Hot & Sour Coconut Lemongrass Soup
Most of these ingredients should be available at an Asian grocery store. If you don’t want to buy a bunch of specialty ingredients (ie. lemon grass, lime leaves, galangal, etc) there will be substitutions of more common ingredients provided in the recipe notes. I’ve also provided Amazon links for some of the more specialty ingredients in case you can’t find them in stores or want a visual. 😉
- 2-3mm wide rice stick noodles – https://amzn.to/2Bdgv8B
- 2-400mL can full fat coconut milk – https://amzn.to/3eEbiF9
- vegetable broth powder – https://amzn.to/384Qfcp
- 200g block seedless tamarind pulp block – https://amzn.to/3dDLurq
- tomato paste – https://amzn.to/2BeW4bd
- tamari – https://amzn.to/3g2WfoV
- natural almond or sunflower seed butter
- ½ cup roasted cashews or almonds, chopped
- organic sustainable palm sugar – https://amzn.to/2CLT2f9
- sesame oil – https://amzn.to/3eBSQwV
- black salt (totally optional for Vegans that don’t want to use eggs) – https://amzn.to/3dKPUx1
- lemon grass or 1 lemon to zest
- kefir lime leaves (optional, can use lime zest)
- 1 block firm organic tofu, sprouted if possible
- 2-3” fresh galangal or ginger
- 3-4 limes
- 3-4 long red finger chilies
- 1 large mango, under ripe
- 1 sweet pepper (red, yellow or orange)
- 1 bunch green onions
- fresh basil (Thai or regular)
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 small red onion
- 1-2 shallots (optional, can use the other half of the red onion above)
- 2 heads garlic
- 1 1/2 cups fresh bean sprouts
- 1 ripe tomato, diced
- 1 small carrot
- 2 free-range grain-fed organic eggs, if you’re into that
- organic coconut oil or avocado oil
- black pepper
BEFORE WE ZOOM PREP LIST…
- prepare 4 cups/1 litre vegetable broth per package directions
- prepare tamarind paste *see recipe below or buy pre processed
- prepare some or all of the aromatics (onions, garlic, ginger, chilies, etc) per recipe directions
- zest and juice citrus
- prepare rice stick noodles per package directions, don’t do this too early
- peel the mango and slice into strips, I’ll be demoing this but you may want a head start
Hot & Sour Coconut Soup
Makes about 1.5 litres or 4 servings
What you’ll need…
3½ cups (875 mL) vegetable broth or water
2-5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium shallots, thinly sliced
1 stalk lemon grass, trimmed, pounded and minced *see notes below
1 kefir lime leaf, centre rib removed, thinly sliced *see notes below
1-2 long red finger chilies, thinly sliced *see notes below
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh ginger or galangal *see notes below
1-400mL (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
1 ripe tomato, diced
½ cup (125 mL) fresh bean sprouts
2-3 tbsp (30-45 mL) fresh lime juice, adjust to desired sourness
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped fresh basil and/or cilantro
2-3 green onions, thinly sliced, to serve
more thinly sliced chilies, to serve, if desired
What to do…
- Add vegetable broth, garlic, shallots, lemon grass, kefir lime leaf, chilies and ginger/galangal to a medium sized pot. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce temperature to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Stir in coconut milk, diced tomato, bean sprouts, and fresh lime juice. Bring back to simmer, uncovered, for 4-6 minutes, or until the bean sprouts are tender.
- Just before serving, stir through fresh basil and/or cilantro. Garnish with sliced green onions and extra chilies, if desired.
- If you can’t find fresh lemongrass, fresh lemon zest is an acceptable substitute in a pinch. Roughly 1 tbsp zest (or 1 lemon) will replace 1 stalk of lemongrass. Lemongrass can be found fresh at a surprising number of grocery stores and keeps in the fridge for weeks. To prepare it, remove the woody outer leaves and trim the top/bottom; discard. Using the back of a sturdy knife, pound the lemongrass to release the fragrant oils; then chop as finely as possible. If using a food processor, don’t skip the step of pulverizing with the blunt edge of the knife, it improves flavour significantly.
