Month: January 2021

Gaeng Penang Tua Lima

Originally I was going to reshoot and post tofu scramble chilaquiles, but I always struggle with making proper mole here because tomatillos are so hard to come by. Also… while I love tofu, scrambled tofu just isn’t really it for me.

Rosa’s Thai Café – The Vegetarian Cookbook by Saiphin Moore

Then I was reading Rosa’s Thai Café – The Vegetarian Cookbook and spotted this recipe for vegan gaeng penang tua lima (lima or butter bean panang, I refuse to use the word ‘curry’ for all Asian stews) and I knew I had to have it. Because out of all the beans, the butter bean is my favorite.

Hot & Bothered serendipity

I was however (and will probably always be) still hung up on chilaquiles. Because nachos. Pondering these decisions during one of my morning walks, I started thinking of chilaquiles mash-ups: laksa chilaquiles,  mohinga chilaquiles and finally gaeng penang tua lima chilaquiles. But I let it go because it seemed like maybe this was too much of a stretch.

Later in the day my friend in Thailand contacted me. They’re working on a new project. Hot & Bothered Vegan Thai, a vegan newsletter on Thai food and (food) politics, in Thai and English. In it they plan to go over various regional foods while also sharing veganized recipes for classic Thai dishes. You should really sign up.

And as we were talking, we serendipitously shouted: “PANANG CHILAQUILES” at each other across the globe (no lie). And so I decided, this is okay. Though of course you can have this butter bean panang with rice as well. I don’t know why Asian and Latin American food fuse so well. From now classic Japanese-Peruvian Nikkei cuisine, to my beloved Mexican-Korean mash-up from LA, but it does. So here we are.

Ko Thai to the rescue

I was very happy to find an accidentally vegan panang-paste by Ko Thai at our biggest supermarket chain, if you choose to go with a ready-made paste, but be sure to check the contents extensively. As my friends of the Hot & Bothered newsletter started their project in the first place because vegan ready-made pastes can be very hard to find.

The Rosa’s Thai Café recipe below also includes instructions on how to make your own panang-paste. I made my panang with cashews, as you can see in the pictures, but the original recipe calls for peanuts and I suggest that unless you have an intense dislike for peanuts like I do, you follow Saiphin’s lead.

If you are in the UK you can order Rosa’s Thai Cafe: The Vegetarian Cookbook here.

A teal cast iron pan filled with nachos and lima bean penang, covered with a sprinkling of cilantro, chilies and cashews sat on an orange backdrop. At the top of the image there is a hint of a plate with some food on it.

Gaeng Penang Tua Lima (Vegan Butter Bean Panang)

Dorothy Porker
This recipe for gaeng penang tua lima (vegan butter bean panang) from Rosa's Thai Café is quick, easy and incredibly moorish. Turn them into chilaquiles for an exciting nacho-twist or have it with rice like a normal.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 7 mins
Soaking the chilies (when making panang-paste from scratch) 30 mins
Course Breakfast, Main course
Cuisine Mexican, Thai, Vegan
Servings 1 - 2 people

Equipment

  • Small bowl (for soaking chilies, if making paste from scratch)
  • Pestle and mortar or small food processor (if making paste from scratch)
  • Wok or large frying pan (x2 if making chilaquiles)
  • Kitchen towel (if making chilaquiles)

Ingredients
  

To make the panang-paste (ready-made also works, but double-check to ensure it's vegan)

  • 6 dried chilies deseeded and soaked for 30 mins
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 g salt
  • 4 stalks lemongrass white core thinly sliced
  • 1" - 2.5 cm galengal* finely grated
  • 1 makrut lime leaf finely sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small bunch coriander root or stalks
  • 5 shallots sliced
  • 6 black peppercorns

To make panang chilaquiles (or have with white rice)

  • 4 T - 60 ml neutral oil I use sunflower
  • 3 corn tortillas** cut into nacho-shaped triangles
  • pinch salt

To make the gaeng penang tua lima

  • 2 T - 30 ml neutral oil I use sunflower
  • 1 T - 20 g panang-paste heaped, home-made or store-bought
  • 1 1/4 c - 300 ml coconut milk
  • 1 T - 15 g palm sugar I use gula jawa
  • 2 T - 30 ml soy sauce light is preferred if you have it
  • 2 T - 30 g peanuts roasted and crushed, or use cashews
  • 1" - 2.5 cm galengal* thinly sliced
  • 3 makrut lime leaves thinly sliced
  • 8 1/4 oz - 235 g butter beans this is roughly one can, drained and rinsed

