VCEFeb13

vegcurious

VCEFeb13

Click on any of the titles to take you to the appropriate piece

Features Columns

Thai Rice: How Much Do You

Know? 14

By Jill Nussinow, MS, RD

Thailand has an incredible variety

of rice. Learn about a few of the

more popular types and get Jill’s

recipe for black rice pudding.

Small Bites, Big Flavors 17

By Robin Robertson

No Thai meal is complete without

a few small bites that pack a

wallop of flavor.

Comfort Food Fusion 20

By Madelyn Pryor

Madelyn shares some easy‐to‐

make Thai recipes that are soul‐

satisfying and fun to make.

Heart Healthy Thai Pizza

Pies 22

By Mark Sutton

Pad Thai pizza and a pineapple

dessert pizza? Yum! Mark takes us

step by step through his pizza

creation process.

Sustenance and Squirt Guns:

Gotta Love Thai Food! 27

By LaDiva Dietitian

What do Buddhism, food, and

squirt guns have in common?

Table of Contents

What’s Cooking? 4

Find out what’s up with the Vegan

Culinary Experience this month.

Vegan Cuisine & the Law:

The Poop on Big Chicken 30

By Mindy Kursban, Esq. & Andy

Breslin

Read about the link between

climate change, water pollution,

big chicken, and what’s going on in

the legal world about it.

From the Garden: A Thai

Kitchen Garden 33

By Liz Lonetti

Kaffir limes and other Thai staples

may not always be easy to find,

unless you grown them in your

own garden.

The Vegan Traveler: South

Florida 36

By Chef Jason Wyrick

Chef Jason journeys to Jacksonville,

Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and

Miami. Read about his travels and

the great, and not so great, food.

Marketplace 9

Get connected and find out about

vegan friendly businesses and

organizations.

see the following pages for

interviews and reviews…

A Taste of Thai February 2013|1


Table of Contents 2

Features Contd. Columns Contd.

The Lonestar Vegetarian

Chili Cookoff Report 40

By Jason Wyrick

Austin is one of my favorite cities,

especially when I am asked to be a

chili cookoff judge there! Read

about the world’s premier vegan

chili cookoff.

Thai Ingredients 44

By Jason Wyrick

Check out the list of some of the

more uncommon ingredients used

in this issue.

Salty, Sweet, Spicy, Sour, &

Bitter 50

By Jason Wyrick

The five quintessential Thai flavors

need to be balanced for the

perfect meal, but where do those

flavors come from?

Vegan Substitutions for

Quintessential Thai

Ingredients 53

By Jason Wyrick

Not all Thai ingredients are easy to

find outside of Southeast Asia or

specialty markets. Plus, many of

them aren’t even close to being

vegan. Find out how to replace

those flavors with kinder, easier to

find fare.

Recipe Index 79

A listing of all the recipes found in

this issue, compiled with links.

Making Curry Paste 80

Making curry pastes can be as

complex or as simple as you want

it to be.

Interviews

Big Bald Mike, the Strongest

Vegetarian in the World 55

With a heart as big as his arms,

Mike is winning the world over and

proving that vegans are

powerhouses of good.

Kristin Lajeunesse of Will

Travel for Vegan Food 59

Ever thought about doing a vegan

roadtrip? Kristin did it and then

some, visiting over four hundred

vegan eateries during her year long

journey.

Cheryl Durzy and John Salley

of The Vegan Vine 63

Who says being vegan isn’t fun?

Cheryl and John share their

experiences getting The Vegan

Vine line of wines off the ground.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|2


Reviews

Book Review: A Taste of

Europe 65

By Jason Wyrick

Good recipes that are elegant,

simple, and capture the flavors of

a region.

Book Review: Vegan Eats

World 67

By Madelyn Pryor

A solid book showcasing the

author’s spin on world cuisine.

Book Review: Fresh from

the Vegan Slowcooker 69

By Madelyn Pryor

Hot, delicious, and ready for

dinner!

Book Review: Nut Butter

Universe 71

By Madelyn Pryor

So much more than peanut butter

and jelly.

Book Review: Vegan for the

Holidays 73

By Madelyn Pryor

Tasty treats for the end of the

year holidays.

Table of Contents 3

The Vegan Vine Wines 75

By Jason Wyrick

Vegan wines that are great for

beginners and experience wine

drinkers alike.

Organic Gourmet Miso and

Veggie Bouillon 77

By Madelyn Pryor

Interesting miso with low‐sodium

options and veggie bouillon with a

twist.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|3


The Vegan Culinary Experience

Thai! February 2013

Publisher Jason Wyrick

Editors Eleanor Sampson,

Madelyn Pryor

Nutrition Analyst Eleanor Sampson

Web Design Jason Wyrick

Graphics Jason Wyrick

Reviewers Madelyn Pryor

Jason Wyrick

Contributing Authors Jason Wyrick

Madelyn Pryor

Liz Lonetti

Sharon Valencik

Mark Sutton

Bryanna Clark Grogan

Jill Nussinow

Marty Davey

Robin Robertson

Mindy Kursban

Andy Breslin

Photography Credits

Cover Page Jason Wyrick

Recipe Images Jason Wyrick

Madelyn Pryor

Milan Valencik of

Milan Photography

Bryanna Clark Grogan

Jill Nussinow

Mark Sutton

Liz Lonetti

Restaurant/Wildlife

Photos Jason Wyrick

Chili Cookoff Photos Jason Wyrick

Algal bloom, Thai basil, GNU Free Documentation

rice worker, water License

fight

Black rice, curry tree, Public Domain

galangal, ginger, monks,

che

Kaffir lime, lemongrass, Creative Commons

rice plant, novice monks,

Big Bald Mike Courtesy of Big Bald Mike

Kristin Lajeunesse Courtesy of Kristin Lajeunesse

Vegan Vine Courtesy of Cheryl Durzy

What’s Cooking?

Balance is a cornerstone of Thai

cooking (although to someone who

can’t tolerate any heat, the balance of

a Thai dish may be nowhere to be

seen!). The interplay of salty, sweet,

spicy, bitter, and sour floats through

the cuisine, influencing every dish and

every meal. I cut my teeth as a chef

with Thai food, not knowing at the time that I was learning how to

make one of the most refined cuisines in the world. Refined,

however, belies the playfulness that also surrounds the art. It’s a

cuisine that shows care in preparation and ingredients, yet there is

a freedom to it, a balance to the care if you will, that is expected of

Thai cooks. You do not need to add exactly seven cloves to a dish

just because a recipe calls for it. You can add just what you think

you need, to taste, using a recipe as a guideline and not a rule. That

way of cooking is good advice in any kitchen, though it sometimes

gets lost in more formalized settings.

The recipes in this issue are a bit more involved than normal. Thai

dishes can have a lot of ingredients and there are rustic traditions

that are time consuming, but produce outstanding meals. Don’t

worry about banging out a curry with a mortar and pestle if you

don’t have the time or patience. There are plenty of shortcuts

talked about in the recipes and having fun in the kitchen is just as

important as the finished result. Find your own balance between

your patience and the art of Thai cuisine and you will have a truly

spectacular meal.

Eat healthy, eat compassionately, and eat well!

A Taste of Thai February 2013|4


Contributors

Jason Wyrick ‐ Chef Jason Wyrick is the Executive Chef of Devil Spice, Arizona's vegan

catering company, and the publisher of The Vegan Culinary Experience. Chef Wyrick has

been regularly featured on major television networks and in the press. He has done

demos with several doctors, including Dr. Neal Barnard of the PCRM, Dr. John

McDougall, and Dr. Gabriel Cousens. Chef Wyrick was also a guest instructor in the Le

Cordon Bleu program. He has catered for PETA, Farm Sanctuary, Frank Lloyd Wright,

and Google. He is also the NY Times best‐selling co‐author of 21 Day Weightloss

Kickstart Visit Chef Jason Wyrick at www.devilspice.com and

www.veganculinaryexperience.com.

Madelyn Pryor ‐ Madelyn is a lover of dessert, which she celebrates on her blog,

http://badkittybakery.blogspot.com/. She has been making her own tasty desserts for

over 16 years, and eating dessert for longer than she cares to admit. When she isn’t in

the kitchen creating new wonders of sugary goodness, she is chasing after her bad

kitties, or reviewing products for various websites and publications. She can be

contacted at thebadkittybakery@gmail.com or madelyn@veganculinaryexperience.com.

Bryanna Clark Grogan ‐ Author of 8 vegan cookbooks, Bryanna has devoted over 40

years to tasty, healthful cooking, 23 as a vegan. She was a frequent contributor and

reviewer for Vegetarian Times magazine for 5 years, and, more recently, wrote and

published a subscription cooking zine, “Vegan Feast”, for 5 years. She is moderator of the

Vegsource “New Vegetarian” forum. Bryanna has conducted cooking workshops and

classes locally (including a 5‐day Vegan Cooking Vacation on beautiful Denman Is.), and

at numerous vegetarian gatherings in North America. Bryanna’s recipes appear in the

The Veg‐Feasting Cookbook (Seattle Vegetarian Association); on Dr. Andrew Weil's

websites; in No More Bull! by Howard Lyman; and in Cooking with PETA. Bryanna also

developed the recipes for the ground‐breaking book, Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for

Reversing Diabetes.

Robin Robertson ‐ A longtime vegan, Robin Robertson has worked with food for more

than 25 years and is the author of twenty cookbooks, including Quick‐Fix Vegan, Vegan

Planet, 1,000 Vegan Recipes, Vegan Fire & Spice, and Vegan on the Cheap. A former

restaurant chef, Robin writes the Global Vegan food column for VegNews Magazine and

has written for Vegetarian Times, Cooking Light, and Natural Health, among others.

Robin lives in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. You may contact her through

her website: www.robinrobertson.com.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|5


Contributors

Mindy Kursban, Esq. ‐ Mindy Kursban is a practicing attorney who is passionate about

animals, food, and health. She gained her experience and knowledge about vegan

cuisine and the law while working for ten years as general counsel and then executive

director of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Since leaving PCRM in

2007, Mindy has been writing and speaking to help others make the switch to a plant‐

based diet. Mindy welcomes feedback, comments, and questions at

mkursban@gmail.com.

Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, The Veggie Queen ‐ Jill is a Registered Dietitian and has a

Masters Degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from Florida International University. After

graduating, she migrated to California and began a private nutrition practice providing

individual consultations and workshops, specializing in nutrition for pregnancy, new

mothers, and children. You can find out more about The Veggie Queen at

www.theveggiequeen.com.

Liz Lonetti ‐ As a professional urban designer, Liz Lonetti is passionate about building

community, both physically and socially. She graduated from the U of MN with a BA in

Architecture in 1998. She also serves as the Executive Director for the Phoenix

Permaculture Guild, a non‐profit organization whose mission is to inspire sustainable

living through education, community building and creative cooperation

(www.phoenixpermaculture.org). A long time advocate for building greener and more

inter‐connected communities, Liz volunteers her time and talent for other local green

causes. In her spare time, Liz enjoys cooking with the veggies from her gardens, sharing

great food with friends and neighbors, learning from and teaching others. To contact

Liz, please visit her blog site www.phoenixpermaculture.org/profile/LizDan.

Sharon Valencik ‐ Sharon Valencik is the author of Sweet Utopia: Simply Stunning Vegan

Desserts. She is raising two vibrant young vegan sons and rescued animals, currently a

rabbit and a dog. She comes from a lineage of artistic chef matriarchs and has been

baking since age five. She is working on her next book, World Utopia: Delicious and

Healthy International Vegan Cuisine. Please visit www.sweetutopia.com for more

information, to ask questions, or to provide feedback.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|6


Contributors

Andrew Breslin ‐ Andrew Breslin is the author of Mother's Milk, the definitive account of

the vast global conspiracy orchestrated by the dairy industry, which secretly controls

humanity through mind‐controlling substances contained in cow milk. In all likelihood

this is a hilarious work of satyric fiction, but then again, you never know. He also authors

the blog Andy Rants, almost certainly the best blog that you have never read. He is an

avid book reviewer at Goodreads. He worked at Physicians Committee for Responsible

Medicine with Mindy Kursban, with whom he occasionally collaborates on projects

concerning legal issues associated with health and food. Andrew's fiction and nonfiction

have appeared in a wide variety of print and online venues, covering an even wider

variety of topics. He lives in Philadelphia with his girlfriend and cat, who are not the

same person.

Mark Sutton ‐ Mark Sutton has been the Visualizations Coordinator for two NASA Earth

Satellite Missions, an interactive multimedia consultant, organic farmer, and head

conference photographer. He’s developed media published in several major magazines

and shown or broadcast internationally, produced DVDs and websites, edited/managed

a vegan cookbook (No More Bull! by Howard Lyman), worked with/for two Nobel Prize

winners (on Global Climate Change), and helped create UN Peace Medal Award‐winning

pre‐college curriculum. A vegetarian for 20 years, then vegan the past 10, Mark’s the

editor of the Mad Cowboy e‐newsletter, an avid nature photographer, gardener, and

environmentalist. Oil‐free for over 5 years and author of the 1st vegan pizza cookbook,

he can be reached at: msutton@hearthealthypizza.com and

http://www.hearthealthypizza.com

Milan Valencik ‐ Milan Valencik is the food stylist and photographer of Sweet Utopia:

Simply Stunning Vegan Desserts. His company, Milan Photography, specializes in artistic

event photojournalism, weddings, and other types of photography. Milan is also a fine

artist and musician. Milan is originally from Czech Republic and now lives in NJ. For more

information about Milan, please visit www.milanphotography.com or

www.sweetutopia.com.

Eleanor Sampson – Eleanor is an editor and nutrition analyst for The Vegan Culinary

Experience, author, and an expert vegan baker with a specialty in delicious vegan sweets

(particularly cinnamon rolls!) You can reach Eleanor at

Eleanor@veganculinaryexperience.com.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|7


Become a Subscriber

About the VCE

Subscribing to the VCE is FREE! Subscribers have access to our Learning Community, back issues, recipe

database, and extra educational materials.

Visit http://veganculinaryexperience.com/VCESubscribe.htm to subscribe.

The Vegan Culinary Experience is an educational vegan culinary

magazine designed by professional vegan chefs to help make

vegan cuisine more accessible. Published by Chef Jason Wyrick,

the magazine utilizes the electronic format of the web to go

beyond the traditional content of a print magazine to offer

classes, podcasts, an interactive learning community, and links to

articles, recipes, and sites embedded throughout the magazine to

make retrieving information more convenient for the reader.

The VCE is also designed to bring vegan chefs, instructors,

medical professionals, authors, and businesses together with the

growing number of people interested in vegan cuisine.

Eat healthy, eat compassionately, and eat well.

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Not Just a Magazine

Meal Service

The Vegan Culinary Experience also provides weekly meals that coincide with the recipes from the magazine.

Shipping is available across the United States. Raw, gluten‐free, and low‐fat diabetic friendly options are

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Culinary Instruction

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http://veganculinaryexperience.com/VCEContact.htm.

An Educational and Inspirational Journey of Taste, Health, and Compassion

A Taste of Thai February 2013|8


Welcome to the Marketplace, our new spot for finding

vegetarian friendly companies, chefs, authors, bloggers,

cookbooks, products, and more! One of the goals of The Vegan

Culinary Experience is to connect our readers with organizations

that provide relevant products and services for vegans, so we

hope you enjoy this new feature!

Click on the Ads – Each ad is linked to the appropriate

organization’s website. All you need to do is click on the ad to

take you there.

Become a Marketplace Member – Become connected by joining

the Vegan Culinary Experience Marketplace. Membership is

available to those who financially support the magazine, to

those who promote the magazine, and to those who contribute

to the magazine. Contact Chef Jason Wyrick at

chefjason@veganculinaryexperience.com for details!

Current Members

Bad Kitty Creations GoDairyFree.org Robin Robertson

(www.badkittybakery.blogspot.com) (www.godairyfree.org) (www.robinrobertson.com)

Bryanna Clark Grogan Sweet Utopia Milan Photography

(www.bryannaclarkgrogan.com) (www.sweetutopia.com) (www.milanphotography.com)

Jill Nussinow, MS, RD Heart Healthy Pizza LaDiva Dietitian

(www.theveggiequeen.com) (www.hearthealthypizza.com) (www.ladivadietitian.com)

Marketplace

Non‐profits

Vegan Outreach Rational Animal Farm Sanctuary

(www.veganoutreach.org) (www.rational‐animal.org) (www.farmsanctuary.com)

The Phoenix Permactulture Guild (www.phoneixpermaculture.org)

A Taste of Thai February 2013|9


Marketplace

A Taste of Thai February 2013|10


Marketplace

A Taste of Thai February 2013|11


Marketplace

A Taste of Thai February 2013|12


Marketplace

A Taste of Thai February 2013|13


Thai Rice: How Much Do You Know?

By Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, aka The Veggie Queen

I am not a rice expert which became painfully

apparent as I started researching the subject. I

knew that rice is a staple in Thailand and other

Asian countries. Did you know that rice feeds one

in three people throughout the world? And that 90

percent of the rice grown comes from Asia?

I am providing a brief overview of Thai rice. I have

left a lot out here but wanted to give you a taste

and some tidbits to chew on.

When I think of Thai rice, I automatically think

WHITE rice: the fragrant Jasmine rice found in Thai

restaurants in the US. Truth be told, there are

many kinds of rice in Thailand. Although the most

commonly eaten, and celebrated, is Jasmine, you

can easily find others in your local Asian or natural

food store.

The Thai people also like sticky rice: white, purple

and black to use for desserts. See recipe below.

Marie Simmons, author of The Amazing World of

Rice cookbook, when asked about Thai rice said,

“Most Jasmine rice grows in Thailand. They also

grow it in Texas. Kasma Loha‐unchit my Thai

cooking teacher hates the Texas rice. Look her up,

she knows a lot about rice.”

Kasma Loha‐unchit, a Thai native, and author of

Thai Food and Travel website knows more about

rice than most people. She offers a wealth of rice

information. She points out a very important fact

that likely many of us have not considered: rice

being an agricultural crop is influenced by where

and how it is grown. Jasmine rice from the

Northeast of Thailand is not the same as the

jasmine rice grown in another area (she says,

jasmine rice is, therefore, not just jasmine rice:

where it is grown is very important. The Chinese

know this and Thais know this, but many

Americans have yet to understand the difference),

A Taste of Thai February 2013|14


and certainly not the same as Jasmine rice grown in

Texas.

She goes on, “As for the jasmine rice grown in the

much more temperate climates of Florida and

Texas, you might as well forget it – it simply is no

longer jasmine rice. Thailand holds the patent for

jasmine rice, so it’s unlikely anyway that the rice

grown in these two states can claim to be true hom

mali jasmine rice.”

Loha‐unchit also writes, “I read in a book on Thai

food history that Thailand has some 3,500 varieties

of rice within her borders, both wild and cultivated.

Wow! That’s astounding! But wait till you hear this:

The same passage reveals that there are as many

as 120,000 varieties, both wild and cultivated,

worldwide! Now, that’s unfathomable to the

average citizen of Middle America who may know

rice only in the form of Uncle Ben’s converted or

that highly processed stuff called “Minute Rice”.

Thankfully, many of us know more than Loha‐

unchit thinks. Her favorite brand of Thai rice is

Golden Phoenix, available in Asian stores, usually in

5 pound or larger bags in both white and brown. I

have not yet tried it because I prefer to buy organic

rice from Lotus Foods or Alter Eco, or rice in bulk. I

must say that imported jasmine rice is much tastier

and cooks better than American rice.

Here is what Lotus Foods says about its brown

jasmine rice: Considered the premium rice of choice

in Thailand, the poetically named Jasmine Rice is

also referred to as "fragrant rice" due to its floral

aroma and flavor. When cooked, this long‐grain

brown rice is distinguished by its moist and tender,

slightly sticky texture—the softest brown rice you

may ever taste! The 10% rice bran gives our

Organic Brown Jasmine Rice its light tan color and

oat‐like flavor. It cooks in 35 minutes (and half that

time in the pressure cooker). Alter Eco offers white

harvesting rice seedlings

jasmine (Hom Mali), red (Khao Deng Ruby Red) rice

and Thai sticky purple rice which I use for dessert.

They used to sell long grain Thai black rice, too.

In your favorite Asian store, you might find many

more varieties of rice although they are often

labeled in a foreign language so you might need to

ask what they are and how to cook them. Most rice

is steamed, cooking it by putting it in a container

above boiling water, using a rice cooker (Thai

people do not approve of this), stove top or

pressure cooking.

The

difference

between the

white and

colored rice,

including

brown, is

black rice

that the

darker ones are whole grain rice. The white rice has

had the outer hull and bran removed. You probably

already know that I will suggest eating whole grain

rice for health. I also love it for the nutty flavor and

firmer texture. Lately I have often been soaking my

rice overnight or longer which makes the rice turn

out better by using less water and cutting cooking

time in half. Loha‐unchit recommends soaking for

22 hours which increases nutrition.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|15


The same cannot be said of the purple sticky rice

which is, well…sticky which is why it makes such an

amazing dessert. The traditional dessert is usually

served with sliced mango. I like to serve it plain.

You can make this Thai Sticky Rice Pudding with

coconut water, as shown, or full fat or lite coconut

milk for a richer dish. I cook it in the pressure

cooker but you can cook it in a pot on top of the

stove, if you prefer. It will take double the amount

of time and need about 25% more liquid which is

easily monitored during the stovetop simmering.

This is a simple and tasty end to a Thai‐inspired

meal.

The Author

Jill usually makes rice once a week

or more, switching between

Jasmine, Basmati, black, pink, and

other colors of whole grain rice.

Her favorite way to cook it is in

the pressure cooker because it

takes half the time. You can visit

Jill at www.theveggiequeen.com.

Purple or Black Sticky Rice Pudding

Serves 6–8

This pudding can be made with purple or black sticky

rice. It might also work with white sticky rice but I

haven’t yet tried it. They are different. The whole

grain black sticky rice has more fiber and is less sticky,

and it’s what I prefer to use. It does, though, take

about twice as long to cook but it’s worth it. This is a

special treat, especially served with fresh berries,

summer fruit or the more traditional mango. (I have

not yet tried making it with soaked rice so cannot

report on how it turns out.)

15 minutes for purple rice or 30 minutes high

pressure for black rice; natural pressure release

1 cup purple or black sticky rice

2½ cups coconut water or coconut juice

Pinch of salt

¼–½ cup agave or maple syrup

½ cup soy, rice or other nondairy milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine rice, (liquid) coconut water or juice and salt

in the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure

over high heat. Lower the heat and cook for 30

minutes at high pressure. Remove from the heat and

let the pressure come down naturally.

Remove the lid, tilting it away from you and add the

agave, milk and vanilla extract. Let cool a bit. Top

with fruit, or not.

From The New Fast Food: The Veggie Queen Pressure Cooks Whole

Food Meals in Less than 30 Minutes by Jill Nussinow, MS, RD

A Taste of Thai February 2013|16


small bites, BIG FLAVORS

To me, there’s nothing that quite compares to Thai

food, a cuisine that features a refined blending of

hot, sour, sweet, salty, and bitter to create flavors

that many people find almost addictive.

Two of my favorite Thai appetizers showcase the

unique flavor palette found in Thai cuisine. The

first is called miang kam, which consist of a mixture

of peanut, ginger, chile, and lime, all wrapped in a

leaf (traditionally a wild pepper leaf) and eaten in

one bite. The concentration of bold elements is like

a burst of flavor fireworks in your mouth. From the

pungent tang of lime, ginger, and scallion to the

chile heat, coconut sweet, and peanut crunch,

miang kam encompasses an ideal balance of

flavors and textures that typifies Thai cuisine, all in

one tiny leaf‐wrapped package. Since wild pepper

leaves can be difficult to find, I like to serve miang

kam using Belgian endive leaves arranged

aesthetically on individual plates with a small

amount of each of the filling ingredients and sauce

in the center of each leaf. Instead of Belgian

endive, you can instead use baby spinach leaves or

pieces of leaf lettuce.

Perhaps less exotic, but no less delicious, is the

satay, another skewered appetizer that can be

found on street carts and Thai restaurant menus

alike. Traditionally made with meat, the

preparation is a natural for vegetables such as

eggplant and mushrooms. It is also sensational

when made with seitan. Served with a luscious

peanut sauce, satays are typically served as an

appetizer, but they also make a great main dish.

And like miang kam, satays are also a fun and

flavorful option when entertaining.

Two Celebrated Thai Appetizers

by Robin Robertson

Miang Kam

Serve this easy and unusual appetizer as a prelude

to a Thai meal. Wild pepper leaves (bai cha plu)

can be found in Asian markets, but Belgian endive

or baby spinach leaves provide more accessible

alternatives.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

Sauce:

½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut,

toasted

¼ cup unsalted roasted peanuts

3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce

2 tablespoons palm sugar or other natural

sugar

1 tablespoon minced scallion

A Taste of Thai February 2013|17


1 teaspoon grated ginger

½ cup water

Leaves:

24 Belgian endive leaves (or spinach, leaf

lettuce, or wild pepper leaves)

Filling:

3 small Thai chiles, cut into very thin rounds

1 fresh lime, sliced and finely chopped,

including peel

½ cup roasted peanuts, crushed

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut,

toasted

¼ cup finely minced scallion

2 tablespoons grated ginger

1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves

Instructions

� Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a

small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce

the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes

to thicken.

� Remove from heat and set aside to cool

slightly. Transfer to a blender or food

processor and blend until smooth. Transfer

to a small serving bowl and place on a large

serving platter.

� On the same serving platter, arrange the

leaves and a small amount of each of the

filling ingredients in a mound on each leaf.

Alternatively, arrange six leaves with a

mound of the filling ingredients on

individual salad plates. Top each with a

small amount of sauce or serve the sauce

alongside in a separate small bowl.

� To eat miang kam, place a filling‐topped

leaf in your hand, top with a small spoonful

of sauce, and eat it in one bite. Repeat.

Vegetable Satays with

Peanut Sauce

Satays with peanut sauce are a popular Thai

appetizer. Be sure to soak the bamboo skewers in

cold water for 30 minutes to prevent them from

burning. Instead of grilling or broiling, the satays

may instead be roasted on a baking sheet in a 425

degree F oven.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

Sauce:

¾ cup unsweetened coconut milk

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon natural sugar

1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Spice Mix:

½ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon natural sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne

Satay Veggies:

2 Japanese eggplants, halved or quartered

lengthwise and cut into ½‐inch slices

2 Portobello mushroom caps, cut into 1‐

inch chunks

1 large red bell pepper, halved lengthwise,

seeded, and cut into 1‐inch pieces

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

4 leaves leaf lettuce

A Taste of Thai February 2013|18


Instructions

� In a bowl or food processor, combine the

coconut milk, peanut butter, ginger, garlic,

sugar, tamari, and lemon juice. Blend until

smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and simmer

on low heat until slightly thickened, stirring

frequently, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

� In a small bowl, combine the coriander,

cumin, sugar, salt, and cayenne. Set aside.

� Preheat the broiler or grill. Place the

eggplant, bell pepper, and mushroom

pieces in a large bowl and drizzle with the

oil. Toss to coat. Sprinkle the vegetables

with the reserved spice mixture, tossing to

coat. Press any remaining spice mixture

from the bottom of the bowl into the

vegetables so the spices adhere.

� Thread the vegetables onto the skewers

and place them under the broiler or on the

grill until softened and well browned, 5 to 7

minutes per side.

� Arrange the skewed vegetables on plates

lined with lettuce leaves. Drizzle the

skewers with some of the peanut sauce and

divide the reserved peanut sauce among 4

small dipping bowls and place them on the

plates with the skewered vegetables. Serve

at once.

The Author

Robin Robertson is the author of

more than twenty cookbooks,

including Quick‐Fix Vegan, Fresh

from the Vegan Slow Cooker,

Vegan Planet, 1,000 Vegan

Recipes, Vegan Fire & Spice, and

Vegan on the Cheap. Her latest

book is entitled Nut Butter

Universe: Easy Vegan Recipes with Worlds of

Flavor. A former restaurant chef, Robin writes the

Global Vegan food column for VegNews Magazine

and has written for Vegetarian Times, Cooking

Light, and Natural Health, among others. She blogs

regularly on her website:

www.robinrobertson.com.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|19


By Chef Madelyn Pryor

Comfort Food Fusion

I fidgeted, uncomfortable with the knowledge that

I was a fraud. Unqualified and uncomfortable, I

started counting the hours until the rotten

tomatoes were thrown at me. The new issue of The

Vegan Culinary Experience was about Thai cuisine

and about all I knew was I liked the tom kha that

Jason would make for me. I also knew that Thai

basil is an essential in my kitchen, and that green

curry was easier to buy than make. None of this

would help me write an engaging, witty article

about something I knew less about than how to

build a cold fusion reactor. After reading two great

books on the subject I felt somewhat better, but

that my specialty of American comfort food and

this subject was an uncomfortable marriage. I was

wrong, so very wrong.

The secret to my success was the revelation that

many of the key flavors of Thai cuisine can not only

work with American cuisine but many of them can

be obtained in major supermarkets. If you do not

have access to an Asian grocery, you can still enjoy

switching up your normal routine with many new

treats.

If you have access to a major supermarket, in the

Asian section, you should be able to find green

curry paste in a small jar. Be sure to check and

make sure it has no animal ingredients, as this

country loves its fish sauce and fish pieces in

general. Green curry paste is a fun little ingredient,

and one of the components to my sandwich below.

If you need a quick weekday meal, just add some to

coconut milk, the kind in the can, not the carton,

with tofu, potatoes and carrots with a few

mushrooms. Instant quick and tasty dinner!!

Limes are everywhere, especially here in the

Southwest. Just adding in some lime can punch up

so many flavors, instantly making something taste

fresh. Lemonade is as innocuous as apple pie here,

but limeade is something that is much rarer, and

much more of a treat. When making oven fries, add

some lime juice just as they come out of the oven!

It can be that special element to your standard

oven fries that make them stand out from the rest.

Another simple addition to your menu is mango. I

do not know what I would do without mango. It is

one of those foods that makes my taste buds sing,

my heart smile, and makes me glad to be vegan

and alive. There is nothing quite like perfectly ripe

mango, something we rarely find in the U.S. and

find even less frequently in the average

supermarket. Rather than putting up with a mango

that was picked unripe and then left to its own

devices as it attempts to do something like get

softer on your counter, try frozen. If you have

access, Trader Joes has frozen mango packaged in

the Philippines that tastes better and brighter than

most.

When looking to take some of these tastes and

combine them into a few new recipes, try my Thai

Green Curry sandwich and the bright Thai flavored

water I make to go with it. Of course, nothing quite

says comfort food to me like a delicious vegan

sandwich. Though lower in calories than other

comfort food, the water is almost calorie free. Why

pay for expensive soda that will load you with

sugar or chemicals when a few cents of ingredients

can give you such bang for your buck. That is

refreshment for you and your wallet.

So if this magazine is your introduction to Thai

cuisine, you are in excellent hands. You will love

the variety of flavors, textures, and aromas you are

about to discover. However, if you are someone

who likes to dip your toes in the pool rather than

jump, try this sandwich and this flavored water.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|20


Thai Green Curry Sandwich

Makes 3 servings

1 small French baguette, about 12 inches

1 package of seitan, premade (about 8 oz, or 1 cup

of homemade seitan)

2 cubes of veggie bouillon and three cups of water

or 3 cups of veggie broth.

3 tablespoons of reduced fat vegenaise

1 teaspoon green curry paste

2 limes

1 cup of cubed mango

6-8 kalamata olives, sliced thin

1 medium shallot or two Asian shallots

1 tablespoon of cilantro

1 tablespoon of Thai basil or Italian basil

Prep: In a small dish, combine the vegenaise and

green curry paste. Set to the side. Combine the

seitan with the vegetable broth and simmer on the

stove for 10-15 minutes. Dice the shallot. Remove

the pits from the olives if needed and slice. In a

separate pot, combine the shallots, mango, and

olives. Cook over low heat until the shallots are soft

and slightly translucent. Roughly mince the cilantro

and basil.

Assembly: Slice the bread in half lengthwise and

sprinkle both sides with the lime juice of 1 lime.

Spread both sides of the bread with equal parts of

the green curry vegenaise. Drain the seitan and add

to the sandwich. Remove the tofu mixture from the

heat and add. Sprinkle with the herbs. Place the top

part of the bread on the sandwich and cut into three

equal pieces. Serve with a slice of fresh lime.

Makes 8 cups

The Author

Basil Water

2 inches of fresh ginger root

¼ cup loosely packed Thai basil or other basil

¼ cup loosely packed mint leaves

2 limes, sliced thin

8 cups of water

8 teaspoons of agave (optional)

Slice the ginger and limes thinly. Bruise the basil

and mint leaves. Add all to a pitcher with 8 cups of

filtered water and place in the refrigerator

overnight. Enjoy chilled in the morning as is, or

add a touch of agave, about 1 teaspoon per cup.

Madelyn is a lover of dessert, which she celebrates on

her blog, http://badkittybakery.blogspot.com/. She has

been making her own tasty desserts for over 16 years,

and eating dessert for longer than she cares to admit.

When she isn’t in the kitchen creating new wonders of

sugary goodness, she is chasing after her bad kitties, or

reviewing products for various websites and

publications. She can be

contacted at

thebadkittybakery@gmail.com

or

madelyn@veganculinaryexperi

ence.com.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|21


Heart Healthy Thai Pizza Pies

The cuisine of Thailand originates from an

intriguing mixture of cultural influences: China

(noodles), India (curries and exotic spices), and

culinary input from countries adjacent to Thailand

(Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam, and

Malaysia). Thai meals are known for including five

main tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy.

One might well argue that unique color

combinations, textures, and fragrance are also

important in the preparation and presentation of

Thai food in general.

The goal was to create two “Thai‐like” pizzas, a

savory one for a main course, and a sweet one for a

dessert. It was also desirable to incorporate “heart

healthy” cooking concepts into these recipes,

having been inspired by the landmark peer‐

reviewed research of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr.,

who, via a strict “no added oil” plant‐based diet,

was able to not only reverse heart disease, but in

theory, also prevent it. In view of the growing

popularity of “gluten‐free” food, at least one of the

pizza’s crusts should contain no gluten. It would

also be necessary to examine primary Thai food

components and decide how best to re‐integrate

them into a “pizza” format.

