This is something I threw together because the boyfriend really liked the sound of the recipe, and I had almost everything on hand, and what I didn’t was on sale. I accidentally used less honey than I should’ve on the glaze, so more of that will likely make the glaze cover better next time, and maybe use a bit less coconut on the coconut rice, but otherwise, this is a pretty solid dinner. And it’s also significantly quicker if you have an Asian marketplace (or a local producer) that does fried tofu. Getting everything to assembly is a long, involved process, and some of this was a bit out of my comfort range, but the boy really liked it, so that helped boost my confidence here a lot.

Mango Tofu Coconut Rice Bowls

Ingredients

Coconut Rice

  • 1.5 c uncooked rice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • .75 t sea salt
  • 1 c water

Honey Lime Glaze

  • .25 c honey
  • .25 c fresh lime juice
  • 1 t lime zest, split
  • .5 T soy sauce
  • (you can use corn starch to thicken it, I passed on it)
  • 14 oz fried tofu

(note: I used packaged fried tofu here, so I’m skipping the instructions for the pan fried tofu; if you just have unfried tofu, click on the link above for the instructions/ingredients.)

Bowl Toppings

  • 1 mango
  • 1 avocado, sliced (had one on hand but chose not to use it tonight)
  • red pepper flakes
  • (optional: green onions, cilantro)

First, take your ingredients for your coconut rice, throw it all in the rice cooker, and set it to cook on the sweet rice or white rice setting (depending on your preference, I used sweet rice here because it gets it the right kind of sticky). If not using a rice cooker, please click on the link above for stovetop instructions.

While your rice is cooking, cube your fried tofu, and your mango. 

Don’t know how to cube your mango? Here’s how! (If I was smart, I would’ve taken pictures of this process.) Take your mango, and your largest knife available (trust me, if you have a chef’s knife, you’re gonna need it), and cut your mango just slightly off center to avoid the flat seed. Do the same just to the other side of the center; you will now have two halves of mango meat. To cube your mango, score a checkerboard pattern into the fruit, being careful not to cut all the way through to the skin. Push up on the skin underneath to invert the mango, and now, all you have to do is slice at the base, and you have lovely mango cubes for use!

As soon as you’ve got these ready to go, whisk together your glaze ingredients (only use half of the lime zest), and transfer to a pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and once it’s thickened, remove from heat, and toss your tofu and mango in it. (I ended up keeping it separate, and drizzling it over the tofu and mango once in the bowl.)

By this point, your rice will likely be done; take a bowl, scoop some rice out into it, add some tofu and mango, along with, if you should so choose, red pepper flakes, avocado and green onion slices, and bits of cilantro. And then, enjoy your lovely summery dish!

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This? This is amazing. Especially if you live near a high concentration of Asian groceries and can find a bunch of these ingredients for cheap, and salmon goes on sale for the right price. A nice Thai riff on the classic salmon chowder, and makes the apartment smell amazing. 

Thai Style Salmon Chowder

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thin
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 large tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced large
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, outer layers removed and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves (you can get these for super cheap at Asian grocery stores, trust me)
  • 1 qt chicken stock
  • 1 13 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 lb salmon, skin removed and cut into .5 inch pieces (save the skin)
  • .25 c fish sauce
  • .25 c fresh lime juice

Heat a large pot over high heat. Add the olive oil, and once it starts to shimmer, add your sliced shiitake, and sautee until deeply bronzed (about 7 to 10 minutes). Then, stir in the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant (a minute or so), followed by the tomato, bell pepper, lime leaves, and lemongrass, cooking until the tomatoes release juice and the bell pepper just barely starts to wilt. 

Add in the chicken stock and coconut milk and stir together, bringing to a simmer. Once steadily simmering, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. 

While the soup simmers, heat a small pan with olive oil over medium high heat, add your salmon skin, and cook on each side for about three minutes, until crispy. (Mine didn’t quite work out that way due to the sheer amount, but I tried and got pretty close!  See pics 8 and 9). 

Once your salmon skin is ready, add the salmon chunks, fish sauce, and lime juice in, and cook another minute or two, until the salmon that you can see is cooked. (The residual heat will take care of cooking it the rest of the way.)

Taste and adjust to your tastes, add a bit of salmon skin for garnish to your bowl as you scoop it out, and enjoy your ridiculously good soup. 

This is a good, hearty, stick-to-your-ribs fall soup. It makes a hell of a lot, too, so I’m gonna have plenty of this for leftovers down the line (which is good, because the boyfriend loved it).  The most work you’re gonna put into this is peeling and chopping and dicing and mincing everything up, but once that’s done, you pretty much just throw it in the pot and let it sautee/simmer. 

