Tag Archives: asian

Thai Coleslaw

This is an easy, but tasty addition to any 4th of July picnic or potluck, but I also make this at home as a side dish for any Asian meal. I’m probably violating some international cooking code of conduct, but the Thai Coleslaw goes particularly well with Korean Stir-Fried Noodles (or any other Asian noodle dish). Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Salad Ingredients

1 small shredded cabbage
1 small thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced snow peas
4 thinly sliced scallions (green onions)
20 leaves fresh basil, shredded
crushed peanuts


1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or more to taste.
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon tamari
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
juice of 1/2 lime

Combine cabbage, red bell pepper, snow peas, scallions and basil in a large mixing bowl. Toss to mix the vegetables.

Combine dressing ingredients in a small container and whisk for 1 minute to combine.

Drizzle sauce over veggies and toss to coat evenly. You might want to add a little more tamari and rice vinegar to taste depending the size of your cabbage.

Let stand at least 10 minutes or refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Toss again before serving and garnish with peanuts.

Buy the What Dawn Eats: Vegan food that isn’t weird cookbook for more recipes like this one.


  • Use sesame seeds instead of peanuts or omit the nuts entirely for people with allergies.
  • Replace snow peas and red bell pepper with other colorful vegetables (carrots, yellow / orange peppers, etc.)
  • Use seedless cucumber or snap peas instead of the sliced snow peas.
  • To make a low-sodium version, use unsalted nuts and replace the tamari with a little extra rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.

More information for Thai Coleslaw recipe:

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 0 min
  • Total time: 20 min

Pad Phet – Thai Eggplant

A delicious way to use an Asian eggplant, and it’s a nice change from the various Thai curries that we usually make for dinner. Makes 4 servings.

Sauce Ingredients

1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons agave nectar
1-2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste

Other Ingredients

4 cups cooked brown rice
1 tablespoon oil
4 Kaffir lime leaves – thinly sliced into threads
3 cloves garlic
1 shallot
1 large or 2 small sliced Asian eggplants (long and thin)
1 recipe Baked Soy Marinated Tofu
1 sliced red bell pepper
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup baby corn
10 sprigs of Thai basil with stems on (tear any very large sprigs in a couple pieces)

Combine sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat oil in a wok or large pan over medium heat. Sauté shallots for 2 to 4 minutes or until they turn translucent.

Increase heat to high and add veggies, garlic and kaffir lime leaves. Stir-fry veggies for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add basil, tofu and sauce. Stir-fry another 2 to 4 minutes until done.

Serve with cooked brown rice.


  • If you can’t find Thai Basil, use 10 sprigs of regular basil, but remove the stems and use the whole leaves.
  • Experiment with some other vegetables, like cauliflower and zucchini.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.

More information for Pad Phet – Thai Eggplant recipe:

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 30 min
  • Total time: 45 min

Green Beans and Tofu in a Tangy Garlic Sauce

Green Beans and Tofu in Tangy Garlic SauceThis is a simple Chinese dinner inspired by a meal at Fujin, our local Portland Hawthorne neighborhood Chinese restaurant. Serves 4 people.


2 cups cooked brown rice
1 recipe Soy Marinated Tofu sliced into cubes
4 cups green beans
2 cups sliced carrots
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Sauce Ingredients

1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup cold water
6 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon chili paste
1 teaspoon dark mushroom soy sauce
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a glass measuring cup or small mixing bowl. Stir to combine and set aside. Note that the cornstarch will tend to settle in the bottom, so you’ll want to stir again before you add to the stir-fry.

Heat oil over high heat in a wok or large pan. Add green beans and carrots with about half of the sauce. Stir-fry for 4 to 7 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, but still crisp. Add the remaining sauce and tofu. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Serve over rice.


  • Experiment with other vegetables. Onions or red bell pepper would be good additions in place of or in addition to the carrots.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.

More information for Green Beans and Tofu in a Tangy Garlic Sauce recipe:

  • Prep time: 30 min
  • Cook time: 10 min
  • Total time: 40 min

Soy Marinated Tofu

Soy Marinade

This is my standard marinade for tofu that will be baked or grilled and is probably the one that I use most often. Makes 1/3 cup or enough for 14 ounces of tofu

1/4 cup tamari
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
dash of chili flakes to taste
1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

Combine all ingredients and stir or whisk to combine.


  • Experiment with some different spices.
  • You can also make a very simple version with just tamari and a little chili paste.
  • This marinade can be a little strong for some people. If so, you can add 1/8 cup of water or vegetable broth to tone it down a bit.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.

More information for Soy Marinade recipe:

  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Total time: 5 min

Baked Soy Marinated Tofu

Perfect for most Asian meals. Makes 2 to 4 servings

1 14 ounce package of firm or extra firm tofu
1 batch Soy Marinade recipe (see above)
vegetable oil

Slice the tofu into 4 or 5 even pieces. Press the tofu to reduce excess moisture by placing a towel on the counter and wrapping the tofu in the towel*. Place a cutting board on top of the tofu and place something heavy on top (cast iron skillet, a couple of cans of beans, etc.) Let sit for 5 minutes. Rearrange the tofu to a dry part of the towel or on a new towel, and press again for about 5 minutes.

Place the tofu in a plastic zipper bag or shallow container. Pour the Soy Marinade over the tofu and make sure all of the tofu is covered. Marinade for 1 to 3 hours turning the tofu a few times to make sure that all sides are evenly marinated.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray or brush a little oil on a cookie sheet. Place the tofu on the oiled cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes turning once after the first 10 minutes.


  • Experiment with other marinades.
  • If you like your tofu less soft in the middle, bake it at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, again turning them over at the halfway mark.
  • This is also excellent when cooked on the grill.
  • Pan Fried Tofu: spray or brush a large, heavy skillet with a small amount of oil. Over medium heat, add the tofu and cook for 5 to 10 minutes on each side.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.

More information for Baked Soy Marinated Tofu recipe:

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 20 min
  • Total time: 30 min

* Note: If you have fuzzy kitchen towels, you’ll probably want to wrap it in a paper towel first to avoid getting fuzzy lint all over your tofu.