A Thai Feast

I love Thai food and it’s actually quite easy to make vegan thai food.  A quick internet search brings up many recipes.  I use the book Thai Vegetarian Cooking by Vatcharin Bhumichitr.  It is not a vegan cookbook, but all recipes with eggs are labelled (dairy isn’t a problem with Thai food).

I love making the following Thai feast for guests, which is modified from Thai Vegetarian Cooking.  It is vegan, soy-free and if using tamari and rice noodles, gluten-free, so almost anyone can eat it (there’s also no corn or peanuts!).  However, almost everyone loves Thai food, so it doesn’t feel like you’re serving “health food.”  While the meal feels special and fancy, it really doesn’t take long at all to make.

The following “feast” will serve four people.  If you’d only like to try one recipe, it will serve at least two – I’d double it if you are planning a dinner for four.

Small bowls of cilantro, green onions, and limes give guests options for adding additional flavor.

Small bowls of cilantro, green onions, and limes give guests options for adding additional flavor.

Thai Feast:

Step 1 – If you are using rice noodles, read the directions on the package.  Most rice noodles have to soak in warm water for 45 minutes.  Get this started.

Step 2 –  Bring two cups of water and one cup of brown rice to a boil.  Once the water boils, turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook for about 45 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed.

Step 3 – Prepare the Chickpea Curry.

Step 4 – While the curry is simmering, prepare the Drunken Noodles.

If you work quickly (and/or have an assistant), it should only take you about an hour to do everything.   Don’t worry if dishes get done at different times, or if your dinner guests arrive late.  Just turn off the heat, and keep a cover on.  The food should stay pretty warm, and you can reheat it over low a few minutes before you’re ready to serve it.

Chickpea Curry:

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon of coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon of peppercorns

2 Tablespoons of canola or safflower oil

1 14.5 oz can of coconut milk (I use light coconut milk)

1 Tablespoon curry powder

1 russet potato, cut into cubes (I don’t peel it, but you can)

1 14.5 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/2 of a 14.5 oz can of chopped tomatoes, drained

10 basil leaves (sometimes I use more)

2 Tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1.  Flatten the coriander seeds and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle.  If you don’t have a mortar, you can use a coffee grinder or spice grinder.  You can also use pre-ground spices, but they’re a little less flavorful.  If using a mortar, add the garlic and pound to mix with the spice.

2.  Heat the oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan.  Add the coriander, pepper and garlic and saute for about one minute.  Add the coconut milk and stir well.  Add the remaining ingredients, in order, stirring well.  Bring to a boil, and then turn the heat to low.  Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

3.  Serve the curry over rice.  Garnish with more basil leaves if desired.

Drunken Noodles

Drunken Noodles:

These noodles can cure a hang-over.

4 oz of rice noodles, prepared according to package directions (you can use a different kind of noodle if desired – I’ve used soba noodles with great success)

2 Tablespoons canola or safflower oil

1 garlic clove, minced

2 chiles (I use serranos), diced

1 medium yellow onion, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced (you could also use orange or yellow)

1/2 of a 14.5 oz can of chopped tomatoes (see how nicely it fits with the curry!)

4 – 6 kaffir lime leaves, roughly chopped (see ingredient note)

6 basil leaves, chopped

2 Tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1.  In a wok or frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and chilis and fry for about two minutes.

2.  Add the noodles, stir, and add the remaining ingredients.  Cook over medium heat until the onions and peppers are cooked, 7 – 10 minutes.  Stir frequently to prevent sticking.  If using rice noodles, you’ll notice that they’re still pretty hard after a soaking, but frying softens them up.

Noodle SoupWant more courses?

Many grocery stores sell Thai appetizers in the frozen foods section.  You can also easily serve baked tofu with a dipping sauce (such as peanut or sweet and sour) for an appetizer.

Pacific Natural Foods sells soup starters that become an appetizer in just about ten minutes by adding your favorite ingredients, such as noodles, tofu, vegetables, and cilantro.

Fresh fruit and/or coconut ice cream make lovely desserts.

Ingredient Note:

Kaffir lime leaves are the only ingredient that may not be readily available, but they really make the dish!  Look for them at an Asian or specialty foods store.  Many health food stores, such as Whole Foods, carry them.  They will be in the produce section, in an area that’s kept cool.  You can freeze extra lime leaves for later use.

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2 comments

  1. Thanks for planning my next dinner party!

  2. Wow we made this for our Easter Feast and it was just amazing!!!!!!!! Erin you are very talented and I am so happy after the meal THANK YOU! Happy Easter. 🙂

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