Tag Archives: thai

Cooking Club: Amy B.’s Steamed Dumplings

This was Amy B.’s first time at Cooking Club and she nailed it! The the crazy amount of food we had that night, it was the perfect introduction for Amy, who brought along her adorable daughter, Penny (who ate tons of noodles), and her friend, Robyn, who was passing through town.

These steamed dumplings were so ridiculously good. Asian restaurants around these parts are severely lacking in veg dumplings/potstickers. Seems they always have pork in them… Anyway, Amy said she was just winging it when she put this stuff together, so I imagine there’s some room for creativity here, whether you’re veg or eat meat. They were beautiful and delicious!

• tofu, cut into small pieces and marinated for 1 day in sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, canola oil, minced garlic, ginger, and a few squirts of sriracha
• 1/4   package of thin rice noodle (like vermacelli)
• 1   lg. carrot, shredded
• 1   sm. broccoli head, shredded
• 1/4  head of cabbage, thinly sliced
• 1  lg garlic clove, minced
• 1  pkg mixed mushrooms
• 1  Tbsp. grated ginger
• 3  scallions, sliced
• 1/4  jar hoisin sauce,or more to taste (make sure you get one you know is good)
• 1  package of wonton wrappers

1. Chop, shred, mince, etc all veggies and set aside.

2. Heat up a few tablespoons of canola oil, in wok or large pan and stir fry tofu until slightly browned; set aside on paper towel.

3. In same pan add extra oil, if needed, and stir fry carrots, broccoli, cabbage, mushrooms, scallions, garlic and ginger until slightly soft (can add a bit of soy and rice vinegar to soften). Add noodles and hoisin sauce. mix until combined. taste to see if it needs more hoisin, soy or rice vinegar. Set aside to cool.

4. Assemble dumplings on cutting board. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of wrapper. Wet finger with water and wet 2 sides (one corner) of wrapper. Fold wrapper diagonally and pinch sides so the dumpling is sealed; set aside on plate or tray lined with parchment.

5. In bamboo steamer or steaming rack, line with lettuce, bok choy, or any green you like! Place dumplings on greens and steam until wonton is transparent. You could also boil the dumplings or fry them. Top with sliced scallions to garnish!

Dipping Sauce:
• soy sauce
• chili garlic sauce
• chinese-style hot mustard
• rice vinegar

Start with soy sauce as base. add rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce, and mustard to taste.


Cooking Club: Fresh Rolls, Spring Rolls and Dipping Sauces

Michelle made some delicious baked spring rolls and I provided ingredients for everyone to make their own fresh rolls, so I decided to do them in one post, along with Karen’s yummy dipping sauces.

Up first, the fresh rolls, since basically you can put whatever you want out and let everyone make their own!

You need to buy some rice paper sheets, which people dunk into a plate of water until soft, then they can fill with whatever veggies and herbs you have on hand and roll them up. I always make big fat ones with too much filling for myself. If you were to make them to serve to others in a more elegant way, you could make them thinner and cut them into slices.

I put out sliced green onions, glass noodles (other Asian noodles work great too), mung bean sprouts, carrots, cilantro and sliced cucumbers. Tofu also would be good here, especially if you’re making thinner ones because it could stick together better when sliced.

And now, onto Michelle’s spring rolls! These were GOOOOOD. And baked no less! I try not to order stuff like this out too often because, let’s face it, fried crap is bad for you. But these are baked and homemade and oh, so good. Michelle said she got these from her friend and adapted them to include veggies she had on hand. I imagine you can get pretty creative with these and include whatever you like! (The spring rolls are in the bottom right corner in the white dish).

• 1 c. broccoli
• 1 c. carrots
• 2 c. cabbage
• 1 c. snow peas
• 8 to 10 shallots
• 1 c. mushrooms
• fresh ginger
• 2-3 Tbsp. canola or veg oil
• 2-3 tsp. sesame oil
• 2-3 tsp. soy sauce
• 2 tsp. sugar
• salt and white pepper to taste
• eggroll wrappers (one pkg)
• bowl of water

1. Cut up all veggies into small pieces (thinly sliced).  In large pan or wok heat up canola oil and add mushrooms and ginger.  After a minute, add rest of veggies.  Cook for 2-3 min.  Add sesame oil, soy sauce, vegan sugar, salt and pepper.  Cook another 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.

2. Take an eggroll wrapper, use fingers to moisten the edge with water, lay the wrapper in a diamond shape and place veg mixture in middle.  Fold up bottom, sides and then roll up to the top (use enough water to seal).

3. Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes (until nicely browned I imagine) or I’m sure you could also steam or fry.