A SAVORY THAI PIZZA

Among the all‐time favorite Thai dishes is the

quintessential “Pad Thai,” generally a stir‐fried

mixture of rice noodles, crunchy bean sprouts,

vegetables, sugar, chili powder, peanuts, onion,

eggs, and fish sauce. Exciting in taste contrast, Pad

Thai is re‐constructed in this pizza recipe to reflect

by Mark Sutton

the essence of the meal’s general composition

along with a few ideas from other classic Thai

recipes.

Brown rice (instead of noodles) is integrated with

chickpea flour, fresh cilantro, flaxseeds, and (if

desired) red chili pepper flakes into a firm base for

the pizza. A “sweet’n’spicy chili corn sauce”

provides not only sweetness and heat, but the corn

element brings a color reminiscent of egg yolk.

Sliced cucumbers add a “cool” contrast to the

bottom sauce, whereas the shredded carrot and

red pepper slices dance with color beneath bean

sprouts and chopped scallions. The finish is a

“cheese‐like” sauce using cooked millet, ginger

(instead of the customary Thai “galangal” root),

peanut butter (instead of chopped peanuts), and

the delicate fragrance and acidity of lime juice to,

ahem, “tie” it all together...

A SWEET THAI PIZZA

Thai desserts are often recognized for the creative

use of fresh fruits (particularly pineapple), mint,

and of course, coconut. “Heavenly Pineapple Rice”

is a popular stir‐fried Thai dish that, although there

are many variations, is usually made with

pineapple, chiles, cashews, eggs, raisins, scallions,

and other interesting ingredients. In this recipe a

stronger “pizza foundation” manifests to support a

thicker sauce and heavier dessert topping. Whole

wheat flour mixed with millet flour (making for a

lighter taste and texture) are mixed with a banana

puree, moving the crust towards a sweeter tropical

taste.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|22


The topping sauce draws upon the creaminess of

tofu, the fragrance and color of fresh mint, and

flavorful coconut (by using coconut extract the high

fat and saturated fat content of coconut milk is

avoided). Lime juice brings a nice tang to the

sauce, sunflower seeds a fluffiness, and corn starch

is a thickening agent. Pineapple chunks are

marinated in dark rum, scattered on top of the

sauce, and sprinkled with unsweetened grated

coconut for contrast and taste.

THE RECIPES

Here are two heart healthy Thai plant‐based recipes

unveiled for your pleasure, enjoyment, and a

gourmet Thai Vegan Culinary Experience. Chai‐yoh!

(English: Cheers/Good Health!)

PAD THAI PIZZA PIE

A visual feast, this rice, chickpea, and fresh cilantro

gluten‐free crust harmonizes with a sweet and spicy

chile garlic corn sauce, crunches with fresh

vegetables, and smoothes the palette with a tangy

millet, ginger, and peanut lime topping sauce.

Overall Structure:

• Brown Rice, Chickpea, and Cilantro Crust

(recipe follows)

• Sweet’n’Spicy Chili Corn Sauce (use

around ½ cup, recipe follows)

• Filling Ingredients:

‐ sliced cucumbers

‐ shredded carrots

‐ sweet red pepper strips or slices

‐ bean sprouts (rinsed and drained)

‐ sliced scallions

‐ raisins (optional)

• Millet, Ginger, Peanut, and Lime Sauce

(recipe follows)

Brown Rice, Chickpea, and

Cilantro Crust

Makes one thick 12” to 14” pizza

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups leftover cooked brown rice (de‐clumped)

1 T. red chili pepper flakes (optional, stirred into

rice)

½ cup fresh cilantro (chopped)

2 T. flaxseeds

2/3 cups water

1 cup garbanzo flour (also called chickpea flour, or

"besan")

METHOD:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|23


2. Mix cilantro into rice.

3. Grind flaxseeds in a spice blender, mix into rice &

cilantro.

4. Slowly add garbanzo flour and mix, gradually

adding water. This will be a somewhat stiff and

sticky “dough.”

5. Use your hands to compress the dough into a

large cohesive "round,” slightly wetting your hands

if needed.

6. Press into lightly oiled baking or pizza pan, using

wet fingertips to smooth if desired.

7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until starting to get

firm and brown on the bottom.

8. Let sit and cool for 10 minutes.

9. Add sauces and toppings of choice, bake for

another 15 minutes or until cooked as desired.

VARIATIONS:

1. Fresh basil can be substituted for fresh cilantro.

2. A rectangular glass casserole dish (lightly oiled)

also works well with this dough, making more of a

“deep dish” pizza.

SWEET’N’SPICY CHILI CORN SAUCE

Makes just under 2 cups

INGREDIENTS:

One 15.25 oz can of drained unsalted corn

2 T. corn starch

2 T. Sriracha sauce (chili garlic sauce)

¾ c. water

METHOD:

1. Put all ingredients into a blender and process

until smooth.

2. Stir and simmer until the sauce thickens. Let

cool.

NOTE: This is a variation on the "Corn Comfort

Sauce" recipe in my book, Heart Healthy Pizza.

MILLET, GINGER, PEANUT, AND LIME

SAUCE

Makes around 1 ½ cups

INGREDIENTS:

1 c. cooked millet

2 t. ground ginger

3 T. peanut butter

½ c. water

1 ½ t. sugar (or sweetener of choice)

½ T. lime juice

A Taste of Thai February 2013|24


METHOD:

1. Put all ingredients except water in a blender,

slowing adding the water and processing to achieve

the desired thickness.

VARIATIONS: Use another nut butter or a small

amount of chopped nuts instead of peanut butter.

2. Add a few drops of Tabasco sauce while

blending.

HEAVENLY PINEAPPLE PIZZA

The taste of bananas inspires in this whole wheat

and millet crust, which is blanketed by a luscious

and bright rich‐tasting tofu, coconut, and lime

sauce, then topped with rum‐infused pineapple

chunks and sprinkled with a chorus of coconut

“lights.”

Overall Structure:

• Whole Wheat, Millet, and Banana Crust

(recipe follows)

• Tofu, Coconut, Mint, and Lime Sauce

(recipe follows)

• Rum‐soaked Pineapple (recipe follows)

• Unsweetened, Shredded Coconut

(optional)

• Red Chili Pepper Flakes (optional)

WHOLE WHEAT, MILLET, AND BANANA

CRUST

Makes enough dough for two 12” to 14” pizzas

INGREDIENTS:

2 c. whole wheat flour

1 ½ c. millet flour

1 c. mashed ripe banana (about 1 ½ bananas)

1/3 c. water

1 t. sugar (or sweetener of choice)

2 ¼ t. yeast

2/3 c. water

METHOD:

1. Mix flours together with a whisk, set aside.

2. Puree banana(s) and 1/3 cup water in a blender.

3. Whisk in sugar, yeast, and 2/3 cups water.

5. Combine yeast and flour mixtures.

6. Knead dough in bread machine or by hand until

nicely elastic.

7. Let rise, covered, in a warm location for at least

an hour.

8. Shape dough onto a lightly oiled pizza pan or

cookie sheet.

9. Add toppings and sauces of choice, bake for 15

minutes or longer as desired.

VARIATION: Molasses would be an interesting

choice instead of sugar (use ½ T.)

A Taste of Thai February 2013|25


TOFU, COCONUT, MINT, AND LIME SAUCE

Makes about 2 cups of sauce

INGREDIENTS:

1 box Nori‐Tofu (lite extra‐firm)

1/3 c. chopped fresh mint

1 t. sugar (or sweetener of choice)

¼ c. raw sunflower seeds (option: soak overnight)

1 to 1 ¼ c. water (as needed)

1 ½ t. coconut extract

2 T. corn starch

METHOD:

1. Put all ingredients except water in a blender,

slowing adding the water to obtain the desired

thickness.

NOTE: Special thanks to Susan Voisin, of

http://www.fafreevegan.com, for her superb idea

of using coconut extract instead of coconut milk in

recipes!

RUM-SOAKED PINEAPPLE

Makes about 2 cups of very tasty pineapple chunks

INGREDIENTS:

One 10 oz. can pineapple chunks (packed in own

juice, drained)

½ cup dark rum

METHOD:

1. Soak pineapple chunks with rum in a shallow

glass bowl, mixing occasionally, for 30 minutes or

longer. Drain in a colander or strainer a few minutes

before serving.

All recipes and photos ©2012 by Mark Sutton.

The Author

Mark Sutton has been the

Visualizations Coordinator

for two NASA Earth

Satellite Missions, an

interactive multimedia

consultant, organic farmer,

and head conference

photographer. He’s

developed media published in several major

magazines and shown or broadcast internationally,

produced DVDs and websites, edited/managed a

vegan cookbook (No More Bull! by Howard Lyman),

worked with/for two Nobel Prize winners (on Global

Climate Change), and helped create UN Peace

Medal Award‐winning pre‐college curriculum. A

vegetarian for 20 years, then vegan the past 10,

Mark’s the editor of the Mad Cowboy e‐newsletter,

an avid nature photographer, gardener, and

environmentalist. Oil‐free for over 5 years and

author of the 1st vegan pizza cookbook, he can be

reached at: msutton@hearthealthypizza.com and

http://www.hearthealthypizza.com

A Taste of Thai February 2013|26


Sustenance and Squirt Guns –

Gotta Love Thai Food!

Thailand ‐ Land of Contradictions or so the 1950’s

travel brochure says. But it isn’t far off when it

comes to religion and sustenance versus culture

and water balloons.

Approximately 94% of Thais are Theravada

Buddhists. Buddha lived and taught a path to

Enlightenment reaching Nirvana. When Buddha

became Enlightened, he left the earth and went

“beyond the call of prayer”, meaning you cannot

pray to him as a saintly being. He further taught

that one should not pray or deify another. One

must do caring works, living within the construct of

knowing individual action has a cause and effect.

Each person is responsible for their own movement

up the stairway of karma to attain Nirvana. i

thai novice monks

Many cultures

have a religious

element, but

almost every Thai

Buddhist family

has at least one

male become an

ordained monk

and spend time at

a monastery

during their life.

Ordination is

usually for a

specific time

period. Most

ordination periods

are anywhere

between 5 days to

By LaDiva Dietitian!, MS, RD, LDN

3 months. It is not unusual for men enter a

monastery after the death of a wife. The

government will pay full salary up to three months

during ordination in a monastery.

The historical high rate of literacy in Thailand, prior

to nationwide education, has been attributed to

the pervasive scholarly monastic presence within

Thai culture.

Interesting, but what does this have to do with

Tom Yam soup?

Buddhism teaches that food should be only eaten

as sustenance. When saffron‐robed monks appear

on the street with empty bowls, pedestrians ask for

blessings and donate food. Monks live on

whatever they are given. Food eaten for flavor is

considered gluttonous.

The basic rules for acceptable food can be boiled

down to these ii :

• No killing sentient beings, nor eating of

animal products

• No alcohol or other intoxicants because

they not only distract the mind from

enlightenment, but are listed in the "Five

Moral Precepts" including no killing,

stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, or

partaking of intoxicants.

• No ingestion of the “Five Pungent Spices”

which are Onions, Garlic, Scallions, Chives

and Leeks. Supposedly, these can lead to

anger as well as repelling good deities and

summoning ghosts.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|27


monks receiving food offerings

But the food culture in Thailand ain’t what’s eaten

by monks.

Most cultures have three daily meals. The Thais

have those and snacks, snacks, snacks. Nibbling

and noshing are normal throughout the day.

A short walk around the capital, Bangkok, fills the

air with aromas of outdoor food stands. As

opposed to many other cities where one avoids

street vendor dishes, these stands are the where

some of the tastiest food is prepared. There are

sweet liquid desserts and Kanom [savory pastries]

so numerous in typography that most vendors have

their own specialty. One Thai tourism website said

to look where the expensive cars line up. That’s

where enlightened locals await the most delectable

tidbits.

And don’t forget the festivals and holidays. There

are 16 public holidays each year. Many with

feasting. Some have dishes with their own

significance such as long noodles meaning a long

life. The New Year festival celebrated in April

includes throwing water on someone to have them

start the year anew. It begins with a sprinkle on the

elderly and becomes the world’s biggest water

fight. After you have sufficiently pumped your

Super Soaker, you can squirt some soy sauce on

spring rolls.

Not wasting the bounty of the earth is a lesson for

all. So, be sure that after licking your lips with the

Gaeng Kiaw Waan [green curry], iii you finish that

coconut mango sticky rice and lassi. And Buddha

would appreciate you bringing an extra towel ‐ wet

saffron robes are heavy.

The Author

Marty Davey, RD, MS is not only

LaDiva, Dietitian!, but a

Registered Dietitian with a

Masters degree in Food and

Nutrition. She became a

vegetarian in 1980 when she

discovered that there were more

chemicals in cattle then attendants at a Grateful

Dead concert. Her family is all vegan, except the

dog who drew the line at vegetarian. She conducts

factual and hilarious presentations and food

demos. While her private practice includes those

transitioning to a plant‐based life, LaDiva's most

popular private consulting topic is "I'm too busy

and I don't cook." Her website is

www.ladivadietitian.com.

waterfight at the songkran festival!

A Taste of Thai February 2013|28


i

Marimari. Retrieved November 13, 2012

http://www.marimari.com/content/thailand/gene

ral_info/religion/religion.html

ii

Grygus, A. 2008. Retrieved on November 16,

2012 from

http://clovegarden.com/diet/buddha.html

iii

Dupelia, M. Retrieved on November 16, 2012

http://www.vegansa.com/recipe-thai-greencurry.php

A Taste of Thai February 2013|29


Vegan Cuisine and the Law:

The Poop on Big Chicken

Hurricane Sandy’s catastrophic landfall on the east

coast in October catalyzed a lot of long overdue

discussion about the impact of human activity on

climate change. At long last we’re talking about

clean renewable energy to replace polluting fossil

fuels. We’re having a serious talk about new fuel

economy standards, cleaner cars, cap‐and‐trade,

carbon credits and even more creative uses for

ethanol than my endlessly inventive family devises

every Thanksgiving.

But there’s a gaping lacuna in our national

discussion of climate change and environmental

protection, and it’s long past time that we brought

the chickens home to roost.

Roosting chickens, it turns out, are a huge part of

the problem. Meat production is the most

significant cause of pollution in the world, causing

at least 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. That was

a conservative estimate by the United Nations’

Food and Agriculture Organization in its 2006

“Livestock’s Long Shadow” report.

A 2009 analysis conducted by scientists at two

other United Nations’ specialized agencies showed

that meat production may account for 51% or

more of annual worldwide greenhouse gas

emissions.

Nine billion “broiler” chickens are slaughtered

every year to satisfy Americans’ appetites for

grilled chicken breasts, battered and fried chicken

nuggets, and oven‐roasted chickens. That’s 14

times the number of chickens the U.S. consumed in

1950. Not only has the number of chickens

increased, they are far more concentrated now.

The more than 1.6 million small farms spread

across the country in the 1950s are now made up

By Mindy Kursban, Esq. & Andy Breslin

of just 32,000 huge factory farms typically

producing more than 600,000 birds per year across

a limited 15‐state “Broiler Belt.”

These factory farms – more benignly referred to as

“Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations”

(CAFOs) – cram as many as 40,000 birds in 20,000

square foot windowless warehouses like these.

Photo: David Harp

Broiler chickens often spend their short lives in cavernous warehouses.

The 523 million broiler chickens raised each year

just in Maryland and Delaware factory farms

generate 42 million cubic feet of chicken waste –

enough to fill the dome of the U.S. Capitol with

crap almost once every week. This is almost as

quickly as our elected representatives manage to

do it.

This “broiler litter” waste, a mixture of manure,

urine, feathers, dropped feed, and bedding, is

collected from the warehouses and piled in a

storage shed or outdoor area. But it doesn’t stay

there. The farmer isn’t going to let all that waste . .

. go to waste. Eventually it’s going to be spread all

over crops as fertilizer.

While in storage or after being spread onto fields

as fertilizer, this untreated waste leaches into the

ground, seeps into local creeks, runs off into small

A Taste of Thai February 2013|30


ditches and canals, and ends up in receiving

streams.

Water

contaminated

with chicken

waste run‐off

contains

elevated levels

of nitrogen and

phosphorus. This

can produce

harmful algal

blooms that

create “dead

zones” of water

depleted of

oxygen essential

algal bloom in sichuan province to all marine

animal life. The

EPA estimates that more than 100,000 miles of

rivers and streams, close to 2.5 million acres of

lakes, reservoirs and ponds, and more than 800

square miles of bays and estuaries in the U.S. have

poor water quality because of nitrogen and

phosphorus pollution.

More than 150 rivers and streams drain into the

majestic Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the

US. The bay is bordered on the east by the

Delmarva Peninsula, one of the major centers of

chicken production and home of Perdue chicken,

an enormous corporation with annual revenues of

about $4.75 billion. Not coincidentally, a third of

the Chesapeake Bay is also a dead zone.

In 2010, Waterkeeper Alliance, a nonprofit water

protection group run by Robert Kennedy, Jr.,

brought a landmark lawsuit against Perdue for

contaminating the Chesapeake Bay. This suit, which

went to trial this past October, is the first to seek to

hold a poultry company accountable for violations

of the Clean Water Act.

The University of Maryland’s environmental law

clinic represents the Waterkeeper Alliance in the

suit. A few weeks after the lawsuit was filed, state

legislators introduced legislation to retaliate

against the law school for suing Big Chicken.

Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley took a very

public stand against the lawsuit and wrote to the

Dean of the law school to express his displeasure.

Emails between O’Malley and Perdue’s lawyer

made public by Food & Water Watch made clear

that the Governor has Perdue’s back.

The PEW Environment Group notes in its 2011 Big

Chicken: Pollution and Industrial Poultry Production

in America report that “in theory, [factory farms]

have been regulated under the Clean Water Act for

more than a quarter of a century. In practice, the

regulatory impact of the law on the broiler industry

and its enormous waste generation has been

minimal at best.”

Maryland, Virginia and Delaware each use taxpayer

dollars to pay the poultry industry to transport

broiler waste out of heavy waste concentration

areas. In fiscal year 2011, Maryland farmers

received $354,012 in state grants to transport

61,150 tons of manure.

At least 17 states use taxpayer dollars to help

farmers implement Best Management Practices

intended to reduce their operations’ pollution.

Enforcement of the Clean Air Act has been left

largely to states. It took a petition to the EPA from

a diverse group of nonprofit health and animal

welfare organizations to push EPA to consider

regulating ammonia and other air pollutants from

CAFOs, which have escaped Clean Air Act

regulation for decades.

Cramming tens of thousands of chickens into a

small space is a great way for chicken companies to

make enormous profits. Without help from Uncle

Sam to clean up the mess, they would be far less

profitable and the value of intensively confining

animals would diminish.

All of us are paying for the clean‐up costs, whether

we eat chickens or not. The government should

require Big Chicken to wholly internalize its

pollution costs, rather than pass them on to

everyone either through more pollution or paying

the costs to clean up their pollution.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|31


The price of chicken would likely – and fairly –

increase. Those who continue to buy chickens at

this higher price will be essentially paying a user

fee, similar to a toll road.

Those of us who don’t eat chickens should not be

forced to pay the price for those who do, and it’s

long overdue that we stand up and put a stop to

this "fowl" play.

The Authors

Mindy Kursban is a

practicing attorney who is

passionate about animals,

food, and health. She gained

her experience and

knowledge about vegan

cuisine and the law while

working for ten years as

general counsel and then

executive director of the Physicians Committee for

Responsible Medicine. Since leaving PCRM in 2007,

Mindy has been writing and speaking to help others

make the switch to a plant‐based diet. Mindy welcomes

feedback, comments, and questions at

mkursban@gmail.com.

Andrew Breslin is the author

of Mother's Milk, the

definitive account of the vast

global conspiracy

orchestrated by the dairy

industry, which secretly

controls humanity through

mind‐controlling substances contained in cow milk. In all

likelihood this is a hilarious work of satyric fiction, but

then again, you never know. He also authors the blog

Andy Rants, almost certainly the best blog that you have

never read. He is an avid book reviewer at Goodreads.

He worked at Physicians Committee for Responsible

Medicine with Mindy Kursban, with whom he

occasionally collaborates on projects concerning legal

issues associated with health and food. Andrew's fiction

and nonfiction have appeared in a wide variety of print

and online venues, covering an even wider variety of

topics. He lives in Philadelphia with his girlfriend and

cat, who are not the same person.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|32


A Thai Kitchen Garden

Thai cooking is all about

fresh healthy ingredients

and nothing beats the flavor

of harvesting plants from

your own garden to eat that

same day! You can grow

many of the essential

ingredients of South Asian

cuisine right in your own

backyard with just a few

helpful guidelines.

Thai Basil Ocimum

basilicum var.

thyrsiflora

Let’s start with Basil,

because it is so easy to grow

here in Phoenix. Thai Basil,

along with the whole basil

family, is a frost tender

plant that can be

overwintered. Plants over a

few years old tend to loose

their flavor and vigor so I like to

take cuttings and start new

plants regularly. Basil cuttings

root easily in water in an opaque container, as the

roots prefer dark, although I’ve rooted cuttings in

clear glass on a windowsill it will just take longer. It

by Liz Lonnetti

the author's whiskey barrel garden contains

lemongrass, curry leaf, Thai basil as well as

ornamental kale (edible), oregano and lettuce

is also easy to grow from

seed. The ideal time to

plant basil is April to June

and again in the fall late

October to September.

Basil is a sun loving plant

and will happily grow in full

desert sun. Harvest

regularly by pinching back

new growth. This prevents

flowering and promotes

bushy plants. Harvesting is

best done in the early

morning when the volatile

essential oils are at their

most potent. Plant your

Thai Basil in good draining

soil or in pots and be careful

not to overwater.

Overwatered basil can look

pale and wilty and you

might mistakenly think you

need to water it more – resist

the urge to water without first

checking to see if the soil is

still wet! Stick your finger into the soil at least half

an inch and feel if it is dry or moist, if it’s still moist,

hold off on watering and recheck the soil later.

Basil needs protection from frost, so be sure to

move your potted plants either indoors or to

another safe sunny location. Alternatively you can

use frost cloth to cover your plants, it can be

purchased by the roll in 12’ wide sections and as

long as your garden space requires. It is what I use

to cover the plants when the weather report

forecasts any overnight lows 39°F or below. If the

projected low is closer to freezing, I’ve been known

to string old fashioned Christmas lights (not the

A Taste of Thai February 2013|33


new LEDs) around the plants and under the frost

cloth to provide more heat.

Lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus

This tall grass

is a beautiful

addition to

your garden.

Its graceful

foliage makes

it a perfect

accent plant.

It can do well

in full sun but

can also thrive

with

afternoon

shade.

Lemongrass is

a very easy

plant to grow here, but is frost tender so either

protect with frost cloth or plan on growing it as an

annual and replanting in the spring. Well draining

soil is preferred ‐ if you don’t know what that

means, try digging a hole about a foot in all

directions, fill with water, let it drain and then fill it

again. If it takes more than 4 hours to drain the

second time, you have poor drainage and will need

to check for a caliche layer and/or amend your soil

with compost for best results.

Curry Leaf Tree Murraya koenigii

This wonderful plant is a member of the Citrus

family but is more frost tender than the other

citrus in my yard. A good source for fresh leaves

can be hard to find, so growing them yourself is a

great option! I grow my Curry Leaf in a half wine

barrel so it remains fairly small in size, after 3 years

it grows fuller each year but not much taller than 4

feet (of course I keep pruning back leaves for

eating!). The entire planter is on wheels so it can

be moved to the best seasonal growing locations,

full sun in the winter and somewhat shaded in the

summer.

This tree, in the right conditions, can grow to be 20

feet tall, but I wouldn't expect much more than 10’

here in Phoenix if planted in the ground. As with

any tree, it is best to set up a berm to flood the

root zone to the tree’s drip line providing deep

regular water, approximately every week in the

summer and only once or twice a month in the wet

winter season. To check how deeply you’ve

watered your Curry Leaf, use a soil probe or other

long pointed object (very long screwdriver or piece

of rebar) and push it into the soil. Dry soil is not

easily penetrated by the probe and you’ll be able

to tell how deep your water has percolated. Be

sure to mulch the basin you’ve created to conserve

water, help keep that root zone cool in the summer

and provide organic material to the soil.

Kaffir Lime Citrus hystrix

Since the

Kaffir Lime

is also a

citrus, the

same rules

apply to

this tree as

to the Curry

Leaf. If you

have a

choice of

rootstock, the Sour Orange is a good one for our

soils. Limes are the most frost tender of the citrus

family, but Kaffir is the hardiest lime so they do

well in this area especially with a little extra TLC as

they get through their first couple years. I would

suggest planting your most frost tender plants

together so it is easiest to cover them all with a

large frost cloth at once.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|34


Ginger/Galangal Zingiber Officinale and

Alpinia Galanga

I lumped Ginger

and Galangal into

the same category

because they are

both root crops

with similar

cultivation needs

(and these

instructions for

care apply to tumeric and cardamom as well).

Galangal, Alpinia galangal, along with most plants

in the ginger family, is native to South Asia and is a

staple in Thai and other cuisines from that region.

You might guess that fact from its other common

name, Thai ginger. Ginger root, Zingiber officinale,

has crossed over into widespread use and become

a staple around the world. While not always easy

to grow, it merits space in your garden!

These ginger family plants can be cultivated from

your grocery store produce or you can sometimes

find them at a local nursery or have them shipped

to you online. If you can find them at a local

market, pick only plump, firm, good looking

specimens and avoid any moldy, shriveled or

otherwise badly damaged roots. Since these plants

are native to South Asia, they prefer more humidity

than the Phoenix area provides. Keeping the plant

root zone moist and out of direct mid‐day sun is

essential. Sandy loam soil is ideal and an eastern

exposure will provide the best results. I’ve had

success with growing these plants in very large

containers with ollas for keeping the soil evenly

moist in the summer. Galangal can become a very

large plant, so it is best grown in at least a half

wine barrel size or better planted in well amended

soil with a steady water supply. Ginger grows to

only a nice 3’ tall and has done well in my half wine

barrels when planted under shade cloth.

With both plants, a heavy layer of mulch, up to 4‐5

inches thick will help to keep the root zone moist

and cool during the summer. The gingers should

be planted in Spring, after any danger of frost has

passed. These plants are frost tender and you may

consider them as annuals to be harvested in the fall,

especially if we have any really cold snaps over

winter. Galangal may be more likely to come back

after a freeze when planted in the ground, heavily

mulched and provided frost cloth.

Conclusion

Thai Basil, Lemongrass, Curry Leaf, Kaffir Lime and

the Gingers are all frost tender plants, so I would

recommend choosing a location in your yard that is

protected from the cold, against your home with a

southern or eastern exposure is ideal! A good mix

for growing these plants in containers would be a

well draining cactus/succulent potting soil. For

best results, provide slow release fertilizer

applications three times a year on Valentine’s,

Memorial and Labor Days and more often if

container gardening. Slow, deep and infrequent

watering will encourage healthy root development.

Happy Gardening!

For more information:

Valley Permaculture Alliance

Frost Protection

Irrigating Citrus Trees

The Author

As a professional urban designer, Liz

Lonetti is passionate about building

community, both physically and

socially. She graduated from the U

of MN with a BA in Architecture in

1998. She also serves as the

Executive Director for the Phoenix

Permaculture Guild, a non‐profit

organization whose mission is to

inspire sustainable living through education, community

building and creative cooperation

(www.phoenixpermaculture.org). A long time advocate

for building greener and more inter‐connected

communities, Liz volunteers her time and talent for

other local green causes. In her spare time, Liz enjoys

cooking with the veggies from her gardens, sharing

great food with friends and neighbors, learning from

and teaching others. To contact Liz, please visit her blog

site www.phoenixpermaculture.org/profile/LizDan.

Resources

www.urbanfarm.org

www.phoenixpermaculture.org

A Taste of Thai February 2013|35


The Vegan Traveler: Enchanting

By Chef Jason Wyrick

Recently, I had the opportunity to travel through

much of Florida, visiting Jacksonville, Miami, Ft.

Lauderdale, and Palm Beach to teach vegan

cooking classes. Of course, I made an effort to

get to as many vegan restaurants as I could get

to! Along the way, I had some fantastic food, a

few disappointments, and some treasured finds.

I also got to travel through the Everglades, I

stumbled across a colonial fort, visited a

plantation, spent some time on the spectacular

beeches, and got rained on a few times. All in all,

a great trip.

Jacksonville was my first stop in Florida. I had no

idea what to expect, but looking ahead, I could see

there weren’t many places to eat. First hand

experience taught me how much of an

understatement that was. I pretty much spent my

time going between Whole Foods and Starbucks.

Although the vegan food scene was non‐existent,

at least the weather was beautiful, so rather than

staying in Jacksonville on my last day, I headed

south to see what I could find. It wasn’t long before

Florida

I arrived in St. Augustine, so I decided to stop in the

historic district to see if they had any tasty treats.

Not so much, but as I pulled around the bend, I saw

a huge stone fortress looking out over the coast. Of

course, I had to see what it was! That’s how I found

myself at the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest

masonry fort in the United States. The Castillo de

San Marcos was originally a Spanish fortress

established to protect against piracy and nearby

English interests. Eventually it passed into English

hands, then back to Spain, then to the US, then to

the Confederacy, and then back to the US. As part

of a Spanish colony, it provided safe haven for

escaped slaves (at least, those who would become

Catholic). As I walked across the draw bridge to the

completely intact fort, I could feel the history of

the place come to life and hear the voices of the

people that used to occupy it. I spent half a day

there and would have spent more if I had the time.

If you have an opportunity to visit this historical

landmark, take it. I also visited the Kingsley

A Taste of Thai February 2013|36


plantation. Knowing that I was walking on ground

that had been worked by slaves just a hundred and

fifty years before was a moving experience and

learning the details about the plantation was an

eye‐opening experience, from how much land a

slave was expected to tend each day, to harvests,

to the fact that the owner’s wife was a former slave

of his and that she in turn purchased and managed

her own slaves, to the seashell construction of the

walls. Jacksonville was terrible for vegan food, but

great for history lovers.

A couple weeks later, I was back in Florida,

stopping first in Ft. Lauderdale. The first place I

went after getting off the plane was Sublime.

Sublime is one of those landmark vegan

destinations and I had been waiting several years

for an opportunity to go here. I got there fairly

early, so I was one of two people in the restaurant,

not counting staff. Sublime has a very private feel

to it and an elegant, classy interior. Dark wood,

water features, soft lighting, and everything else

you would expect from a high end restaurant. The

food, however, was anything but. I tried several

dishes. The Frito Misto, a crispy cauliflower dish

with a sweet chile sauce, was by the best out of the

group. It very much reminded me of something I

would get at a good Asian restaurant and let me

say, the portion was not appetizer sized, unless you

are the Hulk. After that, I had the Spinach Salad,

which was ok, but a bit out of balance. It was

simply too acidic. Not bad, just not up to high end

standards. Finally, the tamales came. I don’t see

them on Sublime’s regular menu as I check their

site, so perhaps they were a special, but if they

were special, it was based on just how awful they

were. I live in the Southwest and I know tamales

and these…globs…were a travesty to taste. Imagine

doughy, wet masa covered with some sauce that is

supposed to pass itself off as vegan cheese, but

comes off like thinned out Velveeta flavored with

nutritional yeast and a picture of culinary torture

should start to form. Couple that with unseasoned

beans, a chile sauce that made me cringe, and a

sour cream that tasted like grainy lemon‐flavored

tofu, and that picture is probably something you

don’t want to look at anymore. Tongue trauma. I

wouldn’t feed these to my worst enemy. Actually, I

probably would. Even though I was completely full

from dinner, I went out for food later that night

just to get the taste of those tamales out of my

mouth.

the patio at darbster

I made my escape from Sublime and headed off to

Palm Beach, hoping I would find better food. What

I wasn’t expecting to find was Darbster in West

Palm Beach. This ended up being one of my

favorite vegan restaurants I have been to. It’s a

small, quaint place, with the restaurant opening up

A Taste of Thai February 2013|37


onto the patio, which in turn

overlooks a quiet waterway.

The staff was incredibly friendly

and you could tell they really

cared about their food. The

Palm Cakes, made with hearts

of palm, coupled with a tangy

remoulade, were addictive. I

had a great pizza, a nice Caesar

salad, nachos done right, raw

tostadas which were not only

full of flavor and texture, but

left me feeling great

afterwards, a tempeh reuben,

and a few other delicious sides.

It was café food with a lot of

love and a lot of flavor. I ended up going to

Darbster twice just so I could have the palm cakes

again. Great atmosphere, great staff, and great

food. Unfortunately, I missed going to

Christopher’s Kitchen in Palm Beach Gardens were

I was staying because of the particular timing of the

class I was teaching. Everyone I have talked to

about it says Christopher’s Kitchen is topnotch raw

foods cuisine and is in the running for the best raw

(mostly raw, as they do have some cooked dishes)

restaurant in the country. I very much hope I have

some time to go back to Palm Beach so I can check

this place out. As far as entertainment, the area

was a little too glitzy for me. I did enjoy a midnight

walk on the beach, but fortunately between my

class and scouting out food, I was kept fairly busy.

One thing I should note is that the Whole Foods in

Palm Beach Gardens had some hard‐to‐find

ingredients for sale, like kaffir lime leaves. Check it

out if you have a chance.

My last stop was in Miami. I had some time to kill,

so I drove down the coast from Palm Beach all the

way to Miami Beach. Coastal drives are one of my

favorite road trips and I was not disappointed. The

coast has an eclectic collection of industry, wealth,

tasty palm cakes with remoulade

laid‐back beach property, artists, and

isolated natural scenery to make for

a relaxing, fun drive. By the time I

got to Miami Beach, though, storms

had rolled in, so I headed off to my

hotel and then to my next restaurant

destination after a rest. Located in

Coral Gables, La Vie en Raw is a small

raw restaurant that emphasizes

education. I walked in fairly late at

night and they were recovering from

having taught two classes that day.

