Adventures in almost Thai.

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I really, really love Thai food. Inspired by some leftover coconut milk from Sunday's cake, I decided to make my very first foray into homemade Thai cuisine. I openly admit that this is not the most authentic Thai recipe ever. It's based on this one I found on About.com which I modified to fit the ingredients I had on hand. So really, I'd call this pseudo-Thai or Thai-inspired. Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • 3/4 package extra firm tofu, drained & cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1-3/4 cups veggie stock
  • 3/4 can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil
  • 1/2 of an onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves peeled garlic, roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons of Thai chili sauce
  • 4 tablespoons of black bean garlic sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup snow peas, cut in half
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into bite-sized pieces

Steps:

  1. In a wok or large, deep frying pan heat add canola oil. Add onion and garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes or until onion begins to turn translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
  2. With the garlic and onion still in the pan, turn up the heat to high. Pour in the stock, chili sauce, and most of the toasted coconut (save a couple of tablespoons for later) and stir together.
  3. Add the sweet potato and cauliflower. Allow the mixture to reach a boil, then reduce heat to medium.  Simmer for about 4 minutes.
  4. Stir in the mushrooms, eggplant and tofu. Cover and allow to simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes (by now the sweet potatoes and cauliflower should be getting soft enough to eat).
  5. Add snow peas and cook another 2-3 minutes, or until snow peas are soft but still bright green.
  6. Turn the heat down to low and stir in the coconut milk.
  7. Remove from heat. Mix in the black bean garlic sauce one tablespoon at a time for some extra flavor. Add more chili sauce for extra spice.
  8. To serve, scoop the curry on top of jasmine, brown or white rice. Top with the leftover toasted coconut.

Sure, there's no lime leaves or Thai basil involved in this dish but the coconut and mix of veggies over rice come together for a quick and easy Thai-inspired dinner. This serves about 4-6 people, and I don't recommend it as leftovers. Makes for a good casual dinner with friends.