To serve

  • 1 red chili thinly sliced
  • a few makrut lime or sweet basil leaves*** thinly sliced
  • 1 T - 15 g peanuts roasted and crushed, or use cashews

Instructions
 

Make the panang-paste (or use store-bought)

  • Finely grind together 6 dried chilies that you've deseeded and soaked for 30 minutes and then drained with 1/2 t - 2.5 g of salt using a pestle and mortar or a small food processor.
  • Add the thinly sliced white core of 4 stalks of lemon grass, 1"- 2.5 cm of sliced galengal root, 1 finely sliced makrut leaf, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 small bunch of finely sliced coriander root or stalks, 5 sliced shallots and 6 black peppercorns and grind or blend to a fine paste.

If making chilaquiles

  • Heat 4 T - 60 ml of oil in a frying pan and fry 3 corn tortillas cut into triangles until golden and crisp. Drain on some kitchen towels and sprinkle enthusiastically with salt, before setting aside.

Make gaeng penang tua lima (butter bean panang)

  • Heat 2 T - 30 ml of oil in a wok or frying pan.
  • Once the oil is hot, add 1 heaped T of panang-paste and stir until fragrant. This should take 30 seconds or so.
  • Keep stirring while pouring in 1 1/4 c - 300 ml of coconut milk.
  • Once the coconut milk and paste have properly mixed, add in 2 T - 30 ml or g of soy sauce, palm sugar and roasted and crushed peanuts each with 1 T - 15 g of thinly sliced galengal. Keep stirring for 2 minutes or so, until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Stir in 3 finely sliced makrut lime leaves and finally add 8 1/4 oz - 235 g of drained and rinsed butterbeans.
  • Let everything bubble away gently for 5 minutes or so until the sauce has thickened and serve with white rice, thinly sliced chili and makrut or sweet basil leaves and 1 T - 15 g of roasted and crushed peanuts.

Make the chilaquiles

  • First off: make sure you are very ready to eat because you want to eat this while the nachos are crisp and only starting to soak up the liquids from the panang.
  • Quickly but gently scoop your nachos through the gaeng penang tua lima, so everything is evenly coated. Top with the thinly sliced chili and makrut or sweet basil leaves and 1 T - 15 g of roasted and crushed peanuts and serve immediately

Notes

Home-made panang-paste will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for roughly 2 weeks. 
As long as you have not made chilaquiles with them gaeng penang tua lima will keep and reheat well the next day. 
* Saiphin uses greater galengal in the panang-paste and lesser galangel in the gaeng penang tua lima, as far as I am aware they only sell one type of galengal here so that's what I used
** I find chilaquiles do not work with store-bought nachos, but this may be due to the quality of ready-made nachos we have available in the Netherlands (it's Doritos)
*** In the photo I've used coriander because both fresh makrut lime leaves and sweet basil are hard to come by here 
Keyword butter beans, lima beans, panang, rosa's thai, rosa's thai cafe, thai food, vegan thai

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor gaeng penang tua lima (vegan limabonen panang).

Mongolian Tempeh Clusters

I’ll be perfectly honest, being part-Indonesian (read more about that here) and growing up on tempeh I was never a fan. As a kid it just seemed kind of bitter and awkward and I just couldn’t get into it.

Indorock to the rescue

That is, until I tested some recipes for Vanja van der Leeden’s Indorock. One of the recipes she had me test was for tempeh. Where others cut their tempeh into strips or battons, Vanja tears the tempeh into little clusters, then fries them until crisp before coating them in a delicious punchy peanut, lime, hot sauce that would inspire one of my favorite noodle recipes.

The clusters make for a much more interesting and exciting eating experience. So after testing the recipe I couldn’t stop eating tempeh for months.

Mongolian tempeh clusters

I really want to eat more tempeh so I was pondering other sauce options for tempeh clusters. Mongolian beef was one of the first things that came to mind. Interestingly enough, Mongolian beef isn’t Mongolian, but was born in Taiwan as an iteration of Chinese barbecue (though barbecue isn’t involved in this dish either) before making its way to the US. In Europe I don’t think I’ve ever seen it, though it might just go by a different name.

Because tempeh has some beefiness about it I ended up combining Vanja’s tempeh clusters with this Mongolian beef recipe from The Wok’s of Life. It’s a match made in heaven, if I do say so myself.

