute I also substituted chicken for veggie stock and I used only one can of coconut.

This was passed on from a friend who found it in Coastal Living magazine.

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How to Make It

Step 1

Combine stock, coconut milk, lemongrass, and ginger in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer, and discard solids.

Step 2

Return coconut milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil over high. Stir in mushrooms, sambal oelek, lime juice, fish sauce, and honey. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until mushrooms are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and immediately stir in scallops, 2 tablespoons of the basil, and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro. Divide mixture evenly among 6 bowls, and top with remaining 2 tablespoons each basil and cilantro. Drizzle with chili oil, if desired, and serve immediately.

 

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Crispy Tofu with Peanut Sauce

My sister introduced me to this and now I can’t stop making it. You can find this and some other fantastic recipes on her website here. For anyone who ever wondered how to make crispy tofu, put the oil away. This is easy, fast and super delicious.  I’m what my brother calls a ‘radical’ cook, a nice way of saying I can’t follow recipes. For this recipe I used tablespoons instead of teaspoons for the marinade.

Happy Eating!

Ingredients

Tofu

  • 14 oz extra firm tofu (preferably organic, non-GMO)
  • 1 tbsp Bragg’s
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • cornstarch

Peanut Sauce

  • 2 ½ tbsp creamy peanut butter (or other nut or seed butter)
  • 1 tsp Bragg’s
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    Start pressing tofu using a tofu press, or wrap in clean, absorbent towel and set something heavy — like a cast iron skillet or books — on top to press out the moisture. Press for about 15-20 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, prepare peanut sauce by combining peanut butter, Bragg’s, chili garlic sauce, lime juice, maple syrup, and sesame oil in a small mixing bowl and whisking thoroughly to combine. Set aside.
  3. Cut pressed tofu into 3/4-inch cubes and add to a large plate. Top with Bragg’s, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, and maple syrup. Gently toss to combine using hands or a spoon. Let marinate 2-3 minutes, stirring/tossing occasionally.
  4. Use a slotted spoon or your hands to transfer tofu to a paper bag. Add cornstarch 1 tbsp at a time and toss to coat. Continue adding more cornstarch and tossing until tofu is coated in a gummy, white layer.
  5. Transfer tofu to the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes, flipping at the 18-minute mark to encourage even baking. It should be firm to the touch, firm on the edges, and slightly browned on the exterior once removed from the oven. Bake slightly longer if needed.
  6. Heat a large metal or cast iron skillet (12 inch) over medium heat. Once hot, add tofu and the peanut sauce. Toss to coat. Stirring frequently, sauté the tofu for about 2 minutes, or until the tofu is hot and well coated with peanut sauce.

 

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Trinity’s Kitchen Thai Coconut Curry with Kaffir Lime Leaves and Butternut Squash

I was dreaming of kaffir lime leaves the other day and then lo and behold there they were right in front of me at the super market. It was a signal. I came  home and went recipe hunting. As you can tell from the number of curry recipes in my recipe index curry is one of my number one favourite foods right behind French Fries!

This recipe is Thai inspired and has chickpeas, roasted butternut squash and spinach. The kaffir leaves give it a fresh Thai flavour and the bonus is that it’s super easy to make. I found this recipe on trinitykitchen.com. Give it a visit as she has come great recipes on it.

Here it is in all its glory!

 Ingredients
1 large butternut squash (1kg or 2lbs approx)
350ml (1½ cups) water
10 kaffir lime leaves
7 cardamom pods
1 heaped teaspoon grated ginger
4 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
2 heaped teaspoons ground coriander
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
250ml (1 cup) passata (called sieved tomatoes in the US)
200g (1 cup) cooked chickpeas
100g (3½ oz) creamed coconut (see notes)
40g spinach ( a large handful)
Small handful of fresh basil leaves

Thai-coconut-curry_main-300x200.jpg

Instructions
Bake the squash
Peel, de-seed and dice the butternut squash into chunks of about 1.5cm (or ½ an inch) cubed. Larger chunks are fine, although you’ll need to add extra baking time.
Place the squash onto a baking tray and pop into an oven heated to gas mark 7 (425F/220C).
Bake until you can pierce a fork through the chunks. This make take 30 – 45 minutes.
Whilst the squash is baking make the rest of the curry.
Place the kaffir lime leaves and 350ml of water into a medium sized pan and bring to the boil. (Note: Count the kaffir lime leaves as you put them in and remember how many you used, because you will have to remove them at the end of the cooking period. They are meant for flavour, rather than eating).
Take the seeds out of the cardamom pods and crush with a pestle and mortar (or alternatively chop repeatedly over and over with a sharp heavy knife until they look ground). Toss them into the pan.
Peel and grate a heaped teaspoon worth of fresh ginger. Toss it into the pan.
Peel and crush 4 large garlic cloves and add to the pan.
Add the sea salt, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, passata, creamed coconut and chickpeas to the pan, stir together and allow all of the flavours to infuse. Let this simmer on the lowest heat for about 20 minutes and turn off the heat.
(Don’t add the spinach leaves right until the end – AFTER you remove the kaffir lime leaves.)
Once the squash has baked, take the kaffir lime leaves out of your other pan. When you are happy that all of the lime leave are out, then roughly chop the spinach and mix in the curry pan along with the roasted squash.
Add a little extra water if the sauce is too thick.
Use the basil to garnish.
Serve with rice, quinoa or millet or on it’s own as a stew.
Enjoy

Thanks Trinity for this awesome recipe.