- Two main varieties of chilies are used in Thai cuisine. Long red finger chilies are roughly the size of a finger (well named 😉 bright red and shiny. Finger chilies are quite spicy, but when seeded provide a lot of flavor. Bird chilies are much smaller (roughly the size of a bird beak?) also bright red and shiny. These chilies are HOT HOT HOT!!! Beware using too many and wash your hands well after chopping; smaller is not less spicy, I assure you. Removing the seeds of either varieties will reduce the fire and both can be used interchangeably in recipes; just adjust the quantities accordingly.
- If you can’t find kefir lime leaves, or don’t want to buy a whole bag of them, you can substitute roughly 2 tsp of fresh lime zest (about 1 lime.) Kefir lime leaves are available at many Asian grocery stores and freeze well; in the freezer, they’ll last for months.
- Galangal is rhizome (root) related to ginger. It has a sharp flavour reminiscent of citrus and pine and is used in many Thai, Chinese, Indonesian and Malaysian dishes. While their flavours are notably different, ginger can be substituted for galangal in a pinch. The flavour won’t be 100% authentic, but it’ll still taste delish!
Quick & Easy Pad Thai
Makes 4 servings
What you’ll need…
200g flat rice stick noodles, cooked to package directions & rinsed *see notes below
¼ cup (60 mL) almond or sunflower seed butter, chunky or smooth
¼ cup (60 mL) organic sustainable coconut palm sugar or maple syrup
¼ cup (60 mL) organic tamari or gluten free soy sauce
3 tbsp (45 mL) lime juice
3 tbsp (45 mL) tamarind purée *see notes below
1/3 cup (80 mL) water
cayenne pepper or Sriracha hot sauce, to taste, if desired *see notes below
2 tbsp (30 mL) organic sustainable coconut oil
2 free-range grain-fed organic eggs, scrambled, if you’re into that *Vegans see notes below
1 small carrot, peeled & thinly sliced
½ red pepper, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) bean sprouts
1 cup (250 mL) cubed organic extra-firm tofu, approx. 1/3 block *see notes below
2-3 green onions, thinly sliced, to garnish
½ cup (125 mL) chopped fresh cilantro, to garnish
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped roasted almonds or cashews, to garnish
lime wedges, to garnish
What to do…
- Prepare noodles according to package directions. Rinse in cold water and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together almond butter, coconut palm sugar, tamari, lime juice, tamarind purée and cayenne until smooth. Gradually whisk in the water to thin slightly, it may not all be necessary. Alternately, combine all ingredients in a blender. Set aside.
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tsp (5 mL) coconut oil over medium-high. Scramble eggs if using; remove from pan and keep warm. Vegans skip this step… obvi.
- Add remaining oil, sauté carrot, red pepper and shallot; sauté 3-5 minutes or until starting to soften. Stir through garlic; sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant,
- Add prepared sauce, bean sprouts and tofu; bring to simmer; cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, or until thickened slightly. If too thick, add a splash of water. Stir through scrambled eggs, if using.
- Just before mixing, rinse rice noodles in warm water so they aren’t stuck together. Toss noodles with sauce mixture. Serve immediately, garnished with green onions, cilantro, chopped roasted almonds/cashews and lime wedges. Vegans, if you bought some black salt (see notes below) sprinkle it over just before serving.
- Rice stick noodles are available in a variety of sizes. Traditionally the ones used for Pad Thai are about 3-4mm thick, but you can use any size you like or can find. Prepare them according to their package directions, drain, rinse and set aside. Just before adding back to the pan, give the noodles a rinse in hot water to separate them and warm them up.
- Pad Thai sauce is more traditionally made with tamarind paste (recipe below) which comes from the pod shaped fruit of a tree baring the same name. Pad Thai in MOST Western Thai restaurants is made with… Ketchup. You likely had it with Ketchup more times than tamarind. If you want to go the more authentic route, make or buy some tamarind paste for the sauce (recipe below.) If you want to go the western Thai restaurant route, replace the 3 tbsp/45 mL tamarind paste with ¼ cup/60 mL ketchup.
