Thai Food, Veggie mains

‘Jap Chai’ stew


This is great comfort food and a popular Thai-Chinese dish. Make a big pot and eat it for a few days it gets better with age and more cooking.

Start by cutting a block or two of tofu into cubes and fry them until they are golden. Meanwhile in a pestle and mortar crush the roots of a bunch of coriander with about six cloves some sea salt and some pepper corns. Fry this in a large thick based saucepan in sesame oil an then add mushrooms I used a mix of shiitake and oyster mushrooms, about 500g in total, fry these for a while and add a couple of tbsp of light (mushroom) soy sauce, and a couple of tbsp of dark soy sauce. Then add in the fried tofu and fry for a short while so everything is coated in the soy sauce. Next add a large carrot and a daikon radish chopped in to chunks then cover with veggie stock to well cover the veggies and bring to the boil.

Then chop up other green leaf veggies e.g. Chinese leaf, pakchoy, Thai-style kale (pak kana) and cauliflower if you like. You need quite a lot (at least a colander full) as when they go in the stew they will boil down. You may need to do this in two batches and let them cook down a bit. I also add the coriander leaves and some white pepper and then simmer for a couple of hours until the veggies start to break down (a bit more than in the picture above). It won’t look so pretty but it will taste good. Below is the same stew on the second day. Serve on it’s own or with rice and other dishes if you like but I like to keep it simple so may just have it with rice and perhaps a Thai omelette.

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