Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Attack Of The Long Beans!!!

Pad Prik King (Red Chile and Ginger Stir-Fry)
     My first love was Chinese food, but after moving to Salt Lake I've fallen in love with Thai food, especially curries. It seems that the rest of the city is in love with Thai food as new restaurants keep pooping up. I saw this recipe in the Salt Lake Tribune and decided to veganize it. The original recipe is from Lesli Neilson's Cuisine Quest column and calls for shrimp and fish sauce. Not only are shrimp kinda gross their production causes environmental and economic problems for other countries (See THIS  article in Mother Jones). So instead, I decided to sub for pan-fried tofu and replaced the fish sauce with soy sauce. If you want to be more authentic, 30 Minute Vegan has a fish sauce recipe that I've yet to try. I've also made this with yellow and green curry, because I have extra in my fridge, but red is definetetly better. The best thing about this recipe is how easy and quick it comes together. This recipe will be on my short list for a quick meal with short time.
Long Beans
     Long beans also called yard beans, because they tend to be about three foot long. I'm a sucker for incorporating new produce into my meals so I jumped on the opportunity to include these. However, they were grown in china and I'm not the biggest fan of chinese produce. Instead, I would prefer a local and organic version so after I used them up, I switched to organic green beans, which work just as well. For a local source of curry paste, kaffir lime leaves and long beans, try the Southeast Asian Market. Last time I was in Whole Foods, they had kaffir lime leaves, both fresh and in a jar.
Pad Prik King with Tempeh
Ingredients (try to use organic versions, if available):
1 14 oz package of extra firm tofu, pressed and pan fried or baked
1 TBS of vegetable oil
1-2 TBS of red curry paste ( Taste of Thai and Maesri are vegan, I used 2 TBS)
4 kaffir lime leaves, rolled up and cut into shreds
1 1/2 cups of yard/long beans or green beans
2 teaspoons of fair trade sugar
1 5.6 oz can of coconut milk ( I used half of a 14 oz can of Whole Foods Organic)
2 teaspoons of soy sauce (or a vegan fish sauce)
cashews (optional for garnish and deliciousness)
1-2 teaspoon of minced ginger (optional, but not really)
thai basil (optional, for garnish and deliciousness, Osage Farms makes an organic version)
cooked brown jasmine rice (Lundberg makes a good one)
If making brown rice, start it now! this dish comes together pretty quick, maybe 10 minutes. 
In a small bowl, mix up the coconut milk, soy sauce and sugar. Then, set it aside. 
In a wok or a large frying pan, heat up the oil over medium heat and then add the curry paste (and ginger is using) and cook for a minute or two, trying to break up the paste while cooking. 
Add the kaffir lime leaves and yard beans and cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the precooked tofu and cook for 2 minutes. 
Add the coconut, soy sauce and sugar mixture to the pan and cook for a minute or two (if using the thai basil add to the pan). 
Hope the rice is cooked and serve over brown jasmine rice. top with cashews and more thai basil. now rub your belly and pat your head.
Replace the tofu with Tempeh (I recommend Organic Soy Tempeh from Turtle Island, which can be found at Cali's Natural Foods), steamed for 10 minutes
Replace the red curry with green or yellow versions, which have less heat, but read the label because some companies have shrimp paste in them.
Yardbeans Deconstructed

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