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Vegetable Korma via The Endless Meal

My sister and niece came for dinner the other day and I wanted something vegan AND delicious. I know they both love curry so this was a great find. I’ve checked out numerous recipes but picked this one mainly because it’s chock-a-block full of veggies, and it was simple. I loved that you could add yogurt to the recipe as well which I did for the vegetarians in the group. I’m not a picture taker but trust me this was fantastic. I’m a fan and would easily make this again. I got this via The Endless Meal which just so happens to based out of Vancouver which is where I’m located.

{Photo Credit: Endless Meal}

Vegetarian-Korma-NEW

Prep the VEG

2 medium potatoes, cut into small, bite-sized pieces (I didn’t use this)
4 cups mixed chopped vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, beans, bell peppers, corn, and peas all work well) (I left out the corn and bell peppers and added spinach instead)
FOR THE VEGETARIAN KORMA SAUCE:

1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 – 2″ piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed with the back of a knife
1 – 5.5-ounce can of tomato paste
1 tablespoon each: curry powder and garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons each: cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom
1/2 teaspoon each: ground cloves, fennel, fenugreek and chili flakes
1 – 400ml can of coconut milk
1/2 cup cashews
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup yogurt (omit or use vegan yogurt for vegan)
1 tablespoon brown sugar (sub coconut sugar or honey for paleo)
Top with any or all: cashews, cilantro, lemon, and raisins

INSTRUCTIONS

Add the potatoes to a medium-sized pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Let the potatoes boil for 5 minutes then add the rest of the veggies to the pot. Let them boil for another 5 minutes then drain the pot and set it aside.
While the veggies are cooking, start preparing the vegetarian korma sauce. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the tomato paste and all of the spices. Stir well then return the pot to the heat. When the spices are fragrant and the tomato paste caramelized, after about 1 minute, add the coconut milk, cashews, lemon juice and 1 1/4 cups of water. Let the pot boil for 5 minutes to soften the cashews.
Working in batches, blend the curry until it is smooth then add it back to the pot. Stir through the yogurt and brown sugar and add more sea salt, if needed. Stir the veggies into the curry and serve immediately topped with any or all of the toppings.

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Delicious Vegetarian Pho!

Hey Veg Heads! It seemed very sad to me that I couldn’t eat pho because of its porky broth. Well, guess what? There is a fantastic pho recipe that I made recently. It caught my eye on Vegetarian Times and it’s as good as gold.

Here it is!

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Ingredients:

Broth
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (I used regular veggie broth)
3 large shallots, sliced (1 cup)
½ cup dried shiitake mushrooms
10 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce (I used Braggs)
12 ¼-inch-thick coins fresh ginger
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise (I doubled this)
5-6 fresh basil stems, leaves reserved for soup
5-6 cilantro stems, leaves reserved for soup
Pho
1 8-oz. pkg. rice noodles
1 8-oz. pkg. Asian-flavor baked tofu, thinly sliced
2 cups soybean sprouts
2 cups watercress
4 green onions, sliced (½ cup)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges

Instructions:

1. To make Broth: Place all ingredients in large pot with 8 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 1 hour. Strain broth, and return to pot. Discard solids.

2. To make Pho: Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain, and rinse under cold water. Divide among 6 large soup bowls. Ladle Broth over noodles, and top with tofu, sprouts, watercress, and green onions. Serve cilantro, basil, and lime wedges on the side to be stirred into soup.

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Jamie Oliver’s Asian Noodle Soup

Jamie_HealthierHappierYou_JanFeb16_20841_AsianStyleChickenNoodleSoupI made a vegetarian version of Jamie Oliver’s Asian Chicken and Tofu Noodle soup  and it was fantastic. It was easy to make and it is now competing with laksa, my other favourite rice noodle soup.

For those of you interested in the original chicken version here is the recipe.

For a veggie or pescatarian version (I added prawns to the one I made last night) here is the recipe:

I litre organic vegetable broth

2 shallots

1 3/4-inch (2-centimetre) piece of ginger

4 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon peanut oil

2 tablespoons sesame oil

5 star anise

½ bunch fresh coriander

I bunch fresh basil

100 grams (4 ounces) tofu

2 cups spinach

5 large mushrooms (thinly sliced – (I added this to the recipe)

1 lb prawns peeled – to serve 4 people

4 green onions – finely chopped

½ fresh red chili

3/4 cup fine uncooked rice noodles

2 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce

Black pepper

1 lime cut in 4

Peel and finely slice the shallot, ginger and garlic.

Heat the peanut oil in a large saucepan over a medium–low heat, then add the shallot, ginger and garlic. Fry for 5 minutes, or until softened.

Add sesame oil and fry for a few more minutes.

