Winter Warmth Recipe

Food, Homemade, New York, Recipe, Vietnamese

Hello friends and foodies!

We’re sorry that we haven’t been providing you with epic meal-based battles for December. Our very own Snax is currently going through senior year finals season, so I’m sure everyone out there can understand how stupidly busy/stressed/masochistic he’s feeling right now.

In lieu of a battle, I wanted to share with everyone an awesome recipe for Vietnamese curry that I made yesterday. It turned out even better than I expected, so I’m very excited for everyone to try it at home and tell me what you think.

This recipe is vegan, packed full of veggies, and you can easily buy organic/non-GMO ingredients for the ultimate healthy indulgence.

*note* All portions are suggestions. I’m a firm believer that measurements do not matter in cooking, so add as much or as little of each ingredient as you like. Substitute at will – all that matters is that you enjoy!

curryedit

Vietnamese-Style Curry

Ingredients:
  • One medium onion, diced
  • Two bell peppers of whatever color you prefer, diced
  • Half of a globe eggplant, cubed
  • Two carrots, sliced
  • One long hot pepper, sliced
  • One lb. silken tofu, cubed
  • Four cloves garlic, minced
  • One inch ginger root, minced
  • Two stalks of lemongrass, cut into one inch pieces
  • One can coconut milk
  • One can vegetable broth
  • One or two cans water – depending on preference
  • Two sweet potatoes, cubed (can substitute regular potatoes)
  • Half pound green beans, cut into one inch pieces
  • A handful of snap peas
  • Salt and pepper
  • Curry powder, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper
  • Sriracha (or favorite hot sauce)
  • Hoisin (or fish or oyster sauce)
  • Warning: I like my food spicy! Adapt my seasonings to your particular palette.
Directions:

Sauté chopped onion, eggplant, bell peppers, carrots and hot pepper in sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables start to get soft. Add in tofu, minced ginger root, garlic, lemongrass and seasonings. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until the curry becomes fragrant.

Add in the vegetable broth, coconut milk and water. Taste and add in Sriracha and hoisin at your discretion until you’re satisfied with the taste. Bring to a boil.

Once boiling, add in the cubed sweet potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes (for normal potatoes, about 30-40 minutes). When there is about 8 minutes left of cooking time, add in green beans. At 3 minutes left, stir in snap peas.

Serve with brown or sticky rice on the side and enjoy!


That’s it! This recipe is really so easy – the hard part is chopping everything up. It’s well worth the effort, though. My roommates loved it (and I did, too).

I also appreciate how adaptable this recipe is. Take out whatever ingredients you don’t like and substitute in your favorites like mushroom or zucchini. It could easily be made with meat (just add in at an earlier point than the tofu as tofu doesn’t need to cook) or use less liquid to make less of a soup. Whatever you want, make it happen.

Another benefit is that this recipe yields a million bowls. So despite the high amount of ingredients, you’ll be able to eat it for at least 3 days, even if sharing with one or two other people.

This was the perfect dinner on a cold December night. I hope you find it as comforting as I did.

-Legs

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Kari Chameleon

Cuisine, Malaysian, New Jersey, Thai

The Battleground

Penang, East Hanover, New Jersey


The Contenders

Kari Sayur vs. Kari Mee

 

Kari Sayur Edit

Kari Sayur – a salad bar’s worth of veggies, tofu and the spicy curry sauce of your wildest dreams. Love at first bite – I’m head over heels!

Legs:

There are not enough adjectives in English to describe how much I love the food at Penang. Once I got a dish I didn’t love, but it was still pretty good. Other than that one fluke, the food here is sure to blow your mind.

My Kari Sayur was apocalyptic. This hearty dish was served with a freaking ladle, the better to shovel food directly into your mouth with.

The “mixed vegetables” in my menu description included okra, potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes, cabbage, onions and peppers all stewed together and absorbing that gorgeous broth. Penang has once again performed culinary magic and managed to keep the texture of the vegetables in tact despite their stewing process. Crisp and refreshing, these vegetables broke the mold. My fried tofu was also delicious, as expected. True to tofu form it acted as a flavor sponge and soaked up as much spicy curry broth yumminess as it could.

Spicy curry broth. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Chili, lemongrass, curry and coconut milk come together in this tomato-based sauce to leave you breathless and begging for more. As you eat the flavors build, crescendoing to a beautiful and trusting relationship. Just as intimate friends begin to share the dark corners of their lives with each other, this incredible sauce slowly revealed its hidden flavors and left my tongue bursting with surprises. The GIGANTIC portion meant that I got to eat it again the next day – and it was even more delicious on round two.

Give Penang your business – you won’t regret it!


Chicken and shrimp tangled up in egg noodles and immersed in a spicy lemon grass, coconut curry. Tell your noodle soup there’s a new sheriff in town.

Snax:

Penang, where only the strong survive. The blend of Malaysian and Thai cuisine makes for an outstanding selection but there’s only one contender I trust to put me on the board, my old friend Kari Mee. Always ordered extra spicy. Always satisfying.

The broth is a flavor that I have yet to encounter in any other dish. Lemongrass and coconut unite in a celebration of flavor that lasts as long as Christmas in America. Each passing moment reveals a new layer to savor. Spicy, sweet, earthy, and just a slight creaminess make for a broth that just won’t quit. Now avert your eyes as I drink straight from the bowl.

Kari Mee comes with either chicken or shrimp…or both. Yeah, let’s do both. The shredded chicken falls apart in your mouth and carries the broth like the Olympic flame. Such majesty and grace is matched as the chicken passes the torch to shrimp. Masterfully prepared shrimp with a slight snap makes for a wonderful addition to this already delectable dish.

The egg noodles are an excellent backdrop for the broth and protein to thrive. They don’t have much of a personality on their own and they’re not supposed to. Still, I am thankful for Penang’s noodle competence.

As I lift a piece of tofu from Legs’ Kari Sayur I can feel the tension build. I need a win. Badly.


And the winner is… Legs!

✓Protein ✗Sauce ✓Sides/Veggies ✓Presentation

This was a really, really close one. Our sauces were more or less the same, although mine was a stew and Snax’s was a soup. What really pushed me into the winner’s circle was my amazing serving pot and my garden patch of veggies. It’s hard to compete in a category when you don’t have much representation. Better luck next time.

September/October wins:

Legs: 3 – Snax: 0

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