Thai Greens and Tofu

I write an occasional home cooking column for my friendly neighborhood blog, and last weekend I told all my neighbors about a recipe that came from the nice folks at my favorite not-quite-a-restaurant (it’s really just a streetside stand), Little Uncle.

So I thought it was only fair to tell you, too.  Because we are going to be making this a lot at our house.  Partly because I bought a huge bottle of yellow bean paste, and this recipe requires 2 Tbs., so I have a lifetime supply (it’s like that beet powder!).  But mostly because it took 17 minutes (that was for the jasmine rice to cook), made the house smell divine, and yielded a savory-spicy-garlicky vegan bowl of goodness.

You can read my Capitol Hill Seattle post here, but just in case you don’t, here’s the important thing you’re missing: track down some mangosteens.  Yum, mangosteens.

You can also substitute chicken for the tofu, or make a greens-only version of this dish (pictured below) as one component of a bigger Thai meal.  More Thai recipes to follow, I think!  In the meanwhile, if you are in the mood for Thai flavors, you could also check out this Noodle Curry or this Green Fish Curry to hold you over.

Thai Greens and Tofu (Phad Pak):  Usually I chop as I go when I cook, but this recipe goes so quick that it pays to prepare your ingredients in advance.  First put on a pot of jasmine rice to cook.  Pound 4 cloves of garlic with 4 Thai chiles in a mortar and pestle (or, if necessary, chop them finely with a knife).  Use gloves (or a plastic bag) to protect your hands when handling these very spicy chilies!  Chop a head of curly kale (or other greens) and a block of tofu into bite-sized pieces.  In a small bowl, mix 2 Tbsp. Thai yellow bean sauce with 1 Tb. Thai light soy sauce.  Then get cooking: fry the garlic and chili paste in oil over medium-high heat “until you are coughing up a storm from the chilies” (this precise direction comes straight from Little Uncle’s recipe—I love it).  Add the kale, sauce, and tofu and  stir-fry, adding a few spoonfuls of water if necessary to prevent sticking, until the greens are tender.  Serve over rice.


8 thoughts on “Thai Greens and Tofu

  1. alexscott11

    As we know Thai cooking required fish sauce or oyster sauce and the people who are vegetarian it would be difficult to eat them. but using tofu or soys sauce people can eat Thai dishes at home.

  2. frugalfeeding

    I’m on a bit of an unusual vegetable kick at the moment – I shall try to find some of this phad pak, but these things aren’t the most forthcoming in West Wales… This sounds yum.

  3. Michelle

    I thought we had every possible Asian condiment in the house, but the yellow bean sauce is a new one for me. I’ll definitely be looking for some, though, as the greens start rolling in at the markets! This looks great.

  4. baconbiscuit212

    Looks really wonderful. Perfect for when you don’t have a lot of time, but want something really healthy and flavorful.

    Lots of yellow bean paste? Maybe time for a yellow bean paste – beet powder challenge ;-)

    And mangosteens! Oh, you are so lucky!!!!!

  5. debbrunson

    Your CHS post was fantastic! Thanks for linking us to it- i loved it :) This recipe sounds like one I’d enjoy. It’s officially been bookmarked. Not sure I’ve ever had a mangosteen… will see if I can track some down in Boulder…


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