I didn’t include the peanut garnish from the original recipe, however, this would probably be improved even further by a dollop of peanut butter in the soup. This is pretty damn good as is, though.

Massaman Curry Noodle Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 Anaheim chiles (substitute red chile of choice if you don’t like Anaheims), seeded and minced
  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 c vegetable stock
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 T massaman curry paste (or more to taste)
  • 2 large leaves kale, torn
  • 2 7 oz packages udon noodles (I used Sanukiya Jumbo Udon noodles)

Take your olive oil, heat it over medium high heat in a large pot, and add your Anaheims, garlic, and ginger, sauteeing until fragrant (about one minute). Add in your carrot and sweet potato, and sautee for another four to five minutes, stirring frequently.

Then, add your vegetable stock, coconut milk, and curry paste, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for a good fifteen to twenty minutes, until your sweet potatoes and carrots in particular are good and fork tender. 

To finish, add in your torn kale and your udon noodles, and stir frequently, simmering until the noodles come apart and thicken slightly, and the kale starts to wilt. And then, enjoy your ridiculously hearty soup!

Some nights you just need a quick, simple soup to throw on the stove, simmer, and then dig into. This definitely fits the bill. This has seven ingredients (six if you exclude one), and is done in fifteen minutes’ time. No dicing, no chopping, just pour it all in a pot, boil, simmer, and boom. Done. 

Additional ingredient notes: You can use homemade pumpkin puree if you like, but honestly, it’s easier and cheaper and saner just to find some cans at the store. The original recipe suggests adding peanut butter, and I added a cappuccino peanut butter that I think really added to the soup.

Thai Pumpkin Soup
Lasts 6 meals as a main

Ingredients

  • 2 T red curry paste
  • 2 c chicken stock (substitute vegetable stock to make vegetarian)
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 15 oz (or 1 32 oz) cans pumpkin puree
  • 2 T soy sauce (can also use fish sauce)
  • 2 T lime juice 
  • 2 T dark brown sugar
  • .25 c peanut butter (optional)

Heat a pot over medium heat, take your red curry paste, and stir till fragrant (about a minute). Then, add all the rest of your ingredients, whisk together, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for five minutes.

And then, behold!  You have your soup!  Quick, simple, and no hassle.

I tried to make this a few years ago, either just before or right around the advent of this blog. It didn’t turn out so well, because I a) didn’t have a clue what I was doing with the pumpkin, b) was still figuring out my way around the kitchen, and c) this was an earlier recipe from Brokeass Gourmet, which wasn’t always fantastic on the directions in the early days.

Now, though? I know how to peel and dice a pumpkin properly, which is honestly the big part of the effort in this recipe. The pumpkin I got originally gave me about 10 cups worth of diced pumpkin (from about five pounds of pumpkin), which is definitely more than enough for this and another recipe I’ll be using it in soon.  And the rest came together with ingredients from a beef brussel sprouts stir fry from the Plated trial I mentioned in the last post, and with stuff I already had in my pantry. Honestly, the only thing you should need to buy for this should be the pumpkin, the ginger, the beef, the coconut milk, and maybe the peppers.

The result is an amazing fall curry that I can’t wait to make again. Plus, it’s cheap!

Thai Pumpkin Beef Curry
Lasts 5 to 6 lunches as a main

Ingredients

  • 6 c peeled and cubed fresh pumpkin
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped (adjustable to taste)
  • 1 1" piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced (I used a shallot from the Plated trial)
  • .5 lb beef stew meat (I increased it to 2 lbs because I remember it not being that much, I had an additional flatiron steak from the Plated trial that I cut up and added, and I like beef besides)
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 t Thai red curry paste (I ended up increasing this to 1 T)
  • 1 T soy sauce (was probably closer to 2 T for me)
  • 2 t honey (accidentally used 2 T, whoops)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1" pieces
  • jalapeño, seeded and chopped

Preheat your oven to 375, take your pumpkin pieces and lay them out on a foil lined baking sheet, and roast them for 45 minutes, until the pumpkin is fork tender.

Twenty five minutes into the pumpkin roasting, heat your olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add your garlic, ginger, and onion, and cook for two minutes, stirring once or twice. Then, add your beef and brown lightly on all sides. 

Add in your coconut milk, curry paste, soy sauce, and honey, and stir well. You should have a red-brownish creamy sauce (mine tended a bit more towards brown). Add in your bell pepper and jalapeño, stir well, and then cover. Cook for the remaining 15 minutes or so that the pumpkin will roast, stirring here and there, as otherwise the honey will stick to the bottom of the pot. 

Once the pumpkin is done roasting, add it directly to the pot. Give the pot another good stir and then cover again, cooking for another fifteen minutes, until the beef is very, very tender.

And then, enjoy your fantastic curry!