The owners were very welcoming

and went out of their way to make

sure I had a great meal, even if it was

only fifteen minutes before closing.

The food is about what you can expect from a raw

café and like most raw foods, a bit pricey, but not

overly so. The pizza they made me was soul‐

satisfying and delicious and the cucumber soup a

nice refreshing end to the day. The next day I

taught another class, and although I had grand

plans afterwards, bed won out. That let me get an

early start on my last day in Florida. I stopped at

Choices, a vegan restaurant that reminded me of a

the narrow entry at choices

A Taste of Thai February 2013|38


diner I would see around a college campus, with

food to match. The menu consists mostly of salads,

sandwiches, and wraps. It’s good, sloppy vegan

diner food, perfect for a quick bite. I ate my salad

there and the “Chicken” Homie Wrap sustained me

on my drive to the Everglades. I should also

mention that Choices has lots of organic juices and

smoothies. Yum! Although storm clouds

threatened, it turned out to be a beautiful day and

the Everglades were another part of Florida I would

love to visit again. After a few hectic days, the

Everglades were a peaceful contrast with plenty of

wildlife and plants to capture your attention if you

find ecology fascinating like I do. Plus, I got to see

plenty of

birds, frogs,

lizards, and

giant

spiders!

I ended up

spending a

bit too long

in the

Everglades

and had to

race back to

the airport

to catch my

flight home. All in all, I enjoyed Florida way more

than I expected to enjoy it. The history was

fascinating, the landscape was peaceful, the food

was excellent (mostly), and I can’t wait to go back.

Contact Info

Darbster – www.darbster.com

La Vie en Raw – www.lavieenraw.com

Sublime – www.sublimerestaurant.com

Castillo de San Marcos – www.nps.gov/casa

Kingsley Plantation –

www.nps.gov/timu/historyculture/kp.htm

Everglades – www.nps.gov/ever

The Author

Jason Wyrick is the

executive chef and

publisher of The

Vegan Culinary

Experience, an

educational vegan

culinary magazine

with a readership of

about 30,000. In

2001, Chef Jason reversed his diabetes by switching to a

low‐fat, vegan diet and subsequently left his position as

the Director of Marketing for an IT company to become

a chef and instructor to help others. Since then, he has

been featured by the NY Times, has been a NY Times

contributor, and has been featured in Edible Phoenix,

and the Arizona Republic, and has had numerous local

television appearances. He has catered for companies

such as Google, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and

Farm Sanctuary, has been featured in the Scottsdale

Culinary Festival’s premier catering event, and has been

a guest instructor and the first vegan instructor in the Le

Cordon Bleu program at Scottsdale Culinary Institute.

Recently, Chef Jason wrote a national best‐selling book

with Dr. Neal Barnard entitled 21‐Day Weight Loss

Kickstart. You can find out more about Chef Jason

Wyrick at www.veganculinaryexperience.com.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|39


The Texas Chili Report

By Chef Jason Wyrick

I love a good bowl of chili, so imagine how excited I

was when I was invited to be a judge at my favorite

vegan event in the country, the Lone Star

Vegetarian Chili Cookoff. That’s Texas, for those of

you who don’t know that Texas is the Lone Star

state. I am a chili connoisseur, so this was definitely

the place to be. Not only that, I miss Texas. Texas is

like a second home, and while the stark Arizona

desert will always be my first home, Texas has a

pulse to it that draws me back on occasion.

The cookoff had over twenty contestants and

judges from all around the US, from back East and

all the way up from Alaska. This is truly the premier

chili cookoff event in the country. All of the

contestants had to prepare five gallons of chili

fresh on site. That meant a lot of shopping and a

very early morning for the cooks! Succeeding in the

chili cookoff is as much planning as it is having an

outstanding bowl of goodness. I’ve been to this

event several times and have seen some great

chilies fall to poor planning, the cooks either not

finishing or burning their chili (you can call it

smoked if you want, but I really know that it was

burned!) because they weren’t prepared to cook in

such large quantities. Wind can be a factor, too,

since it can put out those finicky portable burners.

Cooking a huge quantity of food on portable

burners outdoors can be intimidating, but most

everyone managed to pull it off this year. Of

course, that meant more chili for me to eat…

The festival was basically rows and rows of chili

contestant stalls and a throng of people moving

through them tasting the different chilies. When I

say a throng, I mean a couple thousand people

showed up that day to have their way with vegan

chili! The rest of the booths were local businesses

there to promote their products, plus a vegan

tamale seller, who also happened to be the person

that owned the property where the festival was

taking place. Thanks to her for supporting the

event! (and making some damn fine tamales). The

contestants themselves were local businesses,

restaurateurs, cooking schools, rescue

organizations, bloggers, and home cooks and the

chiles they made were as diverse as you can

A Taste of Thai February 2013|40


imagine.

As a judge, I was not allowed to carouse the festival

before the competition started, so I was escorted

through the press of people to meet my fellow

critics. All the tasting is done blind, so to speak,

with chilies being brought in cups with numbers on

them. Each chili is judged on taste, texture,

appearance, and its “chiliness.” That last one may

sound odd, but vegans can be very creative and

some of the chilies stretched the boundary of what

judging takes a lot of water!

can really be defined as a chili. For example, one of

the chilies tasted more like tom kha with red curry

than anything resembling chili. As much as I might

like that, it’s not chili. Some of the chilies were

bland, some were unbalanced, and some had no

texture, but there were even more chilies that

were incredible. Fire roasted chilies, a chili that

used hominy, another that used a mix of several

chiles, some smooth, some rough. Each

contestant’s chili was unique, but the two that

stood out for me were the chilies from The Vegan

Nom and Coseppi Kitchen for the Food Bloggers’

Alliance. Their chilies were smooth and complex

james seppi and taylor cook, winners of the chili

cookoff

with a texture that melted in your mouth. They

were spicy without being too hot and highly

addictive. Once the judging was done, I went

throughout the festival to discover which ones

were my favorites and took the opportunity to talk

with the chefs. The Vegan Nom is a food truck that

specializes in artisan vegan tacos. No wonder I

loved their chili so much! Chris, the chef and

owner, knows his Mexican street food. Coseppi

Kitchen is the team of James Seppi and Taylor

Cook, who run an educational website where they

share their recipes and photos. Take a look if you

have an opportunity. They do lots of ethnic dishes,

are highly creative, and know what they are talking

about. I think you’ll find their food inspiring. They

also happened to be the winners of the

competition, netting both the main chili division

and the people’s choice award. I spoke briefly with

James and he was kind enough to share his recipe

with us:

We had a couple things in mind when we

came up with the recipe. First, we wanted

to use some seasonal vegetables, but

without ending up with a chili that was too

much like a vegetable stew. Eggplant was in

abundance at our local farm, Johnson's

Backyard Garden, and it seemed like it

would make a great chili ingredient ‐‐ it

doesn't have too strong a flavor on its own,

A Taste of Thai February 2013|41


ut it holds up well to cooking and soaks up

flavors pretty well. The other seasonal

veggie we used from the farm was poblano

peppers, which have a nice smokey flavor

and low heat level (we didn't want the heat

level to overpower the flavors!). The second

big idea we had was to start with whole

dried Mexican chili peppers instead of a

premade/premixed chili powder. This was

certainly inspired by the influence of

Mexican cuisine here in Texas, and we think

starting with whole ingredients adds

deeper, richer flavors to any dish.

Black Bean, Lentil, and Eggplant Chili

½ lb black beans, pre‐soaked overnight

2 dried Chili Pasilla peppers, stemmed

4 large cloves garlic, diced and divided

3 bay leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 dried Chili Pasilla peppers

3 dried Chili Cascabel peppers

2 dried Chipotle peppers

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 poblano pepper, diced

1 pound eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch

cubes

½ 15‐ounce can crushed tomatoes

½ 15‐oounce can diced tomatoes

1 quart water

1 tablespoon Better‐than‐Bouillon

½ cup dry green lentils

Juice of 2 key limes

Salt to taste

Preparation

1. Boil the black beans with 2 stemmed

chili pasilla peppers, 3 bay leaves,

and half of the diced garlic until soft,

about 1 1/2 hours.

2. While the beans are cooking, finely

dice (or use a food processor) the

remaining chiles pasillas, chiles

cascabeles, and chipotle peppers.

3. When black beans are tender,

remove from heat.

4. Saute the onion, diced dried chilies,

and ground cumin in olive oil over

medium‐high heat until the onions

are soft and the cumin is fragrant,

about 10 minutes.

5. Add the remaining diced garlic and

the diced poblano pepper, and saute

for 5 minutes more.

6. Add the eggplant and a pinch of salt,

then continue to saute until it is

tender, about 8 minutes.

7. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced

tomatoes, water, Better‐than‐

Bouillon, and lentils. Bring to boil

then lower heat to simmer, stirring

occasionally, until the lentils are

almost cooked, about 30 minutes.

8. Add the cooked black beans and let

the chili simmer until the lentils are

soft and the flavors have melded,

about 30 minutes more. The longer

you let the chili simmer, the thicker

it will become, so you can adjust

based on your preferences.

9. Season with salt to taste and add

the key lime juice.

10. Serve with fresh chopped cilantro,

diced jalapenos (for extra heat), or

your preferred chili topping.

Towards the end of the festival was an iron chef

competition, which Chris from The Vegan Nom

won. After that, it was cleanup and more sampling,

and a few more tamales to tide me over. I have to

mention Stevie Duda and Brendan Good for all

their hard work in getting this festival together.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|42


chris of the vegan nom at the iron chef chili

competition

Without them, it would not have happened and

certainly would not have gone off so well. This is

the biggest vegetarian chili festival in the world and

next year is the 25 th anniversary. I imagine it is

going to be even bigger! I look forward to going

back and trying a host of new chilies, seeing old

friends, and making new ones, all over a pot of

compassionate, delicious Texas red.

Contact Info

Check out the Lone Star Vegetarian Chili Cookoff at

www.veggiechilicookoff.com, The Vegan Nom at

www.thevegannom.blogspot.com, and Coseppi

Kitchen at www.kitchen.coseppi.com.

The Author

Jason Wyrick is the

executive chef and

publisher of The

Vegan Culinary

Experience, an

educational vegan

culinary magazine

with a readership of

about 30,000. In 2001, Chef Jason reversed his diabetes

by switching to a low‐fat, vegan diet and subsequently

left his position as the Director of Marketing for an IT

company to become a chef and instructor to help others.

Since then, he has been featured by the NY Times, has

been a NY Times contributor, and has been featured in

Edible Phoenix, and the Arizona Republic, and has had

numerous local television appearances. He has catered

for companies such as Google, Frank Lloyd Wright

Foundation, and Farm Sanctuary, has been featured in

the Scottsdale Culinary Festival’s premier catering

event, and has been a guest instructor and the first

vegan instructor in the Le Cordon Bleu program at

Scottsdale Culinary Institute. Recently, Chef Jason wrote

a national best‐selling book with Dr. Neal Barnard

entitled 21‐Day Weight Loss Kickstart. You can find out

more about Chef Jason Wyrick at

www.veganculinaryexperience.com.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|43


A Guide to Thai Ingredients

By Chef Jason Wyrick

Many of the ingredients in this issue will be quite

familiar, but you may not recognize some of the

Thai‐specific ingredients, or you may have heard of

them, but never seen or tasted them. That’s ok.

Before I started exploring Thai cuisine, I hadn’t

experienced many of those ingredients either,

except mixed into a curry at a restaurant. That was

a long time ago. Since then, trips to my local Asian

markets have become commonplace and many of

these ingredients are now staples in my household.

I hope some of them become staples in yours, too.

Please note that there are a lot of ingredients in

this list! I put the ones that will get the most use

towards the top of the list. Chances are you will

need to visit an Asian market to find some of them

and for the others, you should anyway. They tend

to be fresher and the price much lower than the

small, substandard ones sold at conventional

markets.

Galangal – Galangal is one of my favorite

ingredients to use and absolutely necessary if you

want real Thai flavor. It has a flavor like crisp,

mellow ginger without the burn. No surprise since

it is related to ginger, but they are definitely not

the same. You do not

need to peel galangal

and when slicing it, I try

to get it as thin as

possible to get the most

flavor out of it. It is

smashed into curry

pastes or sliced and

simmered in soups to

flavor the broth. When

simmered in a soup or broth this way, you are

expected to eat around the galangal without eating

the galangal itself, but if it is sliced thin enough, I

eat it anyway! If you do not have access to fresh

galangal, I find it better to use half the amount of

ginger as a replacement rather than use dried

galangal. The dried stuff is worthless and although

ginger will make the dish taste different, the

freshness is just as important.

Purple Shallots – Purple shallots are basically

the red onion of shallots. They tend to be small to

medium size and often have two or three shallots

coming out of one bulb. You can use the larger

yellow shallots or the French gray shallots in their

place, but they won’t be quite as sweet. Peel these

like you would an onion.

Kaffir Limes & Lime Leaves – Kaffir limes are

difficult to come by, but highly valued for their zest.

This is because this knobby, wrinkly lime has such a

large surface area of zest compared to most other

limes and that zest contains tons of volatile lime

oil. You can use strips of this or a Microplane zester

to get the most zest from the lime. Their juice is

not quite as smooth as the juice of other limes, so

it’s really

only used

for its

zest. You

can use

the zest

from

other

limes in

A Taste of Thai February 2013|44


place of kaffir, even if they don’t pop as much. The

leaves of the plant, like the limes, are highly

fragrant, but unlike the limes, there is not

adequate substitute. Leaves from other types of

lime trees simply don’t taste the same. You can

find the leaves at a few markets, like Whole Foods,

but they are also very expensive.

Lemongrass – Chances are you know what

lemongrass is. Its fragrance is light, lemony (hence

the name), and it

lightens a dish.

When you see

lemongrass in a

recipe, only use

fresh. Dried

lemongrass tastes

and feels nothing

like fresh

lemongrass. I

prefer to use the

part of the

lemongrass that is

light in color,

below the stringy

this lemongrass cost me $0.99

at my local asian market

top and just above the thick bulbous bottom. That

region is soft and has the best flavor. When using

lemongrass, give it a smash with the back of your

knife to get some extra fragrance from it.

Chiles – It is impossible to think of Thai food

without thinking of chiles, particularly those small,

hot Bird’s Eyes! Those aren’t the only

chiles used in Thai cuisine, or in this

issue, however. Some are used in stir

fries and soups, while others are used

dried to make chile powders, while

others are smashed to use in curries. As

you can see from the list below, prik

means chile. In general, if I can’t find a

Thai chile, I will replace it with a Serrano

if fresh, and a chile de arbol if dried.

Fresh Bird’s Eye Chiles – There are actually

several different chiles called Bird’s Eye and

they are used in rather different ways. The

longer versions are typically found dried

and are a couple inches in length. These are

the milder chiles and are ground up and

used in many red curries, while the smaller

prik kee nu suan is preferred fresh. Its high

piquancy makes it much better for flavoring

soups and some nam prik.

Long Chiles – Long

chiles are similar to

prik chee faa, but

much longer and

milder. They make a

great base for

pastes when you

don’t want them

super hot.

Prik Kee Noo Suan – These are the smallest

of the Bird’s Eye chiles. They are very hot,

about the low end

of a habanero in

heat, and they are

very small, quickly

tapering at the

end. They are used

for intense heat

and are almost

always used fresh.

Prik Kee Noo (aka Thai chiles) –

Another one of the chiles referred

to as a Bird’s Eye, this chile is about

one to two inches long and hot, but

not quite as hot as the prik kee noo

suan. I often find these sold fresh

under the name “Thai chiles.”

A Taste of Thai February 2013|45


Prik Chee Faa – Out of all the Bird’s Eye

chiles, this is the mildest and is used both in

its ripe red

and unripe

green states. It

is slightly

longer than a

prik kee noo

and a bit

fatter. Use this

one when you want some heat, but not too

terribly much.

Prik Haeng (dried Thai chiles) – These are

usually prik chee noo chiles and are usually

sold bagged in large quantities. At many

Asian markets, they are simply labeled

“dried Thai chiles.” Perfect for grinding up

for curries and chile powders.

Prik Num (aka banana chiles) – Banana

chiles are about four inches long, curved

like a banana, and usually sold when they

are either a very light green color or fully

ripened into a yellow or orange. They are

mild and slightly tangy in flavor. Roasted

and smashed, they make an excellent chile

base for a nam prik. I typically have to

purchase these at either an Asian or

Mexican market and if I can’t find them, I

substitute Hungarian wax chiles for them.

Fermented Tofu – Fermented tofu is a tofu that

has been brined and

cured. It has some

cheeselike qualities due

to the breakdown of

protein during the

fermentation process,

with salty, sweet flavors.

It is also known as stinky

tofu (the bacteria that

causes it to ferment

makes it stink like stinky cheese!) and makes an

excellent substitute for shrimp paste. It almost

always comes cut up in small cubes and jarred.

Fresh Turmeric (orange and white

varieties) – The difference between fresh

turmeric and dried turmeric are immense. It’s the

difference between fresh ginger and dried ginger.

Whereas dried turmeric has an almost bitter taste,

fresh turmeric springs to life with vibrancy. You do

not need to peel it to use it and it works best if you

use a

Microplane to

grate it. Orange

turmeric, the

kind with which

most people

are familiar, has

that carrot‐like

flavor, while white turmeric lacks that, but makes

up for it with a strong

pungency.

Burro Bananas –

Burro bananas are a

squat, fat version of

more common

bananas. They are

denser, starchier, and

sweet. They are best

used when the skin

A Taste of Thai February 2013|46


has just started to develop some black spots, but

don’t let them get as black as you would a plantain.

Mostly, these are used for desserts.

Banana Leaves – Banana leaves are just what

they sound like. Leaves from the banana plant.

These thick, pliable leaves are perfect for wrapping

food and roasting or grilling it. The leaves protect

the food inside from direct flames and the thick,

dense leaves trap steam inside them, keeping the

food moist. If I know that I am going to be roasting

something for awhile, I soak the banana leaves first

so they stay moist longer. Look for these at both

Asian and Mexican grocers.

Pandanus Leaves

– Called bai tuey in

Thai, pandanus

leaves are used to

impart a unique,

herbal note to broths

and desserts. They

are also used as beds

for presentation and

are available at some

Asian markets, but

not all of them.

There is no adequate substitution for them, but

you can do without them unless the dish itself is

based on pandanus.

Pak Bung – Pak bung also goes by the name

“Chinese watercress” and “Chinese spinach.”

Although it may go by

those names, the

plant is a bit heartier

than its monikers

imply. The leaves

hold up well under

heat, reducing, but

still feeling hearty,

much like kale, and

the stems are thicker,

like baby broccoli,

making it excellent

for stir fries. The taste reminds me of a cross

between spinach and kale (including the bitter

parts). I have only seen this in my local Asian

markets.

Thai Eggplant (apple eggplant) – Although

several different types of eggplant are used in Thai

cuisine, including long

purple Chinese eggplant,

the small round green

ones are the most

widely recognized Thai

variety. They have a

crisp, clean, semi‐sweet

taste (hence apple

eggplant), and can be

eaten plain or cooked. I

typically quarter these, or, if serving them fresh, I

quarter them cutting from the bottom and going

almost all the way to the stem, but leaving the

stem intact. This way, you can splay the quarters

out all attached to the stem, making a “flower.”

When choosing an apple eggplant, make sure the

skin looks vibrant and tight against the flesh. If you

do not use the eggplant right away after cutting it,

submerse it in cold water with a touch of lemon

juice to keep it fresh. It turns brown quickly!

Pickled Limes – If it can be pickled, it will be

somewhere in the world, and limes are no

A Taste of Thai February 2013|47


exception. Pickled

limes are usually

pickled in a sugary,

briny solution, so

they add a strong

shot of sweet and

sour flavor to

broths. When using

them, they should

be left intact and

only simmered for a

few minutes, up to

five. Beyond that and they tend to overwhelm a

dish with sourness, but up to that point, they bring

a liveliness to a broth that can’t be found

otherwise. I have included a recipe for making your

own in this issue, but of course, you can find them

jarred at most Asian markets in the Thai section.

Tamarind – Tamarind is actually a legume, albeit

an incredibly tangy one. In Thai, it goes by the

name má kăam. A special type of tamarind has

been cultivated in Thailand that can be eaten fresh.

Technically, other cultivars can, as well, but they

are much too sour while the Thai cultivar is

sweeter and less acidic. Fresh pods can be used

simmered to make teas or tamarind juice.

Tamarind is also sold as a sauce or paste. Tamarind

sauce usually refers to tamarind concentrate and is

added in small quantities to sauces and soups to

infuse them with flavor.

Tamarind paste is a

block of pulped, pressed

tamarind. The block

usually has seeds in it

that need to be

removed, which can be

done by mixing the

paste with some water

(in essence, making

tamarind concentrate) and then running it through

a sieve to catch the seeds. You can also remove the

seeds by hand and use the actual pulp to make a

thick nam prik. See the Tamarind Nam Prik recipe

for an example. Tamarind sauce can be found in

most grocery stores while the paste or block is

more commonly found at Asian and Mexican

markets.

Soy Sauces – Several different types of soy sauce

are found in Thailand and throughout Southeast

Asia. Each one has its own use, some with hints of

sweetness, some with strong salty notes. Thai soy

sauces are not like Japanese soy sauces, but if I had

to use a Japanese one for a Thai dish, I would

probably use tamari. I also find it is more

acceptable amongst the Thai soy sauces to use a

light one in place of a dark one, but not vice versa.

Thai soy sauces should be available at most Asian

markets, though they will probably be identified

more by type (e.g. light soy sauce) than by

region.

Sweet Dark Soy Sauce – Sweet

dark soy sauce has a salty, sweet,

caramel flavor and is perfect for

stir fries. It is also served as a

condiment.

Thin or Light Soy Sauce – Light soy

sauce is a thin, very watery sauce

with a mellower flavor and a

hint of sweetness. I find this

soy sauce is great for flavoring

broths. You still get a soy

sauce flavor, but

you don’t

overwhelm the

sauce the way the

darker ones will.

Dark Soy Sauce – Dark soy sauce

has a heavy, salty flavor and is

probably most analogous to

A Taste of Thai February 2013|48


The Author

standard soy sauces. It’s perfect for when

you want that “pow” of soy sauce flavor in a

dish.

Jason Wyrick is the

executive chef and

publisher of The Vegan

Culinary Experience, an

educational vegan

culinary magazine with a

readership of about 30,000. In 2001, Chef Jason

reversed his diabetes by switching to a low‐fat, vegan

diet and subsequently left his position as the Director of

Marketing for an IT company to become a chef and

instructor to help others. Since then, he has been

featured by the NY Times, has been a NY Times

contributor, and has been featured in Edible Phoenix,

and the Arizona Republic, and has had numerous local

television appearances. He has catered for companies

such as Google, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and

Farm Sanctuary, has been featured in the Scottsdale

Culinary Festival’s premier catering event, and has been

a guest instructor and the first vegan instructor in the Le

Cordon Bleu program at Scottsdale Culinary Institute.

Recently, Chef Jason wrote a national best‐selling book

with Dr. Neal Barnard entitled 21‐Day Weight Loss

Kickstart. You can find out more about Chef Jason

Wyrick at www.veganculinaryexperience.com.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|49


Salty, Sweet, Sour, Spicy, and

Bitter (and aromatic and pungent)

By Chef Jason Wyrick

When I think about Thai food, I immediately think

about the five flavors found in every Thai meal.

Salty, sweet, spicy, sour, and bitter. Not all of these

flavors may be prevalent in a dish, though they

likely are, but they will absolutely be found

throughout the meal. Sometimes these flavors play

counterpoint to each other and sometimes they

balance and accentuate each other, one flavor

playing a support role for another. Supporting

flavors give depth and complexity to another

flavor, but take a back seat while doing it. The best

supporting flavors meld into the dominant flavor to

create one flavor that is better than the sum of its

parts. Flavors in counterpoint vie for attention on

the tongue. Done poorly, a dish becomes

unpalatable. Done well, counterpoint flavors are

intriguing as your brain shifts attention from one

flavor to the other and back, creating a delightful

interplay. Dominant flavors are the featured flavors

of a dish. Figuring out how this interplay works

takes experimentation and learning by taste what a

large amount of salt does to a sour meal, for

example, as opposed to a light amount of salt.

Below are a few guides and a list of major

ingredients that provide each type of flavor. When

creating your own Thai meal, make sure to include

each flavor and decide which flavors you want to

be dominant and which ones will play support.

Salty

Five Traditional Flavors

Thai food is fairly salty, though rarely is a dish salty

just for the sake of being salty. Salt either props up

another flavor or provides counterpoint to it.

Generally, a touch of salt will accentuate sweetness

while a great amount of salt will create a balanced

counterpoint to sweetness, both asking to be the

featured flavor on the tongue. A touch of salt

should be used with bitter flavors while I find a

large amount of salt coupled with a large amount

of bitters to be not very palatable. For sourness

and spiciness, salt plays a supporting role and

should be used to prop up those flavors,

particularly with spiciness. Saltiness is generally

derived from salt (of course), “fish” sauce, and

Thai‐style soy sauces less frequently.

Sweet

Sweet flavors are typically dominant in desserts

and drinks. When sweetness is dominant, spiciness

and/or saltiness can play counterpoint to it, bitters

a minor role, and sour can heavily support it.

Sweetness is typically derived from palm sugar,

white sugar (though I prefer to use turbinado),

citrus, fresh fruit, and in very minor part from

ingredients like shallots, coconut milk, and

fermented tofu.

Sour

Sour flavors can be found dominant in many brothy

soups and all pickled veggies. It is even a dominant

flavor in a few curries, like the sour orange curry. In

nam prik, it usually plays a support role or

counterpoint role with spiciness. In other dishes, it

A Taste of Thai February 2013|50


plays a support role, with just a little bit of citrus or

vinegar used to make a dish pop and come to life,

but not so much is added that your mouth puckers!

The lime zest in a curry is a perfect example of this,

or a squeeze of lime juice over fresh mango. In

these cases, sourness usually supports sweetness

(think of a sweet coconut milk with a squeeze of

lime), or couples with sweetness when both are

used in small doses to give a subtle sweet and sour

undertone to a dish. Curry, again, is a great

example of this subtle pairing, where you can see

the use of both small amounts of sugar and lime

zest to create a supporting flavor combo. Be aware

that sour ingredients can quickly overwhelm a dish.

You might be amazed at how much one lime can

change something, so when you want sourness to

play a supporting role and you are not exactly sure

how much to add, start light. You can always add

more, but you can’t take it out of the dish.

Sourness is usually a good support for bitter

flavors, but is rarely good when the two play

counterpoint. Having a sour flavor and bitter flavor

fight for attention is usually not much fun!

Sourness is typicall achieved with limes (both juice

and zest), tamarind, rice vinegar, fermented foods,

unripe fruit like green papaya, and pickled veggies.

Spicy

Spiciness doesn’t just come from chiles, it also

comes from white pepper, ginger, and even

galangal to a lesser extent. But usually, it comes

from chiles. Spiciness can play a support role to all

the other flavors. When it is in a support role, it is

usually derived from white pepper, ginger, and

galangal. More often than not, spiciness is also in a

dish in a counterpoint role and that comes from

either chiles or large amounts of ginger.

Interestingly, chiles were not part of Thai cuisine

before the 1600s, but the food was still made spicy

through the use of ginger, pepper, and Szechuan

peppercorns, though using these has fallen out of

favor.

Bitter

Bitter flavors are sometimes found dominant in

dishes that feature greens. I find these are typically

stir fries or noodle dishes topped with stir fried

greens. Obviously, there are exceptions, but when I

think of dominant bitter flavors, I immediately

think of stir fried veggies like pak bung, spinach,

Chinese broccoli, eggplant, chapoo (bitter leaf), and

many of the bok choy cousins. Shallots and garlic,

when sautéed either on their own or as part of a

curry paste, also develop a touch of bitterness

which supports the finished dish.

Other Flavors

Although the ones above are the flavors

traditionally balanced within Thai cuisine, I find

that there are two other flavors which play a

predominant role.

Aromatic

Aromatic flavors are those flavors that give

lightness to a dish. They provide the high notes of a

meal. Lemongrass, basil, galangal, lime zest, and

ginger all have that brightness to them that

heightens the flavor of a dish. Generally, at least

one of these ingredients are present in a Thai dish,

either in whole form, sliced to flavor a broth, or

pureed to form part of a paste or rub.

Pungent

This is the flavor that comes from shallots, garlic,

and sometimes chives. It forms the base of nearly

every curry paste and rub. If you’re looking to

make your curry or a thick sauce, consider liberally

using shallots and garlic.

Conclusion

Whew! It’s not an exhaustive list, but I hope that

gives you some direction when making your own

Thai creations. Remember, think about what you

A Taste of Thai February 2013|51


want the dominant flavors to be and think about

how the other flavors support that, then start

balancing your ingredients using some of the ones

above and you should be on your way to an

amazing dish.

The Author

Jason Wyrick is the

executive chef and

publisher of The

Vegan Culinary

Experience, an

educational vegan

culinary magazine

with a readership of

about 30,000. In 2001, Chef Jason reversed his diabetes

by switching to a low‐fat, vegan diet and subsequently

left his position as the Director of Marketing for an IT

company to become a chef and instructor to help others.

Since then, he has been featured by the NY Times, has

been a NY Times contributor, and has been featured in

Edible Phoenix, and the Arizona Republic, and has had

numerous local television appearances. He has catered

for companies such as Google, Frank Lloyd Wright

Foundation, and Farm Sanctuary, has been featured in

the Scottsdale Culinary Festival’s premier catering

event, and has been a guest instructor and the first

vegan instructor in the Le Cordon Bleu program at

Scottsdale Culinary Institute. Recently, Chef Jason wrote

a national best‐selling book with Dr. Neal Barnard

entitled 21‐Day Weight Loss Kickstart. You can find out

more about Chef Jason Wyrick at

www.veganculinaryexperience.com.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|52


Vegan Substitutions for

Quintessential Thai Ingredients

By Chef Jason Wyrick

Thai cuisine is built upon several quintessential

ingredients. Shallots, garlic, lemongrass, galangal,

and chiles are ubiquitous throughout the region. A

few other foundation ingredients, however, are not

vegan and without these, Thai dishes can come up

lacking unless there is a good substitute, something

that is not always easy to find! I have searched

many times through Asian markets across the

country for vegan versions of fish sauce and shrimp

paste, but the few that are out there are rarely

available and nearly all of them contain msg.

Personally, I would rather go without than use

those products. Of course, I would rather not go

without at all, so I’ve found or developed excellent

replacements for these foundation ingredients that

bring as much flavor to the party as their non‐

vegan counterparts. Some of these take time to

create, but the payoff is worth it. Not only that,

they still leave your dishes tasting clean. It’s been a

long, long time since I have eaten any animal

products, but when I did, certain ingredients left a

dish feeling heavy or dirty. These won’t do that.

Now, if you don’t have the time to make your own

fishless sauce, don’t worry. There are a few cheats

that will get your dishes pointed in the right

direction. It should be noted that these

substitutions won’t matter when using recipes

from this issue. This is a guide on how to substitute

these ingredients when using traditional Thai

cookbooks and recipes.

Also, do not feel like you must follow a recipe

exactly. Adjusting a recipe to taste is expected by

most Thai cooks and there are plenty of slight

variations on lots of dishes. Plus, vegetarianism is

widely accepted, so there are plenty of vegetarian

versions of dishes that normally rely upon non‐

vegetarian ingredients. Have fun, play around with

some of these substitutions, and don’t ever let

anyone or any cookbook make you feel like you are

doing it wrong!

Nam Pla (fish sauce) – I once heard Alton Brown

describe fish sauce as smelling like a graveyard of

fish. Yeah, I don’t want to eat that either, even if I

wasn’t vegan. It is, however, an important staple of

Thai dishes. It imparts saltiness and in an odd way,

a bit of sharp pungency and earthiness. Without it,

some of the bass notes are missing in Thai dishes. If

you are willing to take the time, you can make the

Fishless Sauce recipe from page 180. If you plan on

making a lot of Thai dishes, make a double or even

triple batch. It’s easy to make and keeps for a very

long time! If you’re in a pinch, or simply don’t want

to make the Fishless Sauce, you can substitute an

equal amount of tamari for fish sauce in a

traditional Thai recipe. It’s not quite the same, but

you will get the saltiness and some of the

earthiness you need.

Kapi (shrimp paste) – Shrimp paste has a heavy,

salty, slightly sweet flavor with strong ocean notes.

To mimic that flavor, I use fermented tofu cubes,

which can be found at most Asian markets. It has a

very similar flavor, minus the ocean and sweetness.

To add that to the dish, you can use a very small

A Taste of Thai February 2013|53


pinch of ground seaweed (wakame is a great

choice, here) and a very small pinch of sugar. By

small pinch, it should be 1/8 of a tsp. or less, for

both the seaweed and the sugar. If the dish already

has any sugar in it, you won’t need to add that

pinch. There are three types of shrimp paste used

in Thailand. The above substitution will work for

every recipe in this issue and most recipes you

come across. There is also a sweet version and one

made with both shrimp and fish. To substitute for

the sweet version, add in ¼ tsp. of palm sugar

instead of 1/8 tsp and to substitute for the

shrimp/fish paste, use smash one fermented tofu

cube with ½ tsp. of Fishless Sauce for every tbsp. of

paste called for in the recipe.

Kung Haeng (dried shrimp) – Dried shrimp is

sometimes used to make chile pastes and in a few

curries. It has a strong salty, oceanic taste. If you

see a recipe in a Thai cookbook that calls for it, you

can use a small pinch of seaweed and about 1/8

tsp. of coarse salt with a small pinch of palm sugar.

Again, this should be 1/8 tsp. or even less.

Palm Sugar – Palm sugar has a rich, almost buttery,

flavor not found in plain white sugar. You can

substitute in an equal amount of turbinado sugar.

It also has a richness to it, though not quite the

same level of buttery flavor. It is not a perfect

substitute, but it is still a very good one!

Kaffir Lime Leaves – Don’t do it! They are distinct

and if you do not have them, just omit them from

the dish.

