Month: August 2011

Thai Food! (No Fish Sauce)

Better late than never! Yes, this post is l-a-t-e, late, but that does not diminish the veggie deliciousness that comes to you in this post. Thai food is a vegetarian favorite, but what many veggies DON’T know is that the flavorful Thai dishes are made using Fish Sauce, which is fermented fish. For June’s Veggie Dinner, our host, Sheldon, treated us to Thai minus the Fish Sauce! His challenge was to recreate the flavor of the dead fermented fish that makes Thai food so tasty, his secret: Mushrooms and Soy Sauce!


Papaya Salad

  • 1 Green (unripe) Papaya
  • 1/2 Cup Roasted Peanuts
  • 1 cup Chopped Cilantro
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Green Onions
  • 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
  • Soy Sauce (season to taste)
  • Palm Sugar (season to taste)
  • 1 cup Fresh Green Beans, halved
  • 2 Carrots (Grated)
  • Mint (optional)

Combine in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

Curry Paste

  • 1 tbsp Ginger (Grated)
  • 4 Stalks of Lemon Grass (only the whites — the bottom portion)
  • 2 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 2 tsp Cumin Seeds (Toasted)
  • 12 Green Chiles
  • 1 2 Inch piece of Galangal (Grated)
  • 10 Garlic Cloves
  • 6 Shallots
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Turmeric (Grated)
  • 1 small bunch of Cilantro
  • 2 limes, juiced

Grind the paste ingredients either in a food processor or using a mortar and pestle.


  • Coconut Milk
  • Curry Paste
  • Japanese Eggplant
  • Oyster Mushrooms
  • 1 Orange Bell Pepper
  • Broccoli
  • Thai Basil
  • 2 Zucchinis
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Soy Sauce

In a large pot, heat vegetable oil and add curry paste. Fry until the aroma of the paste fills your kitchen and causes you to salivate!!! Add the coconut milk and stir until the broth is homogenized. Add the eggplant and simmer for a few minutes, add the remainder of the chopped vegetables and simmer for a few minutes (until the vegetables are tender). Taste and salt to your liking with Soy Sauce. Once your curry is seasoned to your taste, add the Thai Basil and allow it to wilt, then, you are done!


Most Thai restaurants will typically serve white rice with their dishes. Our host opted for a much heartier and more savory rice. To prepare, add 1 part rice to 2 parts water. Bring the water to boil and then reduce to a simmer for ~40 minutes.


After a great (healthy) dinner, what better way to top it off than with a tasty dessert!

  • 1 large Pineapple
  • Agave Nectar
  • Your favorite ice cream (optional)

Slice the pineapple into spears and grill. Add a scoop (or two!) of your favorite ice cream and enjoy!

This dinner requires a lot of prep work and multi-tasking. It is to your advantage to have a helper (or 2) to assist with chopping, grinding, and shredding. Timing the preparation of your dishes to ensure that they complete at the same time will be a little tricky. A few suggestions:

  • Prepare the curry paste the day prior
  • Start your rice while chopping up the vegetables for the curry and salad

Until next time: Healthy eating is happy eating!