And now for Karen’s delicious dipping sauces! Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures of all three sauces, but I did take a photo of my own fresh roll and the two sauces I used with it — the peanut sauce and garlic sauce. Here are her recipes for those two and the ginger lime!

Sweet Garlic
• 4 Tbsp. sugar
• 1/4 c. soy sauce
• 1 c. broth
• 2 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed
with 1/4 c. cold water
• 1 clove of garlic crushed
with 1/4 tsp. salt
Heat sugar, soy sauce and
broth to boiling, lower
heat and add cornstarch/water mixture,
stirring at a simmer until thick.
Stir in garlic/salt.  serve warm or cool.
Peanut                                                                 Ginger Lime
• 2 Tbsp. minced garlic                                                  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
• 1/4 c. hot water                                                             • 1 Tbsp. vegetarian oyster sauce
• 1/2 c. peanut butter                                                      • 1 Tbsp. water
• 2 T soy sauce                                                                  • 1 Tbsp. chile paste with garlic
• 4 T rice vinegar                                                              • 1 tsp. sugar
• 2 Tbsp. sweet white miso                                           • 2 tsp. grated ginger
• 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes                                           • 2 cloves minced garlic
Mix everything together!                                               Mix everything together!

Cooking Club: Spicy Sweet Thai Cucumber Salad

I had a bunch of cucumbers from my favorite fruit and veg stand in Milford on hand when it came time for our Asian-themed cooking club in July, so I decided to make some cucumber salad. My squeeze doesn’t like cucumbers, so I never order this when we get Thai food for some reason (even though I could easily finish it off myself!)

I did a random Internet search and picked a basic recipe I found. I’m not sure where I found it — it wasn’t on anyone’s blog or anything, otherwise I would have given them credit!  It’s a pretty simple recipe. Next time I might include very thinly sliced red onion as well.

• 2 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced
• 4 Tbsp. kosher or sea salt
• 1/2 c. rice vinegar
• 1/4 c. water
• 3 Tbsp. sugar
• 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
• 1/4 cup peanuts, finely chopped
• Scallions for garnish

1. Place the cucumber slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt. The salt will draw out water from the cucumbers, so let them drain for about 30 minutes. Rinse slices; drain again.

2. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, and red pepper. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Cool.

3. In a medium bowl, combine drained cucumber slices with vinegar mixture. Chill before serving. Garnish with chopped peanuts and scallions.

Indian Pot Pie

This is one of the few original recipes I think I’ve ever posted to I Eat Veg! Of course, it happened by chance, as most of my creations happen on the fly.

When I first moved to Metro Detroit, I wasn’t very familiar with the restaurants in the area and had a tough time finding a good samosa. I lived in Lansing for close to a decade and, during that time, LOVED the samosas at Aladdin’s in Frandor. Then I moved on to Wisconsin, Chicago and eventually Detroit, going years without having one at all, I think.

I got a hankering for them one day and decided to make my own, using the following recipe but trying to stuff it into cannister rolls (like Pillsbury biscuits, etc.) and they were just OK. A few weeks later some friends in town from L.A. were coming over for dinner and, unexpectedly, they were in the neighborhood and ready to come over just seconds after we returned from a movie — totally unprepared to feed people!

As D, S and A enjoyed a cocktail, I was rushing around trying to get dinner ready and the filling was spilling out of the little biscuit pockets I made and I decided — forget it! I have pie crusts in the refrigerator (don’t tell my mom I now make a habit out of using store-bought pie crust — but not for pies!). SO, I decided to make a giant samosa, so-to-speak. I did a post on what I then dubbed Indian Pot Pie a while back, but thought it deserved a re-post since it’s been a long time.

This is definitely the new comfort food.  And better yet, there is no measuring and only a handful of ingredients. It’s pretty hard to mess it up! This recipe easily makes 4-6 entree servings and costs less than $10 to make!

Preheat oven to 425

• 5-10 redskin potatoes, depending on the size
• 1 14.5 oz. can coconut milk
• olive oil
• 1/2 of one envelope Taste of Thai yellow curry paste (or 4 tsp. any yellow curry paste)
• medium white onion, chopped/diced
• frozen peas
• 2 pie crusts (store-bought or homemade – I usually go with this, which comes in a 2-pack and costs about $3)

1. Dice potatoes. I usually end up using roughly six potatoes — some small, some medium redskins — and cut them pretty small so they will cook faster. Heat oil in a pan and cook with onions until the potatoes are sticking so much it’s annoying (it’s science).

2. Shake can of coconut milk well and add, using it to deglaze the pan (i.e. scrape up the bits of potato that stuck to the bottom).