Kaffir Lime Zest – Kaffir limes are not easy to find.

When substituting for them, I choose a lime that

has a knobby, hard, dark green skin. They are

usually filled with heavy lime oil and fragrance,

which is what you would get out of a kaffir lime.

Coriander Roots – In several traditional curries and

pastes, the root stalk of coriander is scraped into

the mix. However, that coriander with the roots

attached is not easy to find. When I see this in a

recipe, I usually end up using a like amount of

coriander stems. It doesn’t have that earthiness

that the roots have, but it still gets in that

important coriander flavor.

The Author

Jason Wyrick is the

executive chef and

publisher of The

Vegan Culinary

Experience, an

educational vegan

culinary magazine

with a readership of

about 30,000. In 2001, Chef Jason reversed his diabetes

by switching to a low‐fat, vegan diet and subsequently

left his position as the Director of Marketing for an IT

company to become a chef and instructor to help others.

Since then, he has been featured by the NY Times, has

been a NY Times contributor, and has been featured in

Edible Phoenix, and the Arizona Republic, and has had

numerous local television appearances. He has catered

for companies such as Google, Frank Lloyd Wright

Foundation, and Farm Sanctuary, has been featured in

the Scottsdale Culinary Festival’s premier catering

event, and has been a guest instructor and the first

vegan instructor in the Le Cordon Bleu program at

Scottsdale Culinary Institute. Recently, Chef Jason wrote

a national best‐selling book with Dr. Neal Barnard

entitled 21‐Day Weight Loss Kickstart. You can find out

more about Chef Jason Wyrick at

www.veganculinaryexperience.com.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|54


Please tell us a bit about yourself

I am the most massive, powerful vegan in the

world. I also compose ambient, soothing music on

the guitar and piano for a motivational production

company. I am a former drug, alcohol, and

processed food addict, and turned it all around 4

years ago. Since then I have inspired a

documentary, built a following of vegan athletes

for my hardcore weightlifting gym, designed and

fabricated a custom line of old‐school gym

equipment, lost 103lbs on a whole food vegan diet,

reversed heart disease, diabetes, hypertension,

depression, anxiety, and have gained so much

energy that I have to keep starting businesses to

give me something to do. I worked hard to look

tough, but no one believes it and just calls me a

teddy bear. I love fuzzy bunny rabbits too.

Why did you become a vegan and what was that

transition like for you? Were you an athlete

beforehand?

Big Bald Mike, the

Strongest Vegan in the

World!

The suffering that animals endure to become a

porterhouse steak or a carton of yogurt is

absolutely terrible, and I decided that I wanted to

have NO PART in their suffering anymore. Once my

eyes were opened to the cruelty animals suffer in

slaughterhouses, I immediately gave up meat.

March 31, 2009 was the day I started living a better

life for the animals and my own soul... the

transition was very easy for me, which really

shocked a lot of people because I was so obsessed

with BBQ that I even have a tattoo of BBQ sauce on

my arm. I have been into professional weightlifting

my whole life, so the "protein issue" was initially a

concern, but obviously it is pure crap because I

have been stronger than ever over the past few

years eating vegetables!

What got you into armwrestling and how has

being vegan impacted that?

I have been armwrestling my whole life, and since I

was a kid I have been obsessed with the Stallone

movie, "Over The Top". But in June of 2010, when I

first became vegan, my girlfriend encouraged me

A Taste of Thai February 2013|55


to get into

armwrestling,

so I entered

my first

tournament. I

got my ass

handed to me

by a 16 year

old kid in a

pink t‐shirt! It

was a national

tournament,

and I had no

idea that I was

competing

against the best armwrestlers in the country. At

that tournament, I met Jarrod Levulett who has

been world champion before, and he is now my

coach so I am grateful for that opportunity. Being

vegan has impacted my training in a very positive

way, because I eat so clean and consume so many

powerfully cleansing greens. My recovery time is

very fast compared to how slow it was when I first

became vegan, and had a lot of acidity and dairy

products in my tissues. Armwrestling freaking

HURTS, and I think my body being in an alkaline

state reduces the inflammation dramatically.

How do other armwrestlers react to that and how

do you handle their reaction?

I want to mention that there are two other

incredible vegan armwrestlers that are winning

tournaments: Rob Bigwood from New York, and

Phil Rasmussen from Australia. These guys are an

incredible inspiration to me, and they are great

vegan athletes that are really helping demonstrate

the benefits of eating tofu and broccoli. Most

armwrestlers are a bit intimidated to armwrestle a

monster vegan brute, maybe out of fear that

others will make fun of them since some might

think that we are wimpy dudes, and losing to us

might take their pride a little. But I think the

reactions have all been positive, and it is very much

a sport that has good attitudes and we all support

each other. But I definitely understand the

importance of being my best to show vegans are

strong, so I always try to tear my opponent's arms

out of their socket.

What is the biggest benefit to being vegan you

have seen in your life?

100% no questions asked, the greatest benefit of

being vegan is the awareness brought to the

welfare of animals. We truly have a solution to

healing the planet, ending hunger and worldwide

suffering just by choosing to eat yummy vegetables

and leaving the milk for the baby cows. Also, the

research is out there and obvious that almost ALL

of the major diseases in the world can be reversed

and prevented by eating a clean, whole food vegan

diet. I'm thankful that I can eat beans, greens,

squash and yams and then easily shrug 1,000lbs.

And for 29 years of my life I was a taker, from the

animals who had no say in that taking... for the

past 4 years I've finally been making things right to

them, and I have a lifetime of giving still to do.

What is the most fun event you have done on the

circuit? Do you have a particular moving story

from someone you have influenced?

I haven't competed in many tournaments, because

it requires a lot of funds to do so, and it is almost

impossible to get sponsors for those expenses

because armwrestling is such an obscure sport. I

am saving every penny I can to open my gym

(Bonebreaker Barbell) in a permanent location in

Austin, TX. Right now my gym is in my garage, and

one of my clients has given up meat and dairy, and

is doing her best to be a vegan warrior, and that is

very moving to me. It makes me realize the

importance of opening Bonebreaker Barbell in

A Taste of Thai February 2013|56


Austin, which will be one of the most hardcore

gyms in the world and will be 100% vegan ‐ no

leather belts or training gear, all plant based

nutrition, and will have a juice and smoothie bar ‐

this is a strange combination to some, but I believe

it will be a great way to show people that vegan

athletes like Robert

Cheeke, Benjamin

Benulis, Bart Akeley,

Chad Byers, and myself

are great role models for

competitive sports and

bodybuilding. This is how

I plan to make a

difference in the world.

What do you typically

eat while training?

Before a training session I will usually have a

lemon‐ginger blast green juice (parsley, cilantro,

lemon, ginger, carrot, celery, cucumber, habanero

pepper, apples) ‐ this juice lights me up and really

prepares my joints for some extreme weightlifting

or armwrestling. Immediately after training, I use

Warrior Force products to help aid recovery. They

are a vegan company that I believe in, because of

their commitment to "hardcore" whole food green

nutrition. My last meal of the day is usually whole

oat groats with fruit, about two hours after my

training session.

Do you have a favorite recipe you make for

yourself at home?

My morning breakfast always consists of beans,

greens, squash and yams. Dr Linda Carney, a whole

foods vegan doctor, taught me how to cook these

nutritious foods and prepare them in a healthy way

with no oil, sugar, or sodium and I love eating that

way! I weighed 571 lbs. in January 2012 and now I

weigh an energetic 468 lbs. Thanks to the

educational blessings of Dr Carney, I have become

a nutrition advocate. I cook all of my food exactly

the way she showed me, and because of that, I will

be 300lbs by the end of 2013. My favorite recipe is

a black bean soup that is super simple and makes a

yummy tummy happy: 2 cups of black beans, lots

of cilantro, onion, and garlic ‐

serve it up with some brown

rice or some crunchy whole

grain bread!

What advice can you give

up‐and‐coming vegan

athletes?

Don't let people point a

finger in your face and tell

you it cannot be done ‐

smash thru the walls they put up around you and

go show the world that EVERY sport is capable of

being dominated by the plant eaters!!! The

resistance is going to be there and you cannot

avoid it, but remember that Big Bald Mike has your

back, and I will not tolerate the naysayers messing

with my fellow vegans ‐ that is a promise to you,

my friends.

What exciting projects or events do you have

coming up?

2013 is going to be a very busy year! Onion Creek

Productions is in the final year of filming for the

documentary, "Wrestling Demons". The story

chronicles my journey from being a drug and

alcohol addict to becoming a professional wrestler,

using wrestling as an alternative to rehab. You can

see a trailer for the documentary on youtube.com,

or on Onion Creek Productions website. I will be at

the 2nd Annual Texas VegFest in Austin, TX on April

6, 2012. I am going to be doing a fundraiser

kickstart there to raise the funds to get my gym

open, to make a dream become a reality. If all goes

A Taste of Thai February 2013|57


well, by

summertime

Bonebreaker

Barbell will be

dealing out green

smoothies and

supporting vegan

strength training

and armwrestling!

Another cool

thing is that I'm

scheduled to do

some motivational speaking at schools and also for

groups of troubled teenagers, using my testimony

to inspire them to stay off of drugs and alcohol.

Writing a book, recording an ambient instrumental

record, and losing 170 lbs. will take up the rest of

my time, haha.

Contact Info

You can see what Mike is up to at

www.bigbaldmike.com and www.bbbarbell.com.

Bio

Known by some as a “mountain of a man”, Big Bald

Mike has battled drug and alcohol addiction, a

severe eating disorder (topping out at 571lbs), and

overwhelming depression. After having his eyes

opened to the realities of the meat industry, Mike

decided to turn his life around, get healthy, and

take a stand against animal cruelty. Since

undergoing medical treatment from Dr. Linda

Carney, MD (a whole foods, vegan physician), Mike

has lost over 100 lbs. in less than a year and has

reversed diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

Mike has become very active in creating and

cooking whole food, vegan recipes. Currently, Mike

is working as a motivational speaker, a professional

armwrestler, and a strength coach at his gym

“Bonebreaker Barbell” just south of Austin, TX. Big

Bald Mike hopes to represent vegans in a way that

nobody has ever seen before, and that he will bring

awareness to other athletes that incredible feats of

strength can be achieved by following a

compassionate, vegan diet.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|58


Please tell us a bit about yourself and your vegan

food trip project.

My name is Kristin Lajeunesse, I’m from a small

town in upstate NY and lived in Boston for the 4

years prior to my road trip. I’ve been vegan for

nearly 6.5 years and was vegetarian for 8 years

before that, thanks to my lovely parents (see “my

vegan story” here to learn more about why I went

vegan: http://wtfveganfood.com/about/)

I’ve been living out of a van and off of donations

for more than a year now, on a vegan food focused

roadtrip across the US. My goal is to visit all 50

states while also dining at every all‐vegan eatery in

the country. I’m currently in California, my 46th

state, and have eaten at about 400 vegan

establishments so far.

What inspired you to sell all your stuff and hit the

road on a vegan food trip?

What started as a desired lifestyle change has

turned into an epic passion project to help spread

veganism, and provide free marketing to the

An Interview with

Kristin Lajeunesse of

Will Travel for Vegan

Food!

hundreds of vegan restaurants throughout the US.

It has also inadvertently and completely changed

my life.

I had a great job with an animal welfare

organization in Boston and life was comfortable,

but I still felt unsettled. At some point I stumbled

upon some books and blogs about lifestyle design

and passive income, which eventually led me to a

deeper understanding of a custom, designed‐by‐

me lifestyle that sounded kind of crazy and very

cool: traveling the country in search of vegan food.

Once the idea entered my mind I couldn’t stop

thinking about it. After about one year of reading

dozens of articles and books on the topic of

nomadic living I gave my notice at work, put

A Taste of Thai February 2013|59


together a Kickstarter project to raise money for a

vehicle, and then hit the road a few months later.

Now, here I am more than a year later, a different

person who has spent a magical year living outside

her comfort zone and would do it all over again in a

heartbeat.

What were you doing before you set off on your

trip and have you been able to continue any of

the work that you used to do?

I was working full‐time for the World Society for

the Protection of Animals (WSPA) in Boston, and

also part‐time as the social media manager for

Vegan Mainstream.

My intentions were to continue working in some

capacity but managing the Will Travel for Vegan

Food blog and schedule, while also driving, eating,

writing, and oh yeah ‐ sleeping ;) left very little time

to do any other work. I’ve since drained all of my

personal savings and have been living entirely off

of donations.

How do you choose where to go?

It’s a five‐step process. I start with a

spreadsheet that HappyCow.net

provided me last year. When I’ve

decided what state or city/town I’m

headed to I look at the spreadsheet

to see what’s there. I go through the

websites for each to make sure

they’re still open, mark down where they’re

located, and what their hours are. Then I take to

VegDining.com, Google, and Yelp! to see if I’ve

missed any. Once I have a solid list I then post it to

my social media pages and ask those who follow

along if I’ve missed any. Once I get that feedback I

clean up the list and then head over to Google

Maps to decide in what order makes the most

sense to tackle the restaurants.

Also ‐ once I’ve got my list and order set, I go

through all of my emails to see if anyone had

contacted me, and would like to meet up. I then

coordinate meeting times and places with those

interested.

What obstacles did you face getting this project

off the ground and how did you overcome them?

The biggest obstacle was myself. Even though I was

motivated beyond belief to do this I was still

nervous. As a result I invited a friend to join me for

the first few months, which helped overcome those

initial fears. But once his time on the trip had

ended I was faced with the same fears as before ‐

traveling, planning, writing, and eating alone.

I told myself that this is the experience I had

wanted though. I had initially intended to go it

alone from the start. From past experiences I also

knew that this kind of fear was healthy and that it

would only make me stronger. So I pushed through

and convinced myself that I’d make this fear work

*for* me rather than against

me. And it has!

The only other obstacle that

presented itself early on was

money. So I used

Kickstarter.com to raise funds

to get started and paired that

with the belief tht things

would just work out. As a result of Kickstarter I met

some incredible people who continue to donate, to

this day, to keep me going.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|60


What has been the most interesting experience

you have had at a restaurant?

My mom (who had joined me for a week on the

road) and I had just finished a great meal at Omar’s

Rawtopia in Salt Lake City. On our way out I was

waiting to talk to the restaurant owner, to tell him

about my trip and to leave behind a window decal

and bumper stickers. A woman, who I believe was

waiting for a take‐out order, noticed the bumper

stickers and asked what they were. I told her the

short version of my trip and handed her a sticker.

Without any questions she looked at me, looked

into me with indescribable intensity, and then

looked down into her purse, and pulled out a

twenty dollar bill, handed it to me and said that she

wished to donate to the journey. She went on to

say how important the trip is and how she truly

wishes me all the best. I was moved beyond words

or reason, I’ve never felt more connected and

touched by a complete stranger before.

Read more of my most memorable experiences

from the past year, here:

http://wtfveganfood.com/one‐year‐road‐trip‐

update/

What restaurant have you been to that you think

people should absolutely know about, but isn’t

necessarily well‐known?

Imagine Vegan Cafe in Memphis, Tennessee.

http://wtfveganfood.com/nashville‐memphis‐

vegan/

What is your favorite recipe that you make for

yourself?

Chickpea Cutlets from Veganomicon. Here is a

recipe for a double batch of ‘em:

http://www.theppk.com/2010/11/doublebatch‐

chickpea‐cutlets

If you could give advice to vegan restaurateurs,

what would it be?

Your online presence will ‐ not maybe or possibly,

but will ‐ make or break your business. The biggest

complaint I hear from restaurant goers, and my

personal one as well, is that lack of communication

that restaurants have online. It doesn’t matter if

you have a website or a Facebook page, or a

Twitter account ‐ if you don’t use it, and use it well,

then it’s best to not have those at all.

So many people spend loads of time online, and

make decisions about where they’re going to have

dinner based on reviews, photos, and friend’s

suggestions. Make it easy for people to find you

A Taste of Thai February 2013|61


(please, oh please if you have a website keep your

hours up to date, include your address, and an easy

way to contact you), easy to recommend you, and

easy to share info about your restaurant.

For these reasons I suggest making social

media/online management part of the job

description of either you, your manager(s), or

creating a separate job just for this. It’s so

important on multiple levels. Don’t fall behind the

competition because we ‐ who want to support

your business ‐ can’t find you or share our love of

your restaurant with our friends.

PS ‐ I’m rolling out an e‐book this spring that’s

going to cover this exact topic. Stay tuned! ;)

Once you are done with this project, what is next

on the horizon for you?

First thing is an epic end‐of‐roadtrip party in NYC

this spring. It’s going to feature a not‐to‐be‐missed

vegan restaurant showdown charity invitational.

The details for that will roll out in a few months.

Then, I intend to stay in one location (I know, crazy!

:) for about six months while I focus on monetizing

other online projects I have, while also continuing

to grow the Will Travel for Vegan Food brand

through collaborations with restaurants, other

vegan business owners, and a few books focused

on doing what you love for a living, social media for

restaurants, and fundraising; among a few other

digital projects and possibly some consulting as

well.

Once I feel comfortable with how my projects are

shaking out, and am no longer dependent on

donations, I intend to keep traveling ‐ spending 3‐4

months in different countries around the world in

search of…you guessed it, vegan food. ;)

How can people support you?

If you’d like to make a monetary donation, please

go to this Paypal link: http://bit.ly/WKQApf

You’re also welcome to sponsor a meal if we have a

chance to meet up for one! :)

If you’re a restaurant owner/manager, you’re

welcome to advertise on my website. Email me for

banner ad or sponsored blog post options:

kristin@wtfveganfood.com

Thanks Kristin!

Contact Info

Email: Kristin@wtfveganfood.com

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/10oZfCl

Twitter: @wtfveganfood

Instagram: @wtfveganfood

YouTube: http://bit.ly/woMIIk

Bio

Kristin Lajeunesse is a multi‐passionate

entrepreneur who has been living out of a van and

off of donations for more than a year, on a nomadic

journey across the country, in an effort to dine at

every all‐vegan restaurant in the US. Kristin is also

the founder of Rose Pedals Vegan Weddings, and

moonlights as a social media consultant for small

business owners and entrepreneurs.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|62


An Interview with

Cheryl Durzy

and John Salley

of Vegan Vine

Wines!

Please tell us a bit about yourselves!

Vegan Vine is a brand owned by and conceived by Clos

LaChance Wines in the Northern Central Coast of

California. We focus on making wines that are animal‐

cruelty free and educating our customers and the wine

drinking public about vegan winemaking.

What makes some alcohols not vegan and what

spurred you on to create a vegan line?

In the winemaking process, several items can be used in

the fining and filtering stage that make the wine non

vegan. These products are filtered out of the wine

before bottling…however the use of them makes the

wine not appropriate to the vegan lifestyle. These items

are:

� Isinglass: a very pure form of gelatin from

sturgeon fish bladders

� Gelatin: extract from boiled cow’s or pig’s

hooves and sinews

� Albumin: egg whites

� Casein: a protein from milk

How does ensuring that everything is vegan impact the

development process for your wines?

Fortunately, our moderate climate and growing season

creates little need for animal products on the wines. We

fine them with a clay product instead.

What sorts of challenges have you faced getting the

Vegan Vine line of wines off the ground and how did

you overcome them?

The wine industry is a challenging one for any brand. In

order for our wines to get into stores and restaurants,

they have to go through a distributor. The distributor

business has been consolidating over the last decade—

most distributors are either HUGE and do not care

about small or developing brands (i.e. small case sales =

less revenue for them and developing brands require

more work on behalf of the sales team. Much easier for

them to go in and just take orders for existing wine

brands vs. introducing/selling new or unique stuff). Or

A Taste of Thai February 2013|63


the distributor

is small and

payment can

be

challenging.

We just go

state by

state….and try

and do the best for the brand.

No matter what the distribution situation is in any state,

a wine brand still needs to do its own sales (calling on

accounts, attending distributor sales meetings and

setting up programming/incentives with distributor

management). As a smaller winery, we decided to hire a

sales management firm to handle this for us. That has

helped with the distributor communications (different

distributors in each state…makes for a lot of time and

efforts!).

Additionally, the costs of shipping wine direct to

customer are pretty high…which I think impedes a lot of

people from trying it if they can’t find it in their local

grocery store/wine shop. A bottle of wine is heavy and

breakable, two things that do not “mail” economically.

This year we are going to work on more discounted

shipping offers to encourage people to try the wines.

Once they do, they will be hooked!!

What types of wine do you produce and what has

been your personal favorite so far?

The Vegan Vine makes a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay,

Red Rhone‐style blend and Cabernet Sauvignon. Asking

a winemaker to pick their favorite wine is like asking a

mom to pick their favorite child! � I drink the

Sauvignon Blanc the most because that is a style of wine

I prefer on most evenings. �

This next three are for John.

John, how did you hear about

the Vegan Vine and why did you

choose to get involved? Why

wine?

My friend and consultant for the

Winery (Brian

Cameron )

thought we would

be a good match. I

eat a plant based

diet, so drinking

and promoting a

wine that is made

without animal products made sense.

What is your role in Vegan Vine?

To promote and educate a plant based lifestyle by

eating healthy and drinking complementary wines that

don’t need or use animal bi products.

Do you have a favorite meal/Vegan Vine wine pairing

you can share with us?

I like the Sauvignon Blanc with my hearth meal. It

consists of spicy string beans, brown rice and a kale

salad. I like the Cabernet Sauvignon with a dark

chocolate cake (no eggs or milk).

Do you have any advice you can give for amateur

vegan wine makers?

Stay away from the big four no‐nos (isinglass, etc.). Use

bentonite clay instead. It is just as effective.

What is on the horizon for you?

Continuing to get our distribution ducks in a row and

rounding out the rest if the United States. Hiring a PR

agency this year that specializes in the vegan market so

we can get the word out to the right people. Lots of

wine dinners around the country with John at

wonderful vegan restaurants. Maybe adding a new

varietal or two to the line‐up.

How do people order your products?

www.theveganvine.com

Or call 1‐800‐ITS‐WINE.

Thanks Cheryl! Thanks John!

A Taste of Thai February 2013|64


Book Review: Taste of Europe

Author: Mark Reinfeld

Reviewer: Jason Wyrick

Mark Reinfeld’s latest book is an enticing journey

through European classic dishes. His recipes cover

a broad swath of flavors, touching upon just

enough of a region’s recipes to give the reader a

sense of the cuisine and pique their interest before

moving on to another region. It’s a fun read that

brought me back to days spent carousing the

markets in Rome.

The recipes themselves are steeped in tradition,

but with the modifications necessary to make them

vegan without adding a bunch of other ingredients

that don’t belong. In addition, he usually gives

several options for a recipe to give it a slight twist,

like using macadamia nuts instead of pine nuts in

the Creamy Florentine Soup. It’s simple,

approachable, and full of excellent ideas like that.

However, this book is not just a collection of

recipes. Mark also talks about food culture, history,

and puts the recipes in perspective. He also has

several guest authors which cover topics like

common European herbs, vegan beer and wine

pairings, and mushroom foraging. That’s the kind

of information that keeps me going back to read a

cookbook.

If you are looking for a themed dinner night, or are

simply intrigued by fabulous food, Taste of Europe

is a must.

The Reviewer

Authors: Mark Reinfeld

Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong

Books

Copyright: 2012

ISBN: 978-0738214337

Price: $18.99

Jason Wyrick is the

executive chef and

publisher of The

Vegan Culinary

Experience, an

educational vegan

culinary magazine

with a readership of

about 30,000. In 2001, Chef Jason reversed his diabetes

by switching to a low‐fat, vegan diet and subsequently

left his position as the Director of Marketing for an IT

company to become a chef and instructor to help others.

Since then, he has been featured by the NY Times, has

been a NY Times contributor, and has been featured in

Edible Phoenix, and the Arizona Republic, and has had

numerous local television appearances. He has catered

for companies such as Google, Frank Lloyd Wright

Foundation, and Farm Sanctuary, has been featured in

the Scottsdale Culinary Festival’s premier catering

event, and has been a guest instructor and the first

vegan instructor in the Le Cordon Bleu program at

Scottsdale Culinary Institute. Recently, Chef Jason wrote

a national best‐selling book with Dr. Neal Barnard

entitled 21‐Day Weight Loss Kickstart. You can find out

A Taste of Thai February 2013|65


more about Chef Jason Wyrick at

www.veganculinaryexperience.com.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|66


Book Review: Vegan Eats World

Author: Terry Hope Romero

Reviewer: Madelyn Pryor

Munching Your Way across the Globe… Romero

Style

One of the consistent pieces of advice that give

new vegans is to expand your tastes beyond the

United States. Try new flavors from new countries.

Entire regions of India are vegan. There are vegan

Ethiopian recipes that will make you cry with joy

because of how good they are. A Japanese

seaweed salad can be a tasty treat that will tingle

your taste buds. If you are a new to international

cuisine or if you are a new cook, there are parts of

this book that are great!

For the newbie to vegan cooking, there is a great

beginning section that describes pantry essentials,

cooking terms, items needed, and even the proper

way to dice and slice with cute vegetable diagrams.

Several of the recipes are marked with a code (1‐2‐

3) that means they are perfect for the beginner. If

you are like my former roommate who did not

know how to boil water at 26 years old (true story),

this is a great choice.

Similarly, if you are new to international cuisine

and do not know your injera from your hummus,

this is a fun book to page through and get ideas.

There is a sprinkling of pictures throughout, but

there is an introduction to each recipe to give you

ideas of the recipe. You can read about fun new

ingredients like fresh curry leaves, masa harina,

Authors: Terry Hope

Romero

Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong

Books

Copyright: 2012

ISBN: 978-0738214863

Price: $35.00

and jackfruit. There is even a section on making

some of the basic ingredients like preserved

lemons.

One of the issues with this book, however, is that it

is more about the author’s spin on world cuisine,

rather than being about authentic world cuisine.

Experienced cooks may recognize when a recipe

uses creative license, such as when the carnitas

recipe makes use of soy sauce, but those just

getting into world fare may go into it thinking they

are making vegan versions of traditional recipes. I

whole heartedly approve of fusion cuisine and

variations on tradition, but wish the recipes were

billed as such. The very experienced, seasoned

vegan might find more enjoyment out of sourcing

more authentic versions of the recipes.

All in all, it is a worthy addition to many vegan

libraries, and is a fun gift for new vegans and new

cooks, or even for parents. After all, Mother’s Day

and Father’s Day are coming and what better gift

than expanding their minds to international foods

and giving them something they can make for you

when you come over?

A Taste of Thai February 2013|67


The Reviewer

Madelyn is a lover of dessert, which she celebrates on

her blog, http://badkittybakery.blogspot.com/. She has

been making her own tasty

desserts for over 16 years, and

eating dessert for longer than

she cares to admit. When she

isn’t in the kitchen creating new

wonders of sugary goodness, she

is chasing after her bad kitties,

or reviewing products for various websites and

publications. She can be contacted at

thebadkittybakery@gmail.com or

madelyn@veganculinaryexperience.com.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|68


Book Review: Fresh from the

Vegan Slow Cooker

Author: Robin Robertson

Reviewer: Madelyn Pryor

Hot, Delicious, and Ready for Dinner!

True story time. When I went to graduate school,

my aunt scraped up to get me a very nice present.

She gave me a slow cooker big enough to cook a

small child. There she stood, proud as a peacock,

and I thanked her again and again, because I knew

she had spent a fortune. Then, I placed it on a

shelf, and ever used it. To this day, it is at my

mom’s, unused. I had no idea what to do with it!! If

I had Robin Robertson’s wonderful new book, Fresh

from the Vegan Slow Cooker that poor device might

have come out of the package.

For those of you who own a slow cooker or are just

cooker curious, this is the book for you. Even if you

have been slow cooking forever, I am sure you can

find a myriad of ideas for you. At the beginning of

the book, for the uninitiated and those who want a

few tips, there is a wonderful first chapter on

everything you need to know about your slow

cooker, but are afraid to ask (Step 1: Take it out of

the box, Madelyn). There are notes on ways to

coax even more flavor out of your veggies with

some quick browning, and permission to skip those

steps if you want.

Now, if you’re like I used to be before this book and

you think that you can only make amorphous

Authors: Robin Robertson

Publisher: Harvard Common Press

Copyright: 2012

ISBN: 978-1-55832-790-0

Price: $16.95

brown chili of blandness in your Crockpot, you are

very wrong. You can make condiments, breakfasts,

breads, desserts, and main dishes. The fun does

not stop there. You can also make snacks, drinks,

delicious beans, and delectable grains. Who knew

that many of us had this wonder appliance that

was just going to waste!

If you are not interested in dusting off your slow

cooker or do not own one, you will still find

valuable recipes inside. There is one for a soyless,

wheatless sauce that you can use instead of soy

sauce or even vegan Worcestershire sauce. There is

also a recipe for vegan sour cream, and one for a

lovely cheese sauce. Those are items that are high

on the recipe wish list for all vegans, and here,

Robertson presents them.

So grab a copy of Fresh from the Vegan Slow

Cooker, try a recipe, and then try to figure out what

you are going to do with the next 6‐8 hours of your

time, because after that, you will have a delicious

meal.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|69


The Reviewer

Madelyn is a lover of dessert, which she celebrates on

her blog, http://badkittybakery.blogspot.com/. She has

been making her own tasty desserts for over 16 years,

and eating dessert for longer

than she cares to admit. When

she isn’t in the kitchen creating

new wonders of sugary

goodness, she is chasing after

her bad kitties, or reviewing

products for various websites

and publications. She can be contacted at

thebadkittybakery@gmail.com or

madelyn@veganculinaryexperience.com.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|70


Book Review: Nut Butter

Universe

Author: Robin Robertson

Reviewer: Madelyn Pryor

So much more than peanut butter and jelly…

Like so many vegans, once I transitioned, I ate

more than my share of peanut butter and jelly

sandwiches. I was in school, and they were

inexpensive and easy to transport. At the time I

could not afford the other nut butters staring at me

from the shelf in Whole Foods, so I did not try

exploring those flavors. After a few years of poking

around recipes, I figured out that peanut butter

and other nut butters could be used in more than

just a PB&J. I thought there was a world of recipes

out there that included nut butters. I was wrong.

There is a universe of recipes and Robin Robertson

is your guide.

Robin starts off her book with the basics – why you

should eat nuts. For those who might be shy there

is information on why nut butters and nuts are

healthy even though they are high in fat, I even

learned a few things. Once you are comfortable in

your choice, she teaches you how to make your

own nut butters! There are recipes here for nut

butter, nut cheese sauce, and even how to make

your own tahini. For those who might be shy there

Authors: Robin Robertson

Publisher: Vegan Heritage Press

Copyright: 2013

ISBN: 978-0980013177

Price: $18.95

is information on why nut butters and nuts are

healthy even though they are high in fat, I even

learned a few things.

There are several more chapters that might

surprise the person who is only familiar with the

sandwich side of nut butters, including soups,

starters, salads, side dishes, main dishes, breakfast,

desserts, sweet treats, and of course, sandwiches.

Each chapter has a wide variety of flavors from

around the world. There is gado‐gado from

Indonesia, a lightly spicy dish of cooked and fresh

vegetables, Szechuan stir fry with fiery peanut

sauce, and Thai vegetable wraps. You can sample

recipes from around the globe, or you can sample a

bevy of truly delicious desserts. The chocolate

peanut butter cups are the answer on what to do

for your craving for Reese’s, and the too‐easy

chocolate‐peanut butter fudge is amazing and will

change what I make people for Christmas. Those

two recipes alone are worth the price of the book,

but there is so much more that this has to offer.

Partially because I own so many cookbooks, I love

the little touches. There are tips in here though out

A Taste of Thai February 2013|71


the book and interesting facts, which are fun to

read but my favorite I a chart on how to create a

ton of interesting nut butter sandwich

combinations. Recipes are marked if they are

gluten free or soy free (and there are many options

for both) and the index is a joy to read. You can

look up recipes by a certain nut, and there is even

an alphabetical listing of recipes, something many

modern cookbooks leave out.

With so many great recipes and fun touches, this is

a great book to add to any cookbook selection.

Think about giving this to friends, family, new

vegans, long time vegans, and most importantly,

yourself. Highly recommended.

The Reviewer

Madelyn is a lover of dessert, which she celebrates on

her blog, http://badkittybakery.blogspot.com/. She has

been making her own tasty

desserts for over 16 years, and

eating dessert for longer than

she cares to admit. When she

isn’t in the kitchen creating new

wonders of sugary goodness, she

is chasing after her bad kitties,

or reviewing products for various websites and

publications. She can be contacted at

thebadkittybakery@gmail.com or

madelyn@veganculinaryexperience.com.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|72


Book Review: Vegan for the

Holidays

Author: Zel Allen

Reviewer: Madelyn Pryor

Tasty Treats for Terrific Memories

Winter is my favorite time of the year. This is

partially because I live in the desert, and the winter

is the only time that I can go outside. Part of it is I

love the spirit of the holidays. I love seeing friends

and family, all of us gathering at my grandmother’s

house for Christmas. However, there is a problem

of sorts. Since I became vegan, some of my

extended family feeds me popcorn, carrot sticks,

and tea. Apparently this is what makes a vegan

meal. I eat before I come over, and then eat the

carrots and popcorn. But thanks to Zel Allen, I

know what I am buying them all for their birthdays.

Zel Allen’s Vegan for the Holidays is a sweeping

reference of terrific recipes for the winter

celebrations. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah,

Kwanza and New Years all have their honored

places in this book. Moreover, different traditions

from around the country and around the globe all

have their place. Glögg from Scandinavia, borsht

from Russia, Seoul Brussels sprouts, a playful fusion

pairing show off some of the places this

globetrotting book goes. If your family and house

are a small UN as my extended family is, this is a

perfect book.

If you are looking to expand your scope of ways to

celebrate with food, this is also a fine choice. Allen

realizes that not every party or celebration is the

same. Are you having a formal sit down dinner?

Perfect! This volume presents you with choices

ranging from a savory chickpea Yule log to a phyllo

pie, to Jamaican Jerk Tofu. If your get‐togethers are

all about drink and finger food (mine usually are)

then there are pages of “two finger tidbits” like

caper stuffed dates, wassail, and almond

thumbprint cookies.

