VDP: Braised Vegetables and Tofu, Thai Style

Thursday, February 7, 2008

This Thai-inspired dish is based on a “Quick Braised Vegetables, Thai Style” from Mark Bittman’s “How To Cook Everything Vegetarian“. It is not an exact replica because I did change a few things, some due to availability and some to make it more to my taste. The dish should include eggplant, but I could not find any decent ones. So, eggplant was axed out and instead I got some good soft tofu (Banyan Foods  brand, made here in Houston). The other vegetables are green zucchini and yellow squash in addition to onions and other aromatics.

The recipe is pretty easy, I first sautéed the onions and added some kefir lime leaves and garlic. Next goes in the rest of the veggies and are cooked till almost done. I added a can of Thai coconut milk to the mix and some lime juice, fermented yellow beans, Kecap Manis (a sweet thick soy sauce) and cilantro. After this cooks and thickens for a while -well, a while is about 10 minutes- I toss in the tofu, some fish sauce and corrected the seasoning. That’s it.

Steamed sticky (glutinous) rice is one of our favorite accompaniments to Southeast Asian meals. It does have to be soaked in water for preferably a few hours. I usually soak it in the morning before work. By the time I get back I drain it and steam it in the steamer basket of my pasta pot. I just pile it in the basket and never loose more than a few grain through the holes. It steams for about 30 minutes to cook through. It works so good with stuff like curries, because it soaks up the sauce very well and has a nice nutty taste and an awesome toothsome texture that really stands up to strong flavors.

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