Sunday, April 26, 2009
When I go out with friends and work acquaintances for lunch, they invariably tread gingerly around the Vegan.
"Where would you like to eat?" they ask.
"Anywhere, really?" I offer.
"No, you decide. I'm fine with anything that's fine by you," goes the other person.
So, with the burden of decision-making on my shoulders, I usually respond, "How about Thai?"
I don't know anyone who's turned that down yet.
Thai food's a crowd-pleaser, an everybody-pleaser, really. After all, what's not to love? The delicious bite of chilli, the fragrance of herbs like basil and lemon grass, the creamy allure of coconut milk...what more can one ask for?
Plus, it's wonderful for a vegan because the Thai restaurants in my city, at least, offer several vegetarian and vegan options.
My dish for today is a mish-mash of many different recipes from Thai cuisine and one for which cooking purists might want to condemn me to death. But it's a dish I'd be happy to have for my last meal.
There's tofu in this recipe, and I marinate it for an extra flavor punch in sesame oil and screaming-hot Sriracha sauce. Yum.
Enough said. Here goes the recipe for my Thai-Style Noodles In Coconut Sauce. They are divine and delicious and to die for. And they go, of course, to It's A Vegan World: Thai, hosted this month by the beautiful blog Akshayapaatram. Thanks, Priya!
Thai-Style Noodles In Coconut Sauce
1 package extra-firm tofu. Swaddle it in paper towels or cheesecloth and place in a colander with a heavy pan or other weight on top. Let most of the water drain out.
In a glass baking dish mix together:
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce (use any other hot sauce or chilli powder if you can't find this)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp sugar
Soak the block of tofu on each side in the sauce, then place in a 400-degree oven for about 30 minutes. Turn over once halfway through baking. After the tofu has cooled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and set aside.
Cook 1 lb very thin whole-wheat noodles, like Japanese Somen Noodles, according to package directions and drain.
Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a wok.
5 cloves garlic, minced
Stir until the garlic starts to turn golden
1 red bell pepper, cut into very thin slices
1 zucchini, cut into thin strips
5-6 scallions, white and green parts chopped
Stir-fry until the veggies start to soften.
Now add 2 tbsp Thai green curry paste
1 cup coconut milk
1-2 tbsp tamari sauce (use soy sauce if you can't find this)
When the coconut milk's warmed, add the tofu and cooked noodles and stir together to coat.
Turn off the heat and garnish with 10-15 basil leaves, cut into thin strips
Add 1/2 cup of roasted, coarsely chopped peanuts
Stir to mix and serve hot.