The beauty of this book is it is one to get more than

one copy of. You will want a copy for yourself and

your own bookshelf, and a copy to give to your

relatives, so that you don’t have to have another

Christmas brunch of popcorn and carrots.

Recommended!

Authors: Zel Allen

Publisher: Book Publishing

Company

Copyright: 2012

ISBN: 978-1570672842

Price: $19.95

A Taste of Thai February 2013|73


The Reviewer

Madelyn is a lover of dessert, which she celebrates on

her blog, http://badkittybakery.blogspot.com/. She has

been making her own tasty

desserts for over 16 years, and

eating dessert for longer than

she cares to admit. When she

isn’t in the kitchen creating new

wonders of sugary goodness, she

is chasing after her bad kitties,

or reviewing products for various websites and

publications. She can be contacted at

thebadkittybakery@gmail.com or

madelyn@veganculinaryexperience.com.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|74


Product Review: The Vegan Vine Wines

Reviewer: Jason Wyrick

The Vegan Vine

www.theveganvine.com

1 Hummingbird Lane

San Martin, CA 95046

1‐800‐487‐9463

Can be purchased at: online at

the vegan vine store

Price: $14‐$18/bottle

Figuring out which alcohols are vegan and which

ones aren’t can be a pain. www.barnivore.com is a

great resource, but new manufacturers pop up all

the time and it can be hard to keep up. Even when

you find out if an alcohol is vegan, that is certainly

no guarantee that it’s good! That’s where The

Vegan Vine comes in. The Vegan Vine is a line of

wines produced by Clos LaChance winery in

California. Inspired by a relative to fill both a public

need and a family need, Clos LaChance has

partnered with celebrity vegan John Salley to bring

to market four excellent wines for our enjoyment.

Over the past couple of years, I have delved into

the world of wine (and a few other alcohols

recently), especially after spending some time in

Italy. Before that time, I hadn’t really developed an

appreciation for red wine, but the outstanding reds

there changed my mind. While a more experienced

palate may appreciate the nuances in The Vegan

Vine wines, it is certainly not necessary. All of their

wines I tried are great for both the beginner and

the seasoned wine drinker.

The Vegan Vine produces four wines: a cabernet

sauvignon, a chardonnay, a table red, and a

sauvignon blanc. Their whites are crisp, with a

touch of sweetness (but less than many), and

strong hints of citrus. The cabernet is full‐bodied

with deep hints of berry, and light on the tannins

for a red, while the table red is smooth and a great

catch all for dinner.

Thanks to The Vegan Vine for going out of their

way to provide vegans a great, compassionate

product. I am looking forward to many more

samplings!

The Reviewer

Jason Wyrick is the

executive chef and

publisher of The Vegan

Culinary Experience, an

educational vegan

culinary magazine with

a readership of over

30,000. In 2001, Chef Jason reversed his diabetes by

switching to a low‐fat, vegan diet and subsequently left

his position as the Director of Marketing for an IT

company to become a chef and instructor to help others.

Since then, he has been featured by the NY Times, has

been a NY Times contributor, and has been featured in

A Taste of Thai February 2013|75


Edible Phoenix, and the Arizona Republic, and has had

numerous local television appearances. He has catered

for companies such as Google, Frank Lloyd Wright

Foundation, and Farm Sanctuary, has been featured in

the Scottsdale Culinary Festival’s premier catering

event, and has been a guest instructor and the first

vegan instructor in the Le Cordon Bleu program at

Scottsdale Culinary Institute. Recently, Chef Jason wrote

a national best‐selling book with Dr. Neal Barnard

entitled 21‐Day Weight Loss Kickstart. You can find out

more about Chef Jason Wyrick at

www.veganculinaryexperience.com.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|76


Product Review: The Organic Gourmet Miso

and Veggie Bouillon

Reviewer: Madelyn Pryor

The Organic Gourmet

www.organic‐gourmet.com

14431 Ventura Blvd., #192

Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

1‐800‐400‐7772

Can be purchased at: online

and at select stores, Whole

Foods for their VegCuisine

products

Price: approximately

$5/product

Organic Gourmet products have been sold in

Germany for several years and they have now

made their way to the US market. All their products

are non‐GMO and sustainably sourced. They also

distribute VegCuisine (formerly Sunergia) Soy Feta

and Soy Bleu cheeses, which got good reviews from

us a few issues ago.

Organic Gourmet Miso Paste Chili Pepper

I was excited about my new chili pepper miso. At

the time I tried it I was coming off a horrible flu and

I needed a boost. Miso is one of the best recovery

foods out there, and I needed to recover! I made a

simple broth of this miso and water. Immediately I

was struck by the fact that it was not as salty as

many Asian misos. This was barely salty at all.

There is a low heat there, but there is a residual

low, smoky smolder in the back of your mouth and

dancing around your tongue. The color is a dark,

rich russet red which looked perfectly like a

smoked chili, and added to the experience. Best of

all, at 7 calories a teaspoon, it is something that

can be enjoyed at any point in the day, 100% guilt

free. Any time that you want a bit of a smoky chili

boost, try this as a soup broth, a salad dressing

base, or even add a little to dried beans before

adding them to a salad to give them a little flavor

boost. I love this flavor and I would buy it again.

Organic Gourmet Miso Paste Ginger

Ginger and miso are wonderful additions to any

cold day, so I just tried the new Ginger Miso in a

nice hot cup of soup. There are many advantages

of this miso, including the fact it is soy free,

organic, and shelf stable. It is also low in sodium

and calories with less than 10 calories a teaspoon

and only 125 mg of sodium.

Unfortunately, I found this flavor to be a little flat.

There is a level of salty pungency that I have come

to expect from misos that was lacking, nor was it

replaced with a big pop of ginger flavor. The tastes

here were much more mild, which might be

appealing some, but can a very simple preparation,

such as just a cup of miso soup a little lacking. I

found myself adding salt and vegetables to make

this a more robust food, and even grating in a bit

more ginger. Though I love many elements of this

product, such as the shelf stability, I would not buy

this flavor again.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|77


Organic Gourmet Vegetable Bouillon and Low

Sodium Bouillon

As someone who is always eating soups of various

types, I have found that the need for a good

bouillon is great. Of course, there are some

intrepid souls out there who make their own

vegetable broth using their vegetable scraps. To

these people, I tip my hat. For the rest of us, a

great vegetable bouillon can give your quickly

made soup the ‘simmered for hours’ put together

taste that is desirable. The classic Organic Gourmet

vegetable bouillon offers a light, slightly salty pop

of flavor to linger in the background of your soups

and broths. With a neutral flavor, it can be paired

with almost anything, while still retaining elements

of its own personality. For me, the lovage and

mace are lovely touches of flavor that just add a

certain ‘something’ without being the star. This

broth is the perfect back up dancer to your soup

creation.

Organic Gourmet vegetable bouillion also comes in

low sodium. It has the same elements of flavor,

such as the herbs, lovage, and mace, but has less

sodium than the original (130mg of sodium per

serving in this one, 890mg in the original) and a

little bit more fat (2g fat per serving vs. 1.5g fat per

serving in the original). Depending on what you

desire, or what your health concerns are, either

one would make a fine choice to your culinary

creation.

The Reviewer

Madelyn is a lover of dessert,

which she celebrates on her

blog,

http://badkittybakery.blogsp

ot.com/. She has been making her own tasty desserts

for over 16 years, and eating dessert for longer than she

cares to admit. When she isn’t in the kitchen creating

new wonders of sugary goodness, she is chasing after

her bad kitties, or reviewing products for various

websites and publications. She can be contacted at

thebadkittybakery@gmail.com or

madelyn@veganculinaryexperience.com.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|78


Recipe Index

Click on any of the recipes in the index to take you to the relevant recipe. Some recipes will

have large white sections after the instructional portion of them. This is so you need only print

out the ingredient and instructional sections for ease of kitchen use.

* Theses crusts and sauces are found within other recipes.

Recipe Page Recipe Page

Curries

Curry of “Roast Duck” and Pumpkin

Green Breakfast Curry

Green Peppercorn Curry

Purple Yams with Green Curry

Jackfruit Curry

Jungle Curry

Massaman Curry

Red Curry of Plantains and Peanuts

Yellow Curry of Potatoes

IMPORTANT: Read page 80 before

embarking upon any of the curry

recipes

Salads

“Beef” Salad

Green Papaya Salad

Street Food

Chive Buns

Curry Corn Fritters

Khao Lam

Satay

Veggie Satays with Peanut Sauce

Miscellaneous Dishes

Pak Bung Fai Daeng

Saffron Coconut Rice

Tom Kha Hed

Wax Gourd Soup

Thai Green Curry Sandwich

Pad Thai Pizza

Miang Kam

Black Bean, Lentil, and Eggplant

Chili

81

84

88

91

95

98

101

105

108

111

114

117

121

124

127

17

130

133

136

139

21

23

17

42

Nam Prik and Other Condiments

Ajat

Caramelized Peanuts

Chiang Mai Nam Prik

Grilled Coconut Relish

Nam Jim

Nam Jim Jeaw

Roasted Crushed Bird’s Eye Chiles

Tamarind Nam Prik

Noodles

Ginger Noodles

Khao Soi Noodles

Pad Thai

Base Ingredients

Fermented Soy Cakes

Fishless Sauce

Low‐fat Coconut Milk

Pickled Limes

Toasted Rice

Drinks

Basil Tea

Thai Iced Coffee

Basil Water

Desserts

Bananas in Sweet Coconut Milk

Grilled Pressed Bananas

Mango Sticky Rice

Silken Tofu in Ginger Syrup

Thai Peanut Coconut Cake

Purple Sticky Rice Pudding

Heavenly Pineapple Pizza

A Taste of Thai February 2013|79

142

145

148

151

154

157

160

163

166

169

173

177

180

183

185

188

191

194

21

197

200

203

206

208

16

25


There are a lot of curry pastes in this issue. These

pastes abound in Thai cuisine and they can be as

simple or complex as you want to make them. Read

this before delving into the recipes so you can

decide just how you want to tackle making these

necessary foundations.

Curry pastes are created with a myriad of

ingredients with a wide range of textures. This is

the most important consideration when tackling

making your own curry pastes. It determines how

much time it takes to make a paste and in what

order you need to work with the ingredients. Note

spices are always toasted before being ground to

add to a paste. If you decide to use powdered

spices, do not toast them. Just add them straight to

the paste.

Most curry pastes are fried before extra liquid is

added to the pot. For the best flavor, take coconut

cream (not the kind with additives that keep it

stable) and heat the cream over a medium heat

until it cracks and the oil separates. Add the curry

paste and fry it until it smells caramelized. The

easier way is to add about 1 tbsp. of coconut oil to

the pot and fry the paste that way. If you are

looking for a low‐fat option, heat a dry pot to a

medium heat and spread the past over the bottom

of the pot. It will toast in about two minutes.

The Authentic Mortar and Pestle Way

For centuries, curry pastes were made with a

mortar and pestle. I can tell you from experience

that it is a lot of work. You will get an incredible,

complex flavor and texture you won’t get if you

simply make it in a blender, but it takes persistence

and patience to get it done. If you make your paste

this way, smash the curry paste ingredients with

the mortar and pestle in the order they are listed in

the recipe, one at a time, until they are thoroughly

incorporated into the paste. Work the paste up the

sides of the mortar and add the next ingredient to

smash. Doing it this way may burn some of those

calories from the coconut milk!

The Blender Way

This way only takes a few minutes to make. Grind

the dry spices first, then add the ingredients, from

hardest to softest, into the blender. Start on a low

speed and slowly crank up the dial until the paste is

smooth. If you need to, you can add a bit of water

or coconut milk to get the paste smooth.

My Preferred Method

I usually don’t have the patience to bang out a

curry paste with a mortar and pestle. Instead, I

blend it and then I transfer it to the mortar and

pound it with the pestle. This will smash the paste,

getting it to release extra flavor and save my arms

and time.

Buying the Paste

There are several vegan curry pastes available

commercially. Thai Kitchen makes a red and green

curry paste that is vegan. Their other types are not.

Most Maesri brand curry pastes are vegan except

for a couple and they have a wider range of vegan

curry pastes available than Thai Kitchen, though

they do tend to be on the sugary and oily side.

Always look at the ingredients when purchasing a

curry paste as many contain fish and shrimp. That’s

why I tend to stick to Thai Kitchen and Maesri.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|80


Bryanna’s Thai Vegetarian “Roast Duck” and Pumpkin Curry

Type: Curry Serves: 6

Time to Prepare: 45 minutes

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 cans Vegetarian “Roast Duck” (I use Companion Brand Mun‐Cha'i‐Ya‐‐ it’s a Chinese gluten product),

rinsed and cut into 1‐inch pieces (BUT you can use the Alternative at end of the recipe instead.)

2 to 4 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste (Check the label for fish‐‐ fish‐free brands are Taste of Thai, and some

Mae Ploy and Maesri pastes. Amazon carries them all.)

1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger

2 cups coconut milk or Low‐Fat Coconut Milk for cooking (see recipe on page 183)

(Note: If you like your curry more “soupy”, add another cup of coconut milk.)

1 cup water

3 Tbsp. Vietnamese Vegetarian “Fish Sauce”, low‐sodium (lite) soy sauce, or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

2 Tbsp. brown sugar (or palm sugar, if you have it)

1 ½ lbs. seeded but unpeeled butternut, kabocha, or Hubbard squash

1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed and drained

2 cups chopped fresh basil

Salt to taste

A handful of unsweetened dried coconut (large flake), toasted a wee bit in a dry heavy skillet

Instructions

Use a large sharp knife or cleaver to peel the squash, and cut it into 1‐inch cubes.

Start cooking a pot of jasmine (or basmati) rice.

In a large, heavy pot or stirfry pan, heat the oil.

Add the onion and turn the heat down a little.

Stir‐fry until it starts to wilt.

Add the mock “roast duck” or alternate, curry paste, and ginger and stir‐fry for about 4 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and water, Vegetarian “Fish Sauce”, or alternate, and brown sugar.

Stir well, add the squash, and let it come almost to a boil.

Watch it at this point and don’t let it boil, or it may curdle a bit.

Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover, and let cook for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is

tender.

Add the baby peas and chopped basil.

Taste for salt.

Serve over the rice, sprinkled with the coconut.

Alternative to Vegetarian “Roast Duck”:

Mix 3 cups reconstituted Soy Curls® or small chunks of “chicken” seitan (or other favorite plain vegan

chicken substitute) with:

1/3 cup broth or water from soaking dried mushrooms

The Vegan Culinary Experience – Education, Inspiration, Quality * www.veganculinaryexperience.com

Recipe by Bryanna Clark Grogan * www.bryannaclarkgrogan.com

A Taste of Thai February 2013|81


2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. dark sesame oil

2 tsp. dry or medium sherry

¾ tsp. organic sugar

Mix well and spread the Soy Curls® and all of the marinade into an oiled 7 x 11‐inch baking pan.

Spread out evenly and place about 5 inches under the broiler of your oven.

Broil until it starts to char a bit on top and the marinade is absorbed.

The Vegan Culinary Experience – Education, Inspiration, Quality * www.veganculinaryexperience.com

Recipe by Bryanna Clark Grogan * www.bryannaclarkgrogan.com

A Taste of Thai February 2013|82


Kitchen Equipment

Large Knife of Cleaver

Cutting Board

Heavy Pot

Rice Cooker or Pot

Stirring Spoon

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Presentation

Red rice makes for a great color contrast to the curry.

Chef’s Notes

There are many versions of this dish—this is our favorite

vegan take on it.

Hint: What most cultures call “pumpkin” is more like our

butternut or Hubbard squash, or Japanese kabocha squash.

Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 312

Calories from Fat 108

Fat 12 g

Total Carbohydrates 41 g

Dietary Fiber 6 g

Sugars 8 g

Protein 10 g

Salt 615 mg

The Vegan Culinary Experience – Education, Inspiration, Quality * www.veganculinaryexperience.com

Recipe by Bryanna Clark Grogan * www.bryannaclarkgrogan.com

soy curls

a popular brand of vegetarian “duck”

A Taste of Thai February 2013|83


Spicy Green Curry with Noodles and Vegetables

Type: Main Dish Serves: 6

Time to Prepare: About 1 hour

Ingredients

The Mushrooms

3‐4 king oyster mushrooms (aka king trumpet mushrooms), cut into rounds

About 2 cups of oyster mushrooms

1 tablespoon of oil (use a neutral flavored oil, like peanut oil)

The Green Curry Paste (or you can use 3‐4 tbsp. of premade curry paste and puree them with half

the chiles)

About 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

About 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

About 1 teaspoon peppercorns

1 pinch of mace or freshly grated nutmeg

20 green Thai chilies

Salt

3‐4 Asian (purple) shallots, peeled

About 6 cloves of garlic

4 inches of lemon grass, chopped

1 tablespoon minced galangal

1 teaspoon lime zest

1 tablespoon cilantro stems

½ teaspoon fresh chopped turmeric

1 tablespoon fresh ginger

½ teaspoon fermented soy paste

The Finishing Touches

1 ½ cups coconut cream

2 cups of coconut milk

About 1 cup of vegetable stock

About 1 cup of hearts of palm, sliced into ½ inch thick rounds

1 large handful of Thai basil leaves

1‐2 stalks of lemon grass

2‐3 kaffir lime leaves (optional)

2 tablespoons shredded ginger (wild preferred)

4‐8 Thai chilies, red and dried

The Noodles

1 ½ packages of fresh noodles, about 24 oz. (Kanom Jin Noodles preferred)

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Instructions

Cut the king trumpets into rounds, and roughly slice the oyster mushrooms.

Heat the oil in a wok over medium high heat and add the mushrooms.

Cook until the oyster mushrooms are brown and reduced in size, and the king trumpets are golden

brown.

Set to the side.

In a wok over medium and add the coriander and cumin seeds.

Cook about 1 minute until toasted.

Add to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and process until a powder.

Add the other ingredients for the green curry paste to the blender one at a time in order, and process

until mostly smooth.

Add the finished curry paste to a wok and add the coconut cream, coconut milk, vegetable stock,

cooked mushrooms, hearts of palm, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, shredded ginger, and red thai

chilies.

Cook on medium low for about 20 minutes.

Add a pot of water to the stove and cook the noodles, so they will be ready the same time as the

curry.

In bowls, add ¼ of the noodles curled into a nest shape.

Pour ladles of hot curry over the noodles and serve.

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Low‐fat Version

Use all light coconut milk in lieu of the coconut

cream. However, this will make it spicier since fat

cuts down the spice.

Kitchen Equipment

3 woks (or keep washing one), cutting board,

knife, pot, stirring spoons, strainer for noodles,

measuring spoons and cups, mortar and pestle or

spice grinder.

Presentation

Garnish with a few dried chiles or fresh kaffir lime leaves.

Time Management

Many of these things can be cooked at the same time. Sear your mushrooms as you prepare the

green curry paste, then cook the noodles as you do the green curry. It will cut down on your prep and

cook time.

Complementary Food and Drinks

A sweet Thai iced coffee would be wonderful with this, or any cool, sweet, non‐caffeinated drink. A

little cool sweetness helps reduce the heat of the food on your palate.

Where to Shop

An Asian market will be your best resource for many of these ingredients, but some high end

groceries such as Whole Foods will have many of these ingredients as well. The galangal and soy

paste are probably only available at an Asian market, as well as the fresh Thai green chiles. If you use

a premade curry paste, check the ingredients to ensure it does not have any shrimp paste or fish

sauce in it.

How It Works

Cooking the very spicy green curry paste in the coconut cream and milk help reduce the heat, since

the fat reduces the ability of the capsaicin to adhere to your mouth.

Chef’s Notes

When I made this dish, all of us stood with our bowls, eating away as the layers of heat built up in our

mouths and the sweat started to pour down our faces, we all started saying how much it burned and

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how much we loved it! We didn’t stop eating until it was gone, despite the burn. This is now one of

our favorite dishes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories 682

Calories from Fat 234

Fat 26 g

Total Carbohydrates 90 g

Dietary Fiber 10 g

Sugars 10 g

Protein 22 g

Salt 556 mg

Interesting Facts

This dish is often sold by street vendors as a breakfast in Thailand. This is better than Cheerios if you

ask me.

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A Taste of Thai February 2013|87


Green Peppercorn Curry with Mushrooms and Tofu

Type: Curry, Main Dish Serves: 2

Time to Prepare: 20 minutes

Ingredients

The Curry Paste

10 dried red Thai chiles, soaked

1 tsp. of coriander seeds

1 tsp. of cumin seeds

¼ tsp. of salt

6” piece of lemongrass, chopped

Zest of 2 limes (preferably kaffir limes)

2 tbsp. of minced cilantro stems (or scraped roots if you can find them)

The Sauce and Main Ingredients

3 king trumpet mushrooms, sliced into medallions

6 oz. of baked tofu, cubed into bite‐size pieces

1 long red fresh chile, diced

2 cups of thick coconut milk

1 tsp. of palm sugar

2 tbsp. of vegetarian “fish” sauce

2 tbsp. of pickled green peppercorns (or fresh ones if you can find them)

3 lime leaves, sliced

¼ cup of sliced Thai basil leaves

Instructions

Making the Curry Paste

Soak the chiles until they are soft.

Toast the coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a dry pan over a medium heat for two minutes,

then grind them into powder.

Either puree all the ingredients together, or start by pounding the chiles and salt into a paste

with a mortar and pestle, adding in the ingredients one by one until you have a rough curry

paste.

Making the Curry

Slice the mushrooms and chop the tofu.

Dice the chile.

Take 3 tbsp. of thick coconut milk (I skim the super‐thickened coconut milk from the top of

the can; if your coconut milk is not that thick, use 1 tbsp. of peanut oil instead) and heat it

over a medium heat until it cracks and releases some oil.

Add the paste and fry it for about 3‐4 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and sauté for another 2 minutes.

Add the remainder of the coconut milk, the sugar, “fish” sauce, peppercorns, chile, lime

leaves, and tofu and stir.

Simmer this for about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and immediately add the basil.

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Kitchen Equipment

Knife

Cutting Board

Wok

Mortar and Pestle or Blender

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Stirring Spoon

Presentation

I usually garnish the top of the curry with some extra fresh basil

leaves, pickled peppercorns, and minced chile.

Time Management

To save time, I typically puree my curry paste and then pound the puree a few times with the mortar

and pestle. It achieves virtually the same effect as the traditional method and does it in about ¼ of

the time.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Sticky rice and a side of sliced fresh mango.

Where to Shop

I’ve found pickled green peppercorns at both my local Asian market and Mexican market, but I have

not seen them anywhere else. You can order fresh ones from Amazon. Obviously, the Asian market

will give you the best price on most of these items, though I prefer to get organic baked tofu at places

like Trader Joe’s or Sprouts. Thai Kitchen produces an excellent line of canned organic coconut milk

that is thick enough for this recipe. Approximate cost per serving is $3.00.

How It Works

This is an interesting curry because garlic and shallots are nowhere to be seen. It’s basically an

aromatic curry with lots of cumin and lots of heat. In fact, it’s so strong, it relies on the coconut milk

to mellow everything out. That’s one of the reasons you need a good quality coconut milk. Also, if you

skim the thick top off of a good quality coconut milk, it will separate as it heats, releasing coconut oil

in which you can fry the curry.

Chef’s Notes

This is based on a very interesting recipe by chef and author David Thompson, who in turn based his

on another Thai cook. It immediately caught my attention because it is so unique for a curry.

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Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 670

Calories from Fat 450

Fat 50 g

Total Carbohydrates 42 g

Dietary Fiber 6 g

Sugars 6 g

Protein 18 g

Salt 679 mg

Interesting Facts

Green peppercorns are simply the immature form of black peppercorns.

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Purple Yams with Green Curry

Type: Thai Curry Serves: 2

Time to Prepare: 25 minutes (30 minutes if you make your own curry paste, 45 minutes if you make it

using a mortar and pestle)

Ingredients

The Green Curry Paste

4 coriander seeds, toasted

1/8 tsp. of cumin seeds, toasted

5 white peppercorns

Just under ½ tsp. of salt

2 thin slices of galangal, minced (about 1 ½ tsp.)

2” piece of lemongrass, smashed and diced

4‐5 green bird’s eye chiles (deseeded if you want a milder flavor, or substitute serranos if you

can’t find bird’s eye chiles)

1 purple shallot, diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp. of lime zest (preferably from a kaffir lime)

1 ½ tsp. of minced cilantro (coriander) stalks

3 kaffir lime leaves, torn (omit these if you do not have kaffir lime leaves)

½ tsp. of grated fresh turmeric (you can substitute ¼ tsp. of ground)

Option: 1 tsp. of fermented tofu (this substitutes for the traditional shrimp paste)

Other Components

1 large purple yam (you can substitute any sweet potato for this), diced

1 ½ cups of coconut milk

2 cups of cooked short grain brown rice

Option: 6‐8 thin slices of purple yams

Instructions

Start by cooking the rice (that way it will be done just as your curry is done), then make the

curry paste.

Making the Curry Paste (Blender Version)

Over a medium heat, toast the coriander and cumin seeds for about 1 minute.

Grind the spices until they are powdered.

Roughly chop the ingredients instead of following the cutting instructions in the ingredient

list.

Puree the paste, adding a touch of coconut milk if you need it to make the paste smooth.

Making the Curry Paste (Mortar & Pestle Version)

Over a medium heat, toast the coriander and cumin seeds for about 1 minute.

Remove the seeds and add them to the mortar along with the peppercorns.

Smash these until they are powdered.

Cut all the ingredients using the instructions from the ingredient list.

In order, add them one at a time to the mortar and smash them until they are smooth before

moving on to the next ingredient.

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Cooking the Dish

Add about 2 tbsp. of coconut milk to your pot, bring the pot to a medium heat, and wait for

the coconut milk to start simmering.

Add the paste and fry it in the coconut milk for about 5 minutes (keep stirring it slowly so it

doesn’t burn).

Add the remainder of the coconut milk and bring it to a simmer.

Chop the purple yams.

Add them to the coconut milk and simmer them for about 7‐8 minutes (they should be soft,

not mushy).

Serve over the rice.

Option: Cut a few thin slices of purple yams, fill a wok with about ½” of peanut oil, and bring it

to a medium high heat. Fry the purple yams for one minute, then remove them and let them

sit for 3‐4 minutes. Fry them again for one more minute and toss them with coarse sea salt.

Serve as a garnish.

Making It Simple

Instead of making your own green curry paste, you can use 1 ½ tbsp. of a pre‐made curry

paste. My favorite one is by Thai Kitchen. Not only does it taste good, but it’s also vegan. Be

aware that many pre‐made pastes are not, which is why Thai Kitchen is my stand‐by. You can

use Yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, or purple yams. They will all cook about the same.

Cheating with the Paste

I’ve found an excellent compromise between the mortar and pestle version and the blender

version. I blend the paste, then I smash the pureed paste in a mortar and pestle. This saves me

about 15 minutes of work, I get a very smooth paste, and I still get the heightened flavors of a

smashed paste.

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Kitchen Equipment

Knife

Cutting Board

Mortar & Pestle or Blender

Wok or Pot

Stirring Spoon

Pot for cooking the rice

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoons

Presentation

I always serve the rice and purple yams separately, garnishing them

with fresh green chiles or lime wedges and the purple yam chips.

Time Management

If you make this with a mortar and pestle, you are in for a long, but rewarding time in the kitchen.

Make sure you make the paste in the proper order so it comes out as smooth as possible. You should

taste the flavors, but not feel the texture of the individual components. See my cheat for the paste to

save tons of time if you make your own. It is well worth it. Also, make sure you start the rice before

anything else so you can immediately serve the curry once it is done. Finally, stay at the stove while

your paste fries. You want to develop the flavors, but the paste is delicate and will burn if you don’t

pay attention to it. I generally make a large batch of paste and then refrigerate what I don’t need. Do

not freeze the paste. It will make the garlic and galangal bitter.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Serve this with a simple lemongrass and glass noodle soup. It’s cooling and will counterbalance the

heat of the green chiles.

Where to Shop

Head to the obvious place, the Asian market. Not only will you find most of the ingredients at an

amazing price, it is also probably the only place where you can find some of the ingredients like the

bird’s eye chiles and lime leaves. If you use a pre‐made curry paste, go with Thai Kitchen or look for

one that does not have either shrimp paste or fish sauce in the ingredient list. They are incredibly

common in curry pastes, so you will need to look closely for a good vegan paste. Do not substitute

regular lime leaves for kaffir lime leaves. The texture and taste are very different. I sometimes find

these now at Whole Foods when I can’t find them at my local Asian market. Purple yams are actually

sweet potatoes with a white skin and purple interior. You can substitute any sweet potato for them.

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How It Works

A Thai curry paste has a lot of components, but should taste melded in the final dish. It should pop

with bright flavors, heat, saltiness, and pungency. The garlic and shallot, in a way, help bind

everything together with that pungency while the salt accentuates all the flavors. The lemongrass and

lime zest give the high notes of the paste and the chiles are intense in flavor. This is somewhat

mitigated by the fat and sweetness from the coconut milk. The fat coats the tongue, protecting it

from the heat (somewhat!). Toasting the spices activates volatile oils in them that are not activated

when they simply simmer. The depth they add to the paste is subtle, since they are used in small

amounts, but something that is definitely missed if they are not present. If you are using a mortar and

pestle to make the paste, the ingredients are added from hardest to softest and should be thoroughly

mashed so the paste is as smooth as possible. Smashing the ingredients breaks the cellular structure

of the food, releasing more flavor than if the paste is simply blended. However, it adds a lot more

work to making the paste, so I suggest making a very large batch of it if you go this route. Once you

start cooking it, the fat from the coconut milk is used to fry the paste (and to get it smooth in the

blender), which caramelizes some of the natural sugars in the paste. All of this is balanced by the

purple yams. I chose these instead of white or oranges sweet potatoes since they are popular in Thai

cuisine and they have a great color.

Chef’s Notes

Green curry is the first Thai dish I ever learned how to make. It has a number of variations, but they

are all fragrant, hot, salty, and absolutely delicious.

Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 641

Calories from Fat 333

Fat 37 g

Total Carbohydrates 67 g

Dietary Fiber 11 g

Sugars 7 g

Protein 10 g

Salt 646 mg

Interesting Facts

Thai curries can be dry or wet, with wet referring to a saucy curry and dry to a thick, clingy curry. Wet

curries are made with either coconut milk, water, or broth.

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A Taste of Thai February 2013|94


Jackfruit Curry

Type: Curry, Main Dish Serves: 2

Time to Prepare: 20 minutes

Ingredients

The Curry Paste

8 dried Thai chiles, soaked

½ tsp. of salt

1” piece of galangal, diced

4 shallots

4 cloves of garlic

2 cubes of fermented tofu

½ tsp. of palm sugar

The Curry

1 ½ cups of water

1 ½ to 2 cups of deseeded jackfruit, chopped into large bite‐size pieces

Juice of 1 lime

Instructions

Soak the chiles, then either pound the chiles and salt into a paste, adding in remaining paste

ingredients one by one, repeating this process with each one, or puree them in a blender.

Combine the curry paste with the water and bring it to a simmer.

Chop the jackfruit.

Add the jackfruit to the broth and simmer it for about 10 minutes, replenishing water as needed.

Once it is done, remove it from the heat and immediately add the lime juice and stir.

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Kitchen Equipment

Knife

Cutting Board

Mortar and Pestle or Blender

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Wok

Stirring Spoon

Presentation

Garnish with a sprinkle of cilantro or mint, or simply serve it as is over a mound of rice.

Time Management

This curry goes fairly quickly for a curry and it’s relatively simple, too. Just pay attention to the broth

level and make sure it doesn’t diminish too much.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Sticky rice and a set of nahm prik.

Where to Shop

You can get both fresh and canned jackfruit at an Asian market and quite a few foodie markets. The

same is true with galangal. Approximate cost per serving is $2.00.

How It Works

This curry has a lighter note than many other curries. First, it is made with water instead of coconut

milk. It’s a mix of pungency from the shallots and garlic and heat from the chiles with the few other

ingredients providing high notes of supporting flavors. Coupled with the jackfruit and the brightness

of the lime juice, it makes for a curry that feels refreshing. Speaking of lime, the lime juice is added

just after it comes off the heat in order to retain the freshest, brightest flavor possible.

Chef’s Notes

This is one of my favorite Thai curries because it is so different from the mainstays. First, it’s a water‐

based curry, so you can taste the pure chile flavors. Second, the jackfruit makes for a nice, light meal.

I feel full afterwards, but never heavy.

Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 270

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Calories from Fat 18

Fat 2 g

Total Carbohydrates 56 g

Dietary Fiber 5 g

Sugars 6 g

Protein 7 g

Salt 685 mg

Interesting Facts

Fresh jackfruit has a sticky, waxy substance all around the interior.

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A Taste of Thai February 2013|97


Jungle Curry of Eggplant

Type: Curry, Main Dish Serves: 4

Time to Prepare: 20 minutes

Ingredients

The Curry Paste

15 red Bird’s eye chiles

4 shallots, chopped

10 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp. of diced galangal

3” piece of lemongrass, chopped

4” piece of ginger, chopped

Option: 1 cube of fermented tofu

½ tsp. of salt

The Veggies and Broth

8 Thai eggplants, chopped

6‐8 long beans, cut into bite‐size pieces

8‐10 baby corns

¼ cup of sliced bamboo shoots

1 tbsp. of oil

4 cups of water

2 tbsp. of vegetarian “fish” sauce

6 lime leaves, torn

Instructions

Prep all the ingredients for the paste.

Puree them in a blender or mash them with a mortar and pestle, adding them and bashing them one

at a time until you have a smooth paste.

Chop the eggplants and beans.

Bring the oil to a medium heat.

Fry the paste for about 5 minutes.

Add the water, “fish” sauce, and stir.

Add the veggies and lime leaves and simmer the curry for about 10 minutes.

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Kitchen Equipment

Knife

Cutting Board

Blender or Mortar and Pestle

Measuring Spoon

Measuring Cut

Pot

Stirring Spoon

Presentation

Serve with a few fresh lime leaves, but other than that, the presentation should be simple.

