Posts Tagged ‘Asian’

  1. tofu pad thai from Vegetarian Times

    October 3, 2014 by Angie

    For dinner Monday night, I made pad thai for the first time. There are so many recipes for vegetarian pad thai online but this one from Vegetarian Times came highly recommended so I decided to start here.

    bowl of tofu pad thai

    My changes were frying an entire block of tofu (cut into bite-sized pieces) separately in peanut oil and the addition of small (unmeasured, sorry) amounts of vegetable broth, hoisin sauce, and crushed red pepper flakes to the sauce situation. This recipe called for diced tomatoes but most of the others I looked at did not. I don’t think they went well with the other flavors in this dish so I’ll definitely leave the tomatoes out in any future renditions. I will also add more veggies. I know it’s a noodle dish, but if we go through the trouble of buying, cleaning, and chopping a bunch of produce, I want to eat a bunch of sauce-laden produce. The verdict is it was awesome. I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day and those were also awesome. I think I can improve on it though. The next time I decide that it’s somehow okay to eat two thirds of a box of rice noodles in fewer than 24 hours, I will experiment further and report back.

    tofu pad thai


  2. tofu with Thai coconut SunButter sauce

    July 24, 2014 by Angie

    I have always been curious about the peanut butter based sauces at Thai restaurants but could never eat them because anaphylaxis. I stumbled across a recipe on Vegangela’s site for tofu with Thai coconut peanut sauce. It looked simple enough and I had most of the ingredients already, including a really awesome thing called SunButter. SunButter is sunflower seed butter that I’m told is very similar to peanut butter in taste and texture. It can be subbed 1 for 1 for peanut butter in any recipe, according to the jar, so that’s what I did.

    tofu and sauce closeup

    Verdict: The tofu was phenomenal. I will definitely cook with coconut oil in the future to get that authentic Thai flavor. The coconut “peanut” butter sauce was good but very rich. I dropped small dollops around my dish of tofu and veggies and that was plenty. It does have a lot of fat in it so that explains the decadence. Even though Robbie and I both liked it, I probably won’t make the sauce again due to the high fat content/overly rich flavor. I’m glad I now kinda know what I was missing!

    stir-fried tofu and veggies with Thai coconut SunButter sauce


  3. stir-fried tofu with scallions, garlic, ginger, & soy sauce

    July 23, 2014 by Angie

    For dinner last night I made Kalyn’s Kitchen’s adaptation of a Mark Bittman (VB6 inventor) recipe for stir-fried tofu with scallions, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Robbie went on and on about how good it was, and I didn’t stop him ūüôā I have to agre: it was really, really good. This was the third time I made this but I didn’t get it totally right until last night.

    stir frying the tofu

    I think the trick is not to get the pan too hot before adding the oil then the first ingredients. I’m pretty sure that’s what the instructions say to do but I burned the garlic and ginger the first two times. This time I got all of the ingredients ready to go, got the pan warm, added the peanut oil, then threw in the garlic, ginger, tofu cubes, and white parts of the scallions. It worked out perfectly.

    stir-fried tofu with scallions, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce

    I had some leftover saut√©ed Brussels sprouts on the side and Robbie had two pieces of toast. If you don’t make an elaborate side, this main dish makes for a quick and delicious weeknight dinner.


  4. Korean BBQ satay

    May 23, 2014 by Angie

    I got a rad e-cookbook called Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen by Joni Marie Newman. I immediately needed to make this Korean BBQ satay. I changed things up a little and skipped the kabob situation because I grilled them inside on a pan so it seemed unnecessary. The homemade BBQ sauce is the star of this show. Lucky for me, the recipe makes enough sauce to cook this up twice.

    Korean BBQ satay

    Adapted from Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen by Joni Marie Newman

    Ingredients for the Korean BBQ sauce
    Yields 2 1/2 cups of sauce

    3 tbsp soy sauce
    2 tbsp sesame oil
    2 tbsp rice vinegar
    1 1/2 tbsp agave nectar
    1/2 tsp ginger
    1/2 tsp onion powder
    1 tbsp minced garlic (let’s be honest, I probably put closer to 2 tbsps in there)
    1 10 oz jar of roasted red peppers (you will have some left over)
    1 tbsp red pepper flakes
    1 cup of water

    Ingredients for the satay

    1 container of (extra) firm tofu
    1 cup of the Korean BBQ sauce

    Directions

    1. The tofu has to marinate in one cup of the Korean BBQ sauce overnight so the night before you want to eat this spicy, flavorful goodness, follow steps 1-3. Press and drain one block of tofu while you’re making the sauce. (I place the tofu on a plate on top of two paper towels, put two more and another plate on top, then put a heavy glass bowl on top of that. It makes a watery mess but I place it on top of the range so it’s not hard to deal with and doesn’t leak onto the cabinets and floor.)