- HOMEMADE KETCHUP! To make approximately 1 cup/250 mL: Combine 1 small can (156 mL) tomato paste, 2 tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup, 2 tbsp (30 mL) apple cider vinegar, 1-2 tbsp (15-30 mL) water, ½ tsp (2.5 mL) onion powder, ½ tsp (2.5 mL) sea salt, pinch each of fresh ground black pepper and allspice. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. 😉
- If you want to make the Pad Thai sauce spicy, use cayenne pepper or Sriracha hot sauce. This is to suit YOUR taste. Start with ¼ tsp/1.25 mL cayenne or 1 tsp Sriracha; taste and if needed increase gradually until it’s where you like it. 😉
- A big part of the Pad Thai flavour is the eggs scrambled through the dish. If you’re fully Vegan, leave them out or replace with some black salt -> (https://amzn.to/3dKPUx1) which has an “eggy” flavour. I still consume eggs from time to time but ensure the eggs come from responsibly and humanely farmed chickens. If you choose to consume animal products, do so mindfully and spend the money to support farmers that care about the animals they raise!
- Soy beans have gotten a pretty bad wrap over the years… It’s really GMO soy products you want to avoid like the plague. Tofu is not something to eat every single day, but now and then it’s a great alternative to meat. When buying tofu, always look from brands that are organic which ensure no GMO ingredients or pesticide residues. Fermented is even better! When the soy beans are fermented before processing, it makes them much more digestible and bioavailable.
Green Mango Salad
Makes about 4 servings
What you’ll need…
2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh lime juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) organic tamari or gluten free soy sauce
2-3 tsp (5-15 mL) organic sustainable coconut palm sugar or maple syrup
1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
1 large mango, firm & slightly under-ripe, peeled & cut into strips *see notes below
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
½ red pepper, thinly sliced
1-2 red finger chili, thinly sliced (optional)
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped fresh cilantro and/or basil
What to do…
- In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice, tamari, coconut palm sugar and sesame oil.
- Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine.
- Look for a mango that is still slightly firm but not rock hard. Ideally, use a mango that is 2-3 days away from being ripe enough to eat on its own.
Tamarind Paste Preparation
Makes about 1½ cups/375 mL
What you’ll need…
200g block Tamarind Paste/Pulp *see notes below
2 cups (500 mL) recently boiled water
sturdy mesh strainer and spoon
What to do…
- Place tamarind block in a medium sized bowl. To shorten soaking time, you can use your fingers to break the tamarind into smaller chunks but it is VERY sticky. I personally just let it soak longer, but that’s your call.
- Pour over 2 cups/500 mL recently boiled water. Allow to soak until roughly doubled in size and softened considerably. This can take anywhere from 1-8 hours; depending on how much you break up the block of tamarind initially.
- Gently pour off excess water and reserve for now. This may be needed to thin the final product.
- Using a fork or your fingers, mash up the softened pulp as much as possible. This helps to separate the tangy pulp from the tough fibers that surround the seeds in the whole fruit. IF there are any seeds present, remove them now.
- Transfer the softened pulp to a mesh strainer. Press through carefully but firmly using the back of a spoon. If the strained pulp is too thick, use a little of the soaking water to loosen things up. Final consistency is a little thicker than ketchup.
- Pulp can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 weeks but also freezes well. For easier portioning, freeze the paste in an ice cube tray or dollop 1-2tbsp/15-30 mL blobs on to a long piece of plastic wrap, leaving about 5cm/2” between each, then roll it up and twist between each blob; think sausage links. Freeze for up to 6 months; simply remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 10-20 minutes at room temperature or zap in the microwave for 5-10 seconds on high.
- Tamarind is available at many grocery stores in the “ethnic food” aisles or at most Asian and Indian grocers as well. It comes in various sizes and levels of quality. Ideally look for one that is seedless, as it makes processing it much easier. If you can only find with seeds in; remove with your fingers after soaking but before pressing through the mesh strainer.