Posts tagged ‘sukiyaki sauce’

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lao sukiyaki

Chilly winter nights and a fridge full of winter greens and I knew I’d be making sukiyaki for dinner soon. It’s my cold season Asian comfort food. Japanese have sukiyaki and nabe, Chinese have their hotpots and Thai and Laotions have our very own version of sukiyaki too, whatever the origins they all involve veggies, some kind of protein and clear noodles too in a hot simmering broth.

I had a bunch of organic savoy napa cabbage, red mustard frill, rainbow chard and spinach in my CSA box this week, so many greens and I immediately thought of this dish I grew up eating. Watercress is also a good one. Wash them up and cut them into a little larger than bite size pieces. Also did the same with a bit of green onion. Set everything aside. Then devein your shrimp and clean and cut your squid pieces, I had tiny lobster tails around too so I used those as well, pretty much any kind of thinly sliced protein or seafood works. Lay on a plate and set aside. Prepare the clear noodles, if using dry mung bean noodles, let them soak in warm water for at least 15min, if using kelp noodles or yam noodles, just right out of the bag is fine.

In a crock pot bring some vegetable/light chicken broth or dashi to a boil, add a splash of coconut water, season to taste with sea salt or fish sauce. Turn down to simmer and toss in the veggies and seafood (protein) and clear noodles. You could also poach an egg into the broth too and when everything is cooked, scoop it up from the broth and place in a large bowl, top your bowl off with a few ladles of the steaming broth too. Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice, 2-3 heaping spoons of the sukiyaki sauce and chili flakes to taste. Be sure to have a bowl of the sauce on the side as you will want to dip your veggies and seafood in the sauce so that every bite is really flavorful.

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The Lao version sukiyaki I grew up eating is hands down my favorite version. The sauce we mix into the steaming hot broth is sweet and fragrant with cooked down shallots and minced garlic. It’s made from Chinese fermented tofu in some kind of red sauce, we call it “tofu yee,” it’s the key ingredient to our sukiyaki sauce, that combined with some ground roasted peanuts creates a very different flavor from anything you’ve ever tasted

My friend, Nick shared his recipe for a Lao sukiyaki sauce that I love.

1. In a sauce pan heat some coconut oil on medium to low heat, add 4 sliced shallots, a head of garlic minced, 1/2 c of sugar, til light golden brown.

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2. Add the tofu from 1 bottle of tofu yee (I prefer to quickly rinse the red sauce off of the pieces of tofu). Then add a few spoonfuls of tamarind pulp and ground roasted peanuts to the oil and a handful of white sesame seeds and mix everything together, stirring on low heat until the sauce incorporates smoothly and thickens a bit, about 20min. Add some soy sauce to taste. Let the sauce cool down and then spoon the sauce into glass jars with a tight lid, don’t fill completely to the top as you will be freezing the sauce. This recipe will make more sauce than you’ll need in one sitting, there’ll be enough to last you awhile so freeze what you don’t use right away, it keeps for many, many months.

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