    2. To make the sauce, combine the ingredients from soy sauce to minced garlic in a blender, food processor, or the measuring cup that comes with an immersion blender. I chose the measuring cup/immersion blender option which is nice because you can see how much sauce you have as you’re making it and it’s the easiest to clean up. I put those ingredients in the measuring cup and blended briefly. I then added pieces of roasted red peppers from the jar in stages – blending, checking the measurement, adding more, blending, checking again – until I had a fully blended 1 1/2 cups of sauce. Then I added the red pepper flakes and stirred with a spoon. I measured out one cup of water in a different measuring cup and poured it into the sauce. Stir or blend a little more so that the water is fully incorporated into the sauce.

    2. Pour all but one cup of the sauce into an airtight container and save it for later. The cookbook author said it will last up to two weeks this way. I used leftover sauce one week later and it was just as good.

    3. Cut the tofu in half and then into thin strips, about 3/4 inch wide. I got 12 strips out of my tofu. Place the tofu in another airtight container and cover in the one cup of reserved Korean BBQ sauce. Store in the refrigerator until dinner tomorrow.

    4. On THE BIG DAY, heat a grill pan on medium heat. Place the tofu strips on the grill. Leave them until they have nice grill marks then flip to the other side and do the same. Mine were thick enough that I could actually stand them on their sides so I ended up grilling them on four sides.

    Korean BBQ satay on the new grill pan

    Cooking up the tofu in my new nonstick grill pan

    5. Serve the tofu with a side of something tasty, like asparagus.

    I’m sure there are other great uses for the extra BBQ sauce but I haven’t used it for anything else yet. It could be a good spicy dipping sauce for something.


  5. Siesta Key, FL

    May 15, 2014 by Angie

    This past weekend we took a mini-vacation to Siesta Key, FL. We knew that it’s been voted Best Beach in the U.S., in the World, in Creation, etc., BUT we didn’t know that it’s where Florida keeps it’s very drunk retired people. We learned this quickly.

    But first things first. We stayed at Sara Sea Beach Resort which is a part of the Tropical Beach Resorts. It’s a small resort with a gorgeous, white sand, private beach, a pool, a volleyball court, a shuffleboard court, and beautiful grounds with lots of places to lounge and grill. The resort also boasts a lot of free things including Wi-Fi, towel and chair rentals, DVD library, coffee, pink lemonade, cookies, and maid service (which, believe it or not, is hard to find on Siesta Key). We got the smallest queen bed room and, even though we weren’t in there very long, it was small. Tiny as it was, it did have everything we needed with a fully equipped (hair dryer, Aveda products) bathroom and a real kitchen with an almost normal-sized fridge, stove, microwave, and dishes and utensils. Here are some photos of our home away from home last weekend.

    Sara Sea Queen Hideaway

    Sara Sea Queen Hideaway was the name of our room size/style

    Sara Sea Beach Resort Kitchen

    A real kitchen! We only used the fridge, cups, and ice bucket but it’s nice to have the option to cook during a longer stay.

    Sara Sea pool

    The pool.

    Walkway to the private beach

    The walkway to the private Siesta Key beach.

    Siesta Key private beach at sunset

    The beach is, of course, the reason to visit Siesta Key. The water is calm, the sand is powdery white and goes on and on, and the water is clear.

    Siesta Key beach

    Ahhhhh.

    pretty ocean

    Wonderful.

    After checking in, we went to happy hour at Flavio’s Brick Oven and Bar. The pizza was pretty delicious but the drinks and atmosphere were ehhh. The happy hour pizza and drink prices can’t be beat, however. We stopped by a main drinking attraction, the Daiquiri Deck, before heading back to the resort. They basically serve adult Slurpees which isn’t really our style but we had to see it. We had a good time drinking Cigar City Jai Alai IPA and cherry vodka and soda, respectively, while listening to the cover band.

