Chili sweet soy

This is an indispensible Thai mulipurpose sauce . It is easy to prepare with several easy to find ingredients , its great served with grilled or fried foods . Once prepared it can be stored , thightly covered in the refridgerator for up to 2 weeks .

1/2 cup soy sauce

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3 tbs finely diced onions

2 tbs tomato paste

2 tbs rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar

2 tbs finely diced fresh ginger

1 tbs or more to taste  red chili sauce ( like sambal olek ) or Tabasco .

Combine the soy sauce and sugar in a small saucepan . Place over medium heat and cook 7 to 10 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved and the mixturethickens . Remove from heat and let cool . Stir in the onions , tomato paste , vinegar , ginger and red chili sauce .

Serve on the side with grilled and satay dishes


Mushroom Satay

Mushrooms , of all kinds , make great satays . They absorb marinades well , and are great on skewers , the meaning of satay. The satays should be oiled while grilled , to ensure a tender inside and a crisp outside. Serve with peanut sauce or Chili sweet soy sauce , both recipes posted on this site .

Serves 6

Chat  Mingkwan

2 lbs assorted mushrooms (portobello , shiitake and button )

1 package bamboo skewers

1/4 cup finely minced lemongrass , tender midsection only

3 tbs finely minced garlic

3 tbs finely minced fresh ginger

3 tbs finely minced green onions

1 tbs pepper

1 tsp salt

vegetable oil , as needed

Slice the large mushrooms into long strips about 1/2 inch thick . Leave the small mushrooms whole . Skewer the mushrooms horizontally with the bamboo sticks .

To make an herb rub , combine lemongrass , garlic , ginger , green onions , pepper and salt in a mortar and pestle or in a food processor until well blended . Rub the herb mixture over the mushrooms , making sure all surfaces are well covered.

Arrange the skewered mushrooms on a tray , stacking the skewers on top of each other . Sprinkle lightly with the oil . Cover the mushrooms with plastic wrap and refridgerate them overnight .If you are in a hurry , you can marinate them for 1 hour at room temperature .

About 30 minutes before you are ready to serve the mushrooms , light a charcoal grill .When it reaches medium heat , grill the mushrooms 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until they are tender . If the mushrooms seem dry , brush them occasionally with oil

Serve hot with peanut sauce or Chili Sweet Soy .

Stir fried red curry green beans

Red curry paste is all the seasoning you will need to flavor this green bean tofu stir fry . Look for the brand Maseri in Asian markets as it does not contain fish sauce or shrimp paste and is therefore suitable for vegans .

Serves 6

Chat Mingkwan

3 fresh kaffir lime leaves

2 tbs vegetable oil

3 tbs red curry paste

1 cup julienne firm tofu

3 cups sliced green beans in 1  1/2 inch lengths

1 cup vegetable stock or water

2 tbs sugar or more to taste

2 tbs light soy sauce or more to taste

2 tbs chili paste with soybean oil ( namprik pow )

1 vegetable bouillon cube

2 whole red jalapeno peppers , sliced into thin strips , for garnish

5 sprigs thai sweet basil leaves only , for garnish

Stack the kaffir lime leaves and roll them tightly into a cigarette like roll. Slice across the roll to make fine , paper thin strips , set aside for garnish .

Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat . Stir in the curry paste and cook 3 -5 minutes or until almost tender . Add vegetable stock , sugar , soy sauce , chili paste with soybean oil , and vegetable bouillion . Continue cooking until the beans are tender , about 3 minutes longer . Adjust the flavor with more with more seasonings to taste .

Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with kaffir lime leaves , red jalapeno peppers , basil leaves .

Thai vegan hot and sour lemongrass soup

Tom Yum , as it is commonly know as is one of the most flavorful soups . It is packed with fresh herbs and gets its ” sour ” notes from fresh lime juice .

Serves 6

Chat Mingkwan

5 cups vegetable stock

3 stalks lemongrass , cut into several 2 inch long pieces and bruised

5 pieces thinly sliced galangal ( or fresh ginger )

5 whole kaffir lime leaves

2 tbs thinly sliced shallots

1 tbs chopped garlic

3 cups sliced oyster mushrooms or other mushrooms of  your choice , in bite size pieces

2 cups sliced firm tofu , in bite size pieces

1/4 cup light soy sauce or more to taste

1 tbs chili paste with soy bean oil ( namprik pow )

5 whole fresh Thai chillies , bruised , more or less to taste

1/4 cup fresh lime juice , or more to taste

2 tbs chopped fresh cilantro , for garnish

2 tbs chopped green onions , for garnish

Place the stock in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add lemongrass , galangal , kaffir leaves , shallots and garlic . Simmer for 5 minutes to extract flavors from herbs .

Stir in the mushrooms , tofu , soy sauce and chili paste with soybean oil . Simmer until mushrooms are tender , about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the Thai chilis and lime juice . Adjust the flavor by adding more soy sauce , lime juice or chili paste with soybean oil to taste .

Ladle the soup into individual bowls and garnish with the cilantro and green onions before serving .