Thailand and specially his capital, Bangkok, the dream place of vegans and vegetarians.
Vegetarian cuisine in Thailand is downright delicious, thanks to the wide variety of herbs, vegetables, herbs and spices that this country has. Yes, eating differently is possible in Bangkok. Better: the quality and the smile are at the rendezvous.
For the uninitiated, Bangkok is a veritable cornucopia and showcase for various contemporary cuisines. It is easy to find restaurants representing the cuisines of Southeast Asia, China, Europe, India, the United States, etc. But food in Bangkok is not confined to the cultural or ethnic origin of a region. Personal preferences, beliefs and aspirations also play a big role. A great example is vegetarianism.
While it is easy to see that most Thai dishes incorporate seafood, chicken, pork or beef (beef is the least used among all these ingredients), it is less and less rare to find restaurants offering also vegetarian menus. In fact, many Thai people consider themselves to be ‘occasional vegetarians’, especially during the Yaowarat Vegetarian Festival (September) – the name of a famous Chinatown street in Bangkok – and the Phuket Vegetarian Festival (October). .
During these periods, you will even find a lot of upscale establishments offering vegetarian menus! Apart from such annual festivities, many Thais “convert” to vegetarianism at least once a week.
In the south of the country, strong local religious beliefs authorize vegetarianism and the individual obligation to respect it every day of the week.
Vegetarian dishes are generally believed to be just as tasty, if not tastier, than non-vegetarian dishes. This is mainly due to the wide variety of aromatic herbs and Thai spices used in the preparation of vegetarian dishes. Without these, the Thai vegetarian menu would be much more likely to be limited to just tofu in all sauces.
Among these, you should definitely try the following: Som Tam (spicy papaya salad), Tom Kha Pak (coconut vegetable soup), Tom Yum Hed (sweet and sour mushroom soup), Kraprow Pak (stir fried vegetables in pepper, basil and chili peppers) and Pak Rad Prik (Bamboo shoots with cabbage, broccoli, blanched carrots and onions, sautéed garlic, fresh basil and curry), the popular Pad Thai (noodles Thai style, served here without shrimp and eggs), to name a few of the most famous because the creativity of Thai chefs is limitless. The list would be extremely long to enumerate.
Spicy, healthy, unique and stimulating, vegetarianism in Thailand is an experience not to be missed.
Fried tofu with lemongrass sauce (Phad Tofu Takrai)
This appetizer is very popular with lovers of vegetarian cuisine.
- 400 gr. firm tofu.
- 1.5 tablespoons of sugar.
- 2 tablespoons of fish sauce.
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
- 2 finely chopped shallots.
- 1 minced garlic clove.
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped lemongrass.
- 1 chopped red pepper.
- Cut the tofu into large fries.
- Dry the tofu well with paper towels and let stand for 15 minutes.
- Heat a large, lightly oiled skillet and sauté the tofu for about two minutes on each side until browned.
- Keep warm.
- In a bowl, vigorously combine the sugar and the fish sauce.
- Heat vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and shallots and sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add the lemongrass and chili.
- Add the sugar-fish sauce mixture and cook for another minute.
- Serve the tofu “fries” with the lemongrass sauce.
Enjoy your meal !