    Daiquiri Deck

    Daiquiri Deck’s array of adult Slurpees

    After dropping off the car and trying a dolphin statue:

    Robbie trying a dolphin statue

    we walked across the street to check out the walking distance establishments. We stopped in at the Crescent Beach Grocery and looked at all the amazing cheese we were too full to eat. We then walked to the Captain Curt’s Crab & Oyster Bar triumvirate of establishments, stopping first at Sniki Tiki. It’s a “where everybody knows your name” kind of establishment. We had a really good and really big plate of homemade potato chips with chipotle sauce and some drinks. The bartender was quite awesome. The locals were…old and…colorful but we had a good time. After that we walked over to the karaoke portion and closed out the night there. Some of the singers were really good, like, realllllyyy good. There was a fluorescent wig-wearing group of women with older gentlemen who danced and kept things very entertaining.

    On Saturday morning, we went to brunch. We ate at  Village Cafe where we both had veggie omelets with home fries and toast. We actually meant to go to Sun Garden Cafe but we saw Village Cafe and got confused and went in. We were seated right away and the food and service were good. I would accidentally go there again.

    After brunch, we got ready for the beach by filling our reusable water bottles with boozy drinks. Alcohol is permitted on that beach as long as it’s not in a glass container. The beach was so pretty and relaxing. It was too cold to get all the way in the ocean so we swam in the pool after.

    For dinner we went to Veg, just over the little bridge from our resort. I didn’t know there was a mostly vegetarian restaurant nearby so this was a very pleasant surprise. Veg has a large, almost entirely vegan menu except for some seafood dishes. Kinda weird, I know, but I guess when you’re right by the ocean you get really into seafood, I dunno. Everything we got was incredibly good. We had the cashew “cheese” p√Ęt√©¬†for our appetizer. I failed to get a photo of this. They tried with the presentation but it still looked kinda like cat food, but, trust me, it was so tasty. Robbie got the seitan brisket and I got the Shabu Shabu which is fake chicken, vegetables, Ponzu sauce, and rice noodles. They also have beer, wine, and housemade sangria, so that’s cool. I would definitely eat here again if we’re ever back in that area.

    Shabu Shabu at Veg

    My Shabu Shabu at Veg

    Seitan Brisket at Veg

    Robbie’s seitan brisket with a sweet potato and veggies

    After dinner, we drove back over to the area with a lot of bars and restaurants and walked around some. We stopped in at Blu Que Island Grill for a round. The same cover band we saw at Daiquiri Deck the night before was playing there. We were so full from Veg which was a little bit of a tragedy because the guy at the table next to us was eating nachos that looked phenomenal. Our bartender was a bit of a character and looked exactly like The Stranger from The Big Lebowski. I tried to discreetly photograph him but this profile shot is the best I could do.

    The Stranger/Bartender

    “Now this here story I’m about to unfold took place back in the early ’90s – just about the time of our conflict with Sad’m and the I-raqis.”

    We ended our evening and vacation sharing a bottle of champagne on the lawn outside on the resort grounds. It was a great trip. A few too many very drunk, very old people but the beach, the resort, and the food at Veg are worth making a return visit.

    champagne on the lawn

    Pray that all their pain be champagne


  6. vegan seitan fried rice

    September 19, 2013 by Angie

    Last night I surprised (or tried to anyway) Robbie with one of his favorites: Chinese style fried rice. I read through a ton of fried rice recipes and techniques online. There seems to be a universal agreement on the need for cold, leftover rice. I’ve been wanting to try to make seitan again and came across¬†this great seitan recipe¬†on reddit.com for use in fried rice. The recipe calls for making the seitan then marinating it in a broth in the fridge overnight.¬†Because I had to make the rice and seitan the day before, Robbie had his suspicions about what dinner was going to be but he let me pretend I was surprising him at least.

    Pan full of Seitan Fried Rice

    Here is everything all mixed together at the end right before serving. I followed the seitan recipe exactly until the glaze part which I skipped altogether. I didn’t use their same day rice method and kinda did a mix of what I’d learned from the recipes I read as far as making the final dish.

