February 27, 2009

Seattle diary: amazing home-cooked Thai food

Thai fried noodles (guey toew pad thai)

All three of our sons are great cooks and we're always excited when we have a chance to sample their cooking. When the oldest decided to cook a Thai dinner during our Seattle visit, we couldn't wait to see what he would prepare. We weren't disappointed. He made Chinese broccoli, spicy long beans, pad thai, and potato curry. Our middle son helped out by grilling tofu and the rest of the leftover potatoes. I have the recipes for this unusual version of pad thai, the potato curry and the long beans. They are from the cookbook, "Gourmet Thai in Minutes," by Vatcharin Bhumichitr. (It's not a vegetarian cookbook but many of the recipes can be easily modified. The author also has a vegetarian cookbook called Thai Vegetarian Cooking that sounds really good.) The pad thai is lighter and fresher tasting than the more familiar version. Just ask and I'll send the recipes to to you. The recipes are very simple and fast but involve some ingredients available from Asian grocery stores, like kaffir lime leaves and long beans. I think you could substitute regular string beans for the long beans but I'm not sure about the kaffir lime leaves. I think it would be worth it to find this stuff because the recipes are great!

Spicy quick-fried long beans (pat prik king)

Potato curry (gaeng kari)

grilled tofu

Chinese broccoli

grilled potato slices

The night after our Thai extravaganza, we opted for something simple — a miso-based soup and a veggie stir fry. In addition to greens and mushrooms, the soup contains yuba. Yuba is made by skimming off the surface skin that forms on simmering soymilk and drying it. You can buy it in packages as sheets, or rolled into sticks. It requires soaking and then cooking but is very easy to prepare. We usually use the sticks (bean-curd sticks) and cook it in soup. It has a very chewy and satisfying texture and absorbs flavors well.

Miso soup with bean-curd sticks

stir-fried veggies

Be sure to visit CCK (also known as CCV) to win a case of Jocalat bars from Larabar. You have until March 19 to enter. Who wouldn't want a case of Jocalat bars?


  1. All the food looks really good.

    Is the grilled tofu recipe in the book too? If not how is it prepared?


  2. What a feast! I love how fresh and wonderful Thai food can be when prepared at home!

    Congrats on the FFF feature today!

  3. Matt,
    The tofu isn't in the Thai cookbook, but here are the (somewhat vague) directions. Made a marinade with lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, oil and lemongrass. Marinate the tofu slices a couple hours in the fridge, if possible. Then grill it and brush it with the marinade whenever you turn it. The tofu was cooked outside on a gas grill.

    I do have the recipes for the pad thai,long beans and potato curry.

    Thanks! I agree with you completely about Thai food prepared at home.

  4. Yes! Please! I would LOVE those recipes. They look delicious. Thanks! Claire

  5. Okay, Claire, the recipes are on their way.

  6. Grilled potatoes, fascinating. It alll looks so good, and I love Thai food! I have a copy of Buddha's Table waiting here on my desk to try, and it is apparently a vegetarian Thai cookbook, I'll report on how it is!

  7. Alisa,
    I'll have to look up that cookbook. The grilled potatoes aren't Thai, of course. They were left over from the potatoes that were used to make the curry, and my son decided he might as well grill them with the tofu. They were so good it makes me want to get a grill. They were really good cold the next day.

  8. Awesome! Makes me wish I had offspring to cook me stuff like this. I suppose you had to invest at least a tiny bit of work in raising them though...:-)

  9. Thanks for the link! I've entered you!

  10. Oh Andrea...I've been looking for pad thai recipe...can u pass the recipe to me please? Looks delicious! Thank you. Roni

  11. Roni,
    I emailed the recipe. Enjoy!

  12. Thanks.

    I would also like to request the recipes if isn't too much trouble.


  13. Matt, It's no trouble at all to send the recipes, but I need an email address. You can send it in a post (I won't publish it) or send it to cookeasyvegan@gmail.com

  14. This looks really tasty. Thanks for sharing your cooking ideas.


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