Swedish Cucumber Salad

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2  tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp.  sugar
  • 3 tbsp.  minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp.  minced fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp.  thinly sliced  scallions
  • 4 cups unpeeled cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small head of lettuce, sliced

In a medium bowl, mix the sour cream, vinegar, sugar, parsley, dill and scallions until well blended.  Add the cucumbers and toss gently.  Add the salt and pepper.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 20 minutes. Serve on a bed of lettuce.

Adapted from The 30-Minute Kosher Cook by Judy Zeidler.

Spring Rolls with Bok Choy and Tofu

  • 2 Tbs. dry mustard
  • 2 slices ginger plus 1 Tbs. minced
  • Salt
  • 4 c. thinly sliced bok choy
  • 1 bunch scallions, including greens
  • 1 c. broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
  • 1 10-ounce package extra-firm tofu, diced
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. dark sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 12 egg roll wrappers
  • 12 cilantro sprigs
  • Peanut oil for frying

Mix the mustard with 3 Tbs. water and set aside.  Heat 2 quarts of water with the sliced ginger and one Tbs. salt.  When it boils, add the bok choy, scallions and broccoli and cook for 1-½ minutes.  The water will not return to a boil.  Drain the vegetables, rinse them with cold water, wrap in a clean towel, and squeeze several times until dry.  Combine them with the tofu, minced ginger and garlic.  Sprinkle with sesame oil, sugar, vinegar and ¾ tsp. salt.  Toss well, and taste the mixture to be sure it’s seasoned sufficiently.

Lay one egg roll wrapper on the counter at a diagonal with a corner facing you.  Heap 3 Tbs. of the filling crosswise near the base.  Lay a cilantro sprig on top, fold up the lower corner, fold in the outer corners, and then wrap.  Repeat, using the rest of the filling.  Place the egg rolls on a plate, cover with wax paper, then with plastic, until ready to cook.  To cook, heat a ½ inch of peanut oil in a medium skillet until hot enough to quickly sizzle a corner of an egg roll.  Add 2 egg rolls and fry until golden, about 2 minutes.  Turn and fry the second side, then remove to paper toweling to drain.  Continue frying the rest.  Serve hot with the mustard sauce.

From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.

Mapo Tofu

  • 2 cakes extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 2 Tbs vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbs grated fresh ginger
  • 3 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbs sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic pressed
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 1 large bunch broccoli in 3 inch spears (or use purple sprouting Broccoli)
  • 4 cups sliced mushrooms (1 lb.)
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbs cold water
  • toasted walnuts
  • 3 scallions sliced diagonally

Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes and set aside.  Whisk together soy, sherry, vinegar, ginger, tomato paste, water sesame oil and garlic and cayenne and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan or wok.  Sauté onions for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.  Add broccoli and sauté for 3 minutes then add mushrooms and continue sautéing and stirring for 3 minutes.  Pour in the sauce and add tofu.  Lower heat, cover and simmer until the tofu is heated through.  Add the dissolved cornstarch, bring back to a simmer while stirring until the sauce thickens.  Serve on rice garnished with walnuts and scallions.

Serves 4-6.


Kim Chee (Korean Pickled vegetables)

  • One head of Chinese cabbage, shredded
  • One bunch spring onions, chopped
  • One cucumber, sliced thin
  • A couple of cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • About ¼ container of salt
  • About ½ jar of kimchee paste (available from Asia Market, near the Japanese section)
  • Absolutely Optional, a fresh chilli (red preferably) finely chopped.

In a large non-metallic bowl layer the vegetable, sprinkling each with salt.  When you have used up everything put a plate on top and a very heavy weight.  Leave for eight hours to extract most of the water from the vegetables.  Rinse the vegetables THOROUGHLY…you’ll never get rid of the real saltiness, but do your best.  Add the kimchee paste and mix well into the vegetables.  Put into sterilized jars.

This is a fresh pickle, normally made every day in Korea.  It will last about 3 to 4 days in the fridge.

Great with plain rice or to spice up a bland meal.  I’m told it aids digestion.

This amount should fill two 2lb jars and maybe a bit more!!!

Chicken Pad Thai

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1” cubes
  • 5 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Asian fish sauce
  • ½ lb. firm tofu, cut into 1/4” cubes (optional)
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 ½ tsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • ¾ lb. linguine or chuka soba (chow mein noodles)
  • 3 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2/3 c. peanuts, chopped fine
  • 4 c. cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • ½ c. lightly packed cilantro leaves

In a small bowl, combine the chicken with ½ tsp. of the fish sauce. In another bowl, combine the tofu (if using) with another ½ tsp. of the fish sauce. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 5 Tbsp. fish sauce with the water, 1 ½ Tbsp. lime juice, the vinegar, sugar, salt and cayenne. In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until done. Drain. Meanwhile, in a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until just done, 3-4 minutes. Remove. If using the tofu, put another Tbsp. of oil into the pan, add the tofu and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove. Put remaining Tbsp. of oil in pan, add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the pasta and the fish-sauce mixture. Cook, stirring, until nearly all the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Stir in chicken, tofu (if using), and 1/3 c. peanuts. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining ½ Tbsp. lime juice, cabbage, scallions and half of cilantro. Top with remaining peanuts and cilantro.

Serves 4.

Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine’s Quick From Scratch Chicken Cookbook.

Cashew Salad with Tamarind Dressing

  • 8 Chinese cabbage leaves
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 cucumber
  • 6 scallions
  • 8 slices dried mango
  • ½ cup cashews, toasted and coarsely crushed

For the dressing:

  • 1 ½ Tbsp. tamarind paste
  • ½ tsp. coarsely crushed toasted Szechuan peppercorns
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Thai basil or cilantro, chopped
  • Salt to taste

Put tamarind paste, Szechuan pepper, sesame oil, garlic, sugar and chopped herb into a screw-top jar and shake well. Set aside. Stack the Chinese cabbage leaves on top of one another and slice thinly. Julienne or grate the carrot into long thin sticks about 2” long. Seed and slice the cucumbers into long thin 2” sticks. Divide the shredded leaves onto four plates, top with the strips of carrot and cucumber. Top with chopped scallions and dried mango. Drizzle the dressing over the salads and sprinkle cashews on top. Serve immediately. Serves 4. From Easy Vegan from Ryland Peters and Small.