Thursday, August 5, 2010

Things West, Things East: Thai Stir Fry

So we're back from California, a trip that was not nearly long enough.  All in all, we had a wonderful time; the weather was in the 60s (a welcome change from the NJ 90s with 90% humidity), and we got to ride cable cars, walk through the Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park, take a cheesy boat tour around the SF Bay, visit the Monterey Bay aquarium, poke around in tide pools on the Carmel coastline.  Figuring that he couldn't spill any secrets while we were 3000 miles away from most people we knew, we told Ian about the "baby in Mommy's belly," and showed him the 12 week ultrasounds, to which he responded with a look of utter disbelief, "You're just kidding me!"  (I'm guessing that it will take a while for him to get used to that idea ... perhaps as long as it will take me?)

One wonderful thing about vacations, of course, is that they're an excuse to eat, and we did our share of that, too, including a dinner at the Plant Cafe Organic on the Embarcadero, which was simply amazing.  Those of you who live on the Left Coast owe it to yourself to go dine there.  Plentiful vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options ... though you could certainly be a carnivore there, too.  I didn't have a single bite of anything that wasn't outstanding.  Part of me worries that my bulging middle isn't just pregnancy, though.  Oh, and by the way?  The person who decided that a can of whipped cream has 33 servings in it was definitely delusional.

One thing I've been craving lately is Thai food.  And while we didn't have any in San Francisco (it seemed like sacrilege to eat Thai food when there was Chinatown within a 5 minute walk), I decided to do something Thai with whatever we happened to find in our refrigerator and garden when we got back.  The zucchini plants had been prolific in our absence (I am still laughing at S. who told me they would not grow ... one of them was the size of a baseball bat!), so I suspect you're going to see them featured prominently over the next few posts.  Turns out we also had Thai basil, so this stir fry was born.  This dish is a little bit different; light, fragrant, and adaptable to your tastes and your diet.  I suspect that a little bit of lemongrass (which I just learned tonight is available at the pick-your-own part of our CSA, rats!) would be a nice complement to the dish; just saute that in the olive oil for a few minutes first before you add the onions and zucchini.  If you're not a zucchini fan, some thin green beans would work just as well, or perhaps some broccoli.  Play with it.

Thai Stir Fry

1 - 2 T. light olive oil
2 large zucchini or other summer squash, sliced however you like them
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 T. lime juice
1 - 2 t. fish sauce
1 t. agave nectar (to taste)
1/2 lb cooked shrimp (or tofu or whatever form of protein you prefer)
1/4 c. Thai basil or cilantro (to taste)

Heat olive oil in a wok over medium high heat until hot but not smoking.  Add zucchini and onions.  Stir fry until mostly cooked through.  Add lime juice, fish sauce, shrimp and agave.  Stir fry, and season to taste.  (You may want to go easy on the fish sauce if you've never had it before; I promise, it tastes much better than it smells coming out of the bottle.)  Finish with Thai basil or cilantro, and serve over rice or quinoa, or eat it all by itself (this is what I did).
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1 comment:

  1. We cook a lot with agave nectar. Love that stuff.


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