Have your Mongolian tempeh clusters with some rice and simple greens. And be sure to try the clusters with other sauces of your liking, I’m sure it’ll never disappoint.

A yellow, teal and metal bowl filled shiny dark and red Mongolian tempeh rocks, you can clearly see pieces of spring onion and dried chilies in the sauce as well. All the plates also have some white rice on them and have bamboo handles sticking out. One of the plates is set on a straw mat, while the other is flanked by a blue checkered cloth. The other plate is set on the pink background.

Mongolian Tempeh Clusters - Vegan

Dorothy Porker
Combining Vanja van der Leeden's tempeh cluster technique with the wonderful flavors of Mongolian beef, courtesy of The Woks of Life, makes for a delicious and easy vegan main course.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Chinese American, Taiwanese, Vegan
Servings 2 - 4 people

Equipment

  • Bowl or container
  • Wok or frying pan for shallow frying
  • Small bowl x2

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 lb - 250 g tempeh
  • 1 T - 15 g corn flour
  • pinch MSG optional
  • 1/3 c - 80 ml neutral oil for shallow frying, I use sunflower
  • 2 T - 30 g brown sugar
  • 1/4 c - 60 ml warm water from the tap is fine, depending where you are in the world
  • 1/4 c - 60 ml soy sauce
  • 1 t - 5 g grated ginger fresh or store-bought
  • 5 small dried red chili peppers optional, 1 t of chili flakes for heat works as well
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 T - 15 g corn flour mixed with 1 T - 15 ml water
  • 2 scallions cut into 1" - 2.5 cm pieces

Instructions
 

  • Crumble 1/2 lb - 250 g of tempeh into bite sized pieces into a bowl.
  • Coat the tempeh clusters with 1 T - 15 g of corn flour and a pinch of MSG, if using.
  • Heat 1/3 c - 80 ml of neutral oil in a wok or frying pan.
  • Add the tempeh clusters and leave them to sit for 5 minutes on a medium-high heat before turning them over, leaving them for 5 minutes again, turning them over, etc. until they are golden and crisp all over. Mess around with them too much and this will just take longer, so leave them be.
  • While you're not fucking around with the tempeh, mix together 2 T - 30 g of brown sugar with 1/4 c - 60 ml's of warm water and soy sauce each.
  • Once the tempeh clusters are golden brown and crisp all over, remove them from the wok or frying pan. Remove any remaining oil from the frying pan until you have roughly 1 T of oil left.
  • Move the pan back to a medium-high heat and add 1 t of grated ginger, 5 small dried chilies (if using) and 4 finely chopped cloves of garlic.
  • Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute or so, before adding the brown sugar, water, soy mixture.
  • Leave to cook for another 2 minutes. Remix 1 T - 5 g of corn flour with 1 T - 5 ml of water, add to the pan and stir until the sauce has thickened.
  • Add 2 scallions cut into 1" - 2.5 cm pieces and the crispy tempeh clusters, turn off the heat and toss until all the clusters are evenly coated in sauce.
  • Serve with white rice and greens.

Notes

Because you are tossing something crispy into something wet, at least from a texture perspective, this dish won't keep, so I recommend you finish it in one sitting.
Keyword Chinese American food, Mongolian beef, Mongolian tempeh, Taiwanese food, Tempeh, Woks of life

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor Mongolian tempeh-rotsjes

Kue Lapis Legit Monkey Bread

I love kue lapis legit (Indonesian thousand layer cake). My grandma made the best ones, with the thinnest, most delicate layers. But because  I am so prone to bakefails I haven’t dared try and bake my own. Instead I stick the spice mixture for kue lapis legit in pretty much every other recipe I can.

Vegan monkey bread from Vegan Soul Food

Vegan Sould Food is a Dutch cookbook by Jason Tjon Affo, also known as The Indigo Kitchen. In this book you can find beautifully photographed and colorful vegan recipes, mostly inspired by the Surinamese kitchen. His recipe for vegan monkey bread seemed a prime candidate for kue lapising (yes, this is now a verb) and man, I was not wrong. Not so much a thousand layers as a couple dozen balls.

As with all baking, this is a bit of a chore. So I’ve tried to include all the things I ran into during my first attempt (which failed miserably) to ensure you get the best results on your first try. That is, if you follow the instructions.

Cake tins and kue lapis legit recommendations

If you’re wondering how I got those crisp lines, I used a chiffon cake tin rather than a Bundt cake pan. I figured more people have the latter at hand so that’s what I recommend using in the recipe.