Time Management

The paste should fry until you can smell the capsaicin in the air. As soon as that happens, add the

liquid so you don’t get choked out of the kitchen.

Complementary Food and Drinks

A side of rice, pickled veggies, and fresh sweet fruit to balance out the intensity of this curry.

Where to Shop

You should be able to find all the ingredients at a conventional market except for the Thai eggplant

and lime leaves. If you can’t find the lime leaves, simply omit them and if you don’t want to go to an

Asian market to get Thai eggplant, you can use Chinese or Japanese eggplant in its stead.

Approximate cost per serving is $2.50.

How It Works

Jungle curries are noted for both their heat and the predominance of fresh flavors in the paste. Rarely

do dry spices come into play, which is why this curry is made up of large amounts of ginger, galangal,

chiles, and lemongrass, along with the staple shallots and garlic found in most Thai curries. The

remaining ingredients in the paste, as well as the “fish” sauce, are simply ways of adding different

types of saltiness to the dish. The paste fries in order to deepen the flavor of the chiles, shallots, and

garlic primarily and water is used instead of coconut milk to keep the flavor of the curry as pure as

possible.

Chef’s Notes

Jungle curries are pure Thai flavor. The water broth masks nothing and it’s one of the reasons that

this style of curry is a favorite of mine. However, if you are not used to a certain level of “oomph”

from your curry, this may not be a recipe for you.

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Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 196

Calories from Fat 36

Fat 4 g

Total Carbohydrates 30 g

Dietary Fiber 5 g

Sugars 3 g

Protein 10 g

Salt 702 mg

Interesting Facts

Jungle curries are typically found in rural areas and utilize ingredients easy to find outside of the large

towns.

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Massaman Curry (gaeng matsaman) แกงมัสมั ่น

Type: Curry, Main Dish Serves: 3

Time to Prepare: 30 minutes

Ingredients

The Massaman Curry Paste (or use ¼ cup of premade massaman curry paste)

12 dried red Thai chiles, soaked

7 cardamom pods, roasted (or ¼ tsp. of ground cardamom)

1 ½ tsp. of coriander seeds, roasted

1 ½ tsp. of cumin seeds, roasted

4 cloves, roasted (or a pinch of ground cloves)

6‐8 black peppercorns, roasted

3 bay leaves, roasted

¾ tsp. of salt

4 shallots

8 cloves of garlic

3 tbsp. of grated ginger

Option: 1 cube of fermented tofu

¼ cup of roasted peanuts

The Sauce and Main Ingredients

1 tbsp. of peanut oil

Option: 8 oz. of extra firm tofu, cubed, or 1 cup of seitan strips

3 cups of coconut milk

2” long cinnamon stick

Option: 2 dried cassia leaves

1 onion, chopped

2 small potatoes, chopped

4 Thai eggplants, chopped or 1 Japanese eggplant, chopped

3 tbsp. of tamarind juice

Option: 2 tbsp. of vegetarian “oyster” or mushroom sauce

1 tbsp. of palm sugar

Instructions

Making the Paste

Roast the different spices, including the bay leaves, in a dry pan over a medium heat until you

can smell their fragrance wafting from the pan.

Break open the roasted cardamom pods and grind the seeds into cardamom powder.

Using a mortar and pestle, pound the spices into powder, then add the ingredients one by one

and pound them into a paste (or grind the spices, then whip everything together in a blender).

Making the Curry

Prepare the onion, potatoes, and eggplant and set them aside.

Bring the oil to a medium heat.

Add the curry paste and fry it for about 5 minutes, continuously stirring it so it doesn’t burn.

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If you are using the optional tofu or seitan, add this now and sauté it in the paste it for about

3‐4 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, cinnamon stick, optional cassia leaves, onion, potatoes, and eggplants.

Simmer this for about 10 minutes.

Add the tamarind juice, vegetarian “oyster” sauce, and palm sugar and simmer for another 2‐

3 minutes.

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Kitchen Equipment

Pan

Stirring Spoon

Measuring Spoon

Measuring Cup

Knife

Cutting Board

Wok or Pot

Mortar and Pestle or Blender

Presentation

Serve this in a relatively shallow bowl so that the veggies don’t sink to the bottom and get lost in the

curry sauce.

Time Management

You don’t have to stir the paste rapidly, but you do have to continuously stir it while it fries because it

will burn quickly. I sometimes wait until I have the sauce simmering and then I chop the veggies. It

gives the curry and extra few minutes to simmer.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Serve this with saffron rice and pickled ginger.

Where to Shop

To find Thai eggplants, I usually have to go to an Asian market or a higher end market that specializes

in “gourmet” foods. Thai eggplants are small bulbs with a green skin and white striations. The rest of

the ingredients are relatively easy to find, unless you want to add in some of the optional ones, like

the dried cassia leaves. Those I either have to go to an Asian or a Mexican market to purchase while

the others I get at my local Asian market. Make sure that the vegetarian “oyster” sauce does not have

MSG in it! Approximate cost per serving is $3.00.

How It Works

The curry paste works like most other Thai curry pastes, but you can see the heavy Middle Eastern

influence in the dish with the use of turmeric, bay leaves, cardamom, and cloves. The flavor carriers

of the paste, however, are still the chiles, garlic, and shallots. This curry also shows its Middle Eastern

roots with the diced onion and cinnamon sticks simmered in the sauce. The sugar, tamarind juice, and

vegetarian “oyster” sauce are added at the end of the cooking process. The tamarind juice so that it

keeps some of that bright popping flavor that it has, the sugar so it doesn’t caramelize, and the

“oyster” sauce so that it acts more as a note to the curry than an integral flavor.

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Chef’s Notes

This is one of my favorite curries and is generally listed as one of the top dishes in the world. It’s

smooth, rich, and redolent with pungency and fragrance.

Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 728

Calories from Fat 540

Fat 60 g

Total Carbohydrates 45 g

Dietary Fiber 4 g

Sugars 8 g g

Protein 17 g

Salt 700 mg

Interesting Facts

Islam in Thailand comes from several different areas, notably Malay, the Hui people of China, and

neighboring Burma.

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Red Curry of Plantains and Peanuts (geng dtaeng)

Type: Thai Curry Serves: 4

Time to Prepare: 15‐20 minutes + time to get the grill hot

Ingredients

Red Curry Paste

2 ½ tsp. of coriander seeds, roasted

1 ¼ tsp. of cumin seeds, roasted

12‐15 dried red Thai chiles

½ tsp. of salt

1 tsp. of whole white peppercorns

½” piece of galangal, diced

3” piece of lemongrass, chopped

3 shallots, chopped

12 cloves of garlic

Zest of 1 lime (preferably kaffir lime)

1 tsp. of minced cilantro stems

Option: 1 cube of fermented tofu

Plantains, Peanuts, & Coconut Milk

3 yellow plantains, sliced

1 tbsp. of peanut oil

2 cups of coconut milk

½ cup of water

¼ cup of roasted salted peanuts

2 cups of cooked rice

Instructions

Over a medium heat, roast the coriander and cumin seeds in a dry pan for about 1 minute.

Option: Deseed the chiles.

Grind or pound the chiles, coriander, cumin, salt, and peppercorns into a powder.

Prep the galangal, lemongrass, cilantro, shallots, and garlic.

Either puree them or, in order, pound them into a rough paste using a mortar and pestle, combining

everything with the spice mix.

Peel the plantains and slice them into bite‐size pieces.

Bring the oil to a medium heat, then add the curry paste and fry it for about 5 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and water and stir until the paste has been evenly incorporated into the sauce.

Add the plantains and peanuts and simmer this for about 5 minutes.

Serve over rice.

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A Taste of Thai February 2013|105


Kitchen Equipment

Blender or Mortar and Pestle

Measuring Spoon

Measuring Cup

Knife

Cutting Board

Pot

Stirring Spoon

Presentation

I put a sprig of Thai basil with each bowl to add some color to the dish.

Time Management

Wait until the oil is hot before adding the curry paste to the pot and keep slowly stirring it once it

goes in. Stirring rapidly will not allow the curry paste to properly fry while letting it just sit there will

ensure it burns.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Serve this with a side of lightly steamed veggies and greens.

Where to Shop

When choosing your plantains, look for ones that are yellow with few black spots. They are starchy

enough at this point to serve as the substantive part of the curry and have ripened enough that they

have a light sweetness that provides counterpoint to the heat of the curry paste. Make sure to use a

good quality coconut milk with this recipe, since it is the flavor carrier for the curry paste.

Approximate cost per serving is $2.00.

How It Works

This paste is definitely hot, though not as hot as it appears at first glance. The coconut milk and rice

both serve to mitigate the heat of the chiles quite a bit. As with many Thai curries, the bulk of this

curry is comprised of garlic and shallots, which serve as the pungent palette for all the other flavors.

Frying the paste caramelizes the garlic and shallots and brings out the aroma of the galangal and

lemongrass. The redness of the curry comes from the extraordinary amount of chiles.

Chef’s Notes

I made this curry paste using the traditional mortar and pestle method, but towards the end, I was

looking longingly at my blender! Still, the taste of a pounded curry paste was exquisite.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|106


Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 654

Calories from Fat 270

Fat 30 g

Total Carbohydrates 87 g

Dietary Fiber 8 g

Sugars 30 g

Protein 9 g

Salt 705 mg

Interesting Facts

Red curry pastes tend to be some of the milder curries in Thai cuisine and are almost always soupy.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|107


Yellow Curry Potatoes (gaeng kari)

Type: Curry, Main Dish Serves: 4

Time to Prepare: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Yellow Curry Paste

20 dried red Thai chiles

1 tbsp. of coriander seeds, toasted

1 tsp. of cumin seeds, toasted

2 shallots

6 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp. of grated fresh turmeric or 1 tbsp. of turmeric powder

2 slices of galangal, diced

1 tsp. of salt

2 cubes of fermented tofu

Other Ingredients

6 waxy potatoes, chopped

2 tbsp. of oil

3 cups of water

2 tbsp. of tamarind sauce

2 tsp. of palm sugar

Juice of 1 lime

Instructions

Making the Curry Paste

Soak the chiles until they are soft.

While they are soaking, toast the coriander and cumin seeds over a medium heat for about 2

minutes.

Grind the spices into a powder.

Puree or smash the chiles until roughly smooth, then add the remainder of the ingredients

one at a time, pureeing or smashing them until smooth before adding the next ingredient.

Finishing the Curry

Chop the potatoes into bite‐size pieces.

Bring the oil to a medium heat.

Fry the curry paste for about 4 minutes.

Slowly stir in the water, tamarind sauce, and palm sugar and bring it to a simmer.

Add the potatoes and cook until soft.

Add the lime juice and immediately remove from the heat.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|108


Kitchen Equipment

Blender or Mortar and Pestle

Knife

Cutting Board

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Wok or Pot

Stirring Spoon

Presentation

I like to garnish this with a sprig of cilantro to add a splash of

contrasting color to the bowl. I also like to use a shallow bowl so that

the potatoes poke out of the curry broth.

Time Management

For a curry, this recipe cooks fairly fast. You know the curry is done when the potatoes are just soft

enough to eat. This lets them retain some bite and make the curry feel even more filling!

Complementary Food and Drinks

Serve with sticky rice and a sweet drink or dessert. The curry is hot and you will need the starch and

sweetness to balance it.

Where to Shop

You will most likely need to get galangal and fresh turmeric at an Asian market. It’s ok to substitute

ginger for galangal in this recipe, so if you don’t have an Asian market that is convenient, you can still

get all of the ingredients for this at a regular market. Approximate cost per serving is $1.25.

How It Works

The primary flavors of this curry are hot and hot, with a touch of turmeric added in. The cumin and

coriander give it some depth and a small amount of galangal adds that high aromatic note found in

other curries, but it is not as predominant in this one. Water is used instead of coconut milk so that

the pure curry flavor can come through and the tamarind, lime, and sugar give it the final sweet and

sour flavor.

Chef’s Notes

Water‐based curries have a pure flavor to them that I very much appreciate, but that flavor is

particularly dependant on having good‐quality ingredients since there is no coconut milk to boost

them.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|109


Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 543

Calories from Fat 63

Fat 7 g

Total Carbohydrates 108 g

Dietary Fiber 11 g

Sugars 13 g

Protein 12 g

Salt 690 mg

Interesting Facts

Yellow curries are typically made in the south of Thailand, where both the Muslim and Indian culinary

influences are more prevalent.

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A Taste of Thai February 2013|110


“Beef” Salad (yam neua)

Type: Salad, Main Dish Serves: 2

Time to Prepare: 25 minutes

Ingredients

The “Beef”

2 portabella mushrooms, sliced or 2 cups of seitan strips

¾ tsp. of ground black pepper

Option: 1/8 tsp. of Sichuan pepper

2 tsp. of oil

The Sauce

Juice of 3 limes

2 tbsp. of vegetarian “fish” sauce

1 tsp. of palm sugar (or turbinado sugar)

Pinch of salt

The Salad

6 shallots, sliced

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 Thai long chiles, minced

4‐5 green onions, chopped

½ cup of chopped cilantro (coriander)

2 tbsp. of minced fresh mint

1 cucumber, halved and sliced

Instructions

Slice the portabellas or seitan into strips.

Rub them with the black pepper, then toss them in the oil.

Sear them over a medium high heat until lightly browned.

Grill Option: You can grill these instead of sautéing them for a subtle smoky flavor.

Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and add the mushrooms or seitan to it and set it aside.

Slice the shallots, halve the tomatoes, mince the chiles, chop the onions and cilantro, and mince the

mint.

Cut the cucumber in half along the length, then slice it into ¼” thick half‐disks.

Toss everything together except for the cucumber, which should be arranged around the edge of the

plate.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|111


Kitchen Equipment

Knife

Cutting Board

Sauté Pan or Grill

Stirring Spoon

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Mixing Bowl

Presentation

I mound the salad in the middle of the plate, then arrange the cucumbers around the edge. If you

want to do something a bit extra with the cucumber, you can score lines down the length of it using a

fork before halving and then slicing it.

Time Management

I sometimes let the mushrooms or seitan sit in the marinade for a few hours before serving the salad,

but that is only if I have the patience to do so.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Serve with a side of sticky rice and fresh papaya.

Where to Shop

All of these ingredients, except for the vegetarian “fish” sauce, are fairly common. You can substitute

soy sauce if you can’t find a vegetarian “fish” sauce that doesn’t have msg. Approximate cost per

serving is $3.50.

How It Works

Like many other Thai dishes, this features shallots as a main ingredient, but the real star is the seared

mushrooms or seitan enrobed in the sauce. It has brightness from the lime, depth and saltiness from

the “fish” sauce, and some sugar to balance the heat of the long chiles. Combined with that is a

strong herbal note from cilantro and mint. Quite a bit of these herbs are used because they need to

compete with all the other strong flavors of the salad. Both the tomatoes and cucumber are there to

provide a refreshing counterpoint to all the other intense flavors.

Chef’s Notes

This is probably one of the most popular Thai dishes served outside of Thailand. Ironically, I hated it

the first time I had it, but I was also about ten years old. I definitely needed a more refined palate

before I appreciated it.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|112


Nutritional Facts (per serving, using portabella mushroom)

Calories 156

Calories from Fat 36

Fat 4 g

Total Carbohydrates 27 g

Dietary Fiber 4 g

Sugars 9 g

Protein 3 g

Salt 388 mg

Interesting Facts

Restaurants often mix lettuce into the salad because it stretches the salad and makes it more

profitable for them, but the more authentic way is with the cilantro and mint serving as the green.

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A Taste of Thai February 2013|113


Green Papaya Salad (Som Tum) ส้มตํา

Type: Salad Serves: 4

Time to Prepare: 10 minutes

Ingredients

The Salad

1 green papaya, shredded

6 to 8 fresh green beans

2 Thai chiles, deseeded and minced

2 tbsp. of toasted peanuts

5 or 6 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 small pinch of coarse, flaky sea salt

The Dressing

Juice of 1 lime

1 tsp. of soy sauce or vegetarian “fish” sauce

1 tbsp. of sugar (preferably palm sugar)

1 clove of garlic, minced

½ tsp. rice wine vinegar

Instructions

Cut the papaya in quarters and remove the seeds.

Shred the inside of the papaya using a large grater or cut the papaya and force it down a food

processor with the shredder attachment.

Option: Use already shredded green papaya.

Cut the green beans into 2”‐3” pieces.

Halve the cherry tomatoes.

Remove the seeds from the chiles and mince them (remove the white vein in the chile if you want to

reduce the heat.

Mince the garlic.

Place the chiles, green beans, peanuts, salt, and tomatoes on top of the salad.

Mix together the sugar, soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, and rice wine vinegar.

Dress the salad.

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A Taste of Thai February 2013|114


Kitchen Equipment

Shredder or Grater

Knife

Cutting Board

Mixing Bowl

Spoon

Measuring Spoon

Presentation

Lightly toss the papaya shreds so the salad looks light and spry

instead of densely packed.

Time Management

This is best if eaten fresh. Since it gets made so quickly, there isn’t much else to the time

management, save that if you serve this with another set of recipes, this should be one of the last

ones you make.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Serve this with a side of sticky rice and mushroom lab.

Where to Shop

You need an unripe green papaya for this recipe, not a yellow or orange one. The best place to find

those is at an Asian market. I wholeheartedly suggest cheating and looking for green papaya that is

already shredded. I typically find these in the produce section. It will save a whole lot of work and will

still taste great. Look look for ripe Thai chiles at the same market or look for serranos (they are ripe

when they are red.) However, if you can’t find them, any sort of small, hot red chile will do, even if it

is green. Only fresh will do.

How It Works

The green papaya provides the bulk of the flavor for this salad accented by the tomatoes and green

beans. Green papaya is used because it has a crisper taste than a ripe papaya and is easier to shred.

The sauce combines classic Thai flavors, mingling the sourness of the lime, the saltiness of the soy

sauce, the sweetness of the sugar, and the heat of the peppers. While each of these is strong, they

are all balanced against each other. Finally, the peanut provides extra texture to the salad.

Chef’s Notes

This makes such a nice light summer lunch salad. If you don’t like the heat in it, feel free to omit the

chiles and it will still taste incredibly delicious.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|115


Nutritional Facts (per serving

Calories 111

Calories from Fat 27

Fat 3 g

Total Carbohydrates 17 g

Dietary Fiber 4 g

Sugars 5 g

Protein 4 g

Salt 86 mg

Interesting Facts

Papayas are native to South America and were imported to Siam, becoming an important part of the

country’s cuisine.

Papayas are filled with a compound called papain, which is extracted from the papaya and used as a

salve for cuts, scrapes, and burns.

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A Taste of Thai February 2013|116


Type: Appetizer Makes: 10 cakes

Time to Prepare: about 1 hour

Chive Buns with Soy Chili Sauce

Ingredients

The Batter

1 cup of rice flour or brown rice flour

¼ cup of tapioca flour

¼ cup of sticky rice flour

1 pinch of salt

1 ½ cups of water

2 tablespoons of oil (I used toasted sesame oil)

6 tablespoons of tapioca flour

¼ cup of sticky rice flour

Plus about 1‐2 tablespoons of tapioca flour for dusting the buns

The Filling

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

About 5‐6 cups of loosely diced Chinese chives

6‐8 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon lime zest

½ cup of loosely chiffonaded Thai basil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Pinch of white pepper

About 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

The Sauce

4 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1‐2 red Thai chilies, minced

1 tablespoon minced shallot

Instructions

In a bowl, combine the first three ingredients – the rice, tapioca and sticky rice flour.

Add the salt and water, then stir into a paste.

Heat the oil in a wok over low heat.

Add the mixture immediately and allow to half cook until it becomes sticky and opaque, about 20‐25

minutes.

Remove from heat and once cool enough to handle, knead in the other 6 tablespoons of tapioca flour

and ¼ cup of sticky rice flour.

The dough should be easy to handle.

Roll into 10 equal balls.

Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rest 10 minutes.

Mince the chives, basil, garlic, and zest the limes, but keep them in separate piles.

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Heat a clean wok over medium high heat and add the oil.

Once the oil is heated, add the chives.

Once the chives start to wilt, add the garlic.

Cook about 30 seconds, then add the basil, pepper, sugar, and soy sauce.

Remove from heat.

Dust the buns with a bit of the flour and use your fingers to pat the pastry dough out into disks about

4 inches in diameter.

Add about 2 tablespoons of filling into the middle of each one.

Turn in all the corners, twisting and folding until the filling is completely covered.

Place them in a steamer basket on top of parchment paper and steam about 15 minutes.

Whisk together in ingredients for the sauce while the cakes are steaming.

Remove from the heat and top with some of the sauce, about 1 tablespoon for 2 cakes.

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Recipe by Chef Madelyn Pryor

A Taste of Thai February 2013|118


Low‐fat Version

Reduce the oil in the filling to 1 teaspoon and eliminate it from the sauce. However, you need the oil

for the dough.

Kitchen Equipment

Steamer Basket

Measuring Spoons and Cups

Knife

Cutting Board

2 Bowls

Wok

Stirring Spoons

Presentation

You can serve the sauce on the side or you can drizzle it over the cake.

Time Management

While the dough is resting, make the filling. Then, when you roll out the cakes, the filling has time to

cool.

Complementary Food and Drinks

A nice iced mint tea and green papaya salad are my favorite pairings with this, since the cool

refreshing drink and bright salad compliment the flavors of the buns nicely.

Where to Shop

The Chinese chives are most easily found at an Asian market, as are the flours for this recipe.

How It Works

Since all the flours used have no gluten, cooking them helps the amylase in the rice develop binding

the flours and allowing the dough to achieve a greater pliancy.

Chef’s Notes

I have two notes. The first is that the parchment paper for the steamer is ESSENTIAL. Without it, your

buns will stick to the steamer and break when you try to remove them. Poke holes in the parchment

paper to allow steam to enter the basket without having your buns stick. Also, do not try to roll the

dough into shape. I did this and it was not very useful. Patting the dough into shape with my fingers

was much easier.

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Recipe by Chef Madelyn Pryor

A Taste of Thai February 2013|119


Nutrition Facts (per cake)

Calories 246

Calories from Fat 54

Fat 6 g

Total Carbohydrates 44 g

Dietary Fiber 1 g

Sugars 3 g

Protein 4 g

Salt 446 mg

Interesting Facts

Amylase, the starch that allows the dough to bind, is also what makes risotto creamy.

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Recipe by Chef Madelyn Pryor

A Taste of Thai February 2013|120


Type: Appetizer Serves: 6

Time to Prepare: 10 minutes

Corn Fritters (tod man khao pad)

Ingredients

5 ears of corn (about 2 ½ cups of kernels), split into 2 batches

1 ½ tbsp. of red curry paste

2 oz. of silken tofu

¾ tsp. of salt

1 cup of rice flour

1 ¼ tsp. of baking powder

5 kaffir lime leaves or 6‐8 large Thai basil leaves, sliced into ribbons

Oil for frying

Instructions

Remove the kernels from the cobs and divide the kernels into two equal batches.

Take one batch of kernels and puree it with the curry paste, tofu, and salt.

Combine the rice flour and baking powder.

Combine the dry and wet mixes thoroughly, then mix in the other batch of kernels.

Slice the lime leaves or basil into thin ribbons and mix this into the mix.

Fill a wok with oil about 2” deep and bring it to 300 degrees F.

Take a heaping spoonful of the corn batter and drop it into the oil.

Once the fritters float to the top of the oil and look lightly browned, remove them and set them on a

rack or paper towel to dry and continue until you are out of batter.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|121


Kitchen Equipment

Blender or Food Processor

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Bowl

Wok

Tongs

Rack or Plate and Paper Towels

Presentation

Garnish with some chopped cilantro or more ribboned lime leaves.

Time Management

These don’t take long to fry, so make sure you have a rack or paper towels nearby so you can get

them immediately out of the oil. Also, these need to be served within a few minutes of coming out of

the oil or else they lose their crispness.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Serve with a sweet chile sauce.

Where to Shop

All of these ingredients are very common except for the lime leaves and Thai basil. Check out your

local Asian market for those, but feel free to use whatever basil you can find if you can’t get a hold of

any of the other ones.

How It Works

The oil is a lower temperature in this recipe than many other fried recipes so that it doesn’t burn the

rice flour. Because it has more sugar than wheat flour, it is susceptible to that at high temperatures.

The baking powder makes the fritter fluffy and expansive and the tofu acts like the egg found in a

traditional recipe.

Chef’s Notes

I don’t eat many fried foods, but these were phenomenal. Light, crispy, and loaded with flavor from

the red curry paste.

Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 260

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A Taste of Thai February 2013|122


Calories from Fat 72

Fat 8 g

Total Carbohydrates 41 g

Dietary Fiber 3 g

Sugars 3 g

Protein 6 g

Salt 602 g

Interesting Facts

Kaffir limes aren’t used just in Thai cooking. They also show up in Creole cuisine and are used

throughout parts of Africa.

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A Taste of Thai February 2013|123


Bamboo Sticky Rice (khao lam)

Type: Dessert, Snack Serves: Serves 6

Time to Prepare: 2 hours + time to soak the rice

Ingredients

6 tubes of bamboo, about 1 foot long each

Banana leaves

2 cups of stick rice

4 cups of coconut milk

½ cup of palm sugar (you can substitute turbinado sugar)

½ tsp. of salt

Instructions

Soak the rice for about six hours, then drain away the water.

Combine the rice with the coconut milk, sugar, and salt.

Pack one end of the bamboo sticks with banana leaves to create a seal.

Fill the hollow bamboo with the rice coconut mix.

Seal the other end of the bamboo with banana leaves to complete the seal.

Light your grill and make sure the rack is at least 6” above the coals.

Place the bamboo on the rack, keeping them away from the most intense heat, and do not close your

grill.

The rice takes about 1 ½ to 2 hours to properly cook.

You can check it by unsealing one end and if the rice is chewy it is done; if it still has liquid, resume

cooking it.

When you serve this, you peel away the layers of bamboo until the stick rice is revealed.

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Kitchen Equipment

Grill and Tongs

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Mixing Bowl

Presentation

When I serve these, I remove the banana leaves from one side and

start the peeling process, but leave most of the bamboo stick intact.

Peeling it is part of the fun! If you want something really interesting

looking, use black sticky rice.

Time Management

Don’t check the rice too often. Every time you unseal it, it lets out

some of the heat and steam trapped inside the bamboo sticks.

Complementary Food and Drinks

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

i built a couple brick stands so I could place

the bamboo over the grill while i grilled a

coconut relish

This can be eaten on its own or served with small cuts of steamed veggies on the side. I would only

serve it that way if I didn’t add sugar to the recipe.

Where to Shop

Bamboo sticks and banana leaves can be found at nearly any Asian market and even some of the

higher end markets, which seem to be carrying more and more specialty Asian goods. Approximate

cost per serving is $1.00.

How It Works

Because the rice takes so long to cook using this method, soaking it is important. It also plumps the

rice, meaning you can add lots of rice to the bamboo stick. If you didn’t soak it, you would need extra

liquid and that would take up more room in the stick. Basically, you are slowly heating the coconut

milk through the bamboo tube, which then cooks the rice. It needs to be far away from the heat of

the grill so that it doesn’t get too hot too fast and burn. The banana leaves make obvious seals for the

tubes.

Chef’s Notes

For me, this is what I call party food. It’s great for inviting a bunch of friends over to an out‐door get

together. Grilling rice in bamboo sticks is exotic and rustic and makes for an interesting conversation

piece and while you and your friends enjoy time around the fire, the bamboo sits there as a sweet,

fun promise for the end of the night.

A Taste of Thai February 2013|125


Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 520

Calories from Fat 288

Fat 32 g

Total Carbohydrates 52 g

Dietary Fiber 2 g

Sugars 13 g

Protein 6 g

Salt 194 mg

Interesting Facts

Versions of this recipe are found all over Southeast Asia and are often sold at festivals and as street

food.

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Seitan Satay

Type: Street Food Serves: Serves 12

Time to Prepare: 5 minutes to prep + 2 hours to sit + 10 minutes to grill

Ingredients

The Paste

1 tbsp. of cilantro stems

Two 3” pieces of lemongrass (the bottom white parts)

6 shallots

4 cloves of garlic

2 Thai long chiles

3 tbsp. of oil

2 tbsp. of vegetarian “fish” sauce

Large pinch of salt

1 tbsp. of minced fresh turmeric or 2 tsp. of turmeric powder

Satay and Garnish

4 cups of seitan strips (you can also use tofu strips and sweet potato strips)

2 cucumbers, peeled and diced

Instructions

Puree all the ingredients for the paste.

Toss the seitan strips in the paste and let them sit for about 2 hours.

Soak bamboo skewers while the seitan marinates.*

Skewer the seitan.

Light your grill and brush the rack with oil.

Grill the seitan skewers until they are lightly browned on each side.

Peel and dice the cucumber and serve as a garnish.

* If you use sweet potato instead of seitan, use metal skewers. Bamboo usually breaks.

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Kitchen Equipment

Blender

Mixing Bowl

Measuring Spoon

Grill and Tongs

Bamboo Skewers

Knife

Cutting Board

Presentation

Serve these hot off the grill with the cucumber in side dish.

Time Management

You have to let these sit or the seitan will be flavorless.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Cucumber and your favorite nam prik or nam jim jeaw.

Where to Shop

If I don’t make my own seitan strips, I usually get the Beefless Strips from Trader Joe’s. They absorb

the paste well and are easy to skewer. Obviously, you will get the best price on many of these

ingredients at an Asian market, though you can find everything except the vegetarian “fish” sauce at

a conventional market. Approximate cost per serving is $0.75.

How It Works

The paste is basically a pungent mix of onions and garlic with heavy aromatic notes from the

lemongrass and cilantro. The turmeric is used both for color and a distinct, but subtle, undertone that

runs throughout the satay. You can do without it, but there is a noticeable diminishing of complexity

if you forgo it. Oil is used to make sure all the ingredients coat and stick to the satay and to help the

satay itself not stick to the grill. Note that the paste has to be very strong in flavor because it needs to

impart that to the seitan and much of the paste will actually fall off and be lost on the grill.

Chef’s Notes

I use this paste as a stir fry sauce sometimes, too. I love the combo of chiles, garlic, and shallots. So

tasty.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|128


Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 164

Calories from Fat 36

Fat 4 g

Total Carbohydrates 13 g

Dietary Fiber 2 g

Sugars 1 g

Protein 19 g

Salt 266 mg

Interesting Facts

Satay is actually Indonesian in origin, with a large influence from the Middle East.

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Chinese Watercress Stir Fry (Pak Bung Jiin Fai Deng)

Type: Main Dish, Stir‐fry Serves: 2

Time to Prepare: 10 minutes

Ingredients

2 large bunches of Chinese watercress (pak bung jiin, or ong choy), sliced into large chunks

1 tbsp. of soybean paste (you can use miso as a substitute)

1 tbsp. of vegetarian fish sauce or soy sauce

1 tbsp. of vegetarian oyster sauce

1 tsp. of palm sugar or fine grain turbinado sugar

¼ cup of water

4‐5 large cloves of garlic, smashed

4‐5 Thai birds’ eye chiles, smashed

1 ½ tbsp. of peanut oil

Instructions

Pat the Chinese watercress as dry as possible and slice it into 2” to 3” long sections.

Combine the soybean paste, vegetarian fish sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, sugar, and water and

pour this over the watercress.

Smash the cloves of garlic and the chiles and toss them in with the watercress.

Bring a wok or wide sauté pan up to a high heat.

Get a plate ready near your wok or sauté pan.

Once it is hot, add the oil and wait about 10 seconds.

Add the watercress and sauce to the wok and stir‐fry this for about 30 to 45 seconds.

Immediately and quickly transfer everything to the plate (this keeps the watercress semi‐crisp and

keeps the wok from cooking it further).

The chiles and garlic are not meant to be eaten, but you are most impressive if you do.

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Kitchen Equipment

Wok

Knife

Cutting Board

Large Bowl

Salad Spinner or Towels

Stirring Spoon

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Presentation

Serve this in a large bowl and top with some chopped peanuts if you like.

Time Management

This recipe goes quick! The pak bung should only be in the pan for a few seconds, long enough to just

start the cooking process. Longer than that and it gets wilted and mushy. Be careful when you put it

in with the hot oil. Water and hot oil are not friends. Use a long wooden spoon to get to stirring as

fast as possible and avoid splattering oil.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Serve this with a side of salted jasmine scented sticky rice.

Where to Shop

My local Asian market is the only place I’ve ever found pak bung jiin. If you can’t find it, don’t worry.

You can substitute spinach, or even baby broccoli, and still get an amazing dish. It’s not the same

dish, but it’s just as tasty. Soybean paste is not miso (although it is similar). This is available at most

Asian markets, usually in the Southeast Asian sections of the store, along with both vegetarian fish

sauce and vegetarian oyster sauce. Remember that you can also substitute a bit of soy sauce for the

vegetarian fish sauce if you can’t find it. Approximate cost per serving is $2.00.

How It Works

The garlic and chiles are smashed so they can better impart their flavor to the food, but these

ingredients are not actually meant to be eaten with this dish (even though they are still served with

it). The pak bung only cooks for a few seconds, enough to slightly soften it without wilting it. The

sauce is a mix of salty and sweet, with a fermented sharpness from the bean paste. There is just

enough of it to coat the veggies without drowning them in liquid.

Chef’s Notes

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While this may use some exotic ingredients, it’s still a very simple dish. Stir up some sauce, smash

chiles and garlic, throw the veggies and sauce in the wok for a few seconds, and you’re done.

Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 294

Calories from Fat 90

Fat 10 g

Total Carbohydrates 35 g

Dietary Fiber 8 g

Sugars 5 g

Protein 16 g

Salt 643 mg

Interesting Facts

Jiin is the Thai word for Chinese while pak bung is a hollow spinach‐like plant. In fact, pak bung is

sometimes called Chinese spinach or river spinach.

Pak bung is used all over Southeast Asia, but in the US, it is classified as a noxious weed.

