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Tag: palm sugar

Crispy Tofu with Lemon Grass and Snow Peas

November 13, 2018

Crispy Tofu with Lemongrass

  • 1 (12 to 16 ounce) block firm tofu, drained and cut into 1 inch
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Add the cornstarch and salt into a zip lock bag. Add the tofu and shake the bag until well coated.

  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil

Heat a non-stick frying pan. Saute the tofu till all sides are golden brown, about a minute or two on each side. Place the tofu on to a lined plate.

  • 4 stalks fresh lemon grass, tender part only, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1 inch pieces


  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoons chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar (or 1 tablespoon honey)
  • Juice of one navel orange
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch

Mix the tamari, fish sauce, chili paste, palm sugar, orange juice and corn starch in a small bowl. Keep aside.

  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 2 cups snow peas
  • Juice of a lemon

Heat a wok like saucepan and add the oil. Add the lemon grass and garlic. Saute on high heat for a minute. Add the onion and sauté for another minute.
Add the snow peas and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Add the tofu and mix well – gently, making sure not to break the tofu.
Sprinkle the lemon juice and serve.

Penang Curry- My Version

February 8, 2017

Panang Curry

A great version to make at home…

Curry Paste

  • 2 to 3 dried chilies, soaked in warm water until soft and seeds removed
  • 1 inch galangal, grated
  • 3 to 4 stalks lemongrass, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 small shallots
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro stems
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ cup peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and peanuts in a small frying pan till aromatic, about 2 to 3 minutes. Take out and grind in a spice grinder. Add to a mortar and pestle. Add the soft red chilies to the spices in the mortar and pestle.
Add the grated galanga, lemongrass, cilantro stems, garlic and shallots to a small food processor and process till smooth. Add the mixture to the mortar and pestle. Add the shrimp paste to the whole mixture and pound the paste till incorporated together and relatively smooth. Add the salt and keep aside.

  • 1 can low-fat coconut milk
  • 3 to 4 kaffir lime leaves, sliced thin
  • 1 ½ pounds chicken breast, sliced thin on a bias
  • 1 cup haricot verts (green beans), cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Juice and zest of one lime
  • ½ cup basil, shredded

Heat a saucepan on medium heat and add the curry paste. Add ¼ cup of coconut milk and sauté on medium heat while stirring constantly. Make sure the milk does not burn. Keep adding as the liquid evaporates and more is needed. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the beans and bring to a boil and cook for a minutes. Add the chicken and bring to a boil. Simmer and add the lime leaves, palm sugar, fish sauce, juice and zest of the lime. Mix well and check for seasonings. Turn off as soon as the chicken is cooked through. Garnish with basil and serve with rice.

Coconut Shrimp Curry- Thai Style

February 29, 2016

Thai Style Shrimp Curry

  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, cleaned, deveined and sliced in half
  • 2 teaspoons tamari
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

Place the shrimp, tamari and garlic in a zip lock bag. Marinate for 2 to 3 hours.

  • 2  tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, peeled and the insides minced- yields about ½ cup
  • 1 14 oz can light coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt
  • ½ lime, juiced

Heat a wok like pan and add the olive oil. Add the marinated shrimp and sauté on high heat for a minute. Take out and keep aside.
Add the onions and lemongrass. Saute on medium high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tamarind concentrate, coconut milk, fish sauce, palm sugar and sriracha sauce. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the fresh basil, cilantro and shrimp. Cook for 2-3 minutes till the shrimp are cooked. Taste for seasonings, add salt and lime juice.

Chicken and Bok Choy Thai Green Curry

March 3, 2015

I think I am currently obsessed with Asian food.. I love it and love cooking it…You could buy a jar of green curry from the store or you could make your own.. the one from scratch is way yummier!!!

  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced thin
  • Zest of one lime
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil

Marinate the chicken slices in the lime zest, salt and oil. Mix well and let it sit for 2 to 3 hours.

Green curry

  • 2 to 3 fresh lemon grass stalks, trimmed, the ends smashed and chopped fine (I used frozen chopped lemon grass)
  • 2 inch piece of galangal, chopped (you can substitute with fresh 1 inch fresh ginger)
  • 2 to 3 kaffir lime leaves (substitute with zest of 1 lime)
  • Zest of 1 lime (use 2 limes all together if kaffir limes leaves are not being used)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 serrano chili, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Place all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle. Pound till a paste is formed. Keep aside.

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons palm sugar or 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili sauce (your favorite)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 large red, orange or yellow pepper, sliced
  • 4 to 5 baby bok choy, sliced in quarters
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Heat a saucepan with the oil. Add the curry paste and sauté on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, palm sugar, fish sauce and chili sauce. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken slices and poach on a medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a platter and keep aside. Continue to simmer and add the peppers and the bok choy. Cook for another 5 minutes. Return the chicken back to the curry and finish cooking, making sure the chicken is not over cooked. Garnish with cilantro.