Add star anise and cover with 1 litre of bouillon. Gently bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover the pan with a lid. Add mushroom and prawns. Add a dash of soy sauce to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add spinach to heated broth before you’re ready to serve.

Pick the herb leaves, chop the tofu into ½ inch (1.25-centimetre) cubes. Cook rice noodles.

Place rice noodles in serving bowls, add herbs and tofu and then ladle broth with spinach, prawns and mushrooms and serve.

I gave everyone a small ramekin with hot pepper, a slice of lime and herbs and green onions so they could garnish their soup to taste. A big bottle of sriracha was on the table ready and waiting. Serve and sigh with satisfaction. So easy, so delicious. Thanks Jamie Oliver!

 

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Carrot Lemongrass Coconut Soup via Shiny Tomato

My friend Bonnie and her sister are the beauty and the brains behind Shiny Tomato recipes. Visiting their web site is almost as good as being in Bonnie’s house which has this fantastic, warm, fuzzy, Mad Men feel to it. So much so you almost never want to leave especially after having one or more of her delicious cocktails:) Last year she hosted a cheese fondue extravaganza – be still my beating heart. Cheese fondue, you say? 

But this post isn’t about cheese fondue. This is about a fabulous Carrot Lemongrass Soup she posted which I tried and which I can now attest to its amaze-a-ball-ness (a word borrowed from Pearlie which I am now going to own). 

 

 

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Carrot Lemongrass Coconut Soup

  • 8 cups stock
  • 6 lime leaves (fresh, dried or frozen)
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 TBSP coarse salt
  • 3 lemongrass stalks (I have used the stuff you can buy in a tube)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 TBSP Thai red curry paste
  • 1 TBSP coriander seeds, ground
  • 2 lbs carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tsp sambal oelek (or some hot chili sauce)
  • 1 tsp minced lime zest
  • Juice 1 lime
  • Chopped cilantro leaves
  • Plain yogurt (if desired)
  1. Heat the stock while you prepare the soup ingredients. Add the lime leaves & keep warm.
  2. Prepare the lemongrass by cutting the stalk 4” from the root end. Get rid of the top and peel the outer layer from the bottom piece. Using a broad bladed knife, smash the lemongrass. Mince & set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion & 1 tsp salt. Cook onions until translucent.
  4. Add minced garlic, ginger, lemongrass, curry paste & coriander; sauté & stir for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the chopped carrots & remaining salt (2 tsps). Sauté for several minutes, then pour in hot stock.
  6. Bring to a boil & simmer until the carrots are soft (about 15 min).
  7. Remove lime leaves & puree with hand blender/food processor until smooth. Whisk in coconut milk, sambal oelek &simmer gently for 15 minutes.
  8. Just before serving, add lime zest, juice & season to taste with salt or more sambal.
  9. Garnish each bowl with freshly chopped cilantro leaves & a spoonful of yogurt.

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Indian Spiced Lentils with Yogurt – Yotam Ottolenghi

My friend Janet posted this recipe so I tested it right away and wow, it was fantastic. The spices come together to give this simple vegetarian dish a complex beautiful taste. If you don’t already stock the usual array of Indian spices it’s worth going out and getting them including the more unusual ones required in this recipe. The original recipe comes from the Guardian web site and was shared by Yotam Ottolenghi. So thanks Yotam! Amazing veggie treat.

Food-Vegetarian Spiced Red Lentils with Cumcumber Yogurt
Yotam Ottolenghi’s favourite way to stave off the cold Photograph: Colin Campbell

This chill breaker is the ultimate antidote to any seasonal malady; I could eat mountains of it. Serve as a thick soup, or alongside plain rice or roti. Serves two to four.

200g split red lentils (I used 1.5 cups)
1 bunch fresh coriander
1 small onion, peeled
40g ginger, peeled 
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 mild green chilli
1½ tsp black mustard seeds
4 tbsp sunflower oil
1½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp paprika
10 curry leaves
300g ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (1.5 cups chopped)
2 tsp caster sugar
½ tsp fenugreek (optional)
1 pinch asafoetida (optional)
Salt
150g Greek yogurt
75g finely diced cucumber
1½ tbsp olive oil
70g unsalted butter
1½ tbsp lime juice

Wash the lentils in plenty of water, drain and soak in 350ml of fresh water for 30 minutes. Cut the coriander bunch somewhere around its centre to get a leafy top half and a stem/root bottom half. Roughly chop the leaves. Put the stem half in the bowl of a food processor, add the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli – all roughly broken – and pulse a few times to chop up without turning into a paste.

Put the mustard seeds in a heavy-based pot and place over medium heat. When they begin to pop, add the onion mix and sunflower oil, stir and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Add the spices and curry leaves, and continue cooking and stirring for five minutes longer. Now add the lentils and their soaking water, the tomatoes, sugar, fenugreek, asafoetida and a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are fully cooked.

Before serving, whisk together the yogurt, cucumber, oil and some salt. Stir into the lentils the butter, lime juice and chopped coriander leaves, taste and season generously with salt. Divide into bowls, spoon yogurt on top and garnish with coriander.

• Yotam Ottolenghi is chef/patron of Ottolenghi in London

 

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