As I post this, I'm wrapping up a wonderful week-long trip to New York City and Atlanta! Even though it was just a very quick trip for the wedding of a dear friend and my dad's birthday and even though I miss Thailand, I must admit that I've been happy to be out of Bangkok for a few days. It's the height of the rainy season and many parts of the country and city are flooded or are flooding on a regular basis. Our area hasn't been affected (as of yet), but nearby roads have. We live on the 20th floor so don't have too much to worry about, but you can imagine all of the annoyances that such a situation can cause, particularly in a city with nightmarish traffic conditions even in good weather.
|Photos courtesy of Coconuts Bangkok|
In such circumstances, it goes without saying that going out to eat can be quite the pain. Add to this a mini cooking spurt that I'd had over my last few days in Bangkok and this meant all kinds of fun in the kitchen! I'd been meaning for the longest time to make tohu pad met mamaung, which is a classic Thai-Chinese stir-fry of tofu and cashews (mamaung). It's usually made with chicken (gai) but I often enjoy it at local restaurants with tofu (tohu), and it's come to become one of my favorite local dishes. It's one of many dishes in Thai cuisine with Chinese origins, which are quite common in Bangkok and other parts of central Thailand where most people have Chinese roots. While there seem to be many variations of the sauce used in this dish, I added some Thai sweet chili sauce to mine to offset the spice from the fresh and dried chilies and the pepper. Simple and delicious, this is wonderful with steamed jasmine rice.
TOFU & CASHEW STIR-FRY (TOHU PAD MET MAMAUNG)
Serves 3-4 as a side dish or one of a mix of mains
2 tablespoons canola or sunflower oil
1/2 large onion, chopped into large chunks
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped into large chunks
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped into large chunks
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped into large chunks
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bird's eye chilies, chopped (keep the seeds in for heat)
1/2 tablespoon ginger paste
6 small or 3 large dried red chilies (break in half if they are large)
1/2 cup cashews
200 grams (7 ounces) tofu (preferably firm), drained, patted dry and chopped into large chunks
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sweet chili sauce
1 teaspoon brown (or regular) sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon pepper (preferably white pepper)
Chopped spring onions and/or coriander, for garnish
1. In a wok or large pan, warm the oil over medium-high heat.
2. Stir fry the onion, bell peppers, garlic and fresh chilies until onion begins to turn translucent.
3. Add the ginger paste, dried red chilies and cashews. Mix well and stir fry for a couple of minutes more.
4. Add the tofu, gently stir and fry for a couple of minutes more.
5. Mix in the soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes and then remove from heat. Serve garnished with spring onions and/or fresh coriander.