Appon's Thai Food Recipes

Vegetarian - Thai Recipes

Salty Eggs ( Khai Kham )

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Salting eggs in brine is a way of preserving eggs, Thailand is very hot and eggs could only be kept for a short time unless salted. As with many cultures, the Thai's acquired a taste for the salted product, and created recipes around it. It's common in Thailand to east rice soup with salty egg, the egg adds the salty taste to the dish! The salt concentrates in the yolk of the egg, the longer they are kept in the brine, the saltier they get, 14-20 days is best, if you leave the eggs too long in the brine, they will be too salty to eat. If you're unsure how salty they are, remove one, boil it and taste it.

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Sticky Rice Balls in Coconut Milk Sauce (Kanom Buw Loy)

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This Thai dessert is easy but messy to make. The dominant flavour is the sweetened coconut milk and it should be served warm for best results. The balls can be prepared hours ahead of time and stored in cold water, but the coconut sauce should be made just before serving. For presentation, we have added food colouring, however this is optional.

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Iced Watermelon Drink (Nam Dang-Mu Pan)

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One of my favorite drinks in Thailand is a melon ice drink, similar to commercial drinks, however this one is made with fresh fruit rather than synthetic flavour and tastes all the better for it.

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Black Soya Bean in Sweet Coconut Sauce (Tua Dam)

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This is a typical sweet coconut and bean dessert from Thailand, it is black soya beans soaked, steamed, and served in a sweet coconut sauce. This is an ideal vegetarian dish as the beans are full of protein and it can be used to follow a vegetable dish. It is even suitable for vegans.

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Vegetable 'Cup' Omelette ( Khai Toon Puk )

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This is an excellent and very tasty steamed egg omelette. It is cooked inside cups in a Chinese steamer, and when you serve it, you can either take it out of the cups (like we've done for the above photograph) or serve it inside the teacups. To remove it from the cup, place a circle of greaseproof paper in the base of the cup before cooking, this will make it easier to remove later. Then to remove it from the cup after it is cooked, run a knife around the edge and tip the cup upside down on a plate.
As a contrast, we normally eat this with a sauce made from mint coriander and chillies, however this is optional. If you are serving this as a side dish, you may prefer to omit it.

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Chunky Vegetable Stir Fry ( Pad Puk Ruom Mis )

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The trick with stir fried dishes is to cook for a very short time. The vegetables are almost raw and very crunchy. The frying process is not to cook them, it is to warm them through and combine them with the frying sauce. This is a stir fried vegetable plate made with big chunky vegetables that should be served as a side dish to other dishes.

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Spicy Mushroom Sandwich ( Sandwich Lab Hed )

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This vegetarian spicy mushroom sandwich is a wonderful blend of Thai flavours bulked out with bread. It's both filling and tasty, and being vegetarian it's heathy too! Non vegetarians can also add fish sauce to strengthen the flavours even more.

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Steamed Long Time ( Tao Hu Toon Had Horm )

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The Thai name for this dish means literally 'Steamed Long Time', it is silken tofu, shitake mushrooms, galangal and flavourings steamed on the plate to make a healthy vegetarian dish you can eat with rice.

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Mock Shark Ear Soup ( Hu Cha Larm Tiem )

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This recipe is made to mimic Chinese shark ear soup, but instead of sharks ear, shitake mushrooms are used, and the stickiness that normally comes from the collagen of the shark is made using tapioca strings & cassava starch. In Thailand we use the word 'Tiem' to describe 'mock' food like this.

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Pan Roasted Sesame Aubergine ( Ma Kur Yang )

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I normally eat this as a side vegetable dish, but its so nice, it's worth making the centre of a meal. The larger aubergine is sweet and the sesame seeds add crunch to it.

Ingredients
1-2 Big Aubergine
1 Tablespoon Toasted Sesame Seeds
2 Tablespoons Butter
Tin Foil

Preparation
1. Clean the aubergine, cut it into 2 halves and slice lengthwise, but don't cut all the way through, you can see this in the photograph.
2. Mix the sesame seeds with butter and and fry on a low heat for 30 seconds. Then spread this mixture over the aubergine.
3. Wrap the aubergine in foil to keep in it's juices, and fry the foil parcel on a low heat until the aubergine is fully cooked.

Prune Rice ( Kao Pad Look Prune )

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Prunes are a good source of fibre and should be a regular part of a diet, but only in small quantities! This rice dish uses prunes as a flavouring to the rice, and only a little is eaten, enough to do you good, not enough to cause you problems.

