Thai-Style Stir-Fry

Course : Thai
Serves: 4
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3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1 large leeks rinsed well and cut, into 1/2 inch dice
1 small red or green bell pepper seeded, cut into strips
3 cloves garlic minced
1/4 pound mushrooms thinly sliced
3 teaspoons red chili paste or 4-6 fresh hot chilies minced
3 tablespoons hot water
1 1/2 tablespoons yellow bean paste
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cilantro coarsely chopped
1 bunch cilantro sprigs for garnish
1 cup rice -- or noodles

Preparation / Directions:

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat and saute leeks for a minute. Add the eggplant and cook for 3 minutes, stirring well. Add the bell pepper and garlic and stir for a few minutes more. Add the mushrooms, stir, and saute for about 2 minutes. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium low, and let cook for a few minutes. Meanwhile, combine the red chili paste or chilies with the hot water and stir with a fork until the paste is dissolved. Stir in the bean paste, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Add this sauce to the pan and toss well to distribute evenly. Cover for a minute or two, then add the cilantro, stir, and cover for 1 minute more. Taste and add salt, soy sauce, or vinegar to taste if necessary. Serve over rice or noodles.

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