Stir-Fried Tofu with Holy Basil

Dinner at May Veggie HomeThis is another quick dinner recipe, and you can tell that I like those! You’ll often see this being served up at street food stalls, but noticeably they use ground chicken or pork. Today, I’m going to use tofu.

Serves 2

Note: This dish is great with rice as a main, or you can do what the Thais do and offer it as an appetizer as well. You can put it into hollowed out cucumbers or as lettuce tacos.


You will need:

  • 1 package medium firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp chopped chilies (oh, this is a spicy dish!)
  • 1/2 cup holy basil
  • 1/3 cup long green beans
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/3 cup veg stock or water
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish or oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp palm sugar


  1. Heat your oil over medium heat. Make sure all of your ingredients are ready to go.
  2. Add the tofu and cook for a minute or two, constantly stirring.
  3. Then throw in the green beans, all sauces and the stock.
  4. Just before you’re ready to serve it, add in the basil.
  5. Serve with jasmine rice and enjoy!

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

imageI make these bad boys a lot! They are great to pack as lunches or snacks as they don’t require refrigeration, and they aren’t too messy when traveling.


My favourite!



I didn’t have any peanuts, so I used cashews instead

You will need:

  • Rice paper wrappers
  • 1-2 carrots
  • small head of cabbage
  • bunch of holy basil
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • bunch of spring onions, only green part
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, crushed

For the dipping sauce:

  • fish sauce
  • tamarind paste
  • palm sugar
  • chili powder

How to do it:

  1. Start off by washing and prepping your veg. Rip the leaves of basil from the stems, rinse the beansprouts and green onions. Remember, you only want the green part of the onion.
  2. Shred your cabbage and carrot, then mix together in a bowl.
  3. Crush your nuts with a sharp knife, mortar and pestle or food processor.


    This recipe is all about preparation!

  4. Bowl some water and lay out a large plate for the rice paper wrappers.
  5. Now you need to prep the rice paper wrappers. Lay one flat on a plate, and then pour the hot water over it. Be careful! You need to turn the wrapper over so that both sides are wet. You don’t want the wrapper to be too sticky or too soft.


    Have some cool water nearby

  6. Once the wrapper has become soft and pliable, shake or squeeze the excess water off.
  7. Lay it flat on a cutting board, and then start to add in your ingredients.


    While you’re filling the first one, put another wrapper in the water

  8. Follow the instructions on the back of the packet – you want to roll the wrapper once, then tuck in the two ends, then continue wrapping it.


    It takes a bit of practise, I admit!

  9. In a small mixing bowl, add in some fish sauce, tamarind paste, and palm sugar. Just keep adding the ingredients until you get a sweet and sour flavour. Add in some chili powder, if desired, then serve with your Vietnamese Spring rolls!

Guide to Thai Spices

thai_spicesThai Cuisine is popular around the world for its rich use of spices and unique flavours. Here’s a list of common spices you will find in popular dishes. Many of them are similar to other spices you may know, but if you don’t use the Thai version in your cooking, your dishes will taste very different (as I found out with basil when I first moved here!)

thai parsley

Thai Parsley

Thai Parsley (pak chee farang) – Used for tom yam and salad. It looks like very skinny romaine lettuce and has a very strong smell.

Sweet Basil (horapaa) – Similar to the kind used in Italian cooking. Is used in green and red curries. It’s often available on street food stalls.

Basil flowers in the garden

Holy Basil

Holy Basil (kaprao) – Looks similar to regular basil, but the leaves are flat, not curved like sweet basil. It has a slightly licorice smell/taste. They are used in stir-fries and vegetable spring rolls.

Coriander (pak chee) – The seeds are often roasted and used in many curry pastes. Leaves are used to add flavour to salads and soups.

bird's eye chilies

Use sparingly until you’re used to the spice!

Bird’s Eye Chilies (prik kae noo) – This is the smallest variety of chili and they are very hot!

Galangal (khaa) – This is also known as Siamese Ginger, and in fact, the two plants are closely related. Its roots are longer than ginger. This is used in curry pastes, Tom Yam and Tom Kha.

Lemongrass (ta krai) – A grey/green grass with the most fantastic aroma! You will find this used in soups, curries, teas and as a fragrance.





Keffir Lime

Keffir Lime (mo krut) – This looks like a Thai lemon but it has a rough knobby skin. The flesh is bitter and contains very little juice. The rind and leaves are used in curry or soup. You’ll often see these limes at spas.