    Bowl of Seitan Fried Rice

    Instead of the glaze method, I sauteed thin slices of seitan in vegetable oil in a skillet. Everything else was cooked together, added in stages to a deep pan on medium heat coated with two tablespoons of sesame oil.¬†I chopped up carrots, bok choy, and green onion into very small pieces. I added the carrots and the white parts of the bok choy and green onion to the pan first and cooked that for a few minutes. Then I threw in the rest of the green onion, half a cup of frozen peas, and about a tablespoon of minced garlic. After that cooked for a few minutes I added the leafy part of the bok choy. Next, I added the rice, another tablespoon of sesame oil, and four tablespoons of soy sauce to the vegetable mixture. I made one and half cups of white rice (that’s the amount before cooking) and used most of it. I found that crumbling it in my hands before adding it the pan really helped eliminate the clumping problem and got things distributed evenly. Once the rice was broken up, warmed, and infiltrated by the veggies, I added the seitan to that pan and stirred.

    Seitan Fried Rice and wine

    I can’t believe I made it this far into the post before telling you that it was so good! Robbie liked it a lot. I asked him for his constructive criticism as a fried rice aficionado and we decided that next time I’ll increase the veggies to rice ratio and add some bean sprouts. We both added a little soy sauce to our own servings but I think it works out best that way.


  7. Thai black pepper & garlic tofu

    July 15, 2013 by Angie

    I’ve been trying harder at doing the low-glycemic, low-carb. low-fat, South Beach Diet thing. I made this healthy dish from FatFree Vegan Kitchen for dinner Saturday night. It’s Thai black pepper & garlic tofu. We really enjoyed it.

    thai black pepper & garlic tofu

    I like her way of cooking the tofu. I’ve made a million stir fries with tofu over the years but I always cook the tofu in Smart Balance oil in a pan. Her instructions allow you to cook the tofu without any oil by baking it on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. The parchment paper means you don’t have to clean another pan – extra bonus! We are not mushroom fans so I used two small yellow squash and a zucchini instead. I also substituted spinach for the kale. It’s a keeper!

    tofu & veggies


  8. tofu & cashew stir fry

    January 11, 2013 by Angie

    For dinner tonight I made a very tasty Asian dish from Vegan Junk Food:225 Sinful Snacks that are Good for the Soul, a book by Lane Gold that I got for free for my Kindle app. You can see a copy of the recipe here. I made the following changes: skipped the noodles and cut the brown sugar in half in an attempt to be healthy, used a small sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes instead of a red chili pepper because we can’t handle spicy stuff, skimped a little on the grated ginger since Robbie isn’t a big fan, and added two zucchini because zucchini is awesome.

    tofu and cashew stir fry

    Robbie and I both really enjoyed it. The sauce tastes a lot like the sauce on the stir-fry veggies we get as a side with the gigantic vegetarian hummus wrap at¬†Prime Bar,¬†but better because there’s tofu and it’s not make-your-nose-run spicy. 10/10 would make again!

    two bowls of tofu

     


  9. bourbon tofu

    January 3, 2013 by Angie

    I’ve been a vegetarian for over a decade now but back when I used to eat chicken I LOVED the bourbon chicken from the mall food court. I did some searching for a recipe for that sauce and found several on different sites that were pretty much the same. Since there appeared to be a bourbon sauce consensus, I went with this one from Food.com.

    Bourbon tofu

    I followed the directions except for the simmer the excess sauce for 20 minutes then pour it over rice part. ¬†Instead I stir fried some vegetables and poured the sauce over them towards the end. The sauce is so good – sweet and spicy. Rolling the tofu pieces in flour and getting the oil nice and hot before adding the tofu to the pan made them crisp and firm on the outside and full of tasty marinade on the inside. The whole meal was¬†pretty flipping delicious but really doesn’t taste like the mall chicken. Oh well, I’m not sad. It’s so good that it will join our stir fry¬†repertoire¬†anyway.


  10. blueberry halava

    November 19, 2012 by Angie

    This week’s 52 Weeks of Baking Challenge is Asian desserts. I am lucky to be a member of the Gator Nation (“Go cure cancer!”) and as such I frequently enjoyed the extremely delicious and inexpensive¬†Krishna Lunch offered every weekday at the Plaza of the Americas on the University of Florida campus. My favorite dessert the Hare Krishnas make is their halava. They make a few varieties but always with some chunks of fruit inside. I made my very favorite one for this challenge: blueberry halava.

    I followed this recipe I found online. I halved it which might be part of the problem. I also suspect I burned some of the semolina. All in all, mine is good but it would have to be at least twice as sweet and buttery to rival Krishna Lunch greatness. I need to attempt to make their spaghetti and kofta balls next, mmmmmm.