The Vegetarian

South-East Asian Recipes

 Thai Basil and Ginger Stir-fry

1 packet firm tofu - chop into cubes or rectangles
1 medium size eggplant (or a large handful of the tiny thai eggplant) -chopped into 2cm size pieces
1 tablespoon (mild taste)olive oil or macadamia oil
1 cup loosely filled sweet basil (greek basil) - chopped roughly
1 inch of fresh ginger - chopped up and pounded
1 1/2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon of palm sugar (or palm sugar treacle)
1/2 tablespoon of tamarind paste
2 sprigs of coriander leaves - chopped roughly
3 roots and stems of coriander - clean and chop
+/- handful of thai basil
1 red chilli finely sliced - use more if you want hotter.
1/2 teaspoon salt

With mortar and pestle, pound the ginger and coriander roots/stems together.

In a large non-stick pan or wok, heat the oil and brown the tofu on high heat. Remove the tofu from the pan, set aside.
In the same pan (with oil remaining), fry the eggplant with a pinch of salt, continually stirring until soft.
Add the tofu back into the pan with the ginger and coriander mixture. Stir-fry for a few seconds to brown the ginger a little.

Add the soy sauce, tamarind, palm sugar and chilli and stir fry a minute before turning the flame down. Taste test and adjust the balance of flavours - sweet, sour and salt - by adding a little more of the palm sugar, tamarind or salt as necessary.

Turn off the heat. Add the basil and coriander leaves and stir through. They will wilt without any further heat. Serve into a dish once wilted so they don't overcook and turn brown.

coming soon.... 

 Rice Paper Rolls

Green Curry Paste

The great thing about making a batch of green curry paste is that you can portion it out and freeze some for another day!

It makes it so easy to make a healthy green curry in a hurry. This is the vegan, sentient (garlic free) version.

This recipe makes enough for three dishes -

1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder

3/4 teaspoons cummin powder

18 white peppercorns

3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

4 teaspoons nori seaweed (or powder) - I am using this instead of fish sauce

12 coriander roots

6 lemon grass stalks - slice finely the white part.

3 tablespoons grated galangal

6 hot green chillies - chop up into pieces.

12 kaffir lime leaves

1/4 teaspoon of asafoetida

Use a large mortar and pestle to crush the peppercorns, coriander roots and lemon grass stalks. Add the remaining ingredients and use a blender to blend into a fine paste. You may need to add a tablespoon of water to assist the blending process. I like to use a stick blender directly.

And that's all! Easy right?!

Thai Green Curry

Now for the green curry - use a third of the curry paste recipe above.

Choose a combination of vegetables, I would recommend 2 cups in total-

Tofu - the firm varieties, chopped into cubes

Baby corn

Cherry tomatoes

Cherry eggplants, quartered (or chop up a larger eggplant)

snow peas - top and tail

green beans - top and tail and chop 1 inch pieces

Bok choy leaves

bean sprouts - handful

And you need some extra curry ingredients -

Ginger - chop into short matchsticks

lemongrass (you can use the tops leftover from making the paste)

coconut milk - 100ml (or 200ml if it is very thin coconut milk)

stock - 1/2 cup (You can use extra thin coconut milk instead)

2 kaffir lime leaves

1 teaspoon of palm sugar

Juice of 1 lime

thai basil leaves - handful

Red chillies - depends how hot you like it.


Place the tofu, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, baby corn, ginger, lemongrass, coconut milk, stock, kaffir lime leaves, sugar and a teaspoon of salt in a large wok. Simmer, stirring occasionally to allow the eggplant to soften completely, and sauce to thicken. Taste test and add more salt to taste.

Put a few beansprouts and basil leaves aside to use for decoration.

Add the snowpeas, green beans, bean sprouts, bok choy, thai basil leaves and stir for a minute. Do not overcook the snowpeas and basil or they will lose their beautiful fresh green colour.

Turn out into a serving dish, to prevent further cooking... and enjoy with rice.

Make sure you try this recipe with different combinations of your favourite vegetables. You don't have to stick to these vegetables.




rice paper rolls





red curry

yellow curry


"Indian" Mee Goreng

Mee Goreng

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