How do I send Tofu Panang to my mother?
May 2, 2008 10:25 AM   Subscribe

How do I send Tofu Panang to my mother?

Every time my mother visits me (in New York, Chicago, LA) she wants to get Thai food. There are no good Thai restaurants where she lives in Tucson. And every time, she gets Tofu Panang. It's kind of annoying for me but it's rewarding to see the joy in her face when she wolfs it down (every single day of her visit).

For Mother's Day, I was thinking of how I can send her favorite dish. I'm wondering how to do this:

- buy it at restaurant and freeze it
- cook it in parts and freeze it, to be assembled later
- buy just the curry paste/sauce and include a recipe
- buy a thai cookbook with tried and true recipes (where she would have to make the curry from scratch)

My concern is that she will not want to go through the whole cooking process of deep frying the tofu, making the sauce, etc. However, she's a great cook (mostly Italian), and could handle the challenge if it was presented to her.

What do you think?
posted by JJ Jenkins to Food & Drink (6 answers total)
Panang Curry Thai Ready to Eat Set (with 8 servings) from amazon . . .
posted by arnicae at 10:33 AM on May 2, 2008

Also, where does she live? What about finding a great Thai place (or just a great chef) to deliver the meal to her, or teach her to cook it? Cooking lessons are much more fun than just getting a package in the mail.
posted by arnicae at 10:36 AM on May 2, 2008

Sending premade frozen food is possible, but really expensive. You would have to ship the food (with its large water content) and a brick of dry ice in an insulated cooler. That can get pricey quick. Also, there's the freeze-thaw cycle which affects the quality of the food somewhat.

As far as the cookbook - Making Thai curry pastes isn't hard IF you can find the ingredients, but if she can't find any decent Thai restaurants she's also unlikely to be able to source the ingredients, either.

That leaves the premade paste & a recipe as your best option, I suspect.
posted by deadmessenger at 10:36 AM on May 2, 2008

Panang curry paste is widely available at Asian markets. At worst, you can buy it canned and send it -- at the local Asian market a small tin is 89 cents.
posted by Comrade_robot at 10:49 AM on May 2, 2008

Send a mom frozen Panang curry and feed her for a day; teach a mom to make Panang curry and feed her for a lifetime. Mae Ploy is, according to many (including me) the best brand of curry paste and also the best brand of coconut milk. Elephant is a really good brand of jasmine rice. These three things plus a recipe would make a really nice gift. Also, tofu can be bought pre-fried, if the frying is too much for her.
posted by Enroute at 12:22 PM on May 2, 2008

I've made a fine chicken curry using coconut milk and paste from a jar.

As for deep-frying tofu, yes it can be bought at a decent Asian market. She could just cut slabs and shallow-fry them on each side for nearly the same effect.
posted by O9scar at 7:07 PM on May 2, 2008

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