Ambitious vegan thai recipe for a potluck?
November 8, 2019 10:26 AM   Subscribe

The title says it. I am a pretty decent cook with access to a giant Asian Supermarket (and vegan ingredients nearby too). What I don't have is any experience eating Thai food beyond pad thai, green curry, and red curry. October's Palak Corn and September's Mole sauce on roasted veggies went over really well, so I want to impress again.
posted by arcticwoman to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
This jicama and pomelo salad looks pretty good - its been veganized by removing the shrimp and fish sauce which would normally be included (the jicama is also a pretty non traditional inclusion but i like it). If you wanted to add vegan fish sauce instead of/in addition to the soy it calls for you certainly could, and adding grilled/baked/fried tofu wouldnt be the worst plan either.

One addendum id offer on that recipe is that you should really be tasting the dressing for balance before you toss everything else in - you want it to be aggressively salty, sweet, sour, and hot (but with balance!).

This may not be ambitious/involved enough, as it is a pretty simple recipe, but the pomelo prep (and making your own thai style fried shallots, plus maybe getting raw peanuts and frying them yourself - in that shallot oil you just made) might take it beyond simple, at least.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 10:42 AM on November 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

What about tofu larb or something like it?

(Also, OP, I've been to your city. The coulees are lovely!)
posted by wicked_sassy at 11:12 AM on November 8, 2019

It's not any kind of major technical challenge, but I have a vegan Thai place nearby that makes a penang curry, but amazing: Lover's Curry Vegan - Pumpkin, avocado, sweet potatoes, broccoli, bell pepper, coconut milk, panang curry and basil. Spicy.

I love a pumpkin and/or sweet potato curry anyway, but the avocado just levels it up. I personally do not like to eat bell pepper chunks but do appreciate the flavor they confer.

I guess I know what I'm having for lunch and dinner today.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:16 AM on November 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

Nam khao (Lao, but I find it often in Issan Thai food) is my favorite dish. Though traditionally made with fermented pork sausage and fish sauce, can certainly be veganized. The trick is really getting that salty/sour/sweet/bitter flavor plus the cronch of the rice.
posted by quadrilaterals at 11:49 AM on November 8, 2019

Ambitious? Try making your own mock duck and using it in a curry.
posted by advicepig at 12:00 PM on November 8, 2019

If your Asian grocery stocks fresh galangal and lemongrass, go for Tom Kha. It'll impress everyone with how much it tastes like a restaurant version because those two ingredients are basically the thing that makes that flavor profile. My Thai cooking leveled up exponentially when my food co-op started regularly selling galangal.
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:47 PM on November 8, 2019

Miang Kham, a modular "one bite" appetizer, never fails to delight me. The leaves are the hardest part to source, but extremely important. You can do it with lettuce, but a real paan or Piper betle leaf is the best, and you should be able to buy them at Giant Asian Supermarket.

The leaf is not related to the betel nut except in its use for mechanical construction of the quid, so don't let that put you off.
posted by the Real Dan at 8:55 AM on November 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

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