If you want to tackle actual kue lapis legit, I can recommend Lara Lee‘s Coconut & Sambal which has done an amazing job of creating a global platform for Indonesian food, finally. You can order it at Bookshop.org if you’re in the UK or in the US.

A full monkey bread on an orange plate on an orange background.

Vegan Kue Lapis Legit Flavored Monkey Bread

Dorothy Porker
This recipe combines a little bit of my grandmother's kue lapis legit (Indonesian thousand layer cake) and a little bit of The Indigo Kitchen's Vegan Soul Food to make a delicious richly spiced vegan monkey bread.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Proving time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Course Birthdays, Breakfast, Dessert, Party snack, Sweets
Cuisine American, Hungarian
Servings 6 - 8 people

Equipment

  • Large bowl
  • Small saucepan (for heating milk and melting butter)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Stand or handmixer
  • Dishtowel
  • A ruler (indulge me)
  • Oven dish or large bowls x2
  • Bundt cake pan, greased
  • Oven

Ingredients
  

For the dough

  • 1 1/2 c - 350 ml plant based milk lukewarm
  • 3 T - 45 g sugar
  • 1.5 t - 7 g dry yeast
  • 1/2 c - 115 g plant based butter or margarine melted
  • 5 c - 630 g plain flour
  • 1 t - 5 g salt

For the monkey bread

  • 2/3 c - 150 g plant based butter melted
  • 1 t - 5 ml vanilla extract
  • 1 c - 225 g brown sugar ground gula jawa (Javanese palm sugar) is nice if you can find it
  • 1 1/2 t - 7.5 g ground cinnamon
  • 1 t - 5 g ground aniseed
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 g ground cloves
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 g ground cardamom
  • 1/2 t - 2.5 g ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 c - 100 g mixed nuts coarsely chopped. I used a mix of almond, pecan and pistachio but use what sounds good to you

Instructions
 

Make the dough

  • Mix 1 1/2 c - 350 ml of lukewarm milk with 3 T - 45 g of sugar and 1.5 t - 7 g of yeast in a large bowl. Leave to sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is activated and you start seeing small bubbles.
  • Once this has happened mix in 1/2 c - 115 g of melted butter and mix until everything is combined. I find these first steps of mixing are easiest achieved with a wooden spoon.
  • Continue mixing while slowly tipping in 5 c - 630 g of flour.
  • Once the dough starts coming together slightly, take your stand- or handmixer and mix at a low speed for 15 minutes.
  • Shape the dough into a ball, cover with a damp towel and leave to prove for 45 minutes in a warm place, away from any drafts.

Make the monkey bread

  • Preheat the oven at 365° F - 185° C. If you haven't already, grease your Bundt pan.
  • In a large oven dish or bowl mix 2/3 c - 150 g of butter with 1 t - 5 ml of vanilla extract. In another large oven dish or bowl mix 1 c - 225 g of brown sugar with 1 1/2 t - 7.5 g of cinnamon, 1 t - 5 g of ground aniseed and 1/2 t - 2.5 g's of ground cloves, cardamom and nutmeg. You can also do this in bowls but I found oven dishes easier to maneuver ("Oooh, it's a maneuver") and if the butter cools down too much you can easily melt it again over a low heat (provided your oven dish is fireproof).
  • Roll the dough into at least 32 balls of ⌀ 3/4" - 2 cm in diameter. The easiest way to do this is use a ruler, rolling pieces of dough into logs of ⌀ 3/4" - 2 cm thick, cutting them into ⌀ 3/4" - 2 cm pieces and rolling those into balls. The reason I use a ruler is because ⌀ 3/4" - 2 cm is smaller than you think. Any bigger and you'll end up with raw balls of dough.
  • Roll each individual ball through the butter and then the sugar mixture before plunking them into the greased Bundt pan. Add a layer of the mixed nuts between each layer of balls. I got 2 layers out of my dough, so I added 1/4 c - 50 g on top of the first, and 1/4 c - 50 g on top of the final layer.
  • If you have any butter and sugar left over, mix this together and drizzle it over the monkey bread before baking it in the oven for 35 mins until the top is golden brown.
  • Leave to cool for at least 20 minutes before taking the monkey bread out of the pan.

Notes

If vegan food upsets you, you can use dairy milk and butter for this.
I found this monkey bread keeps for about 3 days when it's kept in an airtight container. Though it's best fresh and still slightly warm.
Keyword American, monkey bread, monkeybread, vegan, vegan bakes, vegan cake

Zoek je dit recept in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor vegan kue lapis legit of spekkoek monkey bread.

