Thai Yellow Vegetable Curry

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This recipe is endlessly adaptable and customizable. No okra? Cool, use zucchini instead. No sweet potatoes? Go with pumpkin instead. You get the picture. What’s constant is the creamy, coconut-y curry that brings it all together — and the crispy shallots that add an extra dose of umami. Don’t skimp on those.

Thai Yellow Vegetable Curry

Ingredients:

1 13-ounce can coconut milk
1 1/2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 tablespoon palm or brown sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
5 cups seasonal vegetables, cut into pieces (I used okra, bok choy, zucchini, and sweet potato here)
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon peeled and shredded ginger
1/2 cup fried shallots

1. In a large saucepan, heat the coconut milk over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add the curry paste, sugar, fish sauce, and turmeric and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to a simmer.

2. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat and separately blanch each vegetable, setting aside to drain each time. You want each vegetable mostly cooked but still slightly firm so that they’ll finish cooking in the curry.

3. Meanwhile, thin out the curry with the chicken broth. Once the vegetables have finished cooking, stir them into the curry along with the ginger and simmer for a few minutes until warmed through and combined.

4. Serve alongside warm rice and garnish with fried shallots.

Roasted Broccoli with Brown Butter

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Broccoli is kind of like the muzak of the vegetable world. Unoriginal, run-of-the-mill, bland.

Or so I thought.

Roasting broccoli transforms it into something sublime: crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and drizzled with an umami bomb of brown butter, capers, and fish sauce. Yes, fish sauce. It’s the not-so-secret ingredient that’ll have you wishing you doubled this recipe.

Sorry I ever doubted you, broccoli. Let’s be friends again?

Roasted broccoli with brown butter

Ingredients:

1 pound broccoli, cut into florets

1 red onion, cut into 1-inch wedges

2 teaspoons olive oil

Salt
Pepper

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon capers

1 teaspoon fish sauce


1. Preheat the oven to 450F degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the broccoli and red onion with the olive oil. Spread in an even layer and season with salt and pepper. Bake until the broccoli is just tender and browned, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a platter.


2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt the butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter browns and smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in the capers and fish sauce. Drizzle the brown butter sauce over the broccoli and serve.

Smashed Cucumber Salad with Hot Vinegar

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Cue the global warming think pieces because I can’t remember a summer this consistently hot in my lifetime. It’s only August and I’m sweltering. I’ve been countering the heat with lots of seasonal like watermelon, tomatoes, and of course, cucumbers.

This Southeast Asian-inspired salad is one of my new favorite cucumber salads. Adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe, it takes only minutes to prepare. The crunchy peanuts and tangy vinaigrette add a flavorful punch to this cooling side dish.

Smashed cucumber salad with hot vinegar

Ingredients:

5 Persian cucumbers
Salt
1 serrano chile, sliced
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, for garnish

1. Gently smash cucumbers with a rolling pin just to break open. Tear into irregular 2-inch pieces and place in a medium bowl; season lightly with salt. Let sit at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, whisk chile, garlic, vinegar, fish sauce, and sugar in another bowl.

3. Drain cucumbers, discarding any liquid they have released. Add to bowl with dressing and toss several times to coat. Top with peanuts and serve.

Mango Sticky Rice

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Confession time: I ate a lot of mango sticky rice in Thailand a couple of years ago. I mean, a lot. We’d check out a new restaurant in Bangkok or a little hole-in-the-wall in Chiang Mai and you’d think I’d want to try out something new, something different. I mean, we steered savory in general: simmered tofu in fermented soybeans, grilled fish with chili-lime dipping sauce, curried crab — but we always returned to mango sticky rice. I know it isn’t a revelation, but man oh man is it refreshing. There’s nothing on earth like a fragrant Thai mango in season. It’s like custardy perfume, in the best way imaginable.

Back in my kitchen at home, I’ve learned to recreate my favorite Thai snack, and it couldn’t be easier. The only caveat is that mangoes in the U.S. are a distant cry from anything I ever tasted in Thailand. Bay Areans: where is your favorite place to source mangoes? Drop me a line.

Mango sticky rice

Ingredients:

1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
4 cups warm cooked sticky rice
2 mangoes, peeled and sliced lengthwise

1. In a small saucepan, bring the coconut milk, sugar, and salt to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

2. In a large bowl, pour 3/4 of the warm coconut mixture over the warm rice and stir with a large spoon until incorporated. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving, then plate alongside sliced mangoes. Drizzle with the remaining 1/4 of the coconut mixture and serve.

Bean Thread Noodles with Oyster Mushrooms and Cucumber

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I could eat noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day and I wouldn’t get bored. But I’m trying to reduce the amount of grains in my diet lately, and this citrusy Southeast Asian-inspired salad is just the answer. It’s light, summery, and best of all, delicious.

Made from mung beans, bean thread noodles are gluten free, grain free, and have a slippery, wonderful mouthfeel similar to Korean sweet potato noodles. Use these in stir-fries, soups, salads — really, anything.

Bean thread nooles with oyster mushrooms and cucumber

Ingredients:

1 pound oyster mushrooms, cleaned
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound ground chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bundles (about 3 ounces) bean thread noodles, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes and drained
1 green onion, cut lengthwise into thin slices and then cut crosswise into 2-inch lengths
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
Ground black pepper
4 tablespoons lime juice
4 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
1 teaspoon sugar

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok over high heat and add the oyster mushrooms, stir-frying until cooked through and slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool slightly, cut into bite-size pieces, and set aside in a large bowl.

2. Wipe out cooled wok and return to stove. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in the wok over high heat and add the garlic and stir-fry until golden, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and stir-fry, then add the salt and a small pinch of sugar and continue stir-frying until cooked through and slightly golden. Remove from heat and add chicken to the bowl with mushrooms.

3. Bring a pot of water to a boil, cut the soaked bean thread noodles into 5-inch lengths, and add to boiling water for 1 minute, until just cooked through. Drain into a colander and rinse with cold water. Drain again. Place the noodles in the bowl with the mushrooms and chicken.

4. In a small bowl, mix together the lime juice, fish sauce, chili flakes, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently.

5. Add the green onions, cilantro, and cucumber to the salad and toss again. Arrange noodle salad on a platter and sprinkle lightly with ground pepper.