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Saffron Coconut Rice

Type: Side or Main Dish Serves: Serves 4

Time to Prepare: 30 minutes

Ingredients

3 whole cloves or a small pinch of ground cloves

2 star anise or ¼ tsp. of ground star anise

3 cardamom pods or a small pinch of ground cardamom

½ tsp. of salt

1 ½ tbsp. of grated fresh ginger

4‐5 cloves of garlic

6 large shallots (4 for the paste and 2 for the garnish)

Large pinch of saffron

5 cups of water

½ cup of thick coconut milk

3 cups of long‐grain rice

1 tbsp. of oil

Instructions

Making the Paste

Toast the cloves and star anise for about 1 minute over a medium heat, then pound into

powder.

Toast the cardamom pods for about 2 minutes over a medium heat, then break them open

and grind the seeds into powder.

Grate the ginger.

Pound the spices, salt, ginger, 4 of the shallots, and all of the garlic into a paste.

Making the Rice

Using a couple tablespoons of the coconut milk, fry the paste over a medium heat for about 3

minutes.

Add the saffron, water, and the remainder of the coconut milk and bring it to a boil.

Add the rice, bring it back to a boil, cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and cook the rice

for about 20 minutes.

Making the Garnish and Finishing the Rice

Dice the remaining shallots.

Bring the oil to a medium high heat and fry the shallots until they are crispy.

Garnish the finished rice with crispy shallots.

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Kitchen Equipment

Pot with Lid

Mortar and Pestle or Small Food Processor

Knife

Cutting Board

Stirring Spoon

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Grater

Presentation

Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Time Management

Keep stirring the paste slowly so that it doesn’t burn and if the coconut milk reduces to the point

where the paste sticks to the pan, go ahead and add the water and remainder of the coconut milk.

Complementary Food and Drinks

This goes along with several southern Thai dishes, particularly those influenced by Muslim culture,

like the massaman curry.

Where to Shop

All of these ingredients are available at most markets, but I like to get my saffron at Trader Joe’s. It’s

inexpensive and a decent quality, especially for a dish that doesn’t require it to be treated delicately.

Approximate cost per serving is about $1.50.

How It Works

This is basically boiling rice with a touch of coconut milk and making a very simple curry paste. As you

can see, it works pretty much like most other Thai curries, but with a very small ingredient list. The

crisped shallots at the end are there for texture and small shots of caramelized sweetness.

Chef’s Notes

This recipe highlights the fusion of Muslim and Thai cuisine, taking a simple saffron rice recipe and

adding a Thai spin to it. It’s indicative of the way Muslim techniques and ingredients acquire a local

flair.

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Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 626

Calories from Fat 90

Fat 10 g

Total Carbohydrates 120 g

Dietary Fiber 7 g

Sugars 1 g

Protein 14 g

Salt 268 mg

Interesting Facts

Like the food, Islam in Thailand has adopted aspects of the dominant religion of the region, which is

Buddhism.

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Coconut Soup with Mushrooms (tom kha hed)

Type: Soup, Main Course Serves: 3

Time to Prepare: 25 minutes

Ingredients

2” piece of galangal, sliced thin

1 large stalk of lemongrass, sliced into 2‐3” pieces

2 cups of coconut milk

1 cup of water

4 fresh Thai chiles, smashed or 6 dried Thai chiles

Option: 1 cube of unchicken or mushroom bouillon

1 ½ tbsp. of vegetarian mushroom sauce

½ tsp. of salt (you may want to modify this based on how salty your bouillon is)

2 cups of oyster mushrooms, chopped into large bite‐size chunks

1 ½ cups of straw mushrooms

Juice of 1 lime

Diced cilantro (coriander) for garnish

Instructions

Slice the galangal and lemongrass.

Bring the coconut milk and water to a boil.

Add the galangal, lemongrass, chiles, bouillon, mushroom sauce, and salt.

Lower the heat and simmer this for at least 10 minutes.

While it is simmering, chop the oyster mushrooms, dice the cilantro, and juice the lime.

About 5 minutes before you are about to finish off the soup, add the oyster mushrooms, straw

mushrooms, and lime juice and simmer for 5 more minutes (that means if you simmer the soup for

20 minutes to get some extra flavor into it, add the mushrooms 15 minutes into it).

Divide the soup into the serving bowls and garnish with cilantro.

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Kitchen Equipment

Pot

Knife

Cutting Board

Stirring Spoon

Ladle

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Presentation

I usually add a few extra red chiles to the top for a garnish. If you

want to make things easier on your diners, remove the galangal

and lemongrass before serving.

Time Management

If you let this simmer longer than 15 minutes, you will probably need to add in some water to replace

whatever evaporates.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Serve with sticky rice and some steamed or fried tofu with a sweet lime sauce.

Where to Shop

All of these ingredients are typically available at most markets, except for the galangal. You will need

to head to a foodie market or an Asian market to find it. Straw mushrooms are almost always found

jarred or canned. The vegetarian mushroom sauce is pretty much the same as vegetarian oyster

sauce, both of which are super thick sauces usually found only at Asian markets. Get a good quality,

thick coconut milk for this soup. If you don’t, omit the water in the recipe since the lower quality

coconut milk will already be watery. Approximate cost per serving is $2.00.

How It Works

The soup is an aromatic, spicy infusion of coconut milk at its heart. The substantiveness of the soup

comes solely from the mushrooms, which add a wonderfully earthy flavor to the dish. The vegetarian

mushroom sauce has a rich, pungent caramel flavor which gives the soup depth. Like most Asian

dishes, you are expected to know not to eat the lemongrass, galangal, and chiles.

Chef’s Notes

This is one of many Thai coconut soups, the most famous of which is tom kha gai (coconut soup with

chicken). Not only is this one vegan, it tastes better than tom kha gai, too!

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Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories

Calories from Fat

Fat 27 g

Total Carbohydrates 10 g

Dietary Fiber 1 g

Sugars 1 g

Protein 5 g

Salt 789 mg

Interesting Facts

Straw mushrooms are picked very young to retain a delicate texture, reaching maturation after about

five days.

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Wax Gourd Soup (fuk toon manao dong) ฟักตุ๋นมะนาวดอง

Type: Soup Serves: 2

Time to Prepare: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 wax gourd (winter melon), peeled, deseeded, and diced

3 cups of water

¼ cup of soy sauce

Option: 2 tbsp. of vegetarian “fish” sauce

¼ tsp. of salt

½ tsp. of ground white pepper

2 tsp. of palm or turbinado sugar

½ cup of straw mushrooms

1 pickled lime with ¼ cup of the pickling liquid

¼ cup of chopped cilantro (coriander)

Instructions

Peel the gourd, then scoop away the middle part with the seeds.

Dice the gourd into bite‐size pieces.

In a pot, combine the water, soy sauce, optional “fish” sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar.

Bring this to a simmer and add the gourd and mushrooms.

Simmer this for about 8 minutes, then add the pickled lime and pickling liquid.

Simmer this for five more minutes.

Remove it from the heat and immediately add the cilantro and stir.

Remove the pickled lime before serving.

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Kitchen Equipment

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Pot

Stirring Spoon

Knife

Cutting Board

Presentation

Serve this in a shallow, decorative bowl with a large, wide spoon.

You need that to make sure you get both veggies and broth in one

bite!

Time Management

Do not simmer the lime for more than about five minutes. There is a good chance it will split if you do

so and that will make the brother more bitter than it should be.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Serve with a side of rice with a spicy nam prik.

Where to Shop

I sometimes find wax gourd, also known as winter melon, at my corner store market, but typically I

have to get it at an Asian or Indian market. That is definitely the case with the pickled limes, unless

you make your own! If you can’t find pickled limes, you can substitute 3 tbsp. of white vinegar, the

juice of 1 lime, and 1 tsp. of sugar for the lime and pickling juice. Approximate cost per serving is

$1.50.

How It Works

The soup is basically a sweet and sour soup with strong salt notes. It is meant to be light and brothy

with a strong sour note. It doesn’t need to simmer long because the flavors easily meld and it should

only simmer to the point at which the gourd is al dente. Because the lime can split if it is cooked too

long, it is only added at the end of the simmer and to preserve the freshness of the cilantro, it is

added immediately after the soup comes off the heat. There is enough heat in the pot to get the

cilantro to release its flavor, but it won’t stay hot to the point where the cilantro loses that bright

fresh flavor.

Chef’s Notes

I like this soup quite a bit because it is light on calories, easy to make, and I feel satisfied, but not

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overly full after I eat it. If I want something heartier, I just add a few cubes of tofu to the soup and I

have a very filling meal.

Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 148

Calories from Fat 0

Fat 0 g

Total Carbohydrates 34 g

Dietary Fiber 2 g

Sugars 4 g

Protein 3 g

Salt 900 mg

Interesting Facts

Winter melons have small hairs around the skin, which fall off as the gourd matures, leaving a waxy

coating around the skin.

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Ajat (cucumber relish) อาจาด

Type: Condiment Serves: 8

Time to Prepare: 45 minutes (includes 30 minutes of soaking)

Ingredients

4 tbsp. of rice wine vinegar

1 tsp. of palm sugar

¼ cup of peeled, diced cucumber

2 small shallots, minced

3 fresh red Thai chiles, deseeded and minced

Instructions

Peel the cucumber.

Option: Remove the seeds with a spoon.

Cut the cucumber in half along the length.

Cut each half in half again.

Dice the cucumber into ½” pieces.

Mince the shallot.

Mince the hot peppers.

Mix these together in dish.

Dress them with the rice wine vinegar and sugar.

Allow the mix to sit for 30 to 60 minutes.

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Kitchen Equipment

Cutting Board

Small Knife

Measuring Spoon

Bowl

Presentation

I like serving this in a glass bowl as it leaves nothing to

distract from the cool look of the cucumber mixed with

the fiery red of the peppers and the purple of the

shallots. If you want to dress it with something,

however, you can place a cut of cilantro along the side

of the bowl.

Time Management

This is one of those recipes that gets much better as it sits. Because it has a lot of vinegar, it will keep

refrigerated for up to a week. Just make sure to cover it so it does not pick up any other smells from

the refrigerator.

Complementary Food and Drinks

This makes the perfect condiment for a satay or even just sticky rice.

Where to Shop

All of these ingredients should be readily available at your local market. Approximate cost per serving

is $1.50.

How It Works

The cucumber is used as a refreshing food and is mixed with the shallots for a rich, pungent flavor.

The hot chiles are there solely to add heat while the sugar is included to balance the peppers.

Chef’s Notes

For such a simple sauce, this turned out to have a much more complex flavor than I expected.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)

Calories 100

Calories from Fat 0

Fat 0 g

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Total Carbohydrates 21 g

Dietary Fiber 2 g

Sugars 4 g

Protein 4 g

Salt 13 mg

Interesting Facts

Cucumbers have been an important food for such a long time, they receive mention in the Epic of

Gilgamesh.

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Caramelized Peanuts

Type: Condiment, Snack Serves: Makes 1 ½ cups

Time to Prepare: 10 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups of sugar, preferably palm sugar

¼ cup of water

Pinch of salt

1 cup of roasted peanuts

1 tbsp. of sesame seeds

Option: ½ tsp. of chile powder

Instructions

Combine the sugar, water, and salt and melt this over a medium‐low heat.

Turn the heat up to medium and add the peanuts and sesame seeds (and optional chile powder).

Gently stir this for about 4 minutes.

Spread the peanuts on a lightly oiled sheet and allow them to dry, then break them apart and store

them in an airtight container (you can also spread them on wax paper instead of an oiled sheet).

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Kitchen Equipment

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Pot

Stirring Spoon

Sheet

Presentation

Not applicable.

Time Management

Make sure you keep slowly stirring these so that the peanuts do not burn, but don’t stir vigorously or

else the sugar won’t properly stick to them!

Complementary Food and Drinks

When used as a garnish, these should be lightly crushed. They can be added to salads, noodle dishes,

and anything else you want to which you want to add a sweet crunch. As a snack, they are eaten as is.

Where to Shop

All of these ingredients should be fairly easy to find. Approximate cost for one batch is $2.00.

How It Works

Basically, you are making a thick syrup and cooking the peanuts in it. Pretty simple. The salt will help

accentuate the sweetness (it’s one of the counterpoints to sweet) and the touch of sesame seeds

makes this just a step above being peanuts in sugar. Make sure you keep the heat low at first so you

don’t burn the sugar. You can increase the heat once the peanuts go in because the peanuts will take

in much of the heat.

Chef’s Notes

This is pretty much Thai peanut brittle, crushed and served as a condiment. Can’t complain about

that!

Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 2272

Calories from Fat 648

Fat 72 g

Total Carbohydrates 424 g

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Dietary Fiber 12 g

Sugars 406 g

Protein

Salt 185 mg

Interesting Facts

Peanuts are extremely high in protein, nutrients, and calories and the World Health Organization has

used them to fight malnutrition around the world.

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Chiang Mai Relish (nahm prik num) นํ้าพริกหนุ ่ม

Type: Condiment Serves: Makes 1 cup

Time to Prepare: 15‐20 minutes + time to get the grill hot

Ingredients

5 purple shallots, unpeeled

5 cloves of garlic, unpeeled

3 banana chiles (or 4 Chiang Mai chiles if you can find them)

¼ tsp. of salt

¼ tsp. of sugar

1 cube of fermented tofu (about 2 tsp.)

2 green onions, minced

1 tbsp. of fresh chopped cilantro (coriander)

Instructions

Grill Option

Light your grill and get the coals fairly hot.

Grill the chiles until the skin is mostly blackened.

Grill the garlic and shallots until the paper is charred black.

I find this is quickest if I put all the ingredients in a grill basket. It keeps the garlic from

falling through the grate and I can do them all at the same time.

Oven Option

Roast the chiles, shallots, and garlic in a covered baking dish at 450 degrees F, removing the

garlic after 15 minutes, the shallots after 20 minutes, and the chiles after 25 minutes.

Finishing the Relish

Peel the chiles, shallots, and garlic once they cool.

Using a mortar and pestle, pound the chiles, shallots, and garlic into a rough paste.

Add the salt, sugar, and fermented tofu and pound until these are combined into the paste.

You can cheat and pulse all of the above ingredients in a food processor, though the

taste won’t be quite as refined.

Mince the green onion and chop the cilantro.

Garnish with minced green onion and chopped cilantro.

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Kitchen Equipment

Grill or Oven

Grill Pan or Baking Dish and Foil

Tongs

Mortar and Pestle

Measuring Spoon

Knife

Cutting Board

Small Bowl

Presentation

Make sure to sprinkle the green onion and cilantro on top instead of mixing it into the relish. I leave

some char on the chiles to give the relish a very rustic, primal look.

Time Management

Check the garlic every 2‐3 minutes to make sure that it isn’t burning. Otherwise, this recipe is fairly

quick to put together.

Complementary Food and Drinks

This is traditionally served with cucumber, or other veggies like simmered pumpkin wedges.

Where to Shop

Chiang Mai chiles are very, very hard to find outside of Thailand, so go for the banana chiles. I

typically find these at my local Asian and Mexican markets, though they will sometimes show up at

“foodie” grocery stores. The fermented tofu will need to be purchased at an Asian market. If you

can’t find it, just omit it. Approximate cost per serving is $2.50.

How It Works

Grilling the garlic, shallots, and chiles does a few things. First, it gives a hint of smokiness to the relish.

Second, it roasts the veggies, caramelizing the garlic and shallots. Third, it makes the chiles nice and

lush. All of this is turned into a rough paste to make a salsa of sorts. The fermented tofu substitutes

for fish paste (not sauce) in the traditional recipe and pulls all the flavors together, unifying them. The

sugar gives balance to the heat of the chiles.

Chef’s Notes

This is basically a Thai salsa and it is deceptively hot. It starts off a bit mild, but after a few seconds,

the chiles start to do their work and there is a nice backburn to it. This condiment should be both hot

and salty. Really good stuff!

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Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 170

Calories from Fat 18

Fat 2 g

Total Carbohydrates 34 g

Dietary Fiber 3 g

Sugars 3 g

Protein 4 g

Salt 563 mg

Interesting Facts

Chiang Mai is the capital of Chiang Mai province in northern Thailand and the name means “new

city.”

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Grilled Coconut Relish (nam sup kry)

Type: Condiment Serves: Makes 1 cup

Time to Prepare: 25 minutes

Ingredients

The Paste

4” piece of lemongrass

6 shallots

6 cloves of garlic

2 tsp. of grated fresh turmeric or 1 ¼ tsp. of dried turmeric

1 tbsp. of fresh green peppercorns (pickled green peppercorns make an adequate substitute)

8 Bird’s Eye chiles

1 cube of fermented tofu

1/3 tsp. of salt

1 tbsp. of palm sugar (or turbinado sugar)

Coconut and Leaves

1 cup of grated coconut

Banana leaves (use foil if you don’t have banana leaves)

Instructions

Mortar and Pestle Method

Dice or mince all the paste ingredients.

In order, smash them into a rough paste.

Blender Method

Don’t worry about chopping everything, just roughly puree it with a small blender or food

processor.

Finishing the Nahm Prik

Combine the paste with the shredded coconut.

Wrap this in banana leaves or foil and place it on the grill just off center from the hottest part

of the coals.

Once the banana leaves have blackened, flip the packet and blacken the other side, then

remove from the heat and serve.

Tip: Wrap the coconut relish in two layers of banana leaves so that only the outside layer

blackens, allowing the inner layer to remain intact and work as a serving platter.

If you are using foil, you will need to cook the first side for about 10 minutes and the other

side for about 7 minutes.

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Kitchen Equipment

Grill

Tongs

Mortar and Pestle or Blender

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Small Mixing Bowl

Presentation

I serve this directly from the charred banana leaves. Elegant and rustic at the same time.

Time Management

Get your grill going before you start putting the recipe together. I also like to cheat by pureeing the

paste in my blender and then bashing it several times with my mortar and pestle.

Complementary Food and Drinks

This goes best with tofu skewers and fresh cut veggies.

Where to Shop

Both my local Mexican and Asian grocers have all these products at an excellent price, though I can

get them at a regular market as well (just not as cheaply!). Approximate cost per batch is $3.00.

How It Works

Garlic and shallots form the base of the paste. When the paste grills, the garlic and shallots lightly

caramelize and turn juicy and sweet. Over that base ride the heat of the chiles and the lightness of

the lemongrass. The fresh peppercorns are bright and piquant, making the nahm prik pop. Coconut

holds everything together.

Chef’s Notes

This is great even without the peppercorns. How can you go wrong with coconut and chiles?

However, the peppercorns make this one of the most intriguing dishes I’ve eaten and if you have the

opportunity to hunt them down, I strongly suggest doing so.

Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 758

Calories from Fat 486

Fat 54 g

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Total Carbohydrates 56 g

Dietary Fiber 18 g

Sugars 20 g

Protein 12 g

Salt 788 mg

Interesting Facts

Coconut trees love sand and warmth and are highly tolerant of saline soil.

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Sweet Chile Sauce (nam jim)

Type: Condiment Serves: Makes ½ cup

Time to Prepare: 20 minutes

Ingredients

6 red Thai long chiles

5 cloves of garlic

½ cup of water

¼ cup of rice vinegar

½ cup of palm sugar or turbinado sugar

½ tsp. of salt

Instructions

Puree all the ingredients together.

Pour the puree into a pot and bring the puree to a simmer.

Cook this down until it thickens into a thin syrup (about 15 minutes over a low simmer).

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Kitchen Equipment

Blender

Pot

Stirring Spoon

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Presentation

Not applicable.

Time Management

Make sure the sauce is not heavily simmering. A low simmer works best. You don’t want to burn the

sugar! Once you’ve got the low simmer going, you can walk away for about the first seven to eight

minutes, but after that you should stir the sauce every minute or so until it thickens to the

consistency that you want.

Complementary Food and Drinks

This is a very common dipping sauce, perfect for satay and raw veggies. It also goes incredibly well

just over rice.

Where to Shop

You will probably need to go to an Asian market to get fresh Thai long chiles. Alternatively, you can

substitute ripe red Serrano chiles for them, in which case you can get everything at a regular market.

Approximate cost per batch is $1.00.

How It Works

This is a sweet and sour reduction with quite a bit of heat to it. Rice vinegar is used for a couple

reasons. It is inexpensive to use in large quantities and the sweetness from the sugar pairs very nicely

with it. Palm or turbinado sugar is used so the sweetness has some richness to it instead of just being

sweet. The sauce is then reduced into a syrup over a low heat. As the sugar caramelizes, it thickens,

holding the entire sauce together.

Chef’s Notes

This is the standard sweet and sour chile sauce served with so many street dishes. If you don’t want

wait for the liquid to thicken, or you want to cut down on the sugar, but not the viscosity, you can

make a slurry with cornstarch and use that to thicken the sauce. In fact, most commercial versions of

this sauce do just that.

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Nutritional Facts (per batch)

Calories 424

Calories from Fat 0

Fat 0 g

Total Carbohydrates 104 g

Dietary Fiber 1 g

Sugars 96 g

Protein 2 g

Salt 1175 mg

Interesting Facts

This sauce is ubiquitous throughout Thailand and the rest of Southeastern Asia. In fact, you can count

on it being served with most grilled street dishes.

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Chile Dipping Sauce (nam jim jaew) นํ้าจิ้มแจ่ว

Type: Condiment Serves: Makes 1 cup (enough for about 20 satay sticks)

Time to Prepare: 10 minutes

Ingredients

6 dried red long Thai chiles, crushed

4 shallots, sliced thin

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp. of minced galangal

¼ cup of minced cilantro (coriander)

1 tbsp. of toasted rice powder

2 ½ tsp. of palm sugar or turbinado sugar

1/3 cup of vegetarian “fish” sauce

Juice of 1 lime

Instructions

Crush the chiles into flakes.

Over a medium heat, toast the chile flakes in a dry pan for about 20 seconds, then immediately

remove them.

Slice the shallots.

Mince the garlic, galangal, and cilantro.

Combine all the ingredients together.

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Kitchen Equipment

Pan

Spatula

Measuring Spoon

Measuring Cup

Mixing Bowl

Stirring Spoon

Knife

Cutting Board

Presentation

Not applicable.

Time Management

I like to let this sit for about 30 minutes before serving it to let the lime juice work on the shallots and

cilantro to get them to blend, but you can serve this right away and it will still be great.

Complementary Food and Drinks

This is perfect for satay.

Where to Shop

You will need to make your own vegetarian “fish” sauce or head to an Asian market to find one. Make

sure to look for one that does not have msg. Alternatively, you can use a light soy sauce. Galangal is

usually found at Asian markets, though you can use dried galangal in this recipe. Just crush it and let it

sit in the sauce for about an hour for it to gain full effect. Approximate cost per serving is $1.25.

How It Works

The predominant flavor of this sauce should be salty and sour (“fish” sauce and lime juice fulfill these

roles), with undertones of heat and sweetness to balance these. The cilantro and shallots both

provide some bulk to the sauce, in addition to pungency and a fresh green quality. If you hate

cilantro, try Thai basil instead.

Chef’s Notes

Most dipping sauces served in restaurants are these sweet thin peanut sauces, but this is the real

deal!

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Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 228

Calories from Fat 0

Fat 0 g

Total Carbohydrates 50 g

Dietary Fiber 5 g

Sugars 12 g

Protein 7 g

Salt 7300 mg

Interesting Facts

Two types of nam jim are typically served with satay. This one and a sweeter chile sauce.

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Toasted Crushed Bird’s Eye Chiles

Type: Condiment Serves: Makes ¼ cup

Time to Prepare: 10 minutes

Ingredients

20 dried Bird’s Eye chiles, crushed

5 cloves of minced garlic

2 tbsp. of oil

1/3 tsp. of salt

¾ tsp. of fine grained palm sugar (use turbinado sugar if you can’t find palm sugar)

Instructions

Crush the chiles and sift as many seeds out as possible.

Mince the garlic as finely as you can.

Bring the oil to a medium heat.

Add the garlic and then the chiles and quickly stir for about 1 minute.

Remove this from the heat and immediately add the salt and sugar, stirring until the pan cools down.

Option: Omit the oil and toast the crushed chiles, then sauté the garlic separately over a medium

heat in a dry pan for about 1 minute. Combine everything and stir.

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Kitchen Equipment

Measuring Spoon

Wok

Stirring Spoon

Presentation

Not applicable.

Time Management

Make sure you keep stirring everything. Otherwise the chiles will burn and release an exorbitant

amount of capsaicin into the air. To store this, place it in a small jar, preferably airtight. If it is not

airtight, make sure to refrigerate it.

Complementary Food and Drinks

This is an excellent condiment for grilled foods.

Where to Shop

While dried Bird’s Eye chiles are available at places like World Market and even some conventional

grocery stores, you can get large bags of them for dirt cheap at most Asian markets. Approximate

cost for the batch is $1.25.

How It Works

The chiles and garlic quickly fry, just long enough to deepen their flavor and give them a light

toasting. Longer than that and they run the risk of burning. Salt enhances the flavor of the chile mix

and sugar helps balance the heat.

Chef’s Notes

This is powerful stuff! Use it sparingly.

Nutritional Facts (per batch)

Calories 350

Calories from Fat 234

Fat 26 g

Total Carbohydrates 20 g

Dietary Fiber 6 g

Sugars 9 g

Protein 4 g

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Salt 767 mg

Interesting Facts

Bird’s Eye chiles are notorious for being extremely spicy, but they are actually at the lower range of a

habanero.

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Tamarind Relish (nahm prik makam) นํ้าพริกมะขาม

Type: Condiment Serves: Makes 1 cup

Time to Prepare: 15 minutes

Ingredients

10 dried Thai red long chiles, soaked

1 tsp. of salt

8 cloves of garlic

1 ½ tsp. of palm sugar (use turbinado sugar if you can’t find palm sugar)

1 ¼ cups of tamarind pulp or ¾ cup of tamarind paste

Option: 2 tsp. of crushed wakame seaweed

Instructions

Soak the chiles in hot water until they are soft.

Blender method

Remove any seeds from the tamarind pulp, then puree everything in a blender.

Mortar and Pestle Method

Pound the chiles and salt until you have a rough paste.

Add the garlic and continue to do the same.

Add the sugar, tamarind, and optional seaweed, pound a few times, and stir.

Option: This nam prik is very thick, so if you want it thinner, add about ¼ cup of water.

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Kitchen Equipment

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Mortar and Pestle or Blender

Presentation

Not applicable.

Time Management

It only takes a few more minutes to make this using a mortar and pestle and the flavor is a step

better, but a blender will work if you are in a hurry.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Sticky rice and split eggplant make the perfect foods to go along with this nahm prik.

Where to Shop

As with most of the recipes in this issue, you will get the best price on the ingredients by going to an

Asian market, particularly on the chiles and the tamarind paste. While available elsewhere, they are

generally twice the price. Approximate cost per batch is $2.50.

How It Works

This nahm prik is thick and that’s why you need tamarind pulp, not tamarind sauce. The issue with

the pulp, however, is that it usually contains tamarind seeds and you need to remove those hard,

unpalatable things before working with the tamarind. I start with the chiles and salt because the salt

makes the chiles easy to grind with a mortar and pestle. Once they are ground, the garlic is added to

make a chile garlic paste. After that, everything can pretty much be stirred together, but it doesn’t

work as well if you prep in the wrong order. The flavor of the nahm prik is sweet, salty, sour, and hot.

Sweet from the sugar, sour and tangy from the tamarind, hot from the chiles, and salty from the large

amount of salt. It’s an intense nahm prik from all quarters of the flavor spectrum.

Chef’s Notes

I am addicted to this nahm prik and I love eating it with straight sticky rice and nothing else. I typically

don’t serve it alongside other nahm prik because it can overwhelms some of the delicate ones.

Nutritional Facts (per batch)

Calories 117

Calories from Fat 9

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Fat 1 g

Total Carbohydrates 24 g

Dietary Fiber 4 g

Sugars 10 g

Protein 3 g

Salt 2250 mg

Interesting Facts

Tamarind is indigenous to the tropical region of Africa, but it is one of those foods that has become

popular throughout southern Asia and Central America, partially because of the hot growing

conditions.

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Type: Main Dish Serves: 2

Time to Prepare: 15 minutes

Ginger Noodles

Ingredients

The Sauce

3” piece of ginger

1” piece of galangal

2 dried red Thai chiles

2” piece of lemongrass

3 shallots

6 cloves of garlic

½ tsp. of salt

1 tbsp. of crushed wakame

½ cup of coconut milk

1 cup of water

Sprinkling of roasted chile powder

Noodles and Condiments

8 oz. of thick rice noodles

1 diced green Thai long chile

1 cup of Chinese watercress, spinach, or other similar green

½ cup of bean sprouts

2 small sprigs of Thai basil

Option: Cubed tofu

Instructions

Roughly chop all the ingredients for the sauce.

Simmer those ingredients in the water and coconut milk for about 5 minutes.

Puree all of this into a smooth sauce.

Cook the noodles.

Sauté the greens until they are reduced.

Dice the chile.

Place the sauce in two different small bowls and sprinkle chile powder on top.

Place the noodles in two larger bowls, plate each condiment, and serve.

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Kitchen Equipment

Wok

Pot

Blender

Knife

Cutting Board

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Stirring Spoon

Colander

Presentation

Serve the noodles in one bowl, the sauce in another, and the condiments each in separate bowls or

separated on a large plate.

Time Management

Once the ingredients for the sauce start cooking, I cook the noodles and prep the condiments. It may

be a bit hectic, but the dish comes together in just a few minutes this way.

Complementary Food and Drinks

This is a meal in itself. The only other item I may serve it with would be cut fresh fruit.

Where to Shop

While all of these ingredients are relatively common, except for the galangal and Thai long chiles, I

prefer to get everything at the Asian market. Not only will you get the best price on everything, you

can usually find fresh noodles there. I have also found that Trader Joe’s has some great semi‐fresh

noodles for this dish. If you can’t get a hold of the galangal, don’t stress it and just omit it.

Approximate cost per serving is $1.00.

How It Works

The sauce has a bite to it, not necessarily from the chiles, but from the pure ginger. Galangal adds a

complimentary flavor to the ginger (plus, it is simply used out of habit in a vast amount of Thai

dishes). The wakame replaces both the saltiness and ocean flavor imparted by the dried shrimp used

in the traditional recipe. Basically, the sauce is a hot, salty, pungent, coconut sauce with a bite! Unlike

many sauces, you do not eat around the galangal, chiles, etc. With this one, they are simmered until

they are soft enough to puree and become part of the sauce itself.

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Chef’s Notes

This bowl is an explosion of flavor! It is in your face with all the ingredients and dares you to come

back for me.

Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 572

Calories from Fat 108

Fat 12 g

Total Carbohydrates 105 g

Dietary Fiber 7 g

Sugars 2 g

Protein 11 g

Salt 726 mg

Interesting Facts

As ginger root ages in the ground, it becomes much more potent.

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Khao Soi Noodles

Type: Curry, Main Dish Serves: 3

Time to Prepare: 30 minutes

Ingredients

The Red Curry Paste

4 fresh Thai red chiles

4 shallots, unpeeled and roasted

4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled and roasted

1 ½ tsp. of dried turmeric or a 2” piece of fresh turmeric

1 ½” piece of peeled ginger

1 tbsp. of minced cilantro stems (or 1 tsp. of scraped cilantro root if you can find it)

1 tsp. of coriander seeds, roasted

½ tsp. of cumin seeds

½ tsp. of salt

Option: Instead of making your own curry paste, you can mix 3 tbsp. of premade red curry

paste with 2 tsp. of yellow curry powder.

Broth and Main Ingredients

1 tbsp. of coconut oil

1 cup of simmered seitan or chopped trumpet mushrooms

2 ¼ cups of coconut milk

Noodles

10 oz. of rice noodles, divided into 2 portions

Peanut oil

Hot Water

Condiments

Lime wedges

Pickled cabbage or pickled mustard greens

Chopped cilantro

Sliced fresh shallots

Fried chiles (see below) (or just use crushed dried Thai chiles instead of making this

condiment)

20 crushed red Thai chiles

5 cloves of minced garlic

¼ cup of oil

1/3 tsp. of salt

¾ tsp. of palm sugar

Instructions

Making the Paste

Roast the chiles, shallots, and garlic until the skin on the chiles is mostly blackened and the

paper on the garlic and shallots looks charred (I either do this over an open flame or in the

oven at 475 degrees F, checking the ingredients every 5 minutes or so).

Peel the chiles, shallots, and garlic once they are cool enough to handle.

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Roast the coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a dry pan over a medium heat for about 1 ½

minutes.

Pound or puree all the curry paste ingredients into a smooth paste.

Making the Curry

Bring the coconut oil to a medium heat.

Fry the paste for about 2 minutes, then add the seitan or mushrooms, sautéing for 2 more

minutes.

Add the coconut milk, stir, and bring it to a boil.

Reduce the heat until the sauce is just simmering and simmer this for 10 minutes (there

should still be a lot of sauce, so reconstitute the sauce with water if it cooks down).

Making the Noodles

Soak half the noodles in warm water until they are soft, then set them aside.

Bring the peanut oil up to a medium high heat (about 375 degrees F).

Fry the remaining noodles until they are slightly golden (this happens very quickly), then drain

them and set them aside.

Making the Fried Chiles

Crush the fried chiles so you have small chile flakes.

Mince the garlic.

Bring the oil to a medium high heat.

Add the garlic, then immediately add the chiles, frying all of these for about 1 minute.

Remove from the heat and add the salt and palm sugar, stirring rapidly until the palm sugar

dissolves.

Putting It All Together

Make a bed of the rehydrated noodles in a large bowl and pour the curry over them.

Top with the fried noodles and serve with the garnishes all in separate bowls.

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Kitchen Equipment

Grill or Oven

Blender or Mortar and Pestle

2 Pots

Wok

Stirring Spoon

Knife

Cutting Board

Measuring Spoons

Measuring Cup

Presentation

This is supposed to be served in a big bowl surrounded by all the delicious condiments. It is often

served with the cilantro already sprinkled over the top of the crispy noodles.

Time Management

You can make the noodles and fried chiles while the curry simmers, cutting down on the time by

quite a bit. Make sure you do not overfry the chiles or garlic.

Complementary Food and Drinks

This is meant to be eaten on its own.

Where to Shop

All of these ingredients are relatively common, though you will probably get the best price on dried

and fresh Thai chiles at your Asian market. Approximate cost per serving is $3.00.