My Best Tofu Recipes

Happy new year and welcome to Veganuary 2021! Because I know a lot of people would like to cook (more) vegan meals, I’ve already got a lot of vegan recipes lined up for the new year. Even more people seem to have issues figuring out what to do with tofu, so I figured I’d give you a little roundup of my tastiest tofu recipes.

Top tip: at least in Dutch supermarkets, the wet cardboard that is sold as firm ‘bio’-tofu is practically inedible. It’s best to buy ‘regular’ tofu, ideally from an Asian supermarket. You’d be suprised how much better tofu is if you get the right stuff. Cheaper too.

All the recipes in this post are made with firm tofu. Silk tofu is delicious as well but requires a completely different preparation method than firm tofu. So only buy silken if a recipe calls for it, like this vegan mushroom mapo tofu.

What to do with tofu

I like to use firm tofu two ways. Tofu puffs and minced tofu form the foundation of most of my recipes and while pressing takes a bit of time, it’s smooth sailing from there on out. Both of these basic tofu recipes are versatile and can be spruced up with pretty much any sauce.

  • Minced Tofu – unfortunately I’ve forgotten where I found this method for making tofu mince, but it’s a foundation I use almost every week. Once you’ve fried your tofu to a crisp you can drown it in whatever sauce you like and use as you would minced chicken. I’ve lined up some examples for you below.
  • Tofu Puffs – you can buy tofu puffs at most Asian supermarket if that’s easier for you, I like to make mine in the oven. It’s less messy than shallow frying and I get lovely crisp results every time. Besides the recipes mentioned below, these make an excellent filling accompaniment to Japanese ramen noodles or Vietnamese phở.

Lots of crumbled tofu on a mint green background.

Ideas for using minced tofu

As mentioned, I kind of just drown my minced tofu in whatever sauce I’m in the mood for. If this seems a little daunting, here are some ideas for using minced tofu. Note all these recipes work just as well with store-bought plant-based mince.

  • Mexican chorizo tofu tacos – the coming together of this dish and it’s various influences is probably one of my proudest moments. The chorizo-paste really capture the flavors of Mexican chorizo (as I know it) and result in a smoky earthy taco.
  • Sweet potato with miso glazed tofu – this is a recipe I originally made with meat mince but it works just as well with tofu mince, if not better. It’s filling enough to make up a proper lunch or dinner, with maybe a little salad on the side.
  • Sweet potato and harissa tofu tacos – this recipe was totally off the cuff, bringing together leftovers onto one tasty ass taco.
  • Tofu larb gai – the classic Thai lettuce cups, but make ‘m vegan.

Obviously you can mix and match most of the above and stick chorizo tofu on a sweet potato or miso mince on a taco, etc, etc. If you don’t want to make the harissa from scratch, as always: store-bought is fine.

Three long metal scalloped plates with, from top to bottom, tahin noodles, harissa tofu puffs, both of those together in one plate with some mixed salad leaves and a small bowl of harissa paste

Ideas for using tofu puffs

A lot of people marinate their tofu, but growing up with Dutch-Indonesian food I’ve never really seen this (which isn’t to say that there aren’t any Indonesian recipes where tofu is marinated, just that I don’t know of them). We always fried ours in slices and then drizzled over some kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) with raw bean sprouts and rice and that was pretty much it.

In the new year I want to try some of those marinades. For now, here’s a few recipes for using tofu puffs. Again: store-bought is fine. Reheat your tofu puffs in a hot oven or in a frying pan before use.

  • Harissa tofu puffs and tahin noodles – this recipe marks the start of my descent into harissa. It’s extremely flavorful, earthy and delicious and surprisingly easy.
  • Tika massala – normally I make this recipe with cauliflower, but you can easily replace the cauliflower with tofu puffs. Just toss them in the sauce at the very end of cooking, so they don’t lose their crunch.
  • PB and hot sauce noodles – I usually make this with silken tofu, but for a bit more bite tofu puffs work just as well or maybe even better.
  • Gado gado – you’ll need to replace the trassi (fermented prawn paste) in this with miso, but other than that this Indonesian classic is a perfect vegan dish.

What are your favorite vegan basics? And what’s your vegan go-to dish? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Zoek je deze recepten in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor Mijn Lekkerste Tofu Recepten voor Veganuary 2021.