3. Add curry paste and whisk or stir in until it is well blended in the coconut milk. If you are using the packet of Taste of Thai curry paste, remove plastic packet and smooth out, laying flat. Cut in half with a knife or kitchen scissors, so you get exactly half. You can always add more or less, but after trying a few different amounts, I’ve found this to be a good, flavorful amount. If you don’t have paste and just have yellow curry powder, you can wing it. That’s what we did when we tried to create this dish for our friend in Nicaragua, but didn’t have all of the ingredients.

4. Cook this over medium heat for a while (maybe 5-10 minutes) until it cooks down to a consistency that isn’t watery and has just a nice, thick sauce — and not a ton of it! If you don’t cook it down to where it’s thick, the end result can be kind of runny.

5. Add frozen peas after it cooks down for a bit. Add as much as you want — I imagine I end up putting in 1-2 cups. I just play it by ear, adding the frozen peas until the ratio looks about right (again, it’s science).

6. Take 8×8 glass dish and place one crust in it, so it sits pretty evenly. Though I don’t think it’s necessary, I sometimes spray the dish first with non-stick spray to be safe. Spoon or pour filling into pie crust. Somehow, miraculously, it almost always ends up filling the dish up perfectly.

7. Place the second crust on top and squish the two together, sealing it as best you can. Somehow I always poke a hole in the top crust somewhere, but it never matters.

8. Bake according to the directions on the pie crust box — the inside already is cooked (or should be at this point) so you really just want to bake the crust. SO, bake for whatever time is on the crust box (20 minutes?) or until nicely browned. Allow to cool for a while because it will be molten inside. Spoon out and enjoy! I’m sure this would be good with some kind of chutney too, but I haven’t tried since I failed at making chutney with this dish a couple of years ago (the aforementioned original post of this recipe).

This recipe is super easy and fast and just plain delicious! I always forget how much I love it until I have it in front of me. I imagine this is one of those recipes you could easily freeze and thaw later too!

Thai Tofu with Basil

Generally speaking, I have pretty long days (but don’t we all?). My kryptonite is the half-hour drive home from work. Somewhere around…Southfield, I can barely keep my eyes open and fantasize about crawling straight into bed, without a proper dinner, or any phone calls, and without touching my computer. I can’t think of a time when this actually has happened.

Tonight being no different, I ate out of a container of potato salad (that recipe to come — my new favorite) and kind of gave up on making dinner. I knew I should make something out of the refrigerator currently packed with ingredients, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. Finally I gave in to my squeeze’s pleas to allow him to pick up some food for me — and the restaurant was closed. Of course.

So, I dragged myself into the kitchen and started pulling things out of the refrigerator. After hosting a baby shower and making a big dinner-sized lunch on Father’s Day, there literally is no room in there. When I came upon the giant container of basil (that I got from Trader Joe’s for $2.99 — a small victory after two dead basil plants so far this year!) I knew there was some sort of basil stir fry out there in the world and I decided to investigate.

HERE is the recipe I found.

Here is how I adapted it:

• 1 14.5 oz can coconut milk
• 3 Tbsp. vegetarian fish/oyster sauce
• 6 Tbsp. rice vinegar
• 6 Tbsp. soy sauce
• 1-2 tsp. red curry paste – the recipe in no way calls for this, but I decided I wanted to add some
•  in lieu of crushed red pepper flakes, I put in some red pepper powder and a good squeeze of sriracha
• 1 pkg.  firm tofu (of course I used my new favorite)
• diced onion
• 1 Tbsp. oil (olive or, in my case, some ginger oil and some basil oil)
• 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
• random chopped veggies: I used some asparagus, peppers and broccoli
• a handful of chopped mushrooms (I had baby bellas)
• fresh basil (I’d say I had about 1 -2 cups whole leaves and tore some when I tossed them in)

1. In a bowl, mix coconut milk, vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce and red pepper.

2. Over medium high heat, cook onion, fresh grated ginger (if you have it — I didn’t so that’s why I used some ginger oil instead of olive oil) and garlic for  a few minutes until it starts to brown.

3. Next I added the tofu and one-by-one added the broccoli, asparagus and peppers. Saute for a few minutes until cooked through.

4. Add sauce and continue cooking until it reduces by 1/3 and thickens up a little. At this point I added the baggie of spinach I had on hand too.

5. When sauce seems reduced enough (The picture to the right shows how much I reduced it), add chopped mushrooms and basil, then cook 1-2 minutes until heated through.

6. I served over brown rice.

I’m pretty happy with the results! I am notorious for trying to make D try things I make, sticking food-filled forks in his face, even though I know he only likes to eat during meals. Apparently the delicious smells were too much for him, so he came over to investigate, had a couple of bites and asked me to make it again sometime. So, I’d say it’s a success!

OK, now I have to go find the 3 leftover mini cheesecakes from yesterday…