How It Works

The curry paste is a bit different than most Thai red curry pastes since it uses ginger and turmeric. In a

way, it is a cross between a standard Thai red curry paste and an Indian yellow curry. At its heart, the

dish is noodles presented two ways with a twist on red curry paste, the twist being roasted veggies in

the paste along with ginger and turmeric. In other ways, making the curry paste and sauce is just like

making any other Thai curry you see in this issue.

Chef’s Notes

The Thai version of this recipe uses egg noodles while the Laotian version uses rice noodles. I made

this one a cross between since rice noodles are much easier to find than making your own “egg”

noodles.

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Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 780

Calories from Fat 360

Fat 40 g

Total Carbohydrates 74 g

Dietary Fiber 3 g

Sugars 1 g

Protein 6 g

Salt 670 mg

Interesting Facts

Khao soi is popular throughout much of Southeast Asia, not just Thailand. It means “cut rice” and

refers to sheets of rice dough cut into noodles.

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Pad Thai (Quick Fried Noodles) ผัดไทยกุ้งสด

Type: Main Dish Serves: 2

Time to Prepare: 20 minutes + time for the tofu to marinate

Ingredients

The Sauce

1 oz. of tamarind paste

¾ cup of boiling water

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. of rice wine vinegar

1 tsp. of soy sauce or vegetarian “fish” sauce

The Stir Fry

4 oz. of wide rice noodles

6 oz. of tofu, marinated

1 ½ cups of soy sauce (for marinade)

1 tbsp. of Chinese five spice (for marinade)

Option: Baked, hard tofu instead of marinated tofu

1 tbsp. of peanut oil

1 cup of green onions, sliced (Chinese chives work best)

2 shallots, minced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 pickled turnip, minced or ¼ cup of pickled cabbage

1 cup of bean sprouts

½ cup of peanuts

2 dried Thai chiles, crushed

The Garnish

1 lime, cut into wedges

½ tsp. of white pepper

Reserved peanuts

Reserved green onion

Reserved bean sprouts

1‐2 crushed, dried Thai chiles or a small dish of roasted Thai chile flakes

Option: Sliced banana flower

Instructions

Marinating the Tofu

Mix together the soy sauce and Chinese five spice for the tofu marinade.

Slice the tofu into wide strips.

Add the tofu to the sauce you just made and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, though if you let

it sit overnight it will be even better.

Making the Sauce

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce.

Soak the rice noodles in hot water until they are soft, then drain them, rinse them, and set

them aside.

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Boil the ¾ cup of water and add the tamarind paste (boil for about five minutes.)

Press the tamarind paste through a think strainer and add this to the sugar, vinegar, and soy

sauce.

Finishing the Prep

Mince the garlic and slice the green onion, setting each aside separately.

Soak the noodles in warm water until they are pliable, but not super soft, then drain them and

set to the side.

Cooking the Pad Thai

Get all of your ingredients together near the wok, keeping each one separate.

Turn your wok up to a high heat with the peanut oil.

Add the tofu and stir fry it about 1 minute.

Add in most of the green onions and stir fry for about 10 seconds.

In rapid succession, add in the noodles, garlic, sauce, turnip or cabbage, most of the bean

sprouts, and most of the peanuts.

Cook this mix for no longer than 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat and plate everything.

Finishing Up

Garnish with the leftover green onion, bean sprouts, peanuts, crushed red pepper, white

pepper, and lime wedges.

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Kitchen Equipment

Wok

Wooden Spoon

Large Bowl to soak the noodles

Medium sized bowl for the tofu and marinade

Small Pot for the tamarind

Small Bowl for the sauce

5 Small Bowls, one each for the green onions, sprouts,

peanuts, garlic, and pickled cabbage

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Cutting Board

Small Knife

Presentation

Get this onto the plate and serve immediately for the best flavor and presentation! I like to surround

the Pad Thai with little dishes with different condiments.

Time Management

If you want to save some time, use a tamarind sauce instead of going through the time and effort to

boil the paste. Just do a mix of half sauce and half water to get the right flavor and consistency. Also,

the tofu gets better the longer it marinades, so if you know you are going to make this, start the tofu

early in the day or the night before. IMPORTANT: Make sure all of your ingredients are prepped and

within reaching distance of the wok before you start cooking as these ingredients cook very, very

quickly.

Complementary Food and Drinks

I like serving this with a plain glass of Thai iced tea. Most Thai tea is mixed with milk and when I

drink it with something very spicy, I like to mix it with soy creamer. However, I find it goes better

with the Pad Thai when it is unadulterated.

Where to Shop

Many of the ingredients are available in the average grocery market, including the Pad Thai noodles,

which are wide rice noodles. In fact, you may find everything you need there except for the pickled

turnip and Thai chiles, which should be readily available at your local Asian market. Approximate cost

per serving is $2.00.

How It Works

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The key to this dish is speed. For that to work, the heat must be high and the oil must be hot before

the food hits the wok. The ingredients are being seared on the high heat, but not to the point where

they burn or their flavors disappear in the dish. To create that sear while maintaining their individual

flavors requires a cook time measured in the seconds. It is because of that fast cook time that you

must have all of the ingredients together.

Chef’s Notes

This dish has a lot of setup to it, but only about a minute of cook time, which can happen a lot with

Asian stir fries. I’ve taught this recipe several times in class and it is a very fun recipe to make with a

group of people. We had one person call out the ingredients while the other person quickly grabbed

them as they were called out and threw them in the hot wok.

Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 258

Calories from Fat 90

Fat 10 g

Total Carbohydrates 28 g

Dietary Fiber 3 g

Sugars 7 g

Protein 14 g

Salt 596 mg

Interesting Facts

In Thailand, Pad Thai is served with a banana blossom.

The above recipe follows a more traditional Pad Thai, which is fairly light, though it omits the egg and

fish sauce.

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Tua Nao (fermented soybean cakes) ถั่วเน่า

Type: Base Ingredient Serves: 6 cakes

Time to Prepare: Days, but only a few minutes of actual work

Ingredients

1 cup of dried soybeans, soaked for at least 6 hours

2 small cloves of garlic

½ tsp. of salt

½ tsp. of white pepper

Option: ½ tsp. of ground dried Thai chiles

Instructions

Soak the soybeans for at least 6 hours, then strain and rinse them.

Simmer them for another 3 hours, then strain them.

Wrap the beans in a banana leaf, cheesecloth, or some other wrapping that will allow them to slightly

breathe and let them sit for 2‐4 days to ferment.

Once they are fermented, pound them to a paste along with the garlic, salt, pepper, and optional

chiles.

Form them into thin palm‐sized cakes and let them sit until dried (or place them in a dehydrator for

about 6 hours).

The cakes are usually toasted or wrapped in a banana leaf and grilled before using them.

To use them, once they are toasted or grilled, pound them into powder.

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Kitchen Equipment

Pot

Colander

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Cloth or Banana Leaves

Mortar and Pestle

Presentation

Not applicable.

Time Management

The longer you let these ferment, the strong they become.

Generally, if I make these, I make a triple or quadruple batch.

Once dried, they last for months.

Complementary Food and Drinks

This is usually found in nam prik or strongly flavored sauces.

Where to Shop

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i added the pounded garlic, salt, and pepper

before the soybeans were done fermenting so

the flavors could better meld

All the ingredients are relatively common. Approximate cost per batch is about $1.00.

How It Works

The beans need to be very soft, enough that you can pound them into a smooth paste once they

ferment, which is why they soak and simmer for so long. The salt not only adds taste, but also helps

cure the cakes.

Chef’s Notes

This is not a recipe I expect most people to make, but I love seeing a few obscure items like these. I

think they give great insight into a region’s culinary culture. And basically, this is Thai tempeh.

Nutritional Facts (per cake)

Calories 196

Calories from Fat 36

Fat 4 g

Total Carbohydrates 16 g

Dietary Fiber 8 g

A Taste of Thai February 2013|178


Sugars 0 g

Protein 24 g

Salt 196 mg

Interesting Facts

Tua nao is a norther Thai, Burmese, and Laotian ingredient.

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A Taste of Thai February 2013|179


Fishless Sauce (nam pla, or rather not nam pla)

Type: Base Ingredient Serves: Makes 1 cup

Time to Prepare: about 25 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups of mushroom‐flavored soy sauce

4 cubes of fermented tofu

¼ cup of shredded wakame seaweed

2 cloves of garlic

Instructions

Puree the ingredients.

Simmer the sauce until it is reduced to half its original volume.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|180


Kitchen Equipment

Measuring Cup

Blender

Pot

Presentation

Not applicable.

Time Management

Once you are done with this, you can bottle it and keep it in the refrigerator for several months.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Use this as a one‐for‐one replacement in any recipe that calls for fish sauce.

Where to Shop

I can sometimes find mushroom‐flavored soy sauce at a conventional market, but sometimes I need

to head to an Asian market for it. Since I already need to go there to get the fermented tofu, I usually

just pick the soy sauce up with it. Approximate cost is about $3.00.

How It Works

Traditional fish sauce adds a salty, pungent, slightly fermented earthy flavor to Thai dishes and has a

certain stinkiness to it. To create a sauce reminiscent of it, mushroom soy sauce is used, which carries

some of the earthiness that fish sauce has and definitely the saltiness. The cooked garlic gives a bit

more of that pungency while the fermented tofu gives both the fermented flavor and that stinkiness

that fish sauce has. The seaweed does the obvious work of imparting an oceanic flavor to the finished

sauce. When you are making this, it should end up being very salty and strong in flavor.

Chef’s Notes

I started seeing recipes for a vegan version of fish sauce a couple of years ago, but none of them quite

had the stinky flavor that fish sauce has. I think the fermented tofu goes a long way to adding that

into the sauce.

Nutritional Facts (per batch)

Calories 253

Calories from Fat 45

Fat 5 g

Total Carbohydrates 34 g

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Dietary Fiber 6 g

Sugars 1 g

Protein 20 g

Salt 22,172 mg

Interesting Facts

Mushroom soy sauce is made by adding liquid from straw mushrooms at the end of the aging process

and then letting the sauce sit in a warm spot (traditionally under the sun) for about a day.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|182


Bryanna’s Low-fat Coconut Milk for Cooking

Type: Base Ingredient Serves: makes 2 ½ cups

Time to Prepare: 5 minutes

Ingredients

½ cup firm or extra‐firm silken tofu (you can use the reduced‐fat kind if you like)

2 cups Almond Breeze beverage, Original, or So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage, Original

¼ cup coconut flour (see brand information below)

Instructions

Mix in a blender until very smooth.

Refrigerate in a sealed jar.

Variations:

For "Coconut Cream" or Thick Coconut "Milk", use more silken tofu, and less milk.

For a thinner "coconut milk", omit the tofu and use 2 ½ cups milk.

Coconut Flour: Organic brands available in North America are: Swanson Organic; Let's Do Organic;

Aloha Nu; Tropical Traditions; Island Harvest; Bob's Red Mill; Wilderness Family Naturals. These are

available through amazon.com A Canadian Brand is Alpha Organic.

Kitchen Equipment

Blender

Measuring Cup

Chef’s Notes

Spice Island Vegan ( http://spiceislandvegan.blogspot.com/) and I had an online conversation about

low‐fat coconut milk. She had been craving South Asian dishes, but she was cooking low‐fat to lose

weight. I seldom use coconut milk because of the fat and the fact that there is so much saturated fat

in it.

Regular Taste of Thai coconut milk contains 420 calories and 45 g fat per cup! Taste of Thai Lite

coconut milk contains 135 calories per cup and 12 g fat, better, but still too much fat for me and Spice

Island Vegan. Unfortunately, we found no really good coconut flavoring, whether extract or oil,

natural or not. Some are downright nasty!

I came up with a replacement that Spice Island Vegan heartily approved of (and she was born in Java).

Both of us have been using it in East Indian, West Indian, Southeast Asian, and other dishes which call

for coconut milk. It is quickly made from easily available vegan ingredients, and is much cheaper AND

creamier than canned lite coconut milk. NOTE: If you pressure cook a dish with the mock coconut milk,

add the blended silken tofu just before serving.

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A Taste of Thai February 2013|183


And a cup of this recipe contains about 120 calories and only 1.5 g fat

Nutritional Facts (per cup)

Calories 120

Calories from Fat 14

Fat 1.5 g

Total Carbohydrates 24 g

Dietary Fiber 2 g

Sugars 6 g

Protein 2 g

Salt 13 mg

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A Taste of Thai February 2013|184


Pickled Limes

Type: Base Ingredient Serves: makes 1 large jar

Time to Prepare: A few minutes of work, but an hour to steam, up to a day to dry, and at least a

month to cure

Ingredients

12‐15 limes, preferably with thin supple skins

3‐4 cups of water (enough to cover the limes)

3 tbsp. of salt

1 cup of turbinado sugar

½ cup of white or apple cider vinegar

Instructions

Pierce each lime a few times with a fork.

Steam the limes for about 1 hour.

Allow the limes to thoroughly dry (you can place them in a dehydrator for an hour or so or simply let

them sit outside for a day).

Bring the water, salt, sugar, and vinegar to a boil.

Place the limes in your pickling jar and pour the solution over the limes, making sure they are

covered.

Wait until the solution cools before sealing the jar (so it doesn’t crack or explode!).

The limes need at least a month to properly cure and will continue to improve in flavor out to six

months.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|185


Kitchen Equipment

Fork

Steamer

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoon

Pot

Jar

Presentation

Not applicable.

Time Management

None to speak of.

Complementary Food and Drinks

These are sometimes simmered in soup broths to impart a strong sour flavor, but they shouldn’t be

simmered in the broth for more than about 5 minutes.

Where to Shop

All of these ingredients are commonly available.

How It Works

Piercing and then steaming the limes gets rid of quite a bit of the bitterness in the pith, but leaving

the sweetness and sourness of the limes intact. They then need to dry so that they fully absorb the

pickling solution, which has both salty and sweet flavors to accentuate and play with the sourness of

the limes. The water needs to be boiling so that it can rapidly saturate the limes.

Chef’s Notes

You can buy pickled limes, lemons, etc. at most Asian markets, but I think the process is beautiful and

having these on the counter at home gets me excited about using them.

Nutritional Facts (per lime)

Calories 32

Calories from Fat 0

Fat 0g

Total Carbohydrates 7 g

Dietary Fiber 2 g

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|186


Sugars 5 g

Protein 1 g

Salt ~ 100 mg

Interesting Facts

Preserved citrus, especially limes and lemons, are found throughout most cuisines in warm areas,

from Thailand to Morocco to Mexico.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|187


Toasted Rice Powder

Type: Base Ingredient Serves: makes 3 tbsp.

Time to Prepare: 10 minutes

Ingredients

¼ cup of brown jasmine rice

Instructions

Heat a dry wok or pan up to a medium heat.

Add the rice once it is warm and slowly stir.

Once the rice is mostly browned and emitting a strong nutty aroma, place the rice in a mortar and

pestle.

Twist the pestle to grind the rice until you have a coarse powder (or cheat and do this in a small food

processor!)

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|188


Kitchen Equipment

Wok

Measuring Cup

Stirring Spoon

Mortar and Pestle

Presentation

Not applicable.

Time Management

You can make a large batch and store this in a sealed jar in your pantry for a couple weeks, but I

wouldn’t store it much longer than that.

Complementary Food and Drinks

This often gets mixed into various laab.

Where to Shop

Even if you don’t have jasmine rice, you can still make toasted rice using whatever you have at hand. I

just prefer the jasmine rice because of the extra fragrance.

How It Works

Pretty simple. Toasting the rice browns it, partially caramelizing it, and gives it a nutty fragrance.

Chef’s Notes

When you find a Thai recipe that calls for toasted rice, don’t leave it out! It only takes a few minutes

to make and it heavily impacts the flavor of the dish.

Nutritional Facts (per batch)

Calories 169

Calories from Fat 9

Fat 1 g

Total Carbohydrates 36 g

Dietary Fiber 2 g

Sugars 0 g

Protein 4 g

Salt 3 mg

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|189


Interesting Facts

Toasted rice is used all throughout Asia and is even used to make a certain kind of Japanese tea.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|190


Basil Tea (nam manglak)

Type: Drink Serves: 3 (1 cup per serving)

Time to Prepare: 30 minutes

Ingredients

3 tbsp. of basil seeds

3 cups of water

6 rose petals

3 tbsp. of palm or turbinado sugar

Crushed ice

3 small cuts of mint for garnish

Instructions

Soak the seeds in ½ cup of water for 30 minutes.

While they are soaking, get the rest of the water just warm enough to melt the sugar and no more.

Add the rose petals and sugar to that water.

Stir to dissolve the sugar and keep the water warm while the basil seeds finish soaking.

Add the seeds and liquid to the sweet rose water.

Serve over crushed ice and garnish each glass with small cuts of mint.

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A Taste of Thai February 2013|191


Kitchen Equipment

Small Mixing Bowl

Pot

Stirring Spoon

Measuring Spoon

Measuring Cup

Scissors or Knife for the mint

Presentation

I usually garnish each cup with fresh rose petals after I pour the tea, but

culinary safe ones are not always easy to find.

Time Management

You can let the roses and sugar perfume the water for as long as you want, but don’t soak the seeds

longer than about an hour or they won’t taste quite as good.

Complementary Food and Drinks

This isn’t necessarily paired with other foods, but rather is paired with hot weather. It’s refreshing,

cold, and light.

Where to Shop

Most roses are heavily sprayed with pesticides, so don’t buy roses that are meant as gifts. Look for

culinary flowers (most likely found at gourmet stores), or simply mix rose water with filtered water

(one part rose water to four parts filtered water) to get the same flavor. You can find Thai basil seeds

at most Asian markets, or even your local nursery. Approximate cost per serving is $0.25.

How It Works

You are basically making rose water and heating it just enough to melt sugar in it. Bringing it to that

level of heat is enough to create a rose infusion, but not excessive enough to destroy the floral scent

of the roses. The basil seeds need to soak so that they soften.

Chef’s Notes

This drink looks odd on the surface, but it is incredibly delicious. Don’t let the basil seeds scare you

off. They provide lots of flavor!

Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 73

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|192


Calories from Fat 9

Fat 1 g

Total Carbohydrates 15 g

Dietary Fiber 2 g

Sugars 12 g

Protein 1 g

Salt 3 mg

Interesting Facts

This is also a popular Vietnamese and Indian drink, though they are sometimes made with milk,

cream, or coconut milk in different regions.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|193


Type: Drink Serves: 2

Time to Prepare: 10 minutes

Ingredients

3 tbsp. of dark roast ground coffee

4 cardamom pods

4‐6 coriander seeds

2 cups of water

3‐4 tbsp. of sugar

½ cup of coconut milk

Ice

Thai Iced Coffee (oliang)

Instructions

Combine the coffee with the cardamom pods and coriander seeds.

Brew the coffee strong.

Melt the sugar into the brewed coffee.

Allow it to cool for a few minutes.

Fill your glasses with ice, pour the coffee into the glass, followed by the coconut milk.

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A Taste of Thai February 2013|194


Kitchen Equipment

Measuring Spoon

Measuring Cup

Stirring Spoon

Coffee Brewer

Presentation

Serve this in a tall glass and make sure to fill it all the way up with ice.

This will chill the coffee quickly and float the coconut milk over the

coffee. The thicker the coconut milk, the better the float.

Time Management

Not applicable.

Complementary Food and Drinks

I usually drink this on its own between meals.

Where to Shop

All of these ingredients are easy to find. Approximate cost per serving is $1.50.

How It Works

The coffee needs to be dark and strong, creating a bitter component for the drink which is balanced

by the creaminess of the coconut milk. The cardamom gives the coffee a strong aromatic flavor and

the coriander gives it a touch of extra body. Make sure to melt the sugar into the hot coffee before

pouring it over ice!

Chef’s Notes

I love Thai iced coffee, but the traditional one is made with dairy. I think the coconut milk is far

superior.

Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 216

Calories from Fat 108

Fat 12 g

Total Carbohydrates 26 g

Dietary Fiber 0 g

Sugars 24 g

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A Taste of Thai February 2013|195


Protein 1 g

Salt 0 g

Interesting Facts

Thai iced coffee is often served in bags with straws by street vendors.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|196


Bananas in Sweet Coconut Milk (kluay buat chi) กล้วยบวชชี

Type: Dessert Serves: 2

Time to Prepare: 10 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup of thick coconut milk or ½ cup of coconut milk and ½ cup of coconut cream

1/3 cup of sugar

Large pinch of salt

2 burro bananas, cut into quarters

Option: a pandanus leaf

Instructions

Bring the coconut milk, sugar, and salt to a low simmer (add the optional pandanus leaf and remove

it once you are done simmering the dessert).

While it is simmering, peel the bananas.

Split each banana in half.

Cut each of these halves in half, in effect quartering the bananas.

Add them to the simmering coconut milk and simmer for about 5 minutes.

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Kitchen Equipment

Knife

Cutting Board

Pot

Measuring Cup

Stirring Spoon

Presentation

Serve this in a bowl and garnish each with a fresh pandanus leaf, if you have them.

Time Management

Don’t oversimmer the bananas. They should be soft, but not mushy and falling apart.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Coffee!

Where to Shop

All of these ingredients are available at most stores, though Mexican and Asian markets typically have

the best quality burro bananas. Pandanus leaves are usually only available dry and must be purchased

at an Asian market. Approximate cost per serving is $1.50.

How It Works

This dessert is simple. Bananas in a sweet and salty coconut milk. Burros are the bananas typically

used because they are both sweet and hearty. The pandanus leaf will give the coconut milk a slight,

low‐tone herbaceous note.

Chef’s Notes

This is one of the most well‐loved Thai desserts in the world. It doesn’t have any odd ingredients, it is

easy to make, and sweet and salty is usually an instant win for desserts.

Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 521

Calories from Fat 225

Fat 25 g

Total Carbohydrates 70 g

Dietary Fiber 4 g

Sugars 51 g

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Protein 4 g

Salt 262 mg

Interesting Facts

The name basically means bananas that have become nuns. The story is that the bananas are

enrobed entirely in white, just like a certain sect of Buddhist nuns. Hence the name.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|199


Grilled Pressed Bananas (klauy tap – กล้วยทับ)

Type: Dessert Serves: 4

Time to Prepare: 15‐20 minutes + time to heat the grill

Ingredients

4 very ripe burro bananas (you can use other bananas, but the burro is the most popular)

Spicy Shredded Coconut Topping

½ cup of shredded coconut

½ tsp. of coarse, flaky sea salt (you can substitute ¼ tsp. of fine grain salt)

2 dried Thai chiles, crushed into flakes

Coconut Caramel Topping

1 small cone of piloncillo or ¼ cup of turbinado sugar

½ cup of coconut milk (do not use light coconut milk or it will not work)

Large pinch of salt (just under ¼ tsp.)

Instructions

Grilling and Serving the Bananas

Place the bananas over the flame and grill them until their skins start to split.

Once that happens, slice the skins along the split, taking care not to cut the banana in half!

(doing this keeps the banana from steaming and becoming super mushy)

Return the bananas to the grill, grilling them on both sides until the skin has fully blackened.

Remove them from the grill.

Press the bananas until they are about ¼” to ½” thick.

Remove the topmost skin of the banana.

Choose one of the toppings, or both!

* If you choose the Spicy Shredded Coconut Topping, fold open the bananas along the splits

and sprinkle the topping on them (you scoop the banana out of the skin while you eat it).

* If you choose the Coconut Caramel Topping, splay open the bananas and drizzle the sauce

over them.

Spicy Shredded Coconut Topping

Crush the chiles, sifting out the seeds, and toss all the ingredients together.

Coconut Caramel Topping

Bring the coconut milk to a boil, then add the piloncillo and salt.

Immediately reduce the heat to a simmer.

Keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then simmer this until it is reduced to about 1/3

the original volume.

Allow it to cool and drizzle over the bananas.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|200


Kitchen Equipment

Grill

Tongs

Knife

Cutting Board

Small Mixing Bowl

Stirring Spoon

Measuring Cup

Small Pot

Presentation

Serve these directly in the skins. It’s got an

incredible street food appeal that way.

Time Management

I suggest making the coconut caramel sauce or the spicy shredded coconut topping while the grill

heats. That way, everything is ready to go and you can serve the bananas hot.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Serve this after a spicy peanut based curry.

Where to Shop

Burro bananas are small, thick bananas that have some weight to them. You can usually find these at

conventional markets, but they are most common at Mexican and Asian markets. The burro bananas

should have black splotches on the skin. If you use standard bananas, they should be yellow, but

without the black marks. Piloncillo is a cone of dark brown sugar. It has an unrefined, caramel taste.

Mexican markets typically carry these and they are often tucked away in Asian markets near all the

other sugars. It’s perfectly fine to substitute the more common turbinado sugar for it. If you can’t find

dried Thai chiles, use any spicy dried chile flakes. Approximate cost per serving is $0.75.

How It Works

Grilling the bananas not only softens them, but it partly caramelizes them and gives them a light

smoky flavor. Splitting the skins ensures that the bananas stay relatively tight and dense as it lets the

steam escape from them. This intensifies their flavor. The sauce is basically a caramel sauce made by

simmering sugar in fat and reducing the water content by simmering it so it thickens up. Bringing the

coconut milk to a boil first quickly changes the sugar, but you need to reduce the heat after it goes

into the coconut milk so that it doesn’t burn.

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Chef’s Notes

Grilled plantains and bananas are popular all across the world, but particularly with cultures that love

spicy food. Not only are bananas common in areas well‐suited to growing super spicy chiles, but the

sugar and starch from the bananas balances the heat of other dishes.

Nutritional Facts (uses shredded coconut topping)

Calories 199

Calories from Fat 27

Fat 3 g

Total Carbohydrates 41 g

Dietary Fiber 5 g

Sugars 23 g

Protein 2 g

Salt 363 mg

Interesting Facts

The banana “tree” is actually a huge stem.

Klauy tap specifically refers to grilled pressed bananas. Grilled unpressed bananas are called klauy

ping.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|202


Thai Black Sticky Coconut Rice with Mango (Kow Neuw

Moon)

Type: Dessert Serves: 4

Time to Prepare: 30 minutes of prep and cook time + time to soak and set (time varies according to

method used)

Ingredients

1 cup of black sticky rice (white sticky rice can be substituted)

2 tbsp. of sugar

¼ tsp. of salt

1 cup of coconut milk

1 mango, sliced

Instructions

Soak the rice for at least one hour, preferably overnight.

Drain away the excess water.

Steam the rice for 20 minutes.

Simmer the coconut milk, salt, and sugar.

Place the steamed rice in a bowl.

Pour over ¾ of the coconut milk mix over the rice and allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes, but

preferably overnight. *

Spoon the rest over the rice at serving time.

Slice the mango into long strips and serve alongside the rice.

* The rice will be soupy, but tasty if it only sits for a few minutes. If it sits overnight, it will form to the

container in which you place it. See presentation notes for details on different ways to serve it.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|203


Kitchen Equipment

Bowl to soak the rice

Steamer with a fine mesh or a rice cooker

Measuring Cup

Measuring Spoons

Knife or Mango Slicer

Cutting Board

Presentation

Traditionally, this rice would set in a small square container for at

least several hours. Those squares would then be served with a

couple slices of mango and a drizzle of sweetened coconut milk. The

easier way to serve it individually is to allow them to set in small

ramekins. Line the ramekins with plastic wrap. Smash the rice into the lined ramekins, evenly

distribute the coconut milk, and pour it into each ramekin. Allow the rice to sit in the ramekins for at

least twelve hours. Place a plate over the ramekin, flip it over, and remove the ramekin. You should

have a formed mound of the rice with the plastic wrap on top. Remove the plastic wrap, add sliced

mango to the side, and drizzle the rice dishes with the excess coconut milk. If you want to serve a

large bowl of this and allow everyone to serve themselves, place the rice in your serving bowl and

add in the coconut milk. Allow it to set for twelve hours. After it has set, ring the bowl with mango

slices. If you do not want to wait the whole time, you can serve this like a rice pudding. While it

won’t be formed nicely, it will still be incredibly good.

Time Management

Simmer the coconut milk and sugar while the rice is steaming. The rice will absorb the coconut milk

better if it is hot.

Complementary Food and Drinks

Lime complements the sweet coconut milk exceptionally well. Try an unsweetened lime tea, a

coconut lime spritzer, or simply add a wedge of lime to the side of the dessert.

Where to Shop

Black sticky rice is becoming more easy to find, though you may need to travel to an Asian market to

get it. It may also be called purple sticky rice or glutinous rice. If mangoes aren’t in season, Trader

Joe’s has decent frozen mango that you can use for this dessert. Approximate cost per serving is

$1.50.

How It Works

Soaking the rice softens the outer bran part of the rice, allowing it to more readily absorb the coconut

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milk. Steaming finishes off the cooking process as it treats the rice more delicately than boiling it

does, which retains its structure. The coconut milk then sets into the rice, which slowly absorbs it. A

touch of salt is added to the recipe as small amounts of salt enhance sweetness.

Chef’s Notes

While white rice will work, the black rice has a fragrance to it that adds a nice delicate touch to this

recipe, in addition to making it quite exotic looking. When working with the wet rice, be careful! It

will stain your hands and clothes purple. I suggest wearing a dark apron.

Nutritional Facts (individual servings in parentheses, does not include any options)

Calories 345

Calories from Fat 117

Fat 13 g

Total Carbohydrates 52 g

Dietary Fiber 3 g

Sugars 15 g

Protein 5 g

Salt 157 mg

Interesting Facts

Rice is an integral part of any Thai meal. Enough so that rice is sometimes treated like wine, with its

age and region determining its quality.

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Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

A Taste of Thai February 2013|205


Bryanna’s Thai-style Silken Tofu in Ginger Syrup

Type: Dessert Serves: 4

Time to Prepare: 25 minutes

Ingredients

One 12.3 oz. box of soft silken tofu OR soft tub tofu

Syrup

1 1/3 cups water

2/3 cup light‐colored organic granulated sugar (or palm sugar, if you can find it)

2 Tbs grated fresh ginger

Garnishes

Fresh mint

Organic candied ginger, slivered

Orange slices or Clementine segments

Instructions

Place the box of tofu in the refrigerator to chill several hours before serving.

Mix together the water, sugar and grated ginger in a small stainless steel pot.

Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

If you make this ahead of time, cover and set aside.

To serve, heat the syrup and then cut the box in half with a sharp knife and carefully slide out the two

blocks of tofu‐‐ try not to break it.

ALTERNATIVE: open the top of the box and slide the block of tofu into a bowl, or, if using soft tub

tofu, open the top; scoop the tofu out with a soup spoon and lay the scoops together in the bowls.

Slice each block into 6 slices.

In 4 small bowls, lay the slices overlapping in the bowls.

Pour the hot syrup evenly over the chilled tofu.

Garnish with the candied ginger and/or some fresh mint.

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Recipe by Bryanna Clark Grogan * www.bryannaclarkgrogan.com

A Taste of Thai February 2013|206


Kitchen Equipment

Four Small Bowls

Small Stainless Steel Pot

Knife

Cutting Board

Presentation

Line the ginger along the top for a nice, clean

presentation.

Chef’s Notes

This is my version of a very traditional (and medicinal) Thai dessert. It’s a very light dessert suitable

for ending a rich meal, or a comforting dish for anyone suffering from a cold or stomach ache.

Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 131

Calories from Fat 27

Fat 3 g

Total Carbohydrates 20 g

Dietary Fiber

Sugars 16 g

Protein 6 g

Salt 36 mg

The Vegan Culinary Experience – Education, Inspiration, Quality * www.veganculinaryexperience.com

Recipe by Bryanna Clark Grogan * www.bryannaclarkgrogan.com

A Taste of Thai February 2013|207


Thai Peanut Coconut Cake

Type: Dessert Serves: 9

Time to Prepare: 2 hours, including time for the cake to cool

Ingredients

The Cake

1/3 cup dry unsalted roasted peanuts

½ cup turbinado, raw or brown sugar

1/3 cup vegan butter, softened

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

½ cup full fat coconut milk

1 tsp white or apple cider vinegar

½ tsp vanilla

1 cup unbleached flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

The Icing

2 Tablespoons vegan butter, slightly softened

2 Tablespoons full fat coconut milk

2 Tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut

4 teaspoons turbinado, raw or brown sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

Half a lime

Ground peanuts for garnish

Instructions

Making the Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and oil and flour a 9x9 pan.

Grind the peanuts in a food processor until finely ground.

Add the peanuts to a large mixing bowl.

Add the sugar, vegan butter, and applesauce and mix with a wooden spoon or an electric

mixer until fluffy.

Add in the coconut milk, vinegar and vanilla and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and fold until just‐combined.

Spread the mixture into the pan.

Bake for 27‐30 min or until the center of the cake bounces back when pressed lightly.

Making the Icing

To make the icing, beat together the vegan butter, coconut milk, coconut, sugar and vanilla.

Squeeze the lime into the icing to taste and stir in.

Finishing the Cake

Dollop the icing on cooled slices of cake.

You can double the recipe if you want to make a spreadable icing.

Garnish with ground peanuts.

The Vegan Culinary Experience – Education, Inspiration, Quality * www.veganculinaryexperience.com

Recipe by Sharon Valencik, www.sweetutopia.com

A Taste of Thai February 2013|208


Kitchen Equipment

Large Mixing Bowls

Wooden Spoon

Food Processor

9” x 9” Pan

Presentation

Use an ice cream scoop to dollop the slices of

cake.

Time Management

Keep refrigerated until using. Keep leftover iced cake refrigerated. Cake can be stored covered at

room temperature if not iced.

Chef’s Notes

This rich, moist cake has a great peanut flavor mingled with a subtle taste of coconut.

Nutritional Facts (per serving)

Calories 392

Calories from Fat 252

Fat 28 g

Total Carbohydrates 29 g

Dietary Fiber 1 g

Sugars 8 g

Protein 6 g

Salt 13 mg

The Vegan Culinary Experience – Education, Inspiration, Quality * www.veganculinaryexperience.com

Recipe by Sharon Valencik, www.sweetutopia.com

A Taste of Thai February 2013|209

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