Tofu Noodles with Peanut Sauce

October 4, 2011

Tofu Noodles with Peanut Sauce

I have been buying a lot of tofu noodles from the Asian store. I love the idea of having noodles that have no carbs and are full of protein. The great thing is that my daughter loves them as well.. so I try to make them as often as I can.

This particular dish is a one pot meal- which is my favorite to make! I decided to add all sorts of veggies including mushrooms and bok choy. For protein I used chicken- but any meat or fish can be used. One can keep it vegetarian and eliminate the meat altogether.

I made a delicious sauce with peanut butter, tamari, lime juice, palm sugar, fish sauce.. etc. I basically took out what I had in my pantry and added it to the sauce.. it was delicious. My daughter who is not a peanut butter fan loved the noodles… somehow she didn’t notice the peanut flavor…

This is a great noodle dish to make through the week…
read more …

Spicy Calamari Salad

August 16, 2010

Spicy Calamari Salad This is my version of a spicy calamari I had at a new Thai restaurant in Chatham- Thai Passion. I reviewed it a couple weeks ago.

This salad got my attention- it was fabulous- although I realized it was a bit over the top with the flavoring. I really enjoyed it but while I was trying to decide how to replicate this salad, I decided to tone it down a bit. At the same time, I didn’t want to lose the essence of the dish- which was a lot of spicy, savory, tangy and a bit of sweet. Writing about it makes me want to eat some- my mouth is salivating. If you live in the area- you should go try it in Chatham. If you don’t live in the Jersey area, try the recipe I have created.

As I mentioned before, this version is a bit toned down. I used tamarind concentrate, lime juice,Worcestershire sauce, palm sugar, sriracha sauce, etc. Once the dressing was made, all I had to do was to cook the calamari. I will attach the video that goes with this recipe.

Try this salad- it is a great dish to make in the summer time…

  • ¼ pound calamari, defrosted and cut into ½ inch rings
  • 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Heat a non-stick frying pan and add the olive oil on high heat. Add the calamari and sprinkle salt. Saute on high heat for two minutes just until the rings turn opaque. Turn the heat off and drain on a paper towel.

  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • ½ cup green beans, blanched
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into 1-inch squares

Toss the mixed greens with the basil, mint, green beans and tomato. Add the calamari and mix well.


  • ½ teaspoon tamarind concentrate
  • Juice of half a lime
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon tamari
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil

Add the tamarind, limejuice, Worcestershire sauce, tamari, fish sauce, sriracha and palm sugar into a small bowl. Drizzle the olive oil while whisking the dressing. Pour the dressing on top of the salad and toss lightly before serving.

Pad Thai with Seasoned Tofu

July 14, 2010

Pad Thai1 I made this dish after reviewing a restaurant Nine Thai in Chatham, NJ. It was a really good restaurant with a friendly staff and great food. I gave it a great review and decided to replicate their pad thai at home.

I have been eating pad thai for years now and love ordering it at restaurants. I have always thought this dish as extremely complicated and hard to make.

Since I had to replicate a dish, I decided to take this one on. After a bit of research, I realized the noodle dish is really not hard to make- it just has a lot of ingredients. Once you have them on hand- it doesn’t take that long. You can control the amount of fat and salt when you make popular take out dishes at home.

In this case, I made it super healthy with tofu, bean sprouts and garlic chives. I had most of the ingredients at home- like tamarind, fish sauce, tamari, etc. I decided not to add any meat but it will be delicious with chicken or shrimp.

If you love eating pad thai in a restaurant, definitely make this homemade version- it is delicious.

  • 10 oz extra firm tofu, cut into thin strips about an inch long
  • 2 teaspoons tamari

Place the tofu strips in a zip lock bag with the tamari and marinate for 2 to 3 hours.

  • ½ pound rice noodles- soaked in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain and keep aside.


  • 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste with garlic

Mix the tamarind, fish sauce, palm sugar and chili paste in a small bowl and keep aside,

  • 3 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots, sliced thin
  • 3 green onions, chopped (white parts only- save the green parts for the garnish)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup garlic chives, cut into 1 inch long segments (optional)
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 eggs, beaten with 1 teaspoon salt


  • 1 cup chopped salted roasted peanuts
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped (the green parts only)
  • One lime cut into wedges

In a large frying pan or a wok like sauce pan heat the olive oil and add the marinated tofu. Saute on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or till the tofu is golden brown. Add the shallots, white parts of the green onions and garlic. Saute on medium high heat for a minute. Add the garlic chives and sprouts and mix well. Move all the mixture to the side of the pan and make a well in the middle. Drop the eggs and scramble for 30 seconds and then mix with the rest of the mixture. Add the drained noodles and mix well. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tamarind mixture and mix well. Add the peanuts, cilantro and green onions. Mix well and check for seasonings. Squeeze the lime and serve.