Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Thai Peanut Linguine - Lemongrass, Galangal, Kafir Lime - what does it all mean?

Tonight it was Thai Peanut Linguine and I wasn't disappointed. I was eager to try one of the recipes using Thai Coconut Milk. However, it was too soon after the Vegan Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles that I made earlier this week. Now we have peanut noodle leftovers to last out the rest of the week. Good in as much as Sweetie has guaranteed lunches but more noodles than we are used to having in a weeks time. It's like having a spaghetti type meal twice a week (the flavor is nothing like spaghetti, I just used that for frame of reference), so a bit much then, with the noodles this week.

Oh, and the can of Thai coconut milk indicates 'over 200 recipes online at So I will be checking that site out. If I want to open pdf files (and I don't), this site has some categorized cookbook recipes you can download in pdf format. I'll just stick with the categorized recipes they offer.

The Thai Peanut Linguine recipe called for coconut milk, green curry sauce, peanut butter, tofu, vegetables and linguine, whereas the Vegan Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles recipe called for peanut sauce, vegetables, tofu and rice noodles. Different ingredients, but similar in taste. The linguine was not as spicy, and the coconut milk seems to have a slightly sweet flavor that smoothes out the spices. I didn't have 'rice flour' to coat the tofu, but had some 'soy flour' and used that - and I don't think there was probably a great deal of difference. But I added rice flour to my grocery list for future shopping.

Tofu, becoming a staple at our house. It becomes an acquired taste.

What I learned though, about green curry sauce, will help me quite a bit with the rest of the Thai recipes. Some of the recipes I plan to use call for ingredients I didn't find and don't yet have, so I was rather wondering how I was going to complete the set of recipes over the next two weeks.

Ingredients in Thai green curry sauce;

- green chili
-galangal = Thai ginger
-kafir lime

Oh, what a nice surprise since many of the Thai recipes call for an assortment of these ingredients. I wonder then, if I can 'substitute' a bit of Thai green curry sauce in those recipes where I don't have lemongrass, galangal, kafir lime, green chili. I don't yet know what 'kafir lime' is and how it is different than regular lime (which is what I bought - regular limes). I had no idea what galangal is until I read the ingredients on the Thai green curry sauce bottle. So I'm guessing that galangal = Thai ginger since that is what it says on the bottle. I thought it was going to be some exotic grass ingredient that I wouldn't likely readily find. I have ginger - fresh ginger - and bought plenty of it. So I wonder how Thai ginger is different than ginger?

I found this place,Thai that lists Thai ingredients and the Thai pronounciation, but I'm not sure that will help me much.

I can quickly see that substitutions for some of the Asian noodles can be met by noodles more familiar to me, ie, angel hair pasta, linguine, thin spaghetti. I think I prefer the rice-noodles and now that I am starting to get a sense of how these Thai recipes translate to more familiar to us Westerner ingredients, I will be able to adapt the recipes when I cannot find the Thai specific ingredients.

If I want to open pdf files (and I don't), here are some pdf recipes.

Recipe below and a thank you shout out to EAM

Thai Peanut Linguine

1 brick extra firm tofu
1/2 pound frozen vegetables (peas, mushrooms, corn, etc)
2 carrots
1/2 bulb garlic (5-6 cloves)
1 bunch scallions
1-2 inch fresh ginger
green curry paste
2 to 4 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 14.5 ounce coconut milk
1 pound linguine
sesame oil
rice flour


For tofu: cube and coat with rice flour. Deep fry until outside is crispy.

For sauce: chop scallions, garlic and grate ginger. Fry in 2 tablespoons or so of sesame oil until cooked. Add in the coconut milk, then some curry paste. Add peanut butter and curry paste until it tastes good.

Shred the carrots, then add them and the frozen vegetables. Cook until the vegetables are done.

Toss the pasta with some sesame oil, then add the sauce and mix up.

(my note; the recipe doesn't say what to do with the tofu after you fried it, so I just mixed it in with the sauce and mixed the sauce into the noodles)

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