NTK RECIPE: Tom Yum Stir Fry Pasta
By “No Triathlon Kim”
A few months ago, we went out for dinner to a little hole-in-the-wall that serves fabulous Vietnamese and Thai food, specifically a delicious soup called Tom Yum. It has a coconut milk base with vegetables and spices like lemongrass in the broth. It was phenomenally delicious (wait… Pho-nominally?!) and I set out on a mission to recreate it. I searched for recipes and found nothing that sounded right, other than instructions for making complicated spice blends that still seemed off somehow. So, I gave up my quest. Then, a few weeks later, magically, I stumbled upon a jar of Tom Yum paste at the grocery store!
First, I thought I’d make the soup. But then I had a better idea to make this into a more filling meal with the broth becoming a thick sauce instead. I added a bunch of vegetables and figured I’d even throw some tofu in for a hit of protein. We don’t eat a lot of tofu because there are a lot of health concerns around soy, especially for women. But like anything, you can eat most things in moderation and not have to worry too much about it. (Although Taren would eat this constantly, I don’t make it more than once a month because of the tofu.)
As with most recipes I make, you can play around with the kind of vegetables you want to include. I use whatever I have on hand, so this recipe always tastes a little different. Also, you can use chicken instead of tofu if you prefer, or even throw in a couple of cups of cooked green/brown lentils instead. Play with the types of vegetables you use. And you can sub the brown rice pasta for vermicelli rice noodles.
Recipe Type: Vegan (with meat option), Gluten Free, Dairy Free
- 1 can full fat coconut milk (I like the Aroy-D brand best)
- 3 TBSP of Tom Yum paste
- 1 brick, extra firm tofu (or substitute with sauteed chicken breast)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 TBSP oil
- Approximately 6-8 cups of assorted vegetables, chopped. (I find best veggies for this dish are red/orange/yellow peppers, broccoli and zucchini, as well as very finely chopped or riced cauliflower. I also often use kale slaw or beet slaw from the store to bulk this up when I don’t have a ton of time to cut vegetables.)
- 2 cups dry brown rice pasta (rotini is the best shape to catch as much sauce as possible)
- Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan and add the Tom Yum paste. On the stove, turn the heat to medium, and while the sauce is heating up, use a spatula or spoon to break up the paste and help it dissolve into the liquid. Allow the coconut milk to come to a boil and begin to reduce. Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow it to thicken up a little bit.
- If you’re using tofu, chop up the tofu into bite sized pieces and throw it into the coconut milk sauce on the stove, and continue to simmer on a low boil.
- Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat the oil on medium and saute the onion until soft. Then add the chopped vegetables to the pan and stir frequently as they cook.
- While the vegetables are cooking, cook the gluten free pasta as per the directions on the package. Cook time for GF pasta is typically 8-10 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside.
- Once the vegetables are fork-tender, pour the coconut milk sauce with the tofu into the pan with the vegetables and stir to coat. Serve over the cooked pasta.