Ingredients
250 gms Cooked Fragrant Rice
8 Prunes
2 Garlic Cloves
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
2 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Chopped Celery
1/4 Teaspoon White Pepper
2 Tablespoons Oil

Preparation
1. Remove the seeds of the prunes, chop it into small pieces.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan.
3. Chop the garlic and fry in the oil for 20 seconds.
4. Add the fragrant rice and chopped prune, celery, fish sauce, light soy sauce and white pepper.
5. Stir fry for a few minutes until mixed.
6. Serve with Prune Sauce.

Ingredients for Prune Sauce
4 Prunes
50 ml Water
1 Teaspoon Salt

Preparation
1. Remove the pits from the prunes, blend the flesh in a blender with the water and salt.
2. Heat in a saucepan until the prune sauce thickens.
3. Spoon over the prune rice.

Bamboo and Mushroom Parcels ( Hur Mook Nur Mai Hed Hom )

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A spicy parcel of shredded bamboo and flavour mushrooms, steamed in a banana leaf. Bamboo can be very fibrous and hard to eat, for this dish I shred the bamboo with a fork, or grater, so that the fibres are broken up.

Ingredients
50 gms Bamboo (Canned)
50 gms Flavour Mushrooms
5 Red Chillies
10 gms Chopped Lemon Grass
10 gms Sticky Rice
2 Garlic Cloves
4 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Cassava Starch
10 gms Chopped Coriander Leaves
Banana Leaves or Foil for Wrapping

Preparation
1. Soak the sticky rice in hot water for 20 minutes.
2. Shred or grate the bamboo finely.
3. In a Thai mortar, pound the chillies, sticky rice, lemon grass, and garlic together. You should pound until you have a roughly ground mixture.
4. Mix all the ingredients together with 2 tablespoons of water.
5. Cut the banana leaves into 8x15cm pieces, spoon the mixture into the centre of the banana leaves and fold up the banana into a parcel.
6. Close the parcel with a toothpick, or a stapler, or with cloth string.
7. Steam for 10 minutes.

Serve With
Thai Fragrant Rice
or Steamed Sticky Rice

Fried Aubergine in Fermented Soya ( Pad Makrur Yaw )

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The bulk of this dish comes from the aubergine, the flavours from the fermented brown soya paste. You can eat this as a starter or a side dish.

Ingredients
1-2 Big Aubergines
1 Tablespoon Salty Soya Bean Sauce
1 Teaspoon Sugar
2 Tablespoon Oil
300 ml Water

Preparation
1. Boil the water, chop the aubergine into pieces, put into the boiling water and leave it for 30 seconds, then drain and rinse in cold water.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan, add the salty soya sauce, sugar and aubergines and fry until the aubergines are cooked.

Vegetarian Stir Fry ( Pad Ped Jay )

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A stir fry of butter beans, mushrooms, green peppercorns and Thai flavours. Even if you're not vegetarian, this is a nice dish to eat with rice.

Ingredients
30 gms Green Peas
30 gms Butter Beans
30 gms Flavour Mushrooms
10 gms Kaschai Root (Optional)
10 gms Green Peppercorn
5 gms Chillies
2 Garlic Cloves
5 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Sugar
2 Tablespoons Oil

Preparation
1. Pound the chillies, kaschai, and garlic together in a Thai mortar. Put into the frying pan with oil.
2. Fry for 30 seconds.
3. Add all the vegetables, soy sauce, green peppercorns and sugar and stir fry for 1 minute.

Serve With
Fragrant Rice

Tofu Dumplings ( Ka Noom Jeeb Put Thai )

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A vegetarian dumpling with the bulk coming from the tofu, the flavour coming from soy sauce and peanuts and a nice texture coming from the beansprouts. I´m going to be making a lot of dim-sum style dishes like this in the following days.

Ingredients
1 Packet of Won Ton Skins (Thin pastry used for deep frying)
50 gms Tofu
100 gms Soya Beansprouts
1 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Tablespoon Crushed Peanut
1 Tablespoon Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Preparation
1. Chop the tofu into small cubed pieces.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan.
3. Fry the tofu cubes for 2 minutes, then add the beansprouts, light soya, sugar, crushed peanuts and salt. Fry for a further 30 seconds and leave to cool.
4. Take a won ton skin, add some of the fried tofu mix in the middle, fold up the edges and seal. A little water or egg helps seal the top.
5. Once you've used up all the fried mixture, steam the dumplings for 5 minutes.

