Cook with Kirly-Sue

I was in Thailand recently, filming my new vegan cooking show for TV. It’s a 12-part series that will be broadcast on multiple channels later this year. I really enjoyed going back to Thailand, as I lived there for a year many years ago before I returned home to England to attend university. It has beautiful, picturesque beaches, highly decorative temples, breathtaking scenery, a rich vibrant culture, and stunning archaeological sites.

One of the best things about Thailand is the food and, if you’re looking for vegan food in Thailand, you’ve got nothing to worry about, as they have lots of great options. Food in Thailand is fresh, plentiful and intriguing. They win my vote for some of the best cooking in the world, as they use lots of tasty seasonings and are great at flavour combinations. 

As a vegan visiting Thailand, finding vegan options was easy. Fruit stands are at every corner, fresh fruit and vegetable markets are abundant, and the demand for organic products is increasing. It is always possible to get vegan options in Thailand, since their traditional cuisine is mostly composed of vegetables.

Thai cooking uses seasonings, spices, varied flavours, and multiple textures to make the food taste delicious. In addition, Thailand is abundant in a wide variety of fruit; it’s also very easy (in my opinion) to be a vegan in Thailand, especially if you want to be a raw vegan. 

Thai cuisine is usually lightly cooked and full of flavour, with an emphasis on fresh herbs and spices. The food can get quite fiery, though, so be careful if you cannot handle too much chilli! This world-renowned food is aromatic, full of variety and always beautifully presented, and appeals to all kinds of tastes with its great balance of the four important flavours: salty, sweet, sour and spicy. 

There is a brilliantly complex taste in Thai food and it’s easy to make at home. The 10 essential ingredients for Thai cooking are: Thai fish sauce (but you can get a vegan version of this), curry paste, white vinegar, coconut milk, rice, chillies, black pepper and limes.

Towering skyscrapers, sacred temples and vibrant nightlife all describe Bangkok, which is Thailand’s capital city. This amazing city has a lot to offer vegan travellers, with its countless options — from local Thai dishes to Indian and your classic American hamburgers — made vegan. There are fine dining restaurants where you can indulge in the most beautiful upmarket setting, and tiny family-run places, food courts and street food. You can’t go wrong with vegan food in this city.

RAW VEGAN PAD THAI 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small courgette (zucchini), spiralised or grated
  • 2 carrots, spiralised or grated
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup (80g) finely shredded white cabbage
  • 1 cup (80g) bean sprouts, trimmed
  • 1 cup (150g) edamame
  • 1 cup Thai basil leaves

DRESSING

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 cup (70g) peanut butter
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 21/2 tbs pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tsp grated ginger

METHOD 

  • For the dressing, place all the ingredients in a blender with 2 tablespoons of water and blend until combined, adding a little more water to thin the mixture, if necessary, then set aside. 
  • Peel each zucchini into thin strips. If you have a spiralizer or a large grater, you can also use those for a similar effect.
  • Place the courgette, carrot, red bell pepper, cabbage, bean sprouts and edamame in a large bowl. 
  • Add the dressing and toss to combine. Divide among serving plates, top with the basil.
  • Taste, and adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Top with crushed nuts and serve.

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