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Thai-inspired curried noodles with tofu

7 Jun

Coconut Curry Noodle Bowl

It’s late, you just got home from work, and you’re hungry. You could order some food and wait half an hour for it to be delivered….or you can whip up a curry noodle bowl in even less time. I used fresh chow mein noodles that I buy at Russo’s (of Watertown, MA), but you can use any kind of Asian noodle, fresh or dry. Using 1 tablespoon of curry powder results in a fairly mild curry broth. Add more to turn up the kick.  Fresh ginger is always best when cooking, but if you don’t have any, substitute with ¼ tsp ground ginger. Bon appetite!

IMG_0539Ingredients

  • 6-8 ounces egg noodles
  • 1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp safflower or canola oil
  • 1+ Tbsp curry powder (to taste)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger (or ¼ tsp ground ginger)
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 block firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips
  • ½ large onion, cut into strips
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • salt to taste

 Directions

  1. Cook noodles in boiling water. Drain water and set the noodles aside.
  2. Heat oil in pot or round bottom pan.
  3. Stir fry jalapeno, garlic, red pepper, and onions for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add curry powder.
  5. Add chicken broth, coconut milk, salt, ginger
  6. Bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce to a simmer.
  8. Add tofu, tomatoes, and lime juice. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  9. Ladle over noodles. Makes 4 servings.

Shown above served with steamed bok choy and baked lemongrass tilapia filet, over chow mein noodles.

 

 

Trendy Thai: Khao San Road, Toronto

8 Apr

A few months ago, we arrived at Khao San Road early on a frigid Thursday night. It was only 5:40 PM, and -20°C. Still, there was a 25 minute wait for the two of us. Wow, this place was popular!

We were seated at the bar. The menu offered the typical Thai choices. This was, after all, a place that prides itself on elevated Thai street food.

Khao San Road - Pad Thai Three Flavours Pad Thai with chicken

 

Green CurryThe green curry with thinly sliced beef could have benefited from more veggies, but it otherwise tasted good. The flavour of the bamboo shoots really came through.

 

IMAG1956I had the Khao Soi, a signature dish with egg noodles and crispy noodles in golden curry. It had many large chunks of tender beef I could pull apart with a fork.  The dish however, felt a bit incomplete without any vegetables.

This is definitely a place for 20 and 30-somethings, with long and high communal tables and plenty of bar seating. Khao San Road serves fancy street food that you can wash down with Thai iced tea, beer, or a selection from a wine list that is unexpectedly long for an Asian restaurant. The food is well-executed and nicely presented – nothing will catch you off guard, you’ll find the ingredients and combinations that you would expect.

Food: 4/5 | Atmosphere: 4/5 | Value: 3.5/5

Info: Khao San Road, 326 Adelaide Street West, Toronto, ON, Canada M5V 1R3

Khao San Road on Urbanspoon

All-You-Can-Eat Thai and Japanese in Toronto

18 Jul

Spring Rolls - AYCE sushiI remember when I first discovered Spring Rolls as a student – cheap noodle or rice dishes for lunch, under $10, in a long, rectangular space on Yonge Street. Soon, a larger location at the Atrium on Bay opened, with a much more upscale feel. Only recently did I discover that Spring Rolls now has an AYCE option.Spring Rolls - yakitori

The all-you-can-eat menu is impressively large, with Japanese, Chinese and Thai options. But, they can be a hit or a miss.

Hit: yakitori chicken skewers came as a plate of four small skewers, the perfect size as part of an AYCE meal. On the other hand, the satay chicken skewers were huge! They were grilled perfectly though. I only wish that the peanut sauce was better – it tasted like a slightly watered down chunky peanut butter.

Spring Rolls - Satay chicken with peanut sauce

Miss: Pad Thai was mushy, cloyingly sweet, with an unnatural red hue. No tangyness that I would expect from a Thai dish.  Actually I was surprised at how bad it was, given that I had always thought of Thai noodles as being Spring Rolls’ “thing”.

Hit: Sushi is definitely a good deal. There is a lot of variety and not too much rice on the maki rolls. Solid execution, for an AYCE place.

In terms of the Chinese menu items, we tried the siu mai and the shrimp dumplings. Both were decent, and though the “wrappers” of the shrimp dumplings were a bit thick, they encompassed a good amount of shrimp.

Hit: The ambiance. The Atrium on Bay location has lots of large, comfy booths. Service was friendly and our food arrived at a good pace.

The Final Word: Nothing will amaze you but Spring Rolls is a good standby, and reasonably priced ($23 for AYCE dinner, $25 on weekends). Plus, free parking in the evenings at the Atrium on Bay makes it an easy place to go for dinner downtown, if you’re driving. For me, if I’m picking up tired and hungry travelers from Billy Bishop Airport, Spring Rolls is a good option.

Spring Rolls on Urbanspoon

Info: Spring Rolls at Atrium on Bay, 40 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Canada

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