Serve With
Bird Chilli
Coriander
Lime
Lettuce

Pickled Spicy Vegetables ( Krimchi )

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This is a Japanese dish, used to add a lot of flavour to otherwise plain dishes. To get the full effect, leave it to sit for a day or two, the slight decay makes all the difference!

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Vegetarian Noodles ( Kanoom Jeen Je )

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I haven't done any vegetarian recipes for a while, and sometimes you just get sick of meat! Here's a nice noodles curry dish served on a bed of Pug Byong, a crunchy vegetable grown by my friend Jom.

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Savoury Birds Nests ( Ruong Purg )

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This is a usually a gop gam dish; snack food to eat with beer or spirits. The nest is made of taro chips, I have 2 large metal sieves that fit together. I fry grated taro between these two sieves to get the shape.

Ingredients for Ruong Purg
300 gms Taro
Oil for Deep Frying
You will need 2 metal sieves

Ingredients for the Filling
50 gms Kidney Beans
50 gms Water Chestnuts
20 gms Cashew Nuts
20 gms Champignon
4-5 Shitake Mushrooms
1 Tablespoon Oil
2 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon White Wine
Optional, Shrimp or Pork Meat

Preparation
1. Peel and grate the taro. Heat the oil.
2. Dip the sieves into the hot oil - this will help them not to stick.
3. Place a handful of grated taro in the sieve and use a second sieve to press it into a bowl shape. Lower into the hot frying oil until cooked and golden. Remove and drain.
4. Chop the shitake mushrooms and champignon into pieces.
5. Place oil in a frying pan and fry the mushrooms, red kidney beans, cashew nuts, water chestnuts, light soy, and wine and fry for 1-2 minutes.
6. Spoon into the bird nests.

Vegetarian Yellow Curry ( Gang Boom Bia Jay )

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If you see 'jay' in a recipe name, it usually means vegetarian. This is a typical curry dish, if you've been visiting this site a lot, you'll know how these dishes work. Coconut milk to soften them, curry paste to spice them, tamarind to add a sour note, fish sauce to add salt. The rest of the ingredients are the bulk of the dish, in this case vegetarian ingredients.

Ingredients
225 ml Coconut Milk
1 Tablespoon Yellow Curry Paste
10 gms Onion
20 gms Cherry Tomatoes
20 gms Mushrooms
20 gms Green Bean Or Green Peppers
20 gms Baby Corn
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Sugar
50 ml Tamarind Juice
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
50 gms Tofu

Preparation
1. Place coconut milk into a sauce pan put over a medium heat and bring to the boil.
2. Add the curry paste and stir in.
3. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring back to the boil.
4. Serve immediately, don't over cook vegetables, it's not necessary, they should be crunchy and nearly raw!

Serve With
Fragrant Rice
or a Baked Potato

Spicy Tofu Salad ( Yum Tur Hu )

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Tofu yum. Well not everyone likes tofu and to add more flavour to it, we often spice it up a little with chillies and salad, and fry it to add more texture.

Ingredients
250 gms Tofu
50 gms Green Beans
50 gms Carrots
1 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
1 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Oil
3 Red-Green Chillies
1 Garlic Clove
1 Teaspoon Lime Juice
1 Teablespon Fish Sauce (Use pinch of salt for Vegetarian)
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Teablespoon Chopped Celery
Sliced Cherry Tomatoes
Sliced Cucumber

Preparation
1. Chop the carrots and green beans until fine. Fry with the oyster sauce, light soy sauce, and oil for a few minutes. Spoon into the middle of the plate.
2. Surround with slices of cucumber and cherry tomatoes.
3. Blend the chillies and garlic together, add the chopped celery, fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar and blend more. This is the sauce.
4. Cut the tofu into pieces and deep fry to give it a crunchiness, cut into strips and pile ontop of the green beans in the plate.
5. Just before serving, spoon the spicy sauce over the top of the dish.

Mushroom Medley Soup (Gang Head)

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This is a great way to serve fresh forest mushrooms. When I was a child in Thailand, my grandmother would take me out into the forest in the very early morning and we would pick wild fresh mushrooms to cook for dinner. You can use any combination of flavorful mushrooms, or if those are difficult to buy, you can get mushrooms in a jar from a supermarket. But you'll appreciate this dish more if you go mushroom picking at 4am to make it!

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Cinnamon Soup with Egg ( Pa Lo Khai )

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A very unusual soup, slightly spicy with the taste of cinnamon. The eggs make it a very filling meal rather than a soup, often served with rice to pad it into a full meal. This is something of an aquired taste, if cinnamon flavored boiled eggs are not for you, you may prefer to try one of the more common Thai dishes first and work up to this.

Ingredients for 2 people
1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon
4 Boiled Eggs
4 Piece of Brown Dry Tofu
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Pepper Corn
1 Tablespoon Chopped Coriander Leaf
1 Teaspoon Dark Soya Sauce
1 Tablespoon Light Soya Sauce
1 Level Teaspoon Salt
2 Level Tablespoon Sugar
1 Chicken Stock Cube (Or Vegetable Stock for Vegetarian)
200 ml. Water
1 Teaspoon Oil

Preparation
1. Pound the garlic, pepper corns, and coriander together in a pestle.
2. Remove the shell of the boiled eggs.
2. Put the water to boil and add the stock cube in a boiling pan.
3. Heat a frying pan, add the oil and the pounded garlic, pepper, cinnamon and coriander mix and fry.
4. Fry lightly until the garlic is softened.
5. Add the dark Soya sauce, light Soya sauce, salt, and sugar and stir it to mix it.
6. Add the whole boiled egg in fry them for a second to take on some of the flavours.
7. Put the fried ingredients into the boiling pan containing the chicken stock & water.
8. Cut the tofu into bite sized pieces and add to the boiling pan.
9. Boil for 10 minutes and turn heat on low for a gentle simmer for a further 30 minutes.
10. Leave it for cool then serve warm.

Suggestions
It is better to leave this to rest overnight for the cinnamon fragrance to infuse throughout the eggs.

Japanese Mushroom Cakes ( Giew Za Je )

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A vegetarian dish made with noodles and mushrooms. This dish comes from Japan, and it's distinguished by the way it's cooked by shallow frying in a pan with water and oil. Part steamed, part fried.

Ingredients for Filling
50 gms Shiitake Mushrooms
50 gms Black Chinese Mushrooms
50 gms Glass Noodle
50 gms Chopped Carrots
2 Tablespoons Chopped Onion
1 Tablespoon Chopped Coriander Leaves
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
Oil

Ingredients For Wrapper
160 gms White Wheat Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Oil
Warm Water

Preparation
1. Soak the mushrooms and noodles if they are dried for 30 minutes.
2. Chop them into small pieces, add all the filling ingredients and fry until half cooked.
3. For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, oil and water together. Add the water slowly, and knead until the flour is smooth.
4. Roll it flat, a little oil can be used to keep it from sticking to the pastry.
5. Spoon the filling in, fold over and crimp.
6. Into a frying pan place a tablespoon of oil, and 2-3 tablespoons of water and bring to the boil.
7. Cover and cook until the pastry is cooked and the bottom browned.

Vegetarian Mushroom Noodle Pot Soup ( Ga Por Je )

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Time to make use of my heated tom yum pot, although not strickly necessary, it's nice to eat this soup good and hot and adds some drama to the dish. I use mine with tealight candles, the oil burner is too strong for this, it would break the pot.

Ingredients
30 gms Black Chinese Mushroom
30 gms Shitake Mushroom
50 gms Glass Noodle
350 ml Water
3 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Corn Flour

Preparation
1. Soak the mushroom and glass noodle in water for 1-2 hours.
2. Chopped them finely.
3. Boil the water, add the light soy, and mix the cornflour with a little cold water and add to the boiling pot.
4. Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 more minutes.

Serve With
Flaked Chillies
Vinegar
Sugar

Thai Mushroom Stir-Fry ( Ton Hoom Pad Hed )

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I'll let the photograph speak for itself.

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Soft Rice Mushroom Soup ( Jok Het Horm )

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This is Jok, a rice soup, made with mushrooms. It's normally cooked for a very long time so that the rice becomes mushy. However to make it easier, I've cooked it normally, and run it through a blender to break the rice grains. Fried garlic is perfect for this recipe.

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Vegetables in Spicy Sweet Coconut Sauce (Pad Puk Ga Ti)

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This is how we use up left over vegetables Thai style. It is a coconut sauce, that is sweetened and made a little spicy and used to boil green vegetables. In Thailand we use Thai vegetables, including small Thai green aubergines and a Thai green winter melon, which can be difficult to obtain. Don't be put off, the important flavour is the coconut sauce, the vegetables add bulk, texture and freshness but you can substitute other fresh green vegetables that are easier to find. I've suggested possible substitutions in brackets in the ingredients below. If you substitute softer vegetables (e.g. peas instead of Thai green aubergines) then add them later in the cooking so that you don't overcook them.

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Thai Mushroom Soup ( Gang Jeut )

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This soup is suitable for vegetarians, yet it has all the food groups. The protein comes from tofu, the carbohydrate from noodles and the flavour from shitake mushrooms. It does not contain chilli, so this is one of the few Thai dishes suitable for children.

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Sweet Sour Stir Fried Vegetables ( Pad Piew Wan)

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This is a side vegetable dish, suitable for accompanying a rice or meat dish. Sweet and sour frying is common all through Asia, for this dish the sour comes from vinegar and the sweet from the sweet chilli sauce. Naturally since this is Thai cuisine it has a little chilli in it too, but not much, this is not a spicy dish.

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Spicy Forest Mushrooms ( Lap Hed )

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This is a great meat-free dish to eat with sticky rice. In Thailand we make everything with fish sauce, even vegetarian meals, however if you can use salt if you prefer. It is best to use fresh forest mushrooms such as shitake or rovellons for this dish rather than dried.

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Steamed Ginger Tofu ( Tofu Neing )

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With my house back in order after the flooding, and the vegetarian festival coming up, I'm going to be making more vegetarian dishes. This is like warming up, it isn't a true vegetarian dish, traditionally it includes the dried fish flakes on the top, but the dominant flavour is ginger, the fish flakes are really lost and can be skipped for a true vegetarian dish.

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Egg Free Omelette ( Kai Geiw Je )

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Remember the crunchy Thai omelette I made a few weeks ago? This is the mock egg-free version of it, not just for vegetarians but also for a bit of variety! The main ingredient is the dried yellow tofu, these are dried sheets or strips of yellow bean curd that need to be soaked and chopped. In the ingredients photo, you can see the dried yellow bean strips, and the bowl at the front contains the bean curd after soaking and chopping.

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Tofu Pockets ( Tua Hu Tod Je )

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The tofu used in this recipe is hard tofu leaves or tofu papers, pads of compressed tofu that you can cut open, stuff with a filling and fry or steam. They are firmer than regular tofu, but you can use regular tofu, you just need to be more delicate when you fry it.
I'm making a vegetarian version today, stuffed with taro and chopped shitake mushrooms, since the vegetarian festival is soon, but you can stuff it with meat if you prefer, or chopped vegetables. These tofu pockets have a neutral flavour and will take pretty much any filling.

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Stir Fried Vegetables

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This recipe is definitely not just for vegetarians, it's a staple I cook 3 or 4 times a week! It's so simple and quick to cook too. Don't get too obsessed with the exact vegetables used, I've used the local southern Thai vegetables, including things like coconut shoots and Kanah, but you can make this dish anywhere with any crisp vegetable mix.

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Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings ( Ha Gaow Je )

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With the Phuket Vegetarian Festival in full swing (caution self mutilation), there's so many amazing vegetarian foods to try and I'm making more vegetarian recipes. It's a strange mix this festival, vegetarian food and painful self mutilation. I wonder if sticking skewers through the side of the mouth makes the taste more intense!?
These are actually a outer dumpling style known as Ha-Gaow, which is a hot starch dough normally pleated by hand into a semi-circular dumpling, that's then steamed. I'm not very good at making them that way, so I cheated and used my gyoza/japanese ravioli crimper rather than crimp them by hand. There's quite a few ingredients in this one, the most important are the nuts, and the shitake mushrooms that bring the main flavours with them. While the sweet pickled turnip and bamboo add a little sweetness, and crunch to the filling.

To eat them you need a dipping sauce, you can buy this in bottles, or mix half and half light soy sauce and white vinegar. Then add a little chopped chillies if you like a bit of kick.

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Asian Watermeal ( Gang Kai Pum )

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There's a waterplant, known as the Asian watermeal. It's like a finer version of watercress, and I was lucky enough to find it for sale at the market. It's like a fresh water seaweed that can be cooked with flavorings and we eat as a side dish for a bit of healthy green freshness. My fish like it too, I sprinkle a bit on their pond and they've eaten it by the next day.

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About Vegetarian

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Appon's Thai Food Recipes in the Vegetarian category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Traditional Thai Recipes is the